Why did you decide to earn the GIS Certificate in addition to your MPH in Global Health?
As a student in the department of Global Health, I immediately recognized the benefits of GIS to the international health field. The GIS certificate provides students, regardless of their field of work, the ability to view data from a high-level perspective. I am literally able to view data from space and can make decisions based on a more comprehensive story. As a result, I am able to prioritize resources in order to maximize the number of lives affected. After reviewing Loma Linda's GIS certificate program, the decision to attend the school of public health was easy.
What experiences brought you to Loma Linda University School of Public Health?
Prior to my enrollment as a graduate student, I worked for several years at a pharmaceutical company where I spend a majority of my time looking through a microscope lens. I felt very distant from the populations I was helping and wanted the opportunity to work "hands-on" with the community. I now work directly with community partners to help serve the various health needs of the population both locally and abroad.
What has been one of your most valuable experiences at LLU SPH?
Last summer I traveled to Peru with the Global Health department for my integrated community development course to evaluate the impact of hazardous waste in the local water system. This was the first time I was able to use GIS in the field and, with my contribution, we successfully created and distributed an environmental impact assessment. This document attracted the attention of the local government who is now working to resolve the problem.
What is your professional goal with the GIS certificate?
GIS technology can be incorporated with multiple health topics including emergency response and preparedness, infectious disease control, and prevention. I find myself interested in all these topics and would be excited for a career in any of these fields. However, I do have a special interest in rapid urban migration and health effects of the built environment.
How are you different today from the time that you came to LLU SPH?
Loma Linda University strives to "make man whole" and I definitely feel that is true on a personal level.
Are there professors who have made an impact on your life?
There are many professors here on campus that have had a profound impact on my life and have helped me grow both academically and professionally. Professor Wiafe has contributed significantly to the enrichment of my overall experience here at LLU and am grateful for what I have learned from him.