By: Michelle Ivy – 2nd year – Behavioral Science & Health Education
Hello! First, thank you for reading my article. I hope it proves insightful to you. My name is Michelle Ivy from Dallas, TX. I went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas for undergrad. I majored in psychology and chemistry. I then moved to South Korea for two years for a post-baccalaureate program where I did education and social work.
At Emory, my concentration is in Behavioral Sciences with a certificate in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology. In other words, I have a wide range of interests! Rollins has proved me the opportunity to work in all kinds of different public health arenas to satisfy my varying interests. My first semester, I started with one job as a cashier at a local retail store. By November, I’d landed my REAL position with CDC in the Division of Analysis Research and Practice Integration (DARPI) where I was an evaluator for CORE SVIPP (State Violence and Injury Prevention Program). If you work at CDC, you’ll learn there are A LOT of acronyms. In my REAL position, I was able to create and test a rubric for evaluation of state injury and violence prevention programs as well as meet and network with state and federal level evaluators. I loved my position and will soon be returning to it for a second year.
My second semester, added on another position as a Rollins Student Ambassador. This position is unpaid but I love being able to meet and share my experiences with prospective students like you! My summer practicum was two fold. While I finished my job at CDC, I added on positions with the Department of Human Genetics and HERCULES. HERCULES is located in the Environmental Health department. I worked on the Community Engagement Corps where I did a qualitative evaluation of previous participant’s experience with the HERCULES grant program. I also wrote research translations of environmental health issues that effect people within the Atlanta area. In the Genetics Department, I did a quantitative data analysis of phenotypic traits within families of people with epilepsy. I used SAS and R to run analyses and write up the results.
This fall, I still work for HERCULES, the Genetics Department, my cashier job, volunteer as a Rollins Ambassador, and soon will be returning to CDC. (Don’t ask me how I do it. I have no idea!)
On top of all that, I am starting my thesis with the Emory Prevention Research Center on their Smoke-Free Homes Project. I am working with Dr. Michelle Kegler doing secondary qualitative data analysis using the CFIR framework. (Google it. It’s pretty cool!)
Suffice to say, I love public health and all of the opportunities I’ve had through Rollins. You don’t need to have a million positions and never sleep like me, but if that’s your jam, this is the place to do it. As parting advice, I’ll share with you what I told my first year mentee. “Enjoy your time in school. Take advantage of the opportunities but practice self-care. You’re here because you’re smart and have amazing potential. Have confidence in that!”