Meet Our Team: Jessica Schnitzer, Student Support Specialist

Jessica Schnitzer, Student Support Specialist for Public Health
‘Meet our Team’ spotlights are just one way we like to share a little bit about the people who are dedicated to UNE Online’s signature student-centric experience. What do you do here at UNE Online? I am a Student Support Specialist in the UNE Online Public Health program specifically working with master’s and graduate certificate students. What stands out to you in the program that you work within? What stands out to me about Public Health is its relevance in our current climate. Public Health is on the minds of everyone during the Covid-19 pandemic and is more recognizable in our daily lives more than ever before. I commend our students for making the conscious decision to further their education…

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Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Kilgore, RN, MPH ‘20

Sarah Kilgore in front of a visiting ICV Stryker, mandatory mask in hand.
Sarah Kilgore is an RN in the Department of the Army in New York, and a recent UNE Online MPH graduate. Here, she talks about how her professional life has changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what encouraged her to earn her MPH. What encouraged you to get your master’s in public health? I became interested in public health while I was working with infectious diseases and research for the Army in Germany. I wanted to be involved on the policy level, working on public health initiatives with Army representatives and hospital directors. How has your graduate school experience been affected by the pandemic? I had my capstone and preceptorship all set up, I had a doctor…

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Alumni Spotlight: Gail Callahan, MPH ‘18

Gail Callahan, MPH Alumni of University of New England 2018
Gail Callahan is a Registered Nurse in a family practice with more than 22 years of clinical nursing experience. She decided to earn her MPH as a way to expand her knowledge of public health and begin to transition her career from one-on-one clinical care to a position where she can make change on a broader level. Can you tell us a little about yourself? I earned my undergraduate degree in psychology, figuring I’d move on forward and go into counseling because I really enjoyed working with people. But after college, I struggled to find a job. I wasn’t able to really find anything that I felt comfortable with. I had always been interested in nursing because of the people…

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MPH Student Spotlight: Jazmin Soloman

Jazmin Soloman, MPH
Jazmin Soloman is an MPH student on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She discusses here how the coronavirus has changed her work atmosphere, and how her degree in public health has opened up doors for her. Can you provide a general overview of your position with Pinellas County EMS & Fire Administration? I am a paramedic and the EMS Training Coordinator for Pinellas County EMS and Fire. I develop and coordinate the training for Pinellas County’s EMTs and paramedics, and I work on the ambulance one day a week. Interestingly enough, when I started grad school I had a lot of people ask me why I chose to become an MPH student. My bachelor’s degree is in…

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The Role of Public Health in a Pandemic

Carol Ewan Whyte, Research and Service Coordinator, Public Health, UNE Online
UNE Online Faculty member and public health expert Carol J. Ewan Whyte, Ph.D., M.Sc. discusses the role of a public health professional during the coronavirus pandemic. This information reflects the expert opinions and experiences of Dr. Ewan Whyte, and is accurate as of Wednesday, April 1, 2020. For someone working in public health right now, what is their role in this COVID-19 pandemic? Epidemiologists are really the ones who are working overtime right now. I liked how the Director of the Maine CDC calls them ‘Disease Detectives.’ The epidemiologists are the ones tracking how many new COVID-19 cases we have, where they live, who they have come in contact with, and making sure all those people who need to…

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Opportunity available to go abroad with UNE’s Ghana Health Partnership!  

