Meet Taryn Leach, Master of Public Health graduate. Taryn completed her practicum at the Provincial Infection Control Network (PICNet) where she contributed to the development of a provincial toolkit to manage emerging antibiotic-resistant organisms in long-term and community care settings.
What motivated you to apply for the MPH program?
I was originally prepared to pursue graduate studies in Psychology until finding the MPH program. I was interested in gaining valuable clinical and epidemiological skills to contribute to health research and policy.
What was the best part of your program?
Exposure to a diverse group of public health professionals. Most courses included guest lectures throughout the term providing insight into specific public health roles and organizations.
What was your favourite course taken during your degree and why?
There were many courses I really liked but highlights include: SPPH 515 Surveillance and Monitoring in Public Health; I highly recommend this elective. Assignments taught us how to clean, analyze, and interpret data from chronic and infectious disease surveillance systems. SPPH 504 Application of Epidemiological Methods; students investigate an original research question using actual data allowing for the opportunity to publish a research paper with support from the professor and TA. Dividing the paper into individual elements and providing feedback at each step was very helpful.
What is the one thing that you are taking with you from your experience in your program?
Presentation skills! This includes verbal, writing, and design skills involved in giving a good presentation.
What advice would you give to future SPPH students?
For many students in their first year of the MPH program, securing a practicum can be intimidating, but I found talking to faculty to be one of the best ways to find opportunities. Also, if you have the ability to do so, take additional courses, I found that only two electives were not enough for me.
On the lighter side…
What is your favorite study snack?
Any meats, cheeses, or pickles I can make into a charcuterie plate.
How do you like to unwind after a day of studying?
Watch a crime or thriller movie.
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