What inspired you to return to school for your MPH?
I was looking for something hands-on and practical, and Tufts offered an MPH with a specialty in health communications. Tufts has a stellar reputation, and when it comes to health communications, I view them as being one of the best in the country. Tufts is also a smaller university with a student to faculty ratio that you don’t typically find in schools based in major cities. With that smaller ratio, you get a bit more intimacy with your professors and form a better relationship with them.
How would you describe the Tufts curriculum and culture?
Tufts’ courses provide a strong theoretical basis but at the same time show how that theory can be applied. They do a nice job bringing in professors with real-world experience. An MPH program needs to have that balance between experience and academia because ultimately students will use their degrees in the real world.
Because Tufts offers many dual degree programs, the student body is very diverse. In a public health class, you might encounter a mix of students: law, veterinary, MBA. Access to those different perspectives made for a unique experience.
Can you talk about your Applied Learning Experience (ALE) and its impact?
I did my ALE at Partners Healthcare System, one of the leading health systems in the country. I worked on a project with several diabetic patients at Massachusetts General Hospital. We researched how devices like FitBits, when paired with health communications text messages, influenced patients to improve their health. My role was to help create patient focus groups and develop a theory on the data. Being able to research with their team was a great learning experience and opportunity for networking and further transitioning into the job market.
How did your experiences at Tufts influence your career path?
Being a student at Tufts was a chance to find my niche. Through one of professor Lisa Gualtieri’s digital health courses, I discovered my particular interest in the intersections of health communication, public health, and technology.
My first job after earning my MPH was at HMS Eliza, a technology company that specializes in health communications. I was a perfect fit for the job, and it allowed me to carve out a niche that brought me to my current role as a director at the Office of Drug Surveillance and Misuse Prevention at the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Why should someone consider an MPH at Tufts?
Tufts was ahead of the game in offering health communications. If you’re looking for a program with an outstanding reputation, and want to receive an education where you’ll connect with your faculty and the community then you should consider going to Tufts.