Experiential Learning…What is it?

Hey guys, it’s Madison! Wow, I can’t believe it is finals week next week! The year absolutely flew by. As we wrap up the year here at the College of Public Health, there are always so many awards banquets, special events, and busy project presentations going on. One of these special events is the experiential learning fair that is hosted once a semester.

What exactly is experiential learning? Well, experiential learning can most easily be explained as learning by doing. As a requirement to graduate, experiential learning helps students gain important real-life experiences that set them up with important lessons learned for the future. As students learn by doing, they develop skills that are critical for success in the workplace, in graduate/professional schools, and in their community. There are four different options for completing experiential learning. These are:

  • research
  • internship
  • service learning
  • global learning

I recently wrapped up my experiential learning project, which I started in the Winter 2018 session. Over the course of four week, I completed an internship at Veterans Memorial Hospital in my hometown of Waukon, IA. I worked with the Community and Home Care Department, largely creating promotional and informational materials for the department. I created a table tent, hospital admission folder insert, and floor nurse informational meeting presentation and handout. I also collected, interpreted and summarized data from the VMH employee healthy living program, and put all the data into a designed summary sheet to be viewed by employees at the time clock. I also added some ideas of changes to promote a healthier workplace as a public health intervention to their rising 30+ BMI population. I got to sit in on County Board of Health and hospital preparedness planning meetings, go on a ride-along vaccination appointment to an Amish community, and experience hospital immunization and latent tuberculosis clinics for Medicare and Medicaid patients. All of this was great public health experience, and I am very happy to have had the opportunity to do this, however, there was a part I was most excited about.

I loved being about to create my own promotional and educational materials to promote a service that aims to keep hospital readmission rates low for the elderly and disabled in my county. Since health education and promotion is something I want to do in the future, I was able to get valuable experience in this area before actually starting a career in the field. That is why experiential learning is so important. It allows us to start dipping our toes in the water of an area we are interested before we do it “for real”.

This week, I was able to present what I did and learned during my experience with VMH at the Spring Experiential Learning Fair. Along with others, we presented in poster or presentation format. Students, professors, and people from the public came to learn about what valuable lessons we got from each of our experiences. I love that we are able to do this in our major, and it really sets us up for success in the future of our endeavors.

Thanks for reading along all year!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu

Catch ya next year!

Madison

 

 

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Reflecting On My Year

Hey there! It’s Jada again! As I am entering my last week of classes, I wanted to take time to reflect back on my sophomore year as a Public Health student here at the university!

Fall Semester I took Second Year Public Health Seminar and Intro to Public Health Methods. There is a seminar for public health undergrad students every fall semester, which I find to be super helpful! You really get to know your peers on a personal level and know some of the faculty within different departments really well. This helps a lot when navigating your way through the different requirements of the major. In the Second Year Seminar we talked a lot about resumes and applying for internships. We created our own resumes while working with the career center here on campus and also heard from numerous departments about experiential learning opportunities, wether that be research or an actual internship. My favorite part of the seminar is getting to know my peers but also learning how I can further advance my education within the college of public health. Intro to Public Health Methods was split into two sections, a quantitive side and a qualitative side. The quantitive side dealt with statistical methods in obtaining data from public health studies, which I found very fun because I like math. The qualitative side focused on the actual structure of studies in public health, and at the end of this unit we as students actually conducted our own study! This class really opened up my eyes to just how much work really goes into research studies and how tough it can be to collect data.

