From academics to real-world application

Second-year Brown MPH students share outcomes from their MPH Practicum during annual poster session

MPH Practicum is a keystone of Brown’s MPH educational program, inviting students to develop and fulfill an internship that combines their academic knowledge with real-world application. It offers students the opportunity to pursue projects aligned with their interests and future career goals, all while accumulating 145 hours of hands-on experience in the field of public health.

On October 27, second-year students in Brown University’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program showcased their research posters, highlighting the outcomes of their applied practice experiences. This annual autumn event is always popular, and this year was no exception—Senior Associate Dean for Education Ronald Aubert gave welcoming remarks to a room full of students and faculty.

This year’s posters featured a wide variety of research and work experiences, reflecting broad-ranging explorations. Students interned with organizations such as MOI University and AMPATH in Kenya, the Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention, AARP RI, Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI, Carelink RI, Connect 4 Health at Lifespan, Women & Infants Hospital, McKinsey & Company, and the Rwandan Emergency Care Association. 

The projects encompass activities such as designing public health interventions, conducting quality assessments, developing health education materials, designing survey instruments for data collection, performing research analyses, and building informational websites.

All students were eager to share their experiences, and presented their posters with pride.

Posters presented the wide range of work that MPH students performed, including: “Aging-in-place as the core: Evidence-based policy research for enhancing senior living in Hong Kong,” “Developing Community-Based Interventions for Youth Substance Use Prevention,” and “Identifying incidence rates and trends of cancer among young adults in Costa Rica, 2006-2015.”

Annie Gjelsvik, associate professor of epidemiology, director of Brown’s MPH program from 2020 to 2023, and instructor of the required applied practice experience course, “Applied Public Health: Systems and Practice,” champions the MPH Practicum as an essential component of Brown’s MPH program. “Our students do substantial public health work while they are students,” she said at Friday’s gathering. “I think this event is a wonderful demonstration of the contribution of our current MPH students to an extensive variety of current public health issues.”

The commitment of Brown students to their internships and research was once again made clear at this annual poster celebration. Their work vividly demonstrates that MPH students are passionately pursuing their interests while evolving as scholars and making meaningful contributions to the realm of public health.