Laura Carroll, Food and Drug Administration

Laura Carroll

“I chose the Health Communications program for the MPH because there are many mixed messages surrounding health and nutrition in our media, causing confusion among Americans, and one of my career goals is to provide people with the knowledge and tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle.”

2013 Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). Placed with the Food and Drug Administration as a Policy Analyst.
MS-Nutrition/MPH combined degree program, 2013
MPH concentration, Health Communication

Tell us about your current job.
I am a Policy Analyst for the Food and Drug Administration through the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program. The PMF program is a two year leadership development program for the Federal Government for graduate degree candidates. As a PMF, you receive trainings on leadership, management and policy, and at least one 4 to 6 month rotation at another Federal agency.

As a Policy Analyst, I work on a variety of projects that include researching regulatory issues and revising and creating new policies and regulations affecting FDA-regulated food and feed commodities.

What inspired you to pursue an MPH in your area of specialization?
I first became interested in health and nutrition because high cholesterol and heart disease run in my family. My interest in nutrition and health quickly transformed from a hobby to a desired career path.  I chose the Health Communications program for the MPH because there are many mixed messages surrounding health and nutrition in our media, causing confusion among Americans, and one of my career goals is to provide people with the knowledge and tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle.

What drew you to the Tufts Program?
Tufts is unique because it offers a variety of dual degree programs. When I started my graduate school search, I knew I wanted to pursue an MPH with a nutrition focus, but then I discovered that Tufts offers a dual degree program--an MPH and an MS in Nutrition. Both degrees require students to complete an internship which allows students to apply the skills they are using in the classroom to real-life settings. The combination of getting real world experience through the internships and being able to complete two Masters in the disciplines I am passionate about made choosing Tufts a no-brainer.

How did your Tufts degree help prepare you to work in the field (or what were the highlights of your Program)?
The multidisciplinary approach of Tufts’ coursework provided me with a comprehensive understanding of public health issues and the variety of factors that come into play when developing effective policies and programs. In addition, my analytic skills were greatly enhanced through my coursework at Tufts; assignments and projects simulate real life situations, including developing and writing grant proposals for public health campaigns or programs. This type of work teaches you how to critically think through the complex nutrition and health problems our nation faces. But, my favorite part about my experience at Tufts was the people. The faculty and staff’s enthusiasm for their work is palpable and they are dedicated to helping students reach their career goals.

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Get involved. One of the best things I did at Tufts was participating in a variety of student organizations. Take advantage of these opportunities to apply the skills you learn in the classroom to real life settings and make friends and professional connections that you will have for the rest of your life.