Q&A with SPHIS 2017 Alumna of the Year, Dr. Natasha DeJarnett
Dr. Todd Misener Named Oklahoma State University’s Chief Wellness Officer
Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Scott Maymon Q&A
Does Healthy Food Cost Too Much?
Lessons in Leadership: Taking New Knowledge Into the Field of Practice
Alumni turn out for the Practicum and Networking Fair
2016-17 Alumni Fellow, Dr. Matthew Groenewold
2015-16 Alumni Fellow, Dr. Therese Hughes
Alumnus Spotlight: Dr. Ray Yeager
Advice to SPHIS Graduates
Alumna Spotlight: Emily Sweet shares how Grand Canyon visitors benefit from public health education
Alumnus Spotlight: Dr. Lewatis McNeal
Q&A with 2018 SPHIS Alumna of the Year, Dr. Avonne Connor
Q&A with SPHIS Alumna, Keisha Dorsey
Unique relationship between SPHIS and city’s public health department
SPHIS alumna, Janikaa Sherrod, prepares to “kick cancer’s butt”
SPHIS Alumni Wisdom
Q&A with SPHIS Alumnus, Allen Rakotoniaina, MPH
2019 SPHIS Graduation Awards & Honors
Q&A with SPHIS Alumna, Tionne Goodson, MPH
SPHIS alumna helps develop opioid toolkit for employers
Q&A with SPHIS Alumnus, Dr. Andrew McCart
Find your ikigai-- Q&A with SPHIS alumna, Dr. Nida Ali
Alumnus Spotlight: Dr. Duke Appiah
2020 Commencement Awards
Congratulations May 2020 Graduates
Recent graduate, Suur Ayangeakaa, reflects on her experience at SPHIS
Alumni stories from the front line of COVID-19
SPHIS connections lead to career for alumna Lori Droege
Alumni spotlight: Selma Avdic
SPHIS Alumna Spotlight: Sashia Torres
Alumna Spotlight: Q&A with Molly O' Keefe
Q&A with recent graduate, Jack Pfeiffer
Q&A with SPHIS Alumna Anne Spicer, Health Operations Program Manager at Apple
Alumna Spotlight: Sarah Kendrick
Q&A with SPHIS Alumna Nikka Sorrells
Congratulations May 2022 Graduates
Alumni Testimonial: Arinjita Bhattacharyya reflects on time at SPHIS
Summer 2022 Graduates
December 2022 Graduates & Award Winners
SPHIS Community Advisory Board Spotlight: Chair Heidi Margulis


Alumni spotlight: Selma Avdic

Name: Selma Avdic
SPHIS Degree: MPH - Health Policy
Graduation Date: 2019

Reflection on time at SPHIS

As a Louisville native, the University of Louisville was always a top choice for SPHIS alumna, Selma Avdic. She received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UofL in 2017 and graduated in 2019 with a Master in Public Health (MPH) from SPHIS.

During high school, Selma developed an interest in policy and politics. She said, “I discovered the field of public health during undergrad and felt that it fused many of my interests into one field.” She decided to pursue a public health degree because of it offered versatility and job security. Studying health policy appealed to her “because of the unique intersection of policy, economics, and data.”

While at SPHIS, she worked for the UofL Division of Infectious Disease as a student assistant at the federally funded 550 Clinic. During her time at the clinic, Selma “gained experience working with people with various backgrounds and had exposure to the administrative side of public health and healthcare.”

Professional Experience

After graduating SPHIS, Selma secured a position as a Program and Policy Analyst for the Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Most of her day is dedicated to working on a new behavioral health initiative, but her other responsibilities include creating documents, researching literature, strategic planning for specific programs and projects, working with a governor-appointed council, and taking part in various equity work. 

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic started, she switched gears and was heavily involved with contact tracing. She also assisted with COVID-19 efforts to ensure equity for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind.

When asked how her SPHIS degree aided in her career, she explained, “My SPHIS degree provided me with the skills necessary to be a competitive [job] candidate. I have utilized various concepts learned from my time at SPHIS. From understanding the importance of how data is collected to conducting policy analyses, my degree helped me secure my current role.”

Advice to students

Selma encourages current students to network, attend conferences, and take advantage of internship opportunities. She said public health can get overwhelming at times, but to remember “why you got involved and what your long-term goals are as it will help alleviate some of the stress.”

She added, “It is fine to graduate and still be unsure what it is you want in a job. When applying and interviewing for jobs, ask all the questions you can. Don’t be afraid to try to negotiate and keep pushing forward until you get what you want. Avoid the pressure of settling for a job if you know the role or the employer is not a good fit for you.”

Connect with Selma on LinkedIn

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