Meredith Eggert wanted to complement her background in psychology with a degree in public health to better understand why people engage in certain health behaviors and, ultimately, to develop programs that encourage healthier ones.
“I believe that, with increasing recognition of the need for change in our current health care system, more people will see the need to focus on prevention of disease rather than solely on treatment,” she said.
With her experience in stress and coping, addictions and developing educational intervention programs, Eggert said her advanced education will help her make the connections between understanding behavior, promoting health and preventing chronic disease.
Research and real-world experiences will be essential elements of that education.
“I chose to attend UB because of the cutting-edge research opportunities that are available to students,” she said.
In addition to valuable research skills, Eggert gained hands-on public health experience throughout the MPH program. “Students are notified almost weekly of various jobs, internships or assistantships in public health both at UB and throughout the Western New York area,” she said.
“After attending small, private colleges and universities, I was worried about the inability to develop relationships with peers and professors due to large class sizes,” she said. “However, I found the class sizes at UB to be small, allowing me to develop professional, meaningful relationships with faculty. The professors are engaging in classes and are invested in their students’ education.”
Eggert said she also enjoyed the MPH program’s flexibility and wide range of course offerings. “The coursework provides a multifaceted understanding of public health. There are a variety of electives available that cover many topics in public health, including nutrition, cancer prevention, community health and health disparities.”
Since graduating, she plans to pursue a PhD in community health and health behavior or enter the public health workforce. “My ideal job involves working on tobacco, illicit drug and alcohol prevention to help reduce the chronic diseases that they cause.”