Posts filed under ‘Student posts’

Valuable connections

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in San Diego, November 10 – 14. What follows is a post from one of these attendees. 

By Madeleine Kim, BS

Tulane CEMCH Scholar Maddie Kim, staffing the Tulane booth at APHA

This year I had the incredible opportunity to travel to San Diego, CA and attend the 2018 APHA Conference. In the weeks leading up to the conference I was becoming more and more excited as I scrolled through the APHA app on my phone and chose which presentations I wanted to attend and saw what poster sessions were being held. More than anything I was excited to meet people that have similar interests as me and to learn about the different types of work that people are doing.

My first event in San Diego was a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) meet-up where MCH students and professionals from different areas of the country could network. When the first person who came up to talk with me asked me a question, I couldn’t remember what I had learned about networking. I had to remind myself of the goals I had set for myself regarding the people I wanted to meet and the information that I wanted to gather.

Nearing the end of the conference I was worried that I hadn’t met the “right person” yet. In my head, the “right person” was someone who had the same interests as me, was working in a position that I wanted, and could offer me clear advice about how to navigate school and the workforce. (I know, I had high expectations).

At the end of the conference I realized the most important lesson is that every connection we make is valuable. While it is important to be goal-directed and have intentional conversations, there is so much to be gained and learned by talking with people from different fields with different interests than me. Much of the information and advice that I wanted to find in my “right person” could be explained through many different people and would allow me to have different perspectives. In addition, collaboration in public health and interdisciplinary methods is so important and we can’t achieve that by only talking with people who work in the same field as us. While maybe I didn’t find the “right person” that had the same explicit interests as me, I value the connections I made and hope to keep them close in the future.

Maddie Kim is a second-semester MPH student concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in December 2019. She graduated in 2018 from Tulane University with a bachelor degree in Public Health. Her interests include adverse childhood experiences, infant and early childhood mental health, and health systems policy. She also enjoys baking, the ocean, and snuggling with her cat. 

December 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

Making connections

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in San Diego, November 10 – 14. What follows is a post from one of these attendees. 

By Ososese Enaholo, BS

CEMCH Scholars Lacy Campbell, Ososese Enaholo, and Madeleine Kim with Tulane alumna Dr. Maranda Ward

I was anxious about attending APHA, because based off of my previous experience with conferences, I knew that I would have to pitch myself. Thankfully, with the help of CEMCH, I felt prepared: I had developed a stellar pitch that allowed me to make connections with public health professionals and students with not only my interests, but also various interests within the field of public health. Throughout this conference it was wonderful to see how the sectors of public health are interconnected, and how this field is made up of compassionate people fighting for the people.

During the conference I was able to attend sessions that addressed many of my interests. One session that I attended was Bringing under-served women into focus: Pregnancy and birth outcomes among marginalized populations. During this session, Dr. Monica Mclemore addressed the advancement of reproductive health standards. She brought to my attention the way in which we discuss teen pregnancy in research. She explained how the language we use to address teen pregnancy contributes to the stigmatization of teen mothers. I learned that it is important, especially as public health professionals, that we conduct research that promotes the health of all people.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Maranda Ward, a Tulane alumna, who now works at Washington University. She discussed with me and my peers her interesting take on sexual education. She explained that instead of addressing the risks of sex she decided to approach it by getting teenagers invested in their future. She then incorporates sexual education by addressing how sex plays into their future and how risks such as pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases can affect their future. I found her research to be interesting and I enjoyed hearing a successful intervention on the implementation of sexual education.

Overall, APHA was a great experience. I got to meet some wonderful people while learning more ways to effectively promote health equity!


Ososese Enaholo, BS, is a first-year MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2020. Her interests include health equity, racial and ethnic disparities in health, sexual and reproductive health, immigrant populations, and adolescent health. She also loves hanging with friends, listening to music, and working out.

December 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

Getting Acquainted with APHA

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in San Diego, November 10 – 14. What follows is a post from one of these attendees. 

By Tracey Estriplet, BS

This year I had the greatest opportunity to attend my first American Public Health Association conference. Before my arrival in sunny San Diego, CA, I was very apprehensive about what to expect at the massive public health conference. Walking into the convention center I felt nervous and anxious, but I soon found myself comfortable and thrilled to sit in during the different presentations.

Before my departure I planned to attend many MCH-focused oral and poster presentations but once I sat in on a few, I quickly realized that there were so many more topics I would like to explore and learn about. I found myself in presentations about breastfeeding, the opioid epidemic, immigration, and paternal involvement in MCH. I watched these presentations in awe because I had never thought to really delve into these topics in the scope of public health. It opened up my eyes to many different problems that are public health problems. The discussions were rich and informative and left me feeling both joyous and defeated after every session. I was excited to learn about these new areas of public health but the conversations around each topic seemed like there was no real forward progress in these areas for a long time. It is now a driving factor for me to invest my time and education learning about immigration, the opioid epidemic, and breastfeeding advocacy to incorporate into my future field work.

