With a background in architecture and biology, Mara Pusateri wanted the next step in her academic career to build on those interests, as well as her passion for community service and making a difference in the world.
She selected UB’s Master of Public Health degree program with a concentration in environmental health. “The areas within biology that I enjoyed the most were those involving the study of populations such as ecology and environmental science,” she said. “Specifically, I am interested in improving the health of populations and promoting healthy lifestyles via the built environment and urban planning. Some examples include adding more parks and gardens in urban areas, making sure that streets are safe for bicyclists and pedestrians, reducing or eliminating food deserts, and creating more sustainable environments.”
In addition to offering her program of choice, Pusateri chose to attend UB for its affordability and closeness to her hometown in the Rochester, NY, area.
“What I enjoy most about the MPH program is the diversity of the students and wide variety of knowledge that everyone brings to the table,” she said. “There are students like myself who recently completed their undergraduate education, as well as physicians, pharmacists, law students, social workers, international students, Peace Corps alumni and other professionals. I find it very interesting how everyone approaches the course material from a different perspective based on his or her background, profession or field of study.”
After graduation, Pusateri plans to continue her education at UB with a graduate degree in urban planning. “Ideally, I hope to find a career that allows me to combine my knowledge of both environmental health and urban planning, such as environmental planning or conducting environmental risk assessment for an architecture/planning department or firm.”