We asked students in the inaugural class of Binghamton University's Master of Public Health program why they chose to get an MPH, what they think about the program and more. Here's what two of them had to say.
Why did you choose to get a MPH degree?
Saydi Akgul, full-time student:
This degree encompasses everything that I know is an underestimated influence of health and is continuing to broaden my belief in comprehensive healthcare. No question is left unanswered and all considerations are taken in public health, supporting what I aspire to accomplish in my healthcare-based career.
Emma Ospelt, full-time student:
I choose this degree because it would allow for me to further explore the many components of my undergraduate degree, which was environmental health science, and combine that knowledge with the inner workings of public health. Public health is so very important for every single person in this world, and I wanted to be able to learn the tools and skills that a master's program provides, to carry with me in my career as a public health professional.
What is it about Binghamton's program that made this one the right choice for you?
Akgul: As a public university, Binghamton continues to evolve similar to the nature of the field of public health. The university choosing to establish an MPH program is an expansion of its values and what they believe our incoming workforce needs. The faculty chosen use the Binghamton community as an experiential environment and use their experience in the field to enrich our lectures and inspire future career paths.
Ospelt: Binghamton's program, being in its beginning stages, has many amazing things to offer. The professors and advisors provide us with never-ending support and guidance, and I think this is a very important aspect. I particularly liked this program for the layout of the degree, which includes an immersive internship study in our second year, that Binghamton helps place us in to make sure we are working in an area of our interest for our capstone. You also have the ability to [explore population/global health] and further dive into those studies after the first year of core curriculum. Binghamton's program offers lots of flexibility for you to adapt the program to your public health interests.
What do you hope to gain from getting a MPH degree? How do you expect this will change your life?
Akgul: This degree serves as the preparation and transitional step into my future career. Throughout the duration of the degree, we continue to spend more and more time completing field work, and eventually an internship and capstone. As a member of the inaugural class, I am anticipating entering the workforce prepared to be the mechanism of change needed to promote and achieve public health.
Ospelt: I hope to gain the knowledge and skills that a Master's of Public Health program provides, but also the ability to apply this knowledge to public health issues in my future career, and be able to interact on a professional level with my colleagues to collaborate to implement, monitor and combat these issues.
How has your experience been so far?
Akgul: Every day of class has engaged and brought to my awareness the broad spectrum of workforces that encompass the public health field. Each professor brings a distinct career background to our class, whether that be as a family physician, medical director of the county health department or the director of emergency management for the University. The program continues to broaden my future career endeavors everyday and is preparing me to work in a multitude of different work environments.
Ospelt: My experience so far has been wonderful, our cohort is very supportive and hard working, and the professors are amazing with their guidance and support as well. You can tell that they really want us to be successful and do what they can to make this achievable.
What would you say to someone thinking of entering Binghamton's MPH program?
Akgul: Those applying to the MPH program at Binghamton University should know how fortunate they are to have the opportunity to be a student of a program that is so essential to the overarching health of wherever they chose to take their education after Binghamton. The Binghamton community is full of practical experience for you, and the faculty will challenge you to become a leader in your application of this degree.
Ospelt: I would say to absolutely apply to the program, and that having an MPH is something that will go a long way in your career, but to get this at Binghamton would allow you to gain even more.