Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
This summer I had the opportunity to work remotely for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. As an intern for Student Programs and Partnerships in the Epidemiology Workforce Branch (EWB) under the Division for Scientific Education and Professional Development, I worked with a team that focuses on the education and development of future public health leaders. During my time at Student Programs and Partnerships, this education work was in the process of shifting to a more virtual setting, as opportunities for in-person training conferences for teachers and medical and veterinary students’ rotations were no longer available. Spending time with this team during an unprecedented time, while they worked to shift their work and respond to the needs of their participants, was incredibly rewarding and inspiring.
In my work as a summer intern I assisted with two programs: Summer Ambassador Fellows and Epidemiology Electives. The summer ambassadors are middle and high school teachers from across the U.S. who engage in a one-year fellowship to learn how to incorporate public health sciences into their curricula and develop their own lesson plans. Under normal circumstances, these fellows travel to the CDC to work with subject matter experts to create the lesson plans that will be made public for other teachers to use. The second program, the Epidemiology Elective Program, is a third-year rotation program for medical and veterinary students who spend one rotation period in public health offices throughout the U.S. to gain exposure to public health careers. Both of these programs aim to help train and inform the next generation of public health leaders at different stages of their lives. The two main focuses of my internship were helping prepare for the first in a series of virtual training sessions on public health concepts for teachers who have participated in the Summer Ambassador Fellowship and working on an internal diversity assessment of the Epidemiology Elective Program.
Working with the Student Programs and Partnerships team this summer was an incredible experience which helped me understand public health at a federal level. I also had a number of opportunities to talk with various employees about their professional journey to the CDC and seek advice on my own possible career path. My colleagues at EWB were committed and passionate about their work and inspired me to continue along the public health career path.
My internship at the CDC left me excited and inspired by public health and the individuals who work at all levels of these organizations. So much work is constantly going on behind the scenes of public health, not only during a pandemic, and I feel privileged to have been able to work with these individuals during my summer internship. Thank you to all who made this possible at Williams, especially Dr. Nick Wright ’57, Dawn Dellea and the entire staff at the ’68 Center for Career Exploration.