A fortnight in Ghana UNE's cross-cultural opportunity
Study abroad to engage in direct health services, interprofessional collaboration, community education, and cross-cultural exchange. Open to students and alumni of UNE Each May, UNE students work alongside the Ghana Health Service, community health educators and the community, in a two-week Cross-Cultural Health Immersion initiative. A chance to effect positive change This annual effort involves collaboration between UNE, the Ghana Health Service, and local Ghana health practitioners to provide primary care, health education, and clinical services to community members in the city of Sekondi and two rural nearby villages. Learning is facilitated by interprofessional collaboration American and Ghanaian public health professionals, social workers, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, and optometrists experience the opportunity to learn from, with, and…

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Alumni Spotlight: Monica Huelga, MPH

Monica Huelga, who completed her Master of Public Health practicum presentation on environmental health literacy, stands in front of the Pacific ocean with a sailboat in the background
In celebration of our Graduate Programs in Public Health’s successful CEPH reaccreditation, we sat down with Monica Huelga, MPH ’18, who found herself at UNE Online rather serendipitously. Monica is passionate about the power of communication to promote global health and equality. She completed her applied practice experience on environmental health literacy at the non-profit MEarth Carmel while working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Congratulations again on graduating last year! What inspired you to go for your MPH in the first place? I’ve always been drawn to health and distance studies. I received my undergrad from University of Washington in medical anthropology and global health, and I was trying to look at health in the bigger picture, the cultural perspective…

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Alumni Spotlight: Mae L'Heureux, MPH Program

Mae L'Heureux
Mae L’Heureux is a recent graduate of the Master of Public Health program. During her time in the program Mae served as Membership Co-Chair of the APHA-SA, and Member of the Graduate Programs in Public Health Advisory Committee here at UNE Online. Recently we had a chat about her experience in the program, how she liked the online format, and how getting her Master of Public Health is enhancing her professional career in youth mental health management. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Public Health? I discovered my interest in public health in a somewhat roundabout way. I began working in the mental health field after experiencing…

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Faculty Spotlight, Dr. Titilola Balogun, Public Health Program

Dr. Titilola Balogun, MBBS, MPH, DrPH
Dr. Titilola Balogun, MBBS, MPH, DrPH, is the Assistant Director of Public Health Practice for the Graduate Programs in Public Health in the College of Graduate and Professional Studies here at the University of New England. In this post, Dr. Balogun talks about her role in the program, how she supports our students, and what skills she feels are most important for a public health career. Can you tell me a little about your background and what drew you to UNE Online? I started my career as a medical doctor, practicing clinical medicine. While I was working in a hospital in Nigeria, I began to notice a trend in my patients, who were primarily children. I would treat the children,…

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What is the difference between Applied Practice Experience (APE) and the Practicum?

APE vs Practicum
To get the inside scoop on what defines the Applied Practice Experience (APE) versus the Public Health Practicum, we spoke with Dr. Titilola Balogun, MBBS, MPH, DrPH. She is the Assistant Director for Public Health Practice for the Graduate Programs in Public Health in the College of Graduate and Professional Studies here at the University of New England. Dr. Balogun supports students who are about to begin their Public Health Practicum or Applied Practice Experience. What is a Practicum? The Practicum is the version of the public health field experience that we had before the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), our accrediting body, came up with updated requirements. While the definition of “Practicum” varies from school to…

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Ambassador Spotlight: Tannaz Safari Vejin, MPH

Tannaz Safari Vejin, MPH
Tannaz Safari Vejin earned her MPH during the gap years she took after pre-med and before med school. Here, she talks about what she feels is an important skill set to master during the program, and how she feels getting her MPH has given her an edge. UNE Online Ambassadors have been recognized by the College of Graduate and Professional Studies for being exemplary students and enthusiastic members of the UNE Online community. UNE Online Ambassadors serve as liaisons between our extended community and UNE Online, setting a precedent and standard for what it means to be a UNE Online student and community member. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your…

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Announcing the New Service Cord for GPPH!