Spring semester I took Intro to Computer Science, a B.S. requirement, and The U.S. Health System in a Global Context. Intro to Computer Science definitely took me way out of my element as I have never dealt with any type of computer programming. However, I found it to actually be really fun. It’s cool to see how technology we use everyday works on a smaller scale. This class also talked a lot about internet safety and ways to be safer on the internet. This aspect of the class almost scared me because it really made me thing about how crucial it is to make sure you’re being safe on the internet. This class ties into public health in that public health research uses a lot of statistical programs, so learning how to work these programs now will make a competitive applicant when applying for jobs and internships in the public health field. My favorite class this semester was definitely The U.S. Health System in a Global Context because it was really intriguing to learn about how our current healthcare system operates in comparison to other countries around the world. I feel as though I learned a lot in this class and am able to make a lot of connections in today’s news with what we learn in class. The professor who teaches the class is also really passionate about what she does and that always makes a class enjoyable.

Outside of my public health classes this year I took numerous science classes as prerequisites for applying to PA schools. These classes included Organic Chemistry and two Biology courses. I really enjoyed the biology courses I took this year because I found them to be very interesting and applicable to everyday life. Next semester I am taking Microbiology, Human Anatomy, Global Public Health, Applied Public Health Methods, and a 3rd year seminar! I am super pumped to see what next year brings, but am most excited for Global Public Health! This summer I am working full time as a CNA in a rehab center back in my hometown. This will give me the patient care hours I need to apply to PA programs and I am really excited to gain experience in a new setting! I also plan to help coach a little league softball team this summer. I’m really excited for this as softball has played a part in my life since I was 6!

Thank you to everyone who has been following the blog this year!! I hope to see some of you on campus this fall!!

Public Health Abroad: Xicotepec, Part 2

Hey there! It’s Autumn again! If you have read my last blog post, you’ll know that I spent my spring break in Xicotepec, Mexico with the College of Public Health. In the last blog, I described how we prepared to go to Mexico, and in this blog I’ll share more about the experience itself and why you should consider an educational experience abroad.

After weeks of this preparation, my group flew down to Mexico to begin our project. We spent the first few days exploring the city and getting to know our hosts. On our first full day, our hosts took us on a hike to see El Cruz Celestial (the celestial cross) which is located high on a mountain overlooking the city. We later visited an orphanage where the dental team administered flouride treatments and the pharmacy team did check ups and gave deworming pills to the children. We also gave shoes to all the children, which they had picked out and ordered for themselves in the fall. This tradition of delivering shoes has been part of the Rotary project for many years.

On our third day, the public health team went to a local school where we began our project. We worked with students ages 11-14 in small groups where we held a focus group discussion, gave them a survey and led them in an art activity. The goal was to engage them in discussions about nutrition, positive body image, and the effects that internet use can have on self-image. The reason behind planning these activities to discuss these specific topics is because the director of the school reached out to our professor saying she was concerned about cyber bullying and eating disorders in the school. We carefully created our focus group and survey questions prior to arriving, and requested an interpreter to make sure everything was well understood during our discussion.

I had learned about how to conduct focus groups and write surveys in class, but getting the hands on experience was incredible. After meeting with 6 groups of students over two days, we sat down as a group to analyze our data. Once we made a preliminary report, our professor went back to the school to talk to the director about what we had learned. The hope is that she will use the information we gave her to make beneficial changes for her school. We also hope to use this project at other schools in the area in the years to come.

I would highly recommend that all public health students take the opportunity to engage in global learning. Whether with the Xicotepec Project, or exploring other study abroad opportunities, there is something out there for everyone. Gaining global experience is not only valuable for job applications in the future, but it is also beneficial for the classroom. Understanding how public health differs around the world, and gaining knowledge about other cultures while actually going abroad, will shape the way you view public health. Click here to learn more about our global opportunities through the College of Public Health: https://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/global-public-health/

Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu

Catch ya next week with a new post!

Autumn

 

 

Set Your Schedules!

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you all had a fun break and got to go on some adventures or have a relaxing break from school. It’s Madison here today to tell you about a super exciting time in the College of Public Health!

Next week is a big week for us at the CPH. It’s National Public Health Week and Research Week! We have a lot of fun and educational events going on all week at the college, so think of this as your one-stop-shop for a schedule and outline of all our events. First, let me give you a little back story on what exactly both of these weeks are.

