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School of Public Health
http://www.umn.edu/sph
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Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology

Alumni Profiles

Elizabeth Allen Elizabeth Allen, PhD, MPH

Post-Doctoral Associate
University of Minnesota

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OEE program?

I was a research coordinator in the Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine while pursuing a MPH from the University of Minnesota. I also worked as a student paraprofessional at the Minnesota Department of Health in the foodborne disease surveillance unit. I then started my PhD while working as a research assistant in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences before enrolling in the OEE program.

What made you interested in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology?

I was very interested in epidemiological methods and wanted to pursue a field that was rigorous, interesting, and that would expose me to a wide range of topics. Occupational and environmental epidemiology was a great field to learn about exposures and population characteristics that affect health, in addition to advanced statistical and epidemiological methods.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?

I was very interested in public health issues and epidemiology methods. The University of Minnesota School Of Public Health Division of Environmental Health Sciences offered a flexible program in which I could explore my public health interests with the diverse courses the school offers as well as pursue a course load heavy in epidemiology and statistical analysis. I was attracted to the programs' flexibility and the diversity of the courses, the students, and the faculty research.

What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program? If you have already commenced a position, please elaborate upon that.

I am currently a post-doctoral associate in the Cancer-Related Health Disparities Education and Career Development Program at the University of Minnesota. I'd like to pursue a career in academic research with a particular focus on vulnerable populations. The OEE program provided me with such range of experience that I am able to apply knowledge and skills gained working in occupational epidemiology in the field of health disparities research.

What would you say to a student considering the program?

The faculty are incredibly helpful, the research interests are diverse and, overall, this is a fantastic group to be a part of. Throughout the program I felt like I was supported, respected, given opportunities to advance my skills, and exposed to a variety of research topics. The program prepared me for a research career and could be applied to many public health fields.

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Christine Lambert Christine Lambert, PhD

M.D. Candidate
University of Minnesota

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OEE program?

I graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. and a major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Following college I spent one year working at Brigham and Woman's Channing Laboratory as part of a lab investigating the genetic epidemiology of Asthma and COPD. I entered the University of Minnesota Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD program) in 2006, finishing two years of medical school prior to the start of my graduate training.

What made you interested in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology?

Occupational and environmental epidemiology incorporates a wide range of both conditions and exposures making it a diverse and interesting area to work in.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?

I was looking to enter an MD/PhD program that offered graduate degrees in epidemiology. The University of Minnesota has both an excellent Medical School and School of Public Health, providing ideal training for me.

What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program? If you have already commenced a position, please elaborate upon that.

I am working towards a career in academic medicine that would combine research, clinical time, teaching, and eventually administrative work. At this time, I plan to complete training in Internal Medicine with a clinical and research focus in the field of Pulmonology.

What would you say to a student considering the program?

The OEE program provides the opportunity to work with great faculty who have expertise in a variety of areas, and are committed to teaching and giving students ownership of their projects. The University of Minnesota is an institution that thrives on collaboration and cross-disciplinary studies, creating unique and timely research.

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Photo Not Available Katherine K. Raleigh, BS, MPH, PhD

Foreign Service Health Officer
Nutrition Team Lead
US Agency for International Development
Mozambique

What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OEE program?

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala before starting my MPH as a fellow at the University of Arizona (AZ), College of Public Health. At the U of AZ I was a research assistant for a NHANES project evaluating pesticide exposure and bio-monitoring. I then worked for the Massachusetts State Department of Public Health after graduation on a CDC funded Occupational Asthma Surveillance Program before starting my PhD in Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Minnesota (U MN).

What made you interested in the field of occupational and environmental epidemiology?

My various work and educational experiences all formulated my interest in the field. I also have been interested in environmental contaminants/chemicals that affected one's health status—in part due to personal issues with asthma.

What made you choose the University of Minnesota?

I grew up in Wisconsin and finished my BS at the U MN and was drawn to the program after living outside the Midwest for several years. I had the desire to return and give back to the community in addition to being interested in the vast amount of research projects that were being conducted in the division, and the school's rating overall in public health.

What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program? If you have already commenced a position, please elaborate upon that.

I think the research and methods focus was key (in addition to my Peace Corps background) in finding a position with USAID as a Foreign Service Health Officer in the global health field. USAID was looking for skills in epidemiology and rigorous methods of evaluation equivalent to what is known as strategic information, and monitoring and evaluation. USAID aimed to hire health staff with a research background to better evaluate programs and their attribution to defined health outcomes.

What would you say to a student considering the program?

I think it is a great opportunity to learn rigorous epidemiological methods that apply to many careers and especially to academia or applied public health positions.

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