In every session I attended I was surrounded by the very best and brightest professionals the field has to offer and I was in complete awe. I sat in a room with Dr. Joia Crear-Perry and Breana Lipscomb, who both elegantly spoke about the disparities and trauma black mothers face during their birthing experiences. Every session surpassed any expectations I had unknowingly set for them. In fact, the entire conference experience surpassed any and every expectation I had set for it. I left the conference with newfound knowledge and made some connections with professionals in the MCH field. All in all, APHA was wonderful and I am forever grateful to be a CEMCH Scholar and afforded the opportunity to have been in attendance.

Tracey Estriplet, BS in Health Education (MCH) from the illustrious Howard University, is a first year MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2020. Her interests in Public Health include maternal health in black and underserved communities, birthing justice and equity, postpartum care, and racial disparities.

December 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

A feeling of accomplishment

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in San Diego, November 10 – 14. What follows is a post from one of these attendees. 

By Catherine Kinsler, BA

This year, I attended my first public health conference, APHA, in San Diego. The experience overall was very enlightening and invigorated my passion for public health; however, I did find myself feeling overwhelmed at times due to the size of the conference center and the sheer number of people in attendance. It was great to be around so many people with similar passions and goals, who are identifying problems and collaborating to solve them.

My personal interests revolve around various topics in the MCH field: breastfeeding, substance abuse, infant development, and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections. I would have loved to be able to focus on all my interests at APHA, but unfortunately due to time constraints I had to shorten my list. I also decided to go to a couple of oral sessions that I didn’t know much about, but thought were interesting topics that I wanted to learn more about.

The first day at APHA was the busiest day. We had the opening session, a networking session hosted by the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health (ATMCH), working at the Tulane booth, and happy hour for MCH scholars. The opening session reiterated to me how many people were there, but also how many important, accomplished people were in attendance this year at APHA. It really surprised me that people like the Surgeon General were there. Out of everything that happened this day, I really enjoyed speaking with other MCH students and people already in the field. It’s always helpful to hear something from another person’s perspective.

Over the next couple of days, I went to three main oral sessions that I found extremely interesting. The first, and my favorite, was an oral session on breastfeeding. The three speakers did research in regards to breastfeeding practices and social media; their findings were that mothers are creating a ‘village’ of support through things like Facebook and in many cases use it as an educational source about breastfeeding too. While it didn’t surprise me that women are utilizing these platforms in this way, this oral session did lead me to wonder how hospitals or health professionals can use this research in order to better serve their patients.

The other two oral sessions I went to were ones that I found interesting but previously did not know much about. The first was concerning human trafficking, and the other was about intimate partner violence. Both oral sessions were very informative and touched on topics I don’t hear about often. These oral sessions caused me to want to investigate more about the most effective preventive measures in these areas with adolescents.

Overall, my experience at APHA was very enjoyable and educational. I learned more about topics I already held an interest in, and I discovered topics that I previously did not know much about. I met MPH professionals and students alike, and loved hearing their views and passions. While my initial response to APHA was feeling overwhelmed, I left feeling accomplished as an MCH student.

Catherine Kinsler, BA, is a first-year MPH student with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. Her planned graduation date is May 2020. Her interests include: epidemiology, substance abuse, women’s health, reproductive health, and infant development.

December 5, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

What Happens When you Let a Child Lose in a Candy Store: A small glimpse of my time at APHA

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in San Diego, November 10 – 14. What follows is a post from one of these attendees. 

By Vaughne Chavez-Gray, BS

Tulane CEMCH Scholars at APHA

In mid-November I had the honor to travel to San Diego to attend the APHA conference. This was my first time at APHA, or any major conference for that matter. Coming into the conference I did not know what to expect. The advice I kept getting was to plan, because that would be the way to get the most out of the time we were there.

Looking at the schedule for the first time was like letting a child lose in a candy store and telling them to just pick a couple of their favorites. However, I made a plan and tried to follow it the best I could. There were two events that really stuck out to me. The first event was the MCH Town Hall meeting, in which they explored refugee mental health. This was an eye opening experience for me, because I am currently doing a briefing paper project on the need for mental health services for refugee minors given the amount of trauma they experience. This town hall further emphasized the importance of the paper I am writing, and allowed me to gain more knowledge about this area.