National Public Health Week is a nationally recognized week long celebration of six different areas of public health. It is sponsored by the American Public Health Association and raises awareness of all of the hard work that public health does for local, state, and global communities. This year, the themes are as follows:

Monday – Healthy Communities

Tuesday – Violence Prevention

Wednesday – Rural Health

Thursday – Technology and Public Health

Friday – Climate Change

Saturday and Sunday – Global Health

 

Research Week in the CPH is also a big deal! Since we are a research university, research is a huge part of everything we do. During Research Week, the college hosts different events do showcase everyone’s hard work. Students and faculty give poster symposiums and spotlight speeches, and there’s always something to check out.

With all the events going on next week, it’s going to be a busy time for everyone! Use this post as your guide to the week.

 

Monday 4/1

National Public Health Week Kickoff Event

T. Anne Cleary Walkway, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Come visit the NPHW Planning Committee and other public health students for information on public health and programs that the College of Public Health offers!

 

Tuesday 4/2

Research Week Poster Sessions

CPHB Atrium, 9:00 am – 11:00 am and 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Come check out posters of the important research that goes on at the College of Public Health.

 

Wednesday 4/3

IIPHRP Global Public Health Case Competition

C217 CPHB, 8:15 am – 11:30 am

Come watch teams of students present their solutions to a panel of expert judges.

 

Student Handouts with the Public Health Week Planning Committee

T. Anne Cleary Walkway, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Come visit the NPHW Planning Committee and other public health students for information on public health and programs that the College of Public Health offers!

 

IIPHRP Executive in Residence Spotlight

“The American Academy of Pediatrics: Partnerships that Improve Child Health”

Debra Waldron, Senior VP of Child Health and Wellness, American Academy of Pediatrics

Callaghan Auditorium (N110 CPHB), 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Check out Debra Waldon’s spotlight presentation on improving child health.

 

Case Competition and Poster Award Ceremony

Callaghan Auditorium (N110 CPHB), 1:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Reception to follow the Awards Ceremony – light lunch provided

CPHB Atrium, 1:45 pm – 2:30 pm

The Global Health Case Competition is going to be a big highlight of the week! Stop by and grab lunch and check out the different presentations by teams.

 

Thursday, 4/4

Science of Health Equity Summit

The Third Annual Science of Health Equity Summit

CPHB, 9:00 am – 1:30 pm

HEAL’s Annual Science of Health Equity Summit will highlight current evidence-based health equity work being done here at the University of Iowa and in other areas around the United States through a perspective of how local initiatives impact global health equity and vice versa. Come see what HEAL is all about!

 

Hansen Distinguished Lecture and Research Week Keynote Speaker – lunch to follow

“Getting to Equity in Health Care: Lessons from Kaiser Permanente”

Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals

Callaghan Auditorium  (N110 CPHB), 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Grab lunch and listen to a presentation by the CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. about the importance of equity in health care.

 

GPEID Conference Kickoff

CPHB Atrium, 3:30 pm

The Great Plains Emerging Infectious Diseases Conference will take place April 4th-5th, 2019, at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Just as in previous years, this conference will serve to bring together public health professionals, researchers, faculty, and students in microbiology, infectious diseases and related fields working in the Great Plains and Midwestern states. Check out the linked schedule for some cool events.

 

Showing of Contagion with the Public Health Week Planning Committee

CPHB, 7:00 pm

On Thursday night, visit the CPH for a free showing of the movie Contagion! We will also be giving away free public health laptop stickers at the main building entrance by the parking meters.

 

Friday 4/5

GPEID Conference

CPHB, 7:30 am – 6:00 pm

The Great Plains Emerging Infectious Diseases Conference will take place April 4th-5th, 2019, at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Just as in previous years, this conference will serve to bring together public health professionals, researchers, faculty, and students in microbiology, infectious diseases and related fields working in the Great Plains and Midwestern states. Check out the linked schedule for some cool events.

