My name is Mary Campbell and I am a second year MPH student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration. I’m interested in interpersonal violence prevention, women’s health disparities, and sexual health. Prior to starting the MPH program at UF, I studied exercise science in my undergraduate studies at Indiana University. These studies were what first prompted my interest in public health. I was an athlete and thought that physical activity based wellness was my passion. Originally I thought that I would continue to explore that aspect of public health since I spent all of my free time teaching boxing to individuals with Parkinson’s Disease to improve fine motor skills, teaching life saving balance techniques to senior citizens, and helping out at physical therapy offices. However, I got to UF and realized that I wanted to explore other areas of interest that the Social and Behavioral Sciences brought to light.
What interested me most about the UF MPH program was the SBS concentration, as it seemed like the perfect fit for me. The affordable tuition was a huge bonus as well! The most impactful course I’ve taken has been Public Health Programming (PHC6146) with Dr. Blue. It was such a great course because we actually were able to put what we learned throughout SBS into fruition. Also Health Communication (PHC6195) was an impactful course for me because I was able to use public health social media and marketing to help in my current employment position on campus, which is at GatorWell with STRIVE.
I was a varsity water polo player throughout undergrad at Indiana University. Throughout the MPH program, I have played water polo for the University of Florida’s club water polo team, earning MVP in my division, in addition to coaching the water polo team at Gainesville High School and mentoring UF water polo players. I am currently in my last semester of the MPH program and recently started my internship for the MPH program. I am an advocacy intern for Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida, assisting with research, data entry, clerical assistance, event planning, and volunteer coordination. Currently, I am working on collecting 2,600 petitions to have Medicaid expansion added to the voting ballot in 2020.
My favorite and most memorable moment from the program has been designing and implementing a sexual health intervention for the Public Health Programming course mentioned above. In this project, my group created “goodie bags” full of various types of condoms and other sexual health tools and information, which we distributed to a sorority on campus. The goal of this intervention was to increase women’s access to these tools. Spending an evening with my group members stuffing “goodie bags” full of condoms has definitely been memorable! Not only were they fun to make, but we were able to give women access to barrier methods they previously were unaware of and that’s a huge accomplishment!
My advice to someone interested in this program is to just do it! This is the right program for you!