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Elena Montaño-Rock

Elena Montaño-Rock

MPH Family & Child Health – Global Health

“I love learning and would go to school forever if I could. MEZCOPH is my home away from home and has become my second family. The sense of community and outreach from both faculty and staff contribute to fueling my passion for public health. I have been able to participate in several clubs, committees, and research projects that have helped me to grow and take pride in my work and community.”

  • Hometown:

    Tucson, AZ

    Prior Degree(s):

    BS Family & Human Development, Utah State University

    Before entering the program:

    Working in the mental health field running a group home for adolescents, providing therapeutic foster care, and raising children.

    Why did you choose public health?

    While collecting data for my thesis work in Paraguay, I worked alongside Peace Corps volunteers and fell in love with the work they did which centered around addressing the social determinants of health. The idea of multidisciplinary collaboration to increase health and well-being, internationally, helped me to switch fields and pursue global health.

    Why did you choose MEZCOPH?

    I chose MEZCOPH for two main reasons: service learning and feeling “at home”. While researching programs, the service learning courses (and variety) offered at MEZCOPH appealed to me, as they help integrate learning with hands-on practice. Also, before I applied to the program, I was able to meet with one of the professors in the department to talk about the program, my previous studies, and my future goals, and all the while I felt I was valued and welcome.

    Public health interests:

    Nutrition education including perinatal, breastfeeding, and infant, internationally. I am also interested in incorporating gardens in schools and educating girls around the globe to help break the cycle of poverty.


    To be determined…soon.

    Interests/hobbies outside of school:

    Soccer, swimming, hiking, stand up paddleboarding, traveling, and making healthy meals.

    Tip for future students:

    Make sure you have balance in your life. Find a physical outlet to take time for yourself as often as possible. Also, get to know Tucson (and surrounding areas) and take advantage of all it has to offer in your time here. Your cohort can help with all of this!

The University of Arizona