Have questions about whether the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Master of Public Health Program is a good fit for you? Many or our current students are ready to answer your questions and share their experiences with the program.

Kim Kassander

Kim Kassander

Hometown

Mequon, Wisconsin

About

During my undergraduate career, I studied nutrition and although it was incredibly interesting I knew I wanted to pursue something different. In 2016, I traveled to 22 different countries that spanned over five continents. This opportunity changed my focus to bigger picture issues that affect marginalized communities. I chose UW-Madison because the faculty and staff would result in a deeper understanding of global leadership, health systems, community assessment, program management and health disparities. These are all required skills that would allow me to be successful in improving health and wellness for people in communities around the world.

Area of public health interest

Environmental public health (climate change, natural disasters, planetary health)

Dream career

My dream career would be working for an agency that helps communities recover after natural disasters (floods, forest fires, droughts, hurricanes, etc.) and also helps build preventative measures to reduce impact of future disasters.

Ryan Rhode

Ryan Rohde

Hometown

Chicago, Illinois

About

I've worked in the field of public health since undergrad in many capacities, ranging from HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment education and program implementation, STI testing and counseling, managing a not-for-profit's HIV prevention counseling program modeled after evidence-based personalized cognitive therapy and motivational interviewing, engaging with community outreach through STI mobile testing unit, and working with individuals and families facing homelessness or at risk of homelessness through subsidy programs and housing navigation. I am really enjoying my MPH studies because it allows for critical thinking, hands-on programmatic and policy implementation practice, and community engagement.

The MPH program provides me with tangible skills that will enhance my academic and professional careers. My decision to pursue public health as a career is driven by my commitment to the most vulnerable populations; those marginalized, discriminated against, the poorest of the poor, and those facing violence and persecution. I ideally would love to work globally and domestically in areas experiencing conflict/disasters and with communities disproportionately burdened by disease.

I hope to utilize my MPH knowledge to train local health professionals and educate communities in a sustainable way. Often countries affected by conflicts are also burdened by other health issues, such as infectious diseases, due to destruction of built environment and health systems that once ensured safety and health prior to conflict. To incorporate health education and responding to emergencies would be my ideal role.

Area of public health interest

Global health, disaster preparedness and planning, training and evaluation, infectious disease prevention and health education

Dream career

Working for agencies like WHO or CDC, serving underserved communities, and responding to disasters and epidemics.

Rebecca Green

Rebecca Green

Hometown

Milton, Wisconsin

About

I originally went for my MPH to give myself a little more time to figure out what I wanted to do. I was trying to decide if I wanted to go to medical school and after taking some classes and working in the Emergency Department, I don't think a physician is the right choice for me. I really liked doing research in undergrad and I feel like I've found a way to apply that to patients and get to research things that are a little more timely in terms of application. 

I feel like I found my passion in this program and it's definitely helped me narrow down what I could see myself doing. What I love about public health is that you have the opportunity to impact so many people beyond what clinical care can do, and it feels really good to know that the work you're doing is going to make a difference for a lot of people.

Area of public health interest

Healthcare research, equity, systems management/cost effectiveness,  and epidemiology

Dream career

My dream current is currently TBD, but I think it would be super cool to manage research projects/do cost effectiveness analysis at a Contract Research Organization or in academia.

Mitch Arnold

Mitch Arnold

Hometown

Hartland, Wisconsin

About

I'm an MPH student who will be applying to medical school either this summer or next. I got into public health because as a future physician, I want to work with public health officials and local communities to improve the health of my state/community. I also want to work with Doctors Without Borders (or other missions-centered medical programs) and possibly the Navy early on in my medical career to gain abroad experience and improve the public health of countries who have little to no health care infrastructure.

My favorite part of the MPH Program is the required field experience that let me work side-by-side with one of the nation's leading Family Physician's on the topic of infectious disease and immunizations.

Area of public health interest

Community/population health, global health

Dream career

My dream career is to be a physician (not sure which type yet... leaning towards ER, Family, or Orthopedic)

Austin Gerdes

Austin Gerdes

Hometown

Verona, Wisconsin

About

I’ve always been very passionate about protecting both the environment and human health as a whole. During undergrad, I began to study the relationship between environmental topics like pollutionand climate change, and their impact on human health. I’ve been very happy to have the opportunity to continue to explore the climate/human health dynamic, as well as its surrounding policy, during my MPH here at UW-Madison.

I especially love that I’ve been able to do so through both my coursework and field work, where I’ve been working in the Wisconsin DHS’s Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health. I look forward to taking the skills I’ve learned and experiences I’ve had during my MPH and directly applying them to my future career.

Area of public health interest

Environmental health and health policy

Dream career

My dream career would be to one day split my time between working clinically as a physician and doing either advocacy or applied public health policy work.

Samantha Aisen

Samantha Aisen

Hometown

Northbrook, Illinois

About

I became interested in public health while I was studying anthropology (focusing on medical anthropology) in college and learning about the idea that a person’s health is somewhat a reflection of the social infrastructure that they interact with. Public health professionals have the opportunity to work on improving social infrastructures and improving the health of populations.

My favorite part of the UW-Madison MPH program is how available and friendly faculty and staff are for meetings, advising, and general guidance. I’m always able to make appointments to talk through homework and/or general school and career goals with my professors and instructors.

Area of public health interest

Environmental health, epidemiology, working in a public health department

Dream career

I've narrowed my dream career down to three possibilities: Quality improvement at a health care organization, health officer in a public health department or pursuing a PhD related to environmental health.

Grace Shea

Grace Shea

Hometown

Atlanta, Georgia

About

I became interested in public health after witnessing the socioeconomic inequity experienced by many of my teenage peers in Atlanta but this interest has matured into a passion for partnering with underserved communities.

Before starting my MPH, I was a high school teacher in Milwaukee in the zip code with the highest incarceration rates for black men in the U.S., and my teaching experiences forcibly opened my eyes to the inescapable socioecological factors that have produced a prevalence of health disparities in Milwaukee’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. This realization was not the first spark of my interest in public health but rather clarified how I could help improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities in disadvantaged communities. Moving forward, I hope to use my MPH to better partner with communities to promote equity in access and quality of care.

Area of public health interest

Health services research

Dream career

My dream career is to one day be a physician.