Northwestern hosts first Public Health Graduate School Fair

Samantha Caiola and Samantha Caiola

Undergraduates from all different majors attended the first annual Public Health Graduate School Fair, which took place in Norris University Center on Tuesday. Representatives from eight graduate programs set up tables in the Lake Room to speak with students interested in public health.

The fair was hosted by International Program Development, a Northwestern organization which coordinates and supports international efforts on campus. The fair’s coordinator, Christina Cole, Weinberg ‘10, majored in political science and said she was always looking for a way to incorporate public health education into her studies.

“There are so many people who want to be involved in the medical field but don’t want to go to med school,” Cole said. “I wanted to show students other public health opportunities.”

Cole planned the event in conjunction with the Annual Idealist.org Graduate Degree Fair for the Public Good, also held Tuesday. Hundreds of graduate schools are represented at this event each year, held at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cole arranged that they stop by NU while in the area. At the Yale University table, 2001 NU alumni Brad Helfand distributed admissions materials for Yale’s School of Public Health. Helfand studied health policy and administration at Yale University and graduated in 2003.

“It’s great to come back here and help out NU students,” Helfand said. “Public health is great because you study compelling social problems from a macro level and find systematic solutions. I wish something like this existed when I was in school.”

There are opportunities for NU undergraduates to study public health through the global health minor in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, a student-run organization called GlobeMed or one of several Study Abroad programs.

“I’m thinking of applying to grad school in a few years and it was great to be able to ask questions of admissions counselors,” said Morgan Heller, Weinberg senior with a public health minor. “It’s great that the university is paying attention to public health.”

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