An Interview with Brooke Stein, President of the Public Health Student Association

Why Public Health?

After four years working in corporate communications, I decided to make a career change. I began working in Pediatrics and Ob/Gyn clinics as a certified medical assistant with the intention of going into clinical medicine. But after noticing major health disparities in the patients at the clinic, I began looking into Public Health programs. In doing so, I found GW’s program and fell in love.

Why GW?

GW was, hands-down, the best choice for me. The location, faculty, research and practicum opportunities all contributed to my initial desire to attend. But I was sold after meeting with Amita Vyas, PhD, director of the Maternal and Child Health Program in the Department of Prevention and Community Health. More than anything else, this meeting was an inspiration and showed me the true caliber of the SPHHS faculty.

What’s the best thing about GW?

The ability to see public health in action. I think all public health students want to make a change in one way or another. GW’s location affords tremendous access to governmental agencies, NGOs, private corporations, foundations and community-based organizations that allows us do just that.

In my work as a senior research assistant on a teenage pregnancy prevention project, for example, I have been able to apply many of the concepts I learn about in class, and to see how public health professionals can work with community partners to implement programming. At GW, I am not “just another student,” but I am given one-on-one attention and guidance throughout the entire program.

Your most memorable GW experience was…

This summer, when I traveled to India with 15 other students and two faculty members as a part of a course in Social Entrepreneurship. Not only was this unique opportunity a valuable educational experience, but it was also a truly life-changing one that confirmed my dedication to public health.

What do you hope to accomplish as PHSA president?

As PHSA president, I see it as my job to help students get involved and to act as an easily accessible conduit to the many great, but sometimes overwhelming, opportunities available. I also hope to forge and maintain relationships with SPHHS students and staff across all of the departments. A leadership role is a wonderful opportunity to meet a wide range of talented people, and I can’t wait to see what I learn from all of them.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

COME TO GW! There is no other school that offers all the opportunities that GW does. From our world-class staff and exciting research to our fun student organizations and leadership opportunities to a cutting-edge curriculum, GW really is exemplary. If you use your time here to take advantage of every opportunity, relationship, internship, and experience, you will not be disappointed.

Visit the Public Health Student Association online.