 

Whew! We have so much going on next week, be sure to stop by and check out all the cool events and learn more about the public health field. In addition to events at the college, all week long check out the social medias for highlights on research done by our professors. Also, be sure to contribute to National Public Health Week by posting a picture or a tweet any day of the week with the hashtag #uiowaCPHteachesme with your passions within public health and how the College of Public Health helps you explore those passions.

We will also be hosting a t-shirt order! I will update the blog with pictures and the link when it is available (:

Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu

Catch ya next week with a new post!

Madison

 

The Dilemma of Rural Health

Hey everyone! It’s Jada again! This week I want to introduce a topic that has become a passion of mine– rural health. In my previous blog, I talked about my desire to become a physician assistant (PA). This career can also play a huge role in improving rural health, which is an increasingly important issue especially here in Iowa.

The public health program has taught me to think beyond the surface level of labeling populations “healthy” or “sick”. The healthy/sick determinants are based on a multitude of different underlying attributes, such as socioeconomic status, race, gender, age, location, employment, etc. One of these determinants that really stuck out to me was location. I remember being introduced to the topic of rural health in a class we have here called Fundamentals of Public Health. A woman from Great Plains, a center for agriculture health, came in to talk about farmers and the health barriers they face. I think part of the reason this stuck out so much to me is not only has this issue been in front of my face my entire life (Iowa native), but farming is such a large industry in Iowa. Farming is all around us here in Iowa, no matter what city you live in.

For starters, let’s look at rural health here in Iowa.

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This map shows all the counties in Iowa that are deemed “health professional shortage areas” (HPSA) in red. This map is by the Iowa Department of Public Health(IDPH).

Looking at this map alone, shows how big of a problem it is here in my home state. Just about 50% of Iowan counties are shown in red. Let the number sink in for a second. These are the people that will have to drive long distances for a routine checkup. An hour long ride to the doctor. These are people with general practitioners that also serve as their OBGYN, podiatrist, orthopedics,  allergist, cardiologist, etc. When I first processed this thought, my question was now what do people in these areas do in the event they get severely injured or deathly ill? The times when driving 30 minutes is even too long?

The IDPH recognized this problem long ago and has since then attempted to use many different strategies to fix this. They have started many different research plans geared towards intervention and access analysis as well as launching various campaigns (Read Madison’s post about these!). But how does the role of clinicians fit into solving the problem?

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 10.56.30 AMHere’s the answer! This is a map of rural health clinics strategically placed throughout Iowa. Notice how their placement tends to match up with the HPSAs from the previous map?

PAs specifically can offer a big help with these clinics. PAs in these clinics, or in any setting, increase the number of patients seen in a day. PAs can diagnose and treat, just like a doctor which allows for more patients to be seen. In many instances, PAs serve as general practitioners. The National Commission of Physician Assistants reported that over 25% of PAs nationally serve as general practitioners in public and private practices. Although that number might seem small, the profession is a projected to grow 37% by 2026! The IDPH recognizes how efficient and beneficial PAs can be in the rural underserved areas and now offers new PAs large incentives. They offer large sign-on bonuses for agreeing to work in these areas as well as 3-5 year service contracts to pay off student loans. As the number of available clinicians increases, the number of rural health clinics will also increase.

Along with rural health clinics, there are also hospitals known as Critical Access Hospitals(CAHs). These hospitals are meant to serve rural communities in emergency situations, and are often connected to a rural health clinic. There is a CAH located in Anamosa, which is about an hour north of Iowa City. This hospital is also connected to their rural health clinic. A few PAs there work as  general practitioners but also serve in the ER or other departments part time. PAs play a versatile role in bridging the gap in rural healthcare settings.

