Advice to SPHIS Graduates

With graduation in the rear view mirror, we asked faculty and staff to offer advice to our recent graduates. 

Craig Blakely, PhD, MPH, Dean

"Remember, even if you are very happy in your place in life, you’ll never know when a door might open unless you pay attention . . . Please keep us informed of your movements. Participate in the alumni association and stay in touch with your colleagues and those of us still at SPHIS. Keep in mind that sometimes your greatest resource will be the growing alumni of the school. Therefore, it is best to remain engaged to ensure easy and regular access to this wonderful network of public health professionals."

Ryan Combs, PhD, MA, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

“I recommend that you join a professional organization and identify a caucus in your area of interest. There are often cheaper rates for early career professionals. In my experience, caucuses are a great way to build relationships for collaboration and support. There can also be opportunities for leadership within them.”

Scott LaJoie, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

“Read everything you can: newspapers, professional journals, social media of respected public health leaders, pamphlets produced by local organizations, health department reports, etc. Engage with the writers by asking questions and making positive comments via letter writing, phone calls, and social media posts.”

Tiffany Robinson, MPH, PMP, Program Manager, Center for Healthcare Organization Transformation

“Don’t be shy about developing and leveraging all relationships you have made as a student. Anyone you have studied or worked with could be a source of advice, a job referral, or networking opportunity that can be mutually beneficial. When people offer to help, they mean it!”

Tammi Thomas, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs

“Persistence is the key!”

Anne Wallis, PhD, MHS, Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health

Monica Wendel, DrPH, MA, Associate Dean, Associate Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences

“Getting connected and staying connected requires intention. You have to take initiative to keep yourself informed. You have to show up. You have to pay attention. You have to follow up. Repeatedly.”

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