Cary Love – Student Spotlight

cary love headshotCary Love is an Online MPH student with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences, generalist specialization.

What is your name?
Cary Love

What is your concentration/specialization?
Social and Behavioral Sciences, online generalist specialization

What public health areas are you most interested in?
Domestic violence; sexual violence; sex trafficking; child abuse

What did you study in your undergraduate career or post-graduate career prior to beginning the MPH program?
I have my BA in Journalism with a minor in Public Health from Temple University.

What first prompted your interest in public health?
I took a public health elective before I chose my minor. I immediately was interested in the idea of preventing health problems, and was baffled by how little we fund prevention efforts in the United States. I’ve also always been a firm advocate for women’s rights and wrote about health issues and sexism in college.

What interested you in the UF Public Health program?
I did a lot of research on public health programs and saw UF had a great reputation for their online program. It was also affordable, and I believe education should be affordable and accessible for all. Lastly I spoke to Dr. Mark Hart, who was welcoming and informative, and I liked having that personal connection to the program.

What has been the most impactful course you have taken at UF?
I very much enjoyed my class on sexuality and health with Professor Pryce Fegumps. It was inclusive and really delved into the issues I am passionate about. I also loved my health communication class with Dr. Hart that focused on trauma, ACES and resiliency because it incorporated creativity in its projects.

What has been your favorite/most memorable moment in the program? 
Connecting with Dr. Hart has really helped me. He provided me with a great research opportunity where I learned more about qualitative research and coding. He has also been a source of support while I worked through some health issues with my daughter (who I had during the program). I was really grateful for how accommodating and caring both he and other faculty and staff were. It makes all the difference.

What advice do you have to someone who is interested in this program or someone who is just starting out in this program?
Stay focused, get ahead of projects and reach out when you need help. It’s easy to feel disconnected when you’re in an online program, but it’s on you to establish relationships. Also, ask questions and stay curious! You will get much more out of the program if you expand your interests and look for opportunities to learn new skills.

Cary Love was recently awarded the John Joseph Benton, M.D. Humanitarian Award and Scholarship, established in Dr. Benton’s memory by his family. Dr. Benton was “a University alumnus who exemplified integrity, humility, compassion, and scholarship, and who did so with unfailing good humor.” This $1,500 award was available for students in the Master of Public Health program, with preference given to students in their second year of the program. The criteria for the scholarship included “A student who exemplifies a commitment to better the health and lives of children; and a student who demonstrates integrity, compassion, good scholarship, and a good sense of humor.”