Public Health Service Cord Announcement
Service – it’s a word that means different things to different people. As public health professionals, we think of service opportunities as activities done outside of our regular work or program of study that allow us to use our passion and expertise to help make our professions, communities, and ultimately, our world a better place. If you embrace community service opportunities during your public health studies, you could be recognized with a service cord at graduation. Service is giving back to our profession and to our community, not for financial gain, but with the only expectation being improvements in health outcomes in our communities. Whether you are an established public health professional gaining your advanced degree, or new to the…

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UNE Online Graduate Programs in Public Health at MPHA 2018

UNE GPPH alumni and student presenters at MPHA 2018
MPHA 2018 was a HUGE success! This year, the Maine Public Health Association (MPHA) Annual Meeting and Expo was held in Augusta, ME and there were about 400 public health professionals from within and outside Maine in attendance, including our very own UNE Online Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) faculty, staff, students and alumni. This year’s Annual Meeting theme was Addiction and the State of Public Health in Maine, which contributed to the topic of discussion in general sessions, scientific sessions, and presentations. Below, we’ve summarized a few of the sessions presented by our team at this year’s MPHA meeting. Prevalence and Correlates of Cigarette Smoking among High School Students in Maine Titilola Balogun, DrPH and current MPH student…

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Graduate Programs in Public Health at UNE Online: An Overview

Graduate Programs in Public Health at UNE Online
There is a critical need for professionals with public health degrees today. The Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) estimates that by the year 2020, the United States will be facing a shortfall of at least 250,000 public health workers. If you’re interested in improving the lives of others through building one-on-one relationships, conducting research or analyzing numbers, public health may be the field for you. Public health students are diverse and dedicated people who demonstrate a passion for improving public health. Public health graduates can find employment in the public or private sector, within non-profit organizations, or in health departments at the local, state, and federal levels. The University of New England offers two fully articulated online graduate…

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Alumni Spotlight: Mansoor Shafqat, GPPH Program

Mansoor Shafqat, MPH Student
Mansoor Shafqat is a public health graduate student at UNE Online, residing in California. He has had many life changes while enrolled in his program, including becoming a new parent, so he finds the flexibility of the online public health program to be essential to his success as a student. We spoke with him recently about his experience with the program. Can you tell me a bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Public Health? I received my Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior Health from the University of California, Davis, and I am currently more than halfway through the Master’s of Public Health program here at the University of New England. I…

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How to Find a Public Health Practicum Site

How to Find a Public Health Practicum Site
Everyone needs to complete a practice experience, but finding a practicum site can be a challenge. Recently we sat down with Dr. Titilola Balogun to discuss best practices in finding a practicum site that fits your professional goals. Begin with the end in mind The number one piece of advice when thinking about your practicum placement is to think about what you want to do with your MPH. Looking for a practicum is very similar to searching for a job. Actually, it’s the exact same process – and in many cases, it’s easier to find a practicum than it is a job because many health departments and public health organizations are generally happy to have students willing to work in…

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Why Work in Public Health? Ten Reasons to Choose a Public Health Career

10 reasons to choose a career in public health
The field of public health is burgeoning with growth and opportunities. Work in public health is constantly evolving in response to the needs of populations around the world – because at its core public health deals with the issue of the health of people and their communities. Public health workers work to improve the conditions and behaviors that affect health. Broadly speaking, they track, prevent and respond to disease outbreaks, promote healthy lifestyles, research disease and injury prevention, and work to limit health disparities. Public Health is everywhere, and public health initiatives affect people every single day in virtually every part of the world. The reasons people choose to work in public health are as diverse as the people themselves.…

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Student Spotlight: Dr. Puneet Saini, MPH Program

Dr. Puneet Saini Student in the Master of Public Health MPH program at UNE Online
Dr. Puneet Saini is a native of Madison, WI, and a second-year MPH student at UNE Online. Having completed his M.D., he is looking to complement and add more value to his education, and also delve more deeply into the realms of public administration and policy-making in order to bring about change on a global level. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, and what encouraged you to pursue your Master’s in Public Health? I was born in America and come from a multi-cultural family. Growing up in this diverse mix of different ethnicities and cultures made me very aware of the world, and I learned early on to respect other people’s values, ideas, and ways of life.…

