As an undergraduate student in the Zuckerman College of Public Health, Allison Rascon gave her time and talent as a volunteer research assistant for the Nostotros Comprometidos a Su Salud, as a Community Coordinator for the UArizona’s Thrive Center, as a Public Health Ambassador, and with the Public Health Undergraduate Network, even as she completed her studies to earn her BS in Public Health this spring.
BS in Public Health, Health Systems Theory & Practice
Allison Rascon, a senior in the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program, will graduate from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH) this spring and she has already been accepted into the dual MPH/JD degree program here at the University of Arizona! For her BS degree, Allison chose an emphasis in Health Systems Theory and Practice.
Allison credits her public health internship with Focusing Research on the Border Area (FRONTERA), for giving her a deeper understanding of community engagement. FRONTERA is a nine week research internship program sponsored by the UA College of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) that promotes health services research in border communities. Allison was also active in many other programs during her educational journey. She gave her time and talent as a volunteer research assistant for the Nostotros Comprometidos a Su Salud program, worked as a Community Coordinator for the UArizona’s Thrive Center to help other students succeed, and volunteered as a Public Health Ambassador for the college. She also served as the President of the Public Health Undergraduate Network. She did all of that even as she excelled in her studies and sang with a student group, Amplified A Capella.
Joe Gerald, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor and Program Director, Public Health Policy and Management, was impressed with Allison’s abilities as a student. “Alli is a leader and role model for others.” says Dr. Gerald, “In so many ways, she demonstrates a deep commitment to public service, including work with undeserved communities. Alli exemplifies the best qualities we hope to see in our graduates – academic achievement, commitment to public health practice, and service to others.”
For this profile, we asked Allison about what she has learned during her education at MEZCOPH and what inspires her about public health.
Q: What are some of the key things you will take with you from your education at MEZCOPH?
A: My education at MEZCOPH has taught me that health is so much more than the absence of disease - Health is heavily influenced by social determinants that drive disparities in different populations. Over my time at MEZCOPH, I will never forget working on teams to eliminate health disparities, both on Dr. David Garica's team, Nosotros Comprometidos a Su Salud, and during my Public Health Internship with Focusing Research on the Border Area (FRONTERA). These experiences have taught me that building familiarity, trust, and rapport with communities is critical to improving health outcomes.
Q: What makes you passionate about public health?
A: I am passionate about public health because it allows me to change the course of history for the better. Working in Public Health allows you to not only save lives within your generation but for generations to come. I love the field's focus on preventing disease rather than only treating it.
Q: How do you want to make a difference in the world?
A: Ideally, I would love to write legislation framed around reducing health disparities, particularly for Hispanic/Latino communities. I plan to work to ensure that communities have the right to health – both through increasing health care access and improving socioeconomic conditions.
Congratulations Allison on your BS degree!