Emily Madison Johnson to earn her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in summer of 2022.
Why did you choose to pursue your degree?
As someone who has been involved in research for several years, I was excited by the prospect of merging my love for data with social justice. This is something public health does beautifully–every research project and every set of numbers represents people, lives, identities, and health, thus bringing life to data.
What has been your biggest accomplishment during your studies?
Working with the team at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles during my practicum has been such an honor and an amazing learning experience. Also, as someone who has a tendency to gravitate towards numbers, working with qualitative data has been both challenging and immensely rewarding.
What’s one of your favorite memories from your program?
Working alongside my fellow online MPH-ers has been one of my favorite parts of the program. Due to the flexible schedule, everyone is from a different walk of life, bringing in valuable and diverse perspectives. Despite everyone’s busy schedules with work, practicum, and school, each student is deeply committed to the program and to public health work. It is invigorating to work alongside those who share similar passions for public health and social justice.
What are you doing after you graduate?
I am going on to pursue my doctorate in clinical psychology. I am excited to bring my public health background from USC into my work as a clinical psychologist.
What do you look forward to in your career path?
The connection between public health and mental health has continuously been reinforced in my work experiences, and through my various roles I have learned that healthcare systems that aim to serve people equitably require flexibility and dynamism to continue to evolve as we evolve, both as individuals and as a society. Ultimately, I hope to use my interdisciplinary, multi-level experiences to develop preventative care techniques that reduce pervasive health inequities that are currently built into our systems of care.
What advice do you have for future grads?
As many tried to counsel me from the beginning, focus on what draws you in. Don’t worry about the title of the course or the track in the program, follow what you are passionate about and it may lead you to some unexpected and delightful places (such as working on qualitative data when you thought you were strictly a quantitative researcher).