The other thing that stood out to me was the expo and the poster sessions. I feel like that is where I gained the majority of my knowledge and networked. I think it was awesome to have that one-on-one experience and be able to ask questions as well as talk to people about their work. The most interesting piece of information was the Art in Medicine exhibit. They actually use art to help heal and it works. I also was not aware that Tulane had a program for this. I definitely want to look into getting started in participating in this. Also, at their exhibit you got to make pretty cool buttons to put on your APHA name tag, which was an added perk. Overall, this conference was extremely beneficial and to be honest it gave me more ideas on what I would like to accomplish and be involved in regards to my career in public health.

Vaughne Chavez-Gray, BS is a first year MPH student with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in May 2020. Her interests include ACES, infant mental health, child mental health, trauma informed education, and art medicine.

December 4, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

APHA: From an MCH Student Fellow’s perspective

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in San Diego, November 10 – 14. What follows is a post from one of these attendees. 

By Kiley Mayfield, BSW

Tulane CEMCH Scholar Kiley Mayfield standing with her MCH Section Student Fellow certificate after the Tulane Social Event

APHA was an amazing experience. Not only was it in beautiful San Diego, but I was selected to serve as an APHA MCH Student Fellow. As a fellow, there were a number of MCH related events that I was required to attend. The various activities ranged from networking to collaboration with individuals interested in the MCH field to MCH related sessions. At the final required event, the Martha May Eliot luncheon, I and the other student fellows were recognized among the leaders of the MCH section and given certificates. In that moment, I realized the weight and prestige of the student fellow position.

Aside from the luncheon, the most impactful experience was the Perinatal and Women’s Health Committee meeting. Prior to APHA, the student fellows were required to select an MCH committee to be a part of. There were numerous committees to decide from, but ultimately, I chose the committee that was most aligned with my aspirations and concerns in public health. The committee meeting began with basic introductions – your name, credentials, and experience in MCH – followed by a group discussion of key topics and areas for the committee to tackle in the upcoming year. Introductions were nice because it allowed me to hear about possible professional positions that I could hold in the future. They also highlighted the diversity in the room. During the committee meeting I was able to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of MCH professionals and students about problems within perinatal and women’s health. Another bonus of the committee meeting is I was also able to meet my mentors for the student fellow program. One of my mentors has the exact passion and goals for MCH as me, which was very comforting.

I highly recommend anyone interested in MCH to look at the various committees and get involved. You do not have to be a student fellow to join, it is open to all APHA members with an interest in MCH. The committees provide an opportunity to build connections and collaborate with like-minded individuals.

My APHA experience was exciting and knowledge-filled. The only thing that I would change is my length of stay. I would have stayed the entire conference so that I could experience more non-MCH related APHA activities. The first few days are MCH heavy and I was required to attend quite a few of the events. All in all, I enjoyed my time at APHA and appreciate the connections made.

Kiley Mayfield, BSW, is a second-semester MPH student, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She plans to graduate in August 2019. Her interests include Black maternal health in marginalized and oppressed communities, health equity, breastfeeding advocate, postpartum care and community support, and mandated paid parental leave. She also loves singing, poetry, and laser tag.

December 3, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

Inspired to challenge the status quo

Many of our students attended this year’s meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held in San Diego, November 10 – 14. What follows is a post from one of these attendees. 

By Lacy Campbell, BS

Hot sauce, anyone? Tulane CEMCH Scholar Lacy Campbell at the Tulane booth at APHA

APHA offered so many enlightening speakers that it made it hard to choose which to attend. The one event I felt I learned the most was Maternal Health: Labor, Delivery, and Postpartum Care. Dr. Debra Whisenant of the University of Alabama presented on the relationship between the University of Alabama and maternity homes in Cuba. Long ago, the government of Cuba made the decision to make maternal and child health a priority. Due to this commitment, they created maternity homes for pregnant women to safeguard their health if they were considered at-risk during their pregnancy. Dr. Whisenant has visited Cuba and seen firsthand the impact these homes have on the health of pregnant mothers and infants. Their health has flourished in a country that lacks the technology we see in the United States. Such outcomes in Cuba inspired me to challenge the current status quo and to seek to make maternal and child health a priority in the US.

Prior to attending APHA, I was quite confident that the field of public health was full of kind and caring persons, and after APHA, I can say I know for certain. Every person I met at the conference was willing to take the time to speak with me, to discuss my interests and their passions. They were willing to help a first-semester student who doesn’t quite have it all figured out. Each person who extended help was genuine, and thus confirmed that public health was the field for me. I met other students as well, whom I know will one day make a difference in our shared field. It confirmed that I made the right choice by attending Tulane. The Center for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Scholar Program has granted me such enriching experiences that I would not have otherwise had.

Lacy Campbell, BS, is a first-year MPH student concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. Her anticipated graduation is May 2020. Lacy’s interests include policy concerning maternal and child health and nutrition. Outside of class, she enjoys baking, walking in Audubon Park, and reading.

November 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

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