I’m a planner…an organized, calendar-obsessed, color-coding-system-for-everything kind of girl. I had my life planned to a tee – some of my friends used to compare me to a graph (in case you’re curious: x-axis, age, y-axis, life event)…but then, of course, life changed. Life put me smack dab back here at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health (SPH) in Ann Arbor…a place I’ve called hoMe for over 15 years!
I’m Aparna – a first year International Health Epidemiology student and I’m super excited to blog about my experiences here at SPH! I enjoy reading (fantasy and mystery – Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter anyone?!), Indian dance, cooking/baking and all things science. I got my Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and International Studies (2013) here, and then worked in a research lab and heavily increased my Red Cross involvement for a year afterwards (year offs are a great idea). In the six weeks I’ve been living the grad student life, I’m learning more about U of M everyday. I love the collaboration that I have seen already and can’t wait to see what else will happen over the next couple years.
When I tackle a new experience, I enjoy fully immersing myself in it, and really involving myself to the best of my ability. One of the reasons I chose to come back here for school are the activities that I have been able to participate in already. I’m a member of the Public Health Action Support Team (PHAST-just did my first event this weekend!), and like the name suggests, it’s a chance to put those lectures into action! Health and wellness are community oriented and community specific and PHAST lets us work directly with community members. I’m also working with a group at the medical school here – MedStart – where we’re putting together a Child Advocacy Seminar to teach kids going to school in an underserved community the importance of a healthy lifestyle. My other public health specific group is the newly formed Spirituality, Religion and Health group, which looks at how spirituality and religion play a role in healthcare on multiple levels. Like I said – the collaboration is amazing!
With these and school, I’m definitely keeping myself busy, but I feel that the environment is all about learning and less about competition, which I am loving tremendously. Looking forward to a great two years here and always happy to answer questions that anyone might have! I’ll post about my experiences with the groups above, epidemiology things (Ebola, anyone?), and life in the grad lane 🙂