Meet Public Health student Keirsten Mihos
What is your background and education?
I spent five years in nonprofits after earning my bachelor's in Intercultural Communication. I then worked as a corporate trainer for 10 years, and was successful in helping companies like Gap and Cisco become more profitable, but I wanted to have a positive impact on the health of my community. After finding success with some small-scale nutrition interventions at a couple of schools, I wanted to learn how to focus efforts on population-based improvements.
Why did you choose to pursue public health?
A few years ago, I began taking courses in science and nutrition. Those classes, and a deep-rooted sense of social justice, confirmed my desire to pursue public health as a career. I think my perspective was also informed by having two young kids. I want to create a healthier world for them.
What in your opinion is the best thing about public health at UC Davis?
First, the people in my MPH cohort are some of the brightest and most interesting folks I've met. It can get intimidating, but it also pushes me to work harder. Second, the state is one of the main sources of employment for public-health practitioners in California. I have been able to build relationships with potential employers easily, given the proximity to Sacramento. Lastly, I have treasured the support, contacts and expertise of my advisor, Dr. Diana Cassady. She's an incredible asset to the program.
How will you use public health to further your career goals?
I will perform my practicum at the Network for a Healthy California. It's a great organization; I love the way they take successful marketing tactics from the corporate world and use them to empower communities to make healthy choices. I've learned that I need a career with great variation and change. Public health excites me because it is wide-ranging and dynamic. A good practitioner is constantly learning and the range of issues is incredible. I can't wait to put my education to work.
Spring / Summer 2010
UC Davis Health System is proud to be home to medical, nursing, family nurse practitioner / physician assistant, public health and health informatics students and to also be the internship site for pharmacy, nutrition and other programs. Improving the health of our communities requires that we bring together these perspectives, and UC Davis is well positioned to do so.