Screen Shot 2019-03-16 at 1.13.34 PM   Map of Iowa’s CAHs

Here at Iowa’s undergrad Public Health program, I am able to take courses that give me more exposure to this topic. These rural communities in Iowa tend to be agricultural communities, which also plays a role in the rural health disparity. Some classes I’m excited to take in regards to this include Agriculture, Food Systems, and SustainPublic Health Policy and Advocacy, and Geography of Health.

If you’re interested to learn more about rural health in Iowa check out this website! http://idph.iowa.gov/ohds/rural-health-primary-care

Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu

Check back next week for a new post! Enjoy your spring break!!

Jada

 

Public Health Abroad: Xicotepec, Part 1

Hi everyone! Autumn here! I am starting a multi-part blog series on public health abroad, focusing on a special trip offered by the University of Iowa. This spring break, I have the opportunity to travel to Xicotepec, Mexico with the College of Public Health. As part of a Rotary group trip, the University sends dental students, pharmacy students and now public health students (as of 2018) to do service projects in the community. The local Rotary group helps to plan and execute the projects, and local students even get involved as well! This year, the public health group has planned an activity where we will go to high schools to talk about positive body image, eating disorders and the effects social media usage can have on our well-being.

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In order to prepare to go abroad, we have had classes every Tuesday night of the semester where we learn about the culture of Mexico. Some topics that we have covered have included the history of colonialism in Mexico, the role of religion in their culture and the relationship that Mexico has with the United States. In today’s political climate, we realized it is more important now than ever to know the history of immigration patterns, tensions and relationships that the US has with Mexico. We have also discussed what health patterns look like in the country. Making connections between cultures was part of our goal of being more culturally competent before making our journey to Mexico.

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In addition to learning about Mexican culture, we have also had sessions on team building, leadership, and what it means to be a change agent. This is so that we can work effectively as teams while abroad. We learned about different leadership techniques and how we can use these to our advantage to make our trip successful. One really interesting discussion was on common mistakes people make when they try to create social change. These included cultural ignorance (not understanding the community you are working with), deficit mindset (only seeing the problems in the community) & the “magic bullet” (seeking only one solution to a very complicated issue). Recognizing these mistakes in ourselves will help us be able to avoid them while conducting our service projects in Mexico.

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In just 4 days, our group of 8 students will embark on our journey to the beautiful city of Xicotepec. Personally, this will be my second time visiting the city, but for the rest of the group it will be the very first time that they experience the magic of Xicotepec. I am so incredibly excited to return to the warm, welcoming community and can’t wait to grow the public health project. Once returning to the US, I’ll be sure to share our experiences (and lots of pictures) on the blog, so stay tuned for more!!

 

Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu

Catch ya next week with a new post!

Autumn

 

Public Health in the Media

Hey everyone! It’s Madison again!

This week I want to touch on a topic that is very important to me – public health campaigns! If you guys have been reading our blogs for awhile, you know that I want to create campaigns for my future career within public health. It’s a niche of public health that people aren’t super aware of, but you see it literally everywhere!

Since becoming a public health major, I have been much more aware of marketing around health. We are exposed to SO much advertising everyday, and it is the goal of public health campaigns to utilize that to educate and influence people. Let’s talk about some current campaigns in the media.

 

What is The Real Cost?

https://therealcost.betobaccofree.hhs.gov

This is an anti-tobacco products campaign that utilizes some scary truths to educate people on the dangers of smoking, vaping, and chewing. I see this campaign ALL the time (especially on Hulu) and I think it is one of the most recognized campaigns circulating right now. Vaping is a huge public health issue right now, especially because of the amount of teens and young adults have taken up vaping. While vaping has helped many people quit smoking cigarettes, it has lead to a a large amount of people taking up vaping with no prior smoking habit, which then leads them to a greater chance of taking up smoking. Here is the PSA from TRC I have been seeing recently:

 

 

