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Katie Herder

Katie Herder

MPH, Biostatistics

"Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, MEZCOPH has provided a community in which I’ve felt supported and able to thrive. The faculty and staff are passionate, approachable, and seem to really care about their students. Through MEZCOPH, I’ve been connected to so many interesting people and opportunities I hadn't expected. It is a terrific network to be apart of!"

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    Evanston, IL

    Prior Degree(s):

    BA in psychology with a biology minor The University of California, Santa Cruz

    Before entering the program:

    I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic from 2017-2019. Then, I worked a winter season at Telluride Ski Resort (until the pandemic hit) before coming to Arizona.

    Why did you choose public health?

    Unfortunately, we have a health care system that continually fails to serve America’s health needs. As a public health professional, I would like to contribute to policy changes to make healthcare more equitable and accessible for all. However, even with barriers to health beyond control, whether financial, environmental, or otherwise, there are choices people can make under any circumstances to help prevent disease and live longer, healthier lives. With education and outreach, we can equip individuals with tools to empower themselves to meet their predetermined health goals, which will look different for different people. For this reason, I find public health to be a very inspiring field and this is why I chose to pursue my MPH.

    Why did you choose MEZCOPH?

    I chose MEZCOPH for several reasons. First, the program offers the MPH Biostatistics program I was interested in. Second, as a returned Peace Corps volunteer, I was offered a Paul D. Coverdell fellowship from the University of Arizona, which has financially supported by studies. And third, I was very drawn to Tucson. In Tucson and Pima County, you are faced with many unique issues in relation to border health, indigenous health, and rural health, among others, which makes it a very interesting place to study public health. Also, I simply love the landscape! I love the weather (most of the time), the mountains, the blue skies and the bizarre animals and plants. I am a happy desert rat!

    Public health interests:

    Behavioral Health, Biostatistics, Disease Prevention, Health Disparities, Planning and Evaluation, Public Health Policy


    For my internship, I am working with the Arizona Department of Health Services Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma System to identify and assess trends in opioid-related EMS calls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Interests/hobbies outside of school:

    Running, hiking, swimming, cooking and eating, traveling, tennis, comics, karaoke

    Tip for future students:

    Keep ahead of the game! Time sneaks up on you. It's good to have a plan and always be aware of what's to come before the deadline is right in front of you.

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