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2014 Intern Profiles

 2014 CLEH Class 
  

 Ijeamaka Anyene

Ijeamaka Anyene
Yale University
Environmental Studies Major

“This project reaffirmed my passion for environmental health and led to me developing an interest in policy and children’s health. By being given independence to complete this project in the manner of my own choosing, my skills in research, analysis, and writing have been strengthened. It also improved my interpersonal communication skills.”

 Caroline Beck

Caroline Beck
University of Toledo
Environmental Studies Major

“The employees I worked with at CDC were extremely helpful and willing to go out of their way to meet with me to give project or career advice. A mentorship program helped me connect with younger individuals within CDC and ask about their career paths. A variety of trainings, including Public Health Communications and Law, Emergency Response, and Geographic Information Systems, allowed me to improve vital career skills. Finally, our program coordinators were very well organized and always available to give any sort of advice. Combining all of these factors, the CDC was a great place to intern at for the summer and taught me more than I could have hoped for.”

 Nicholas Chase Brightwell

Nicholas Chase Brightwell
University of Richmond
Healthcare and Society Major
Journalism Major

“This program was an unparalleled glimpse into the intricate and interesting world of environmental health. I approached CLEH with a background in the social sciences, but I leveraged my interests, skills and experiences with those of the other interns to learn more about this enthralling topic than I ever could have imagined. I have discovered through this experience that environmental health is not simply a single strain of public health, but an integral player that affects every aspect of health and deserves center-stage attention. Working at CDC, the epicenter of public health in the United States, I was exposed to experts, experiences, and resources that I wouldn't have received anywhere else. I have been challenged and intrigued both personally and academically, and now I can't imagine devoting my life to any other pursuit. And I made some great friends along the way!”

 H. Martin Koch

H. Martin Koch
University of Oklahoma
Environmental Sustainability Major

“I enjoyed the opportunity to work for the CDC, and felt that it was especially rewarding to be able to contribute to projects from two different branches. I am interested in both transportation infrastructure and healthy housing, and felt that I had ample opportunity to learn about both from helpful and knowledgeable CDC professionals. In the future, I plan to pursue a postgraduate degree in sustainability or geography in hopes of becoming a sustainability official or a professor.”

 Xie Rachel Kulikoff

Xie Rachel Kulikoff
University of Chicago
Environmental Studies Major
Biology Major

“Through my project, I learned about infertility; I wrote materials meant for a general audience using knowledge of risk communication and with the help of my supervisor. I learned the realities of working for the federal government every day, and my supervisor was so open with me about those realities. Through journal club and brown bag lunches, I learned more about a wide variety of topics in environmental health than I ever imagined. And through making deep and real human connections with various CDC employees, I learned so much about myself and what I want to do.”

 Anika Larson

Anika Larson
Biology Major
Global Studies Major

“My work with the Office of Tribal Affairs gave me a broader perspective on the health disparities associated with American Indian and Alaska Native communities, which I am hoping to research and discuss further. I loved having weeks to devote to projects that I knew would have an impact for the divisions I was working with. But this particular internship also offered constant interaction with people with very different jobs and backgrounds who are just as excited about environmental health as I am. It was the incredible network of environmental health students and professionals that set this internship apart. I had never heard of the EIS program or the US Public Health Service before this appointment, and I now look forward to applying at least to the EIS program when I have completed my formal education.”

 Socorro Lopez

Socorro Lopez
The George Washington University
Environmental Studies Major

“My time at the CDC has provided me with invaluable knowledge and experience. I have improved my communication skills, which are highly sought after by employers. I have also gained insight into the various roles that a public health professional can fill in the environmental health field and the duties, projects, and issues that they work on every day. The communications team that I worked with and the coordinators of the internship program have made this internship one of the most fulfilling work experiences that I have had in my college career. The constant support that they provided throughout the summer was extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.”

 Brendan McIntyre

Brendan McIntyre
Washington University in St. Louis
Environmental Earth Sciences Major
Anthropology Major
Environmental Engineering Minor

“Aside from my project, I led a journal club on public health and food, presented before a panel of CDC researchers on a climate and health research topic, attended several guest lectures, visited many environmental health field sites in Atlanta, and even got a chance to meet with the director of CDC! My experience at CDC/ATSDR far exceeded the high expectations I already had for the program. My host division was extremely receptive, entrusted me with important and impactful work, and challenged me to grow as a scientist and individual. Through a combination of research experience, professional development, and peer mentorship, this internship has equipped me with strong skills in scientific inquiry and communication. I am now confident about my desire to pursue a career in environmental health, and am looking forward to the abundance of opportunities in this field.”

 Ihab Mikati

Ihab Mikati
University of Minnesota- Twin Cities
Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior Major

“Although my background is in ecology and the environment, this was my first look into how that interfaces with the world of Public Health. Our program organized numerous enriching experiences for us. There were weekly journal clubs, always led by a different intern, in which we focused on various topics in environmental health. The CLEH program placed me with the brightest minds in the field of public health, and it placed me there as a colleague. I felt like everybody was working to give me the best possible experience.”

 Claire Pendergrast

Claire Pendergrast
Dartmouth College
Biology Major
English Minor

“This internship allowed me to understand the diverse skill-set required to make sustainability happen at a large and complex agency such as the CDC. I have been able to practice and develop my communication skills, my organization and time management, my ability to collaborate and share ideas and knowledge with others in my field, and my sensitivity to the priorities and interests of co-workers who may not share my commitment to sustainability yet play a vital role in its implementation at CDC facilities.”

 Anne Pysnik

Anne Pysnik
Nazareth College of Rochester
Environmental Science Major
Toxicology Minor

“Environmental health, unlike I had previously assumed, is not limited to actions such as waste water treatment or air quality monitoring. Topics that were discussed during internship programming, for example environmental justice and public health communication, helped me to understand how multi-faceted and comprehensive the environmental health field is…Many students see internships as having a sole purpose of gaining work experience within a given field. The CLEH internship, however, reached far beyond these typical internship parameters. CLEH provides extensive knowledge about the field of environmental health and career opportunities within this field, and it also strives to provide students with the tools to enter and succeed in the field of environmental health through various programming. I truly think that the CLEH internship is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will enable me, and all of my fellow interns, to have greater success in pursuing interests in environmental health.”


 
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