Measles Moves Fast

https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/immunization/infographic/measles.htm?fbclid=IwAR30G-fw9PuypzV0GvagS8K5tSHOBS9q-9lgbStqFrbeMiahOSmT9Wcg-Ak

MRI-Posters-Final JPEG

Measles is a hot topic right now in the news with all of the different outbreaks occurring and the different legislation that is being discussed. With the anti-vaxxers being a top health concern for 2019, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) has a serious chance of making a major comeback. The anti-vaxxers have continued to try to introduce new bills to add vaccination exemptions. All of these bills have been shot down, and for good measure. They are also extremely present on social media, running their own informal and uneducated campaigns, fueling the anti-vaxx movement. This particular health campaign above is run by the CDC in partnership with other global health organizations in order to make these populations aware of the importance of the MMR vaccine and how vitally important it is to combat these outbreaks.

Here is a CNN article about the hearing in the Senate about the importance of vaccines! There is a live stream of it, so if you have time, take a chunk of your day to watch the importance of policy and public health and the importance it has on our lives!

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/05/health/vaccines-measles-senate-hearing/index.html

 

 

Versed

https://www.versedhpv.com

Versed is a campaign led by Merck that utilizes diversity and gender to promote the idea that the Gardasil shot to combat HPV is for everyone. In the past, Gardasil has been marketed as a shot for young women to protect them against cervical cancer. While that is true that the Gardasil shot does greatly diminish your chance of developing cervical cancer, its main purpose is to combat against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease. By showing young adults that are diverse and male and female, the “get versed about HPV” campaign relays that sexual health and the Gardasil shot is important for everyone. This campaign has received a massive round of applause from people for its inclusivity approach.

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These are just three of the prominent public health campaigns that are circulating in the media today. These are global and national campaigns, but we see regional, state, local, and organizational based health campaigns in our everyday lives. Media one of the biggest influencers in our lives, and most of the time we don’t even realize it. It is so important that we are susceptible to the right ideas about our health, and not responding positively to the wrong ideas. Public health campaigns try to influence our behaviors to improve our health and therefore our lives. They are a vital part of the public health operations!

In closing, I challenge you for a day to just keep your eyes open and recognize and process every time you see a campaign and how you respond to it! Also look for all of the advertisements you see for something that compromises our health.

I hope you learned a little more about health campaigns! If you are interested in more of the campaigns that are officially associated with the CDC, visit this link. You might spot some you recognize!

https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/campaigns/index.html

 

Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu

Catch ya next week with a new post!

Madison

How Public Health Will Make Me a Great Clinician

Hey everyone! It’s Jada here! As I talked about in a previous post, I’m not only a public health major, but I’m also on the pre-physician assistant track. Today I am going to talk about how public health will give me an edge as a clinician.

First and foremost, what is a physician assistant? A physician assistant (PA) is a licensed, practicing medical provider that works under the indirect supervision of an MD. PAs can diagnose and treat patients in every medical setting and specialty, which improves healthcare access and quality. PAs are required to obtain their master’s degree in physician assistant studies, which on average is a little over a two-year program. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 37% increase from 2016-2026 in this profession, which is one of the fastest growing jobs in the nation.

Where does public health fit in? In all honesty, public health could not be a better fit for me and my career goals. My goal is to be the best PA that I can be, which includes me going out of my way to make sure my patients receive the best care I can provide. In my opinion a great clinician doesn’t prescribe lots of medications, a great clinician gets their patients off of medications. To be able to do this, you have to know much more than the basics of your patients. You have to take into account where these people come from, the environment they live in, their cultural beliefs, behavioral norms, etc. Health is about much more than just what’s on the surface. In just my first four classes here in the undergraduate program, I have already begun to take into account these types of things in my possible future as a medical provider. Having a background in public health gives you an upper hand when applying to these kinds of programs because not only does it set you apart from all of the science majors, public health shows you have a 360° view when it comes to the health of a patient. Having an undergraduate degree in public health will