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GPPH Volunteer Week Challenge, Winter 2017

GPPH Team Volunteer Work
UNE Online’s Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) recently held our first Volunteer Week challenge! Our goal was to encourage UNE students and public health professionals everywhere to facilitate meaningful community service activities with a public health focus. The UNE GPPH community shared photos of how they gave back this season, and we created a special Facebook album, titled #uneonlinegivesback just for these photos. We were definitely inspired by what we received. As an added bonus we proposed a contest to our GPPH students – a free textbook for the best photo submission. MPH student Jensen was the winner with her adorable photo volunteering for the Rescued n’ Ready Animal Foundation in Tulsa, OK. The GPPH Team Gives Back! Not…

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Meet Our Team: Zachary York

Zachary York, Student Support Specialist
Meet Zac York, a Student Support Specialist for our Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH). Zac started at UNE Online about a year ago and he’s been having a great time ever since. Zac and his team have a lot of fun, and he genuinely enjoys working with them. Zac’s great listening skills, positive attitude and sense of humor make him a strong asset to his team members as well as the students he works with. At UNE Online students are our top priority, and their success is what drives each and every one of us to do what we do. We’d like to share a little bit about the people that are dedicated to making that happen every day.…

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UNE Online Graduate Programs in Public Health at APHA 2017

APHA 2017
APHA 2017 was a HUGE success! This year the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo was held in Atlanta, GA and there were more than 12,000 public health professionals from around the world in attendance, including our very own UNE Online Graduate Programs in Public Health (GPPH) faculty, staff, students and alumni. This year’s Annual Meeting theme was Creating the Healthiest Nation: Climate Changes Health, which contributed to the topic of discussion in general sessions, scientific sessions, and presentations. Below, we’ve summarized a few of the sessions presented by our team at this year’s meeting. In addition to the sessions listed below, the following GPPH adjunct faculty also presented: Wenjie Sun Arduizur (Carli) Richie-Zavaleta Rebekah Doyle…

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Student Spotlight: Carley Anderson, MPH – Public Health Program

Carley Anderson MPH Student
I came to the field of public health nearly by happenstance. I had just finished my undergraduate degree in music which, while fulfilling, didn’t equip me with tangible ways to make a meaningful, practical difference in my community. After graduation, I began working as an administrator in a medical clinic at a military installation, and a year later was assigned to work in the public health program despite no previous experience. I quickly saw public health was a field with unending opportunities – constant opportunities to learn, to benefit the community, and to make a lasting difference in the lives of others. I began networking with other public health staff in similar roles, and soon developed a strong relationship with…

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Public Health Credentialing: Seven Public Health Certifications

Public Health Certifications
See what certification is appropriate for you, whether you go into public health education, public health administration, or if you’re just looking for a general public health certification. Below is information about some common certifications held by public health practitioners, and examples of types of jobs that may require certification after graduation. While there is no national-level public health credentialing, there are various certifications and credentials associated with specific career paths that help you stay at the forefront of your profession. Why get certified? Your chosen career path often dictates the best certification for you, or whether you even need to have a certification at all. Earning a credential indicates that you understand the different components of public health in…

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Dr. Nan Solomons Awarded Mini-Grant for Health Informatics Research

UNE Online’s Nan Solomons Awarded Mini-Grant for Health Informatics Research
Dr. Nan Solomons, Health Informatics Practicum Coordinator, and Dr. Erin Hartigan, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, were recently awarded a mini-grant by the University of New England’s Office of Sponsored Programs, for health informatics research. The UNE mini-grant program provides funding to support faculty research and scholarship at the University of New England. Nan, along with co-principal investigator, Dr. Erin Hartigan, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, will use this grant to evaluate the following question: What are the barriers and facilitators to the adoption of and adherence to a criterion‐based rehabilitation progression program post Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction and subsequent effects on outcomes? In short, Nan and Erin will look at how physical therapists (PTs) adherence…

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