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2009 Intern Profiles

2009 CLEH Interns

Brett Bogenrief

Brett Bogenrief
Biochemistry Major/ Energy Science and Chemistry Minors 
University of Nebraska Lincoln

The brilliant young people I grew with this summer are inspirations for aspiration, and with so much invaluable knowledge and diverse experience, anyone would be honored to know them. It is obvious that these future leaders will be the absolute best in whatever it is they do, and I cannot wait to see where they all end up and where life takes them.
Cory Hoeferlin

Cory Hoeferlin
Environmental Studies Major/ Chemistry Minor
Dartmouth College

As a part of my research, I was in communication with environmental, health, and planning departments all across the United States. I was also able to travel to Tampa, Florida, to assist the EPA with activity-based asbestos sampling in an old vermiculite processing facility. Being a part of the cutting-edge research and helping to blaze new trails in one of the world’s premier public health agencies was an exciting and unforgettable experience.
Russell Hyatt

Russell Hyatt
Chemical & Biological Engineering and Environmental Studies Majors
Tufts University

Previous to this internship I considered myself an environmentalist but my actions were certainly not reflective of my environmentalism.  After this internship I feel confident that I have a strong fundamental backing of environmental health issues that will lead me to action in the future.
Ben Jakubowski

Ben Jakubowski
Chemistry and Environmental Studies Majors
Oberlin College

The main reason I chose CLEH was to get exposure to environmental health. As a chemistry and environmental studies double major I hadn’t had a chance to learn about health, though at the end of the CLEH program I realized that health has been my primary interest for years.
Kat Kocurek

Kat Kocurek
Economics Major/ Environmental Science and Public Policy Minors
Harvard University

My primary project centered upon creating written justifications for a set of Food Sourcing Guidelines that are currently a work in progress with the Go Green Get Healthy Food Group. This project was a challenge primarily because it required me to educate myself about the immense diversity of topics associated with food, the environment, and public health, and then to regurgitate that information in a way that appears readable, but that also stands up against scientific scrutiny. I feel that this project provided great practice for my written communication skills, as it challenged me to make a brief, meaningful, and scientifically correct statement.
Reece Lyerly

Reece Lyerly
Earth and Environmental Sciences Major
Furman University

My favorite field trip was the presentation by Dr. Robert Bullard. Dr. Bullard is the man to know in the field of environmental justice. His presentation captured the importance of environmental justice in the field of public health. This was also an amazing opportunity because my summer project was an educational tool for middle schoolers on environmental justice. He willingly answered questions and inspired each of us in the program to integrate environmental justice into our daily lives. His passion transcended his presentation and captured our hearts and minds.
Rebecca Lyons

Rebecca Lyons
Anthropology Major/ Environmental Studies Minor
Grinnell College

I was always busy with my project, and it was a topic I was really passionate about Navajo Nation and water issues, and got to work on a variety of subprojects. I did literature research, literature reviews, wrote informational packets on safe water hauling, wrote a report on a household water treatment options, and assisted in a training session. My project allowed me to travel and meet people in other organizations such as the Navajo Nation EPA and community health representative program. I was also able to contact and communicate with some of the top professionals in the field of water.
Sherine Powerful

Sherine Powerful
Latin American Studies and International Studies Majors
Yale University

The topic of Health Disparities interests me a great deal, and I have learned a lot from the readings and the research I have done.
Megan Prier

Megan Prier
Civil & Environmental Engineering Major/ Environmental Studies Minor
Princeton University

Although I had never considered environmental or public health as a career option before this internship, what I realized throughout the course of the summer is that my interests (clean water availability and green housing design for development) are environmental health issues, that I had only seen in an engineering light.
Nora Purcell

Nora Purcell
Environmental Studies Major/ Biology Minor
Warren Wilson College

Field trips are my favorite way to learn...and these were phenomenal field trips. My favorite combination of field trips was the waste water treatment plant and the urban farm. Both of the people giving tours talked about how their job was really just keeping communities of bacteria healthy! Whether the issue is growing food or cleaning up waste, it was cool to see that we all depend on the same processes.
Roopika Subramanian

Roopika Subramanian
Society & Environment and Urban Studies Majors
University of California-Berkeley

I’m extremely happy with this program overall. I love the set up of the program, and the balance between school-like activities brown bags, journal club, field trips and work.

The most memorable part of the internship was a community meeting I went to in Atlanta with my supervisor. In a neighborhood littered with liquor stores and overwhelmed with pollution from two major freeways, it was incredible to witness the excitement and interest from that neighborhood in utilizing health impact assessment to tackle their problems. It allowed me to recognize the value of the work I was doing in my cubicle day after day.

