Student/Alumni Testimonials

Maria Shields

“The UofL School of Public Health continues to be an invaluable part of my educational journey toward becoming a physician. The experiences and skills I gained from the program have been useful in preparing me not only for my first two years of didactic curriculum in medical school but continue serving to this day as I complete my third-year clinical clerkship rotations. My public health experience has trained me to think of my patients as whole people in need of healing, rather than illness and disease pathologies in isolation. Health is not merely physical illness and ailment but is rather the holistic understanding of the stories and social determinants of our patient’s lives. Having a public health background has given me a framework and foundation upon which to explore and navigate these critical aspects of patient care with the goal of not only healing illness but also alleviating human suffering.”  - Maria Shields, BS '20

Julia Barclay

“My degree has shaped my perspective as an educator, and I try to put a lot of emphasis on the way education can really influence future wellbeing. Public health has such a strong focus on how different groups require different communication strategies. For instance, working with people with differences in language, culture, or age. Behavior change theories and health communication, especially knowing how to communicate information effectively to get students to engage and listen, are all skills I use daily working as a language assistant in northern Spain.”- Julia Barclay, BA '22

Naiya Patel

I’m grateful to be part of [UofL’s] academic community that supports, motivates, and provides opportunities to student professionals like myself. I would not exchange anything for this opportunity as SPHIS has passionate yet compassionate “experts in their own field” faculty. In addition, the programs offered at SPHIS equip students to be successful job market candidates once they graduate. . . . The teaching and learning setting at SPHIS undoubtedly welcomes students from different professional backgrounds and considers their professional experiences an asset to their program” – Naiya Patel, B.D.S., MSHA, PhD Candidate

Shraddha Vijay Gandhi

"I grew up in an area where access to adequate health care is a luxury. Too many times, I have witnessed serious health problems and loss of life due to the lack of proper medical care and limited access to medical facilities. So being a dentist, I developed a strong desire to improve the health of individuals through medicine and also participate in the development of healthier communities. Therefore, I am pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Even with the tough competition, I feel blessed to be a part of the vibrant MPH program at UofL.” - Shraddha Vijay Gandhi, B.D.S., MPH, Class of 2024

“Being part of the inaugural undergraduate class of UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) I took full advantage of small class sizes, the extensive curriculum and career guidance. I was also able to gain international exposure in public health through an environmental health trip to Guangzhou, China led by Dr. Robert Jacobs. SPHIS laid the groundwork for my success to pursue a career in public health and food policy and I look forward to seeing the achievements of my fellow classmates and future SPHIS alumni.” - Allen Rakotoniaina, BS Public Health, 2016

“All my professors were great in the MSHA courses. I had very positive experiences with the professors in all my classes and felt I could ask any questions about class or other things I needed. I’ve used several professors for career advice and/or references and feel I could use them in the future.” Molly O’Keefe, MS Health Administration, 2019

“SPHIS offers a collaborative and engaging learning style with a particular emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Having students from different educational backgrounds in the class always provides a different lens of understanding a particular topic and analyzing it. I was sure that an MPH from SPHIS would propel me in the correct direction to achieve my aim in achieving health equity, and thus improving the healthcare system" - Sonali Sachin Salunkhe, MD, MPH, 2019

Sonali was a recipient of a merit-based tuition scholarship as well as three-time recipient of International Student Tuition Support. After completing her MPH from SPHIS in Spring 2019, Sonali decided to pursue a doctoral degree at SPHIS in Public Health Sciences with an emphasis in Health Management & Policy beginning Fall 2019.  

 "I learned public health was a broader field than I initially realized and that peaked my interest to learn more. It will not be an easy journey, nor should it be. Enjoy the process as much as you can, knowing that you will be prepared as a researcher, clinician or practitioner. As the state of public health changes, being in position to address those changes will be essential.” – Dr. Lewatis McNeal, PhD 2016, MPH

 “My SPHIS degree provided me with an expanded appreciation for research and research design. The program did a great job preparing me to work in communities and organizations as an advocate for health and well-being. All SPHIS faculty I worked with were fantastic! I count myself truly fortunate for having learned from each of them.” – Dr.Todd Misener, PhD 2014

 “The SPHIS program broadened my perspective on population health and at the same time helped me zoom in to the level of individual healthcare. It also helped me focus my vision on healthcare and enabled me to hone in on my true calling to pursue naturopathic medical school.” – Dr. Scott Maymon, ND, MPH,2010

"My MPH program prepared me for almost any scenario that I have faced in my professional career. Additionally, the staff and faculty have kept an open door policy, both professionally and personally. SPHIS truly is a safety net for its students and alumni. You can go anywhere and get the education but with SPHIS you gain a family, that’s a difference money can’t buy.” - Keisha Dorsey, MPH, 2009

Katlyn McGraw

 “The education by SPHIS has aided me in study design, human subjects research, statistics, and applied science in human research. My degree has helped bridge my chemistry and public health backgrounds to do meaningful work in public health research.” Katlyn McGraw, MPH, 2016

 “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of professors to guide me through my doctoral studies. They are truly passionate about biostatistics and desire to inspire others. I cannot express how grateful I am for experiencing such an amazing journey. SPHIS shaped both my academic and professional career. Choosing SPHIS to follow my doctoral education was one of the best choices I ever made in my life.” - Dr. Chathura Siriwardhana, PhD, 2016

 “SPHIS provided the foundation and connections in public health that I needed to fully apply myself to the field and move beyond just analysis.” – Dr. Ray Yeager, PhD, 2016; MPH, 2010

 “Once I decided to continue my studies uninterrupted to stay on track for this graduation, it felt as though the whole school made it their mission to ensure I achieved my goal. It was grueling and challenging and at times miserable. But with the support I received here [SPHIS], failure was never an option.” – Alice Kennedy, MPH, 2018

 “My SPHIS degree provided me with the applicable knowledge and skills needed for my past and current roles. The courses I have taken made me a top candidate.” – Maryam Ahmed, MPH, 2014

Macarius Donneyong

“I had one of my best academic experiences at SPHIS because of the faculty, opportunities to grow as a student and great network of faculty, students and staff. What stood out for me was how readily I could access faculty. My dissertation primary mentor, Dr. Carlton Hornung, was extremely supportive and challenged me to not limit my interest within the college but to seek continuous opportunities to expand my knowledge beyond epidemiology and public health. I’m deeply grateful to the likes of Drs. Hornung, Taylor, Kerber, etc. who never turned me away and were always ready to discuss my numerous questions. Make sure reach out to faculty and stay engaged; seek out opportunities to grow beyond your field of study and reach out to faculty staff for their support.” – Macarius Donneyong, PhD in Public Health Sciences – Epidemiology, 2013 

Arinjita Bhattacharyya

"UofL has been a very positive experience throughout, and I want to thank my advisors for training me well for independent thinking and a positive outlook during life's ups and downs. Every international student faces challenges in settling in a new country. As I look back on these four years, I remember the welcoming smiles of people at UofL, which helps a lot to endure the challenges. My department has a friendly environment [and] the professors are very approachable . . . There are plenty of opportunities for collaboration, internships, and conferences. I never thought of graduating amid a pandemic and defending my thesis online in my wildest dreams. These achievements and interpersonal skills helped me get an internship at Johnson & Johnson in 2018 and my current job at one of the pioneering departments of Biostatistics and Research Decision Sciences, Merck & Co"  –  Dr. Arinjita Bhattacharyya, PhD Biostatistics, 2020

Kayla Simpson

“The MSHA online program’s flexibility and sincere consideration from the faculty have been instrumental to my personal success and achievement of this program. Within two years, I have successfully completed the program while being located overseas. Designed by healthcare professionals, MSHA courses have been a significant factor influencing my confidence and commitment as a future healthcare leader.”  –  Kayla Simpson, MSHA student

Stay connected TwitterFacebook LinkedIn YouTubeInstagram