Currently: Doctoral Student in Epidemiology University of South Florida
"...being able to do independent research, collaborate with both sociology and psychology
departments, present research at national and international conferences are some of
the skills that made me a competitive candidate..."
Question: How did your education prepare you for your doctoral studies?
The first five mandatory requirements classes at the COPH greatly prepared me for
the interdisciplinary nature of my current studies. Even though my major area of concentration
is in epidemiology, my degree is in public health and there is an emphasis cross disciplinary
training. Who would have thought that my first research project would be in program
My graduate assistant-ship under the supervision of Dr. Quinn was a double plus for
my current studies, being able to do independent research, collaborate with both sociology
and psychology departments, present research at national and international conferences
are some of the skills that made me a competitive candidate in a program where most
students join with many years of work experience under their belts.
Great mentorship from faculty especially Dr. Quinn and support from the entire faculty
and staff in the Epidemiology and Biostats Department to do research work for this
Question: What is one thing you wish you had known when you were a student?
I wish I had known that everything was important! The Dean’s lecture series, breakfast
with the experts, doctoral defense sessions and other seminars are just as important
in research and academia.
Graduate school degree is one big puzzle, if you have clearly stated objective at
the onset, everything you do contributes towards putting the puzzle together. If you
do not have objectives in place… you will waste a lot of time solving the puzzle.
Any other thoughts?
Your grades are not the most important thing! If grades got you to the master’s program,
they will not be sufficient for your next step with it is work or further school.
Volunteer, do research, study abroad, and get involved with leadership positions in
organizations including Graduate Student and Professional associations. Choose you
your electives wisely. These things will determine your next path. Take time to do
fun things, life will only get busier.