Christine Duong is a San Jose native and graduate of San Jose State University. She was admitted as part of the Fall 2020 cohort into the USC MPH online program and is a scholarship awardee. In this interview, Christine showcases her recent experience and upcoming initiatives to be a force for change. Hear more on her experience. Congratulations Christine!
Why did you choose the USC MPH Online program?
I chose the USC MPH Online Program for the chance to attend a world-class university and the flexibility with the online program. When I received my acceptance letter from the USC MPH program, it was around the time where COVID-19 restrictions became stricter. I was very unsure of my future and I did not see myself moving away for college. The online program allowed me to continue working from home part-time as well as pursue my studies without the worries of rent and payment.
Tell us about your experience in the MPH Online program? What have been your favorite classes and experiences so far?
So far, I have taken Foundations in Health Education and Promotion and Principles of Biostatistics. I am currently declared as a community health concentration, however, after taking biostatistics I realize that I may have a passion for statistical analysis. For the workload, I can immediately tell that graduate school classes are more rigorous as well as rewarding. I felt that I was pushing myself to think outside of the box and focus on what I really wanted to work on in the future. I was introduced to different public health problems and how these problems impact certain populations. The faculty and professors in the program have been so inviting and helpful. I can feel that they really want each student to reach their highest potential. I have had a great experience meeting and discussing ideas with Professor Tess Cruz. She really helped me figure out what field of public health I want to pursue in the future.
How do you see your degree affecting your next steps in public health?
This degree helps me greatly in focusing on what area of public health I want to get into. Back in my undergraduate, I was lost in what field I should pursue. Public Health is an extremely broad field. I knew that I wanted to focus on research, however, I did not know in what sense. This degree will help me focus on what I want to do and at the moment, I feel a very strong connection to epidemiology and GeoHealth. After getting my degree, I think that I will have the skills and knowledge necessary to be able to work independently in a public health department running my own programs and other programs as well.
Are you currently working, interning, or volunteering? If so, where?
I have just finished my summer internship at Fresh Approach which is a food access organization located in the San Francisco Bay Area. This organization focuses on providing healthy food access to low-income communities through various intervention methods. It was a really great experience for me personally because I realized that I do want to focus on how environmental and social factors influence health behaviors. I am also interning at Stanford School of Medicine under their Center for Behavioral Health Services and Implementation Research. The center strives to advance the science of dissemination and implementation (D&I) to help solve major problems in health and care delivery. This internship has allowed me to work on different tasks pertaining to supporting a larger message for a massive organization.
Learn more about the USC MPH Online program at: https://mphdegree.usc.edu/academics-overview/