Kate Garand, who graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in Anthropology and a minor in Chemistry, was recently accepted at UNC Chapel Hill as a Masters in Public Health candidate in their Maternal and Child Health Program.
When Kate left Millsaps, she wasn't 100% sure which direction she wanted to go in graduate school but intentionally pursued jobs that allowed her to explore her interest in public health. Since May of 2011, Kate has been working at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals as a research specialist in the Office of the Secretary, Bruce Greenstein, who is the executive for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
"As a Research Specialist," Kate described, "I work with the Secretary's Executive Team (Chief of Staff, Special Assistant, Assistant Secretaries, Deputy and Under Secretary, Director). Most of my duties revolve around doing research for briefs, presentation and department policies, planning department events, and working with the program offices on their initiatives." Because of her work at the Louisiana DHH, Kate decided to go to pursue a MPH.
She found out she had been accepted at UNC Chapel Hill in late February. "I really wanted to find a program that would allow me to make a place for anthropological inquiry," says Kate. "I was very intentional during my time at Millsaps to focus on medical anthropology whenever I could, so I wanted to go to an MPH program that would allow me to merge public health with medical anthropology. UNC emphasizes the study of health disparities; in my mind, this focus allows us to look on the community level and ask ourselves 'how do individuals construct their ideas of health?'" This program also appealed to Kate because of her interest in gender.
"I've worked with the Maternal and Child Health group at DHH and am fascinated by their work. It's easy to argue that all public health issues are the product of the issues addressed by Maternal and Child Health (infant mortality, women's health, birth outcomes, etc.). I think the mix of medical anthropology, public health, and gender at UNC will give me a well-rounded, robust education."
Kate will begin at UNC Chapel Hill in the fall of 2012.