Archive for November, 2014

Internship Opportunities with Sankofa CDC

Internship Opportunities

Available with Sankofa Community Development Corporation

About Sankofa CDC

Sankofa Community Development Corporation works to build bridges for healthier communities, spur development by addressing health disparities, and support youth empowerment through education and intergenerational learning.

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November 28, 2014 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Using networking to develop my own philosophy

By Caroline Kusi, MPH

The 2014 APHA Conference experience was one that I will never forget. Unlike the previous year, this year’s conference was unique in that it challenged my networking skills and formally inaugurated me to the networking world. I undoubtedly enjoyed the academic presentations about maternal health I attended, but I felt that my conversations and networking with individuals who gave those presentations transformed me.   First, my networking after presentations and at receptions enabled me to learn about varying global health practice viewpoints. For instance, I engaged in a one hour long conversation with a Nigerian public health professional about the differences between the roles of expatriates for advancing global health agendas and those of local people. From another presenter, I learned about the promotion of social activism principles in the Congo and how I can integrate that into my global health philosophy. In a nutshell, this APHA conference was more than getting people’s business cards to get secure internships and jobs; it was about developing my own global health philosophy with the help of presenters and other public health professionals. This process unexpectedly took place at receptions and random coffee breaks.

Another way in which I was impacted at the conference was through the strong sense of motivation, persevering, and challenged spirit of presenters I conversed with during receptions. Particularly with individuals working in sub-Saharan Africa, I was pleased with the hope they had to continue to work hard to transform lives. I was enlightened by their honest thoughts about political and other programmatic challenges they faced as researchers within the agencies I hope to work for in the future. Finally, one of the sessions that was not related to my area of interest, but had a positive impact on me was the presentation on Ebola. At this presentation, I gained more insight about global challenges of addressing public health threats, the mistakes of major donors, and the inequity in the distribution of resources to low-resourced settings.

 Caroline Kusi, MPH is a second year doctoral student in GCHBS. Her research interests include health systems strengthening and maternal mortality.

November 28, 2014 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

My Public Health Story

By Lauren Cenac, BA

I went into this year’s APHA conference not quite knowing what to expect. As a first-semester MPH student and public health novice, my feelings ranged from excited to intimidated.

My introduction to APHA came in the form of a student-faculty breakfast. Early Sunday morning, a large group of Maternal and Child Health students and teachers gathered around six tables in a conference room to begin our “speed mentoring” session.

Each person at the table had a minute and a half to speak; a tiny hourglass tauntingly tracked time. We were handed a paper with questions to answer: “Why is networking important to you? Where do you see yourself in five years? What are the top three leadership strengths that you bring to your work today?”

Not only did I not know the answers to these questions, but even if I had, articulating my top three leadership strengths to a group of strangers in a minute and a half seemed nearly impossible.

So when my turn came to speak, I didn’t follow the prompts on my paper. I simply spoke from the heart and told my story, imperfect as it was: As a former journalist of six years, the birth of my three-year-old daughter inspired my interest in public health and my pursuit of an MPH.

There it was: my story. It was succinct and simple, but it was mine.

And to my surprise, people were interested in it. My interests in journalism and breastfeeding resonated with the people around me. And with each time I told my story, it became clearer and clearer to me what my story actually was.

And I realized something very important that day: The strength of your story doesn’t lie in how it compares to other people’s stories. Your story derives power from its authenticity and its reflection of your skills, passions, and dreams.

Through the networking mentoring sessions at APHA, I became more confident in my story and more focused in my public health aspirations.

Lauren Cenac has a Bachelor of Arts in English and is a first-year MPH student and MCHLT Scholar, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in 2016. Her interests include breastfeeding and prenatal and postpartum care.

November 26, 2014 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

Job Opening: Virginia Program Manager, No Kid Hungry

Looking for a job? Share Our Strength is looking for a Virginia Program Manager for their No Kid Hungry campaign.
TITLE: Virginia Program Manager, No Kid Hungry
ORGANIZATION: Share Our Strength
LOCATION: Richmond, VA
POSITION SUMMARY
The Virginia No Kid Hungry Program Manager will manage all aspects of the campaign to end childhood hunger in Virginia, which works to increase access to and participation in federal food and nutrition programs for eligible families and their children. The manager will facilitate the continued development of the No Kid Hungry campaign in the state of Virginia.

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November 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Addressing the root causes

By Gloria Grady, BA

APHA perhaps brought more confusion this year than I was expecting. My main goal was to scope out possible doctorate programs and to attend the sessions of interesting researchers at various schools. While I accomplished these goals, something about my APHA experience felt a bit discouraging. I was only able to find a handful of sessions directly related to my interests, and of those, many were given by sociologists and not individuals daily immersed in the public health field. We talk so much about ‘social determinants’ in public health yet it still seems that we are working around them—not facing them head on. Since my interest lies in addressing key social determinants like racism, sexism, and income inequality directly, I often feel like a public health oddball. I too often hear fellow public health-ers say racism is inevitable. That unjust policies are too hard to change. If we continue to believe these things, then we make them true.

It’s about time for us to stop this self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s time for undoing racism to not be an afterthought, but something we really try to accomplish. We know that racism affects health. We have the body of evidence for that. The next step is believing we can address it. If a public health perspective can be used to address violence, why not racism? Why not sexism, homophobia, income inequality, and other social structures that are at the basis of some many health issues? I’m tired of feeling like public health is not the right place for me. I know deep down that it is—but we can’t be afraid to address the upstream causes of health inequity.

Gloria Grady is a second-year MPH candidate and MCHLT Scholar, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate May 2015. Her interests include the effects of racism on health and how to address racism as a public health issue.

November 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment


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