Karyn Bloxham graduated this Spring 2023 with her MPH degree and an additional Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Health from the Zuckerman College of Health. While working full time, Karyn also did an internship with the Southern Arizona Roadrunners, served as the Online MPH Health Promotion Representative on the Student Affairs Committee, and served on the college’s Committee on Inclusion and Equity.
Having Indigenous leaders in academia is important because they can make a difference in Indigenous students’ lives.
MPH, Health Promotion
Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Health
Karyn Bloxham received her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a concentration in Health Promotion and a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Health this Spring 2023. In addition to her full time job, Karyn worked as an intern for the Southern Arizona Roadrunners while earning her MPH, served as the Online MPH Health Promotion Representative on the Student Affairs Committee, and served on the Committee on Inclusion and Equity within MEZCOPH.
A Registered Dental Hygienist and Public Health provider, Karyn currently works with underserved populations at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Phoenix, Arizona. She plans to target Indigenous health outcomes by empowering surrounding tribes to practice their rightful sovereignty. Karyn especially appreciated the professors within the Indigenous Health Certificate (IHC) program and thanks them for their compassion and inspiration.
“The professors within the IHC program are some of the most educated, inspiring, and compassionate leaders in academia that I have ever encountered,” says Karyn, “Having Indigenous leaders in academia is important because they can make a difference in Indigenous students’ lives. They have motivated me to continue down my path. They care about their student’s success and the contributions we can give back to Indigenous communities.”
Karyn received her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from the University of the Pacific and she’s thrilled to have earned her MPH and Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Health.
For this profile, we asked Karyn about what she has learned during her MPH at MEZCOPH and what inspires her about public health.
Q: Did you have a teacher or mentor who especially inspired you? How and why?
A: Truly, all my Indigenous professors inspired me because I got to see Indigenous leaders actively lift Indigenous students, including myself. They all challenged me in different ways and encouraged me in their own right. I especially enjoyed reading or hearing about their accomplishments because it made me realize that there is not one specific way to serve Indigenous communities.
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: My initial challenge was learning how to be a student again. I started at MEZCOPH after five years after my undergraduate degree graduation. Being a student is a skill that I had to re-learn. Other forms of challenges throughout my experience at MEZCOPH included self-care prioritization, work-school balance, and instances of impostor syndrome.
Q: How will your education and experience as a public health student influence your path forward?
A: As I moved through my education at MEZCOPH, I had many moments that confirmed law is my next step. It was further cemented within the IHC because I learned more about the Indigenous experience in healthcare and the policies that continue to shape our experiences. I see my path forward to be learning more about Indian Law and Health Law. The intersection between these areas of law will give me additional tools to make lasting upstream changes for Indigenous communities.
Congratulations Karyn on your MPH degree and Indigenous Health Certificate!