Braydon Mathis graduated this spring with his BS in Public Health with an emphasis in Health Systems Theory and Practice and a minor in Biochemistry. He served as a MEZCOPH Public Health Ambassador, a student lead for the Partnerships Through Honors Leadership and Mentorship Program, and served on the executive team for the Student Health Advocacy Committee within the Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA) student government. Braydon won the 2023 Outstanding Senior Award.
Many of the people making decisions on healthcare have limited information because they are not from within the field, and I want to change that in the future!
BS Public Health with an emphasis in Health Systems Theory and Practice and a minor in Biochemistry
Braydon received his BS in Public Health degree with an emphasis in Health Systems Theory and Practice and a minor in Biochemistry this Spring 2023. During his studies, Braydon served as a MEZCOPH Public Health Ambassador, a student lead for the Partnerships Through Honors Leadership and Mentorship Program, and also served on the executive team for the Student Health Advocacy Committee within ASUA. He was also a member of the Pre-Health Professional Honorary, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and Links Junior Honorary. Braydon won the 2023 Outstanding Senior Award.
Braydon completed his internship with the Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response (SAFER) program as a Case Investigator and Contact Tracer during the 2022-2023 school year. After his first year of college was cut short due to the COVID pandemic, Braydon knew he wanted to be as involved as possible with the College of Public Health. He also notes that he did not initially begin college as a public health major, and he encourages others to look past the fear of switching majors and to make sure you are choosing what makes you happy. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Braydon built a network with peers and mentors so he could grow to his fullest potential. His interest in public health sparked his interest in healthcare law, and he has applied to law school.
For this profile, we asked Braydon about what he has learned during his undergraduate career at MEZCOPH and what inspires him about public health.
Q: Did you have a teacher or mentor who especially inspired you? How and why?
A: A teacher that inspired me during my time at the University of Arizona was Dr. Laura Gronewold. We first came into contact when I took her HPS 307 class entitled Health Care Narratives, and I had the pleasure of being a preceptor for the class in my Senior year. Dr. Gronewold was also the undergraduate internship coordinator and my thesis advisor. She showed me that advocating for health within the field is not a linear path, there are many ways to ignite change in Public Health. Her class and guidance are what encouraged me to finally pursue my passion for Health Law and Policy and apply to law school!
Q: What are some challenges or obstacles that you had to overcome in the process of your education in the college, or in the projects/programs in which you worked?
A: The biggest challenge that I faced during my college career was the COVID-19 pandemic. Since my class was sent home during their first year when the university went to remote learning, it felt as if the environment we had just become accustomed to was ripped away from us. We had to learn how to navigate virtual settings, balance schoolwork and mental health, and try to gain life experience during a time when the looming threat of an unknown sickness was ever-present. It felt as if our lives were on pause, but we were expected to continue as normal behind a computer screen. My class missed out on many quintessential college and life experiences.
Q: How will your education and experience as a public health student influence your path forward?
A: My goal post-graduation is to pursue a career in Health Law and Policy using my undergraduate education in Public Health to make informed decisions that allow me to advocate for equitable and accessible healthcare. Currently, many of the people making decisions on healthcare have limited information because they are not from within the field, and I want to change that in the future!
Congratulations Braydon on your BS in Public Health degree and your Outstanding Senior Award!