2016 is the 75th Birthday of the University of Michigan School of Public Health. I will be a member of the 75th graduating class and I’ve been tasked with asking my cohort the big question- where to next? Or maybe it’s the big question, plural. Where to next? What will you do to change the world? How has this public health experience changed you? Have you changed?
I’ve been given this task as a small project for our graduating class booklet, that will list all of the graduates’ names, stats about us as a group and information about our teachers, staff and commencement speaker- and include quotes from students’ answers to these questions. But of course like any person would do, I began thinking about how I would answer this particular question. I went back and read my very first blog post and thought about it.
I wrote about Dr. John Snow and his discovery of the cause of cholera at the Broad Street pump and how he rebelled against the scientific thinking and conventions of the time to create the foundation of modern Epidemiology and how that rebellion and creativity inspired me. It still does. My education here has given me a great foundation of knowledge and process and skills. My time at SPH has shown me the state of health and public health in the world as of now and by doing that, it’s allowed me to set my sights on what I want to change. Even though it was hundreds of years ago, the spirit of rebellion against the norm that Dr. Snow showed is still much needed in many communities in order to improve health. So I guess what I want to be when I leave here is to stir things up. Be a creative out of the box thinker, a dreamer and a doer and use the tools I have learned here to make the world a healthier, and by extension, happier place.