Sana Syal

Sana Syal
Environmental Policy and Management Major/ Public Health Minor
Ohio State University

One subject I found particularly interesting was the built environment. I never really thought about how essential healthy transportation, including streets that are biker, walker, bus, and automobile-friendly, are to a person’s health. Similarly, I never knew how green spaces have been shown to benefit mental health and promote physical activity. The topic of built environment also brought out issues in environmental justice. For example, low-income neighborhoods often have little access to safe parks and even to grocery stores; these are environmental justice issues of severe importance. The built environment discussions interested me because it is a relatively new issue in public health that is evident wherever you go; now, whenever I walk around Atlanta, I notice all of the places where there are no sidewalks, or where there are no healthy places to eat, as well as other aspects of the built environment that affect people.
Andrew Tate

Andrew Tate
Anthropology-Religion Major/ Environmental Studies Minor
Emory University

My favorite environmental health topic is the Built Environment and Sustainable Urban Design. My favorite field trip was to the BeltLine, where we were given a personalized presentation of how this amazing project will holistically enhance the built environment of the central Atlanta area. As an Atlantan, this project is very important to me, and I have since then gotten a job at the BeltLine partnership helping out with their public outreach.
Alice Wang

Alice Wang
Environmental Health Science and Engineering Major/ Biology and Chemistry Minors
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

It was interesting to be working on projects that were very large in scope and at the same time, I felt ownership of my project that was a puzzle piece to the larger picture. The different projects I worked on were all at different stages and I was able to see the beginning, middle and end –what would take years to develop, all in ten weeks.

This internship gave me a huge appreciation for what environmental health professionals do every day and they deserve a lot more credit for protecting the public!

Allison Waters

Allison Waters
Environmental Studies and Economics Majors
Brown University

I really appreciate how much we’re encouraged to get to know each other within and outside of the program. I feel like group morale can make or break any experience and it’s definitely contributed positively to this one, in large part because of field trips and programming that builds in time for us to get to know each other.


“Environmental health is Hands down, one of the most exciting professions I’ve seen in a long time.”
- Brett Bogenrief

“My best advice is to take advantage of every opportunity offered at the CDC. Throughout the summer there are countless presentations on a variety of topics offered at the CDC. I went to at least one a week in an attempt to learn anything possible. I also encourage the other interns to meet with anyone and everyone in their division and within the CDC/NCEH. It is a great way to learn about public health and its various applications.”
- Reece Lyerly

“When I first thought about applying to the CDC on the recommendation of my Environmental Studies advisor, my peers told me not to bother since it was such a longshot. As a result when I was reading the acceptance email in an internet café in Sri Lanka, I jumped for joy and immediately replied with yes, I would love to have this internship. In short I choose CLEH because it was a remarkable opportunity that would provide me with more of a perspective of health and the interrelationship with environmental factors. I also was certain it would provide me with a superb learning experience which it has. I have am so happy with my decision even though the segue-way from Sri Lanka to Atlanta was a bit traumatic. “
- Becky Lyons

“Before coming to Atlanta, I had no idea what to expect; I had never lived in the South before, and my previous experiences in Atlanta were confined primarily to the airport during layovers. Soon after arriving, however, I discovered that Atlanta has so much to offer. It is a vibrant and diverse city unlike any other I have spent time in with plenty of things to do to and places to explore. Yet despite its size, it still somehow retains a small-town feel with lots of trees, friendly people, and the best sweet tea and BBQ I have ever had.”
- Cory Hoeferlin

“Get out and explore other areas of CDC, ATSDR, NCEH while you are there. Some extra tours of labs, offices, etc. will be beneficial to you as you think about possible careers. Ask LOTS of questions, and be prepared to learn!”
- Brett Bogenrief

“I am so impressed with how well-planned the program was and how smoothly everything ran!!”
- Ally Waters

“The most memorable part of the internship was giving the climate change presentation. This was a great opportunity to research a topic of interest (global water), meet with experts within the CDC and improve my presentation skills. I was amazed how willing everyone was to meet with me. They willingly offered previous slides from previous presentations and helped direct my research. I also learned about the diversity of backgrounds within the CDC, including medical doctors, teachers, engineers, and even geologists my current field of study.”
– Reece Lyerly

“One of the biggest realizations we all stated at the end of our internship was how shocked we were that CDC employees were so open and willing to talk to us about their careers, our interests, and possibilities within public health. So definitely don't be shy, including with your fellow interns!”
- Sana Syal

“I was very impressed with the people with whom I worked. The employees at the CDC were all amazing people who were more than happy to sit down with us over lunch and talk about what they did, how they got there, and what they see as the future of public and environmental health. These meetings, both in group settings and on an individual basis, were immensely beneficial and helped me formulate a better idea of what I would like to pursue as a career. “
- Cory Hoeferlin

“Connect with as many people as possible. Get to know your co-workers and supervisors, but also branch out and find other people doing things you're interested in doing. I remember even asking people in the elevator what they do at the CDC and learning so much. This is a place with truly amazing people doing amazing things.”
- Andrew Tate

The employees at the CDC have incredibly diverse interests and backgrounds. Take every opportunity to approach people and learn about the range of career opportunities available. Every person I met had deep passion for the work they did, and were enthusiastic about sharing their advice and experiences. So, take advantage of your time there!
- Roopika Subramanian

2009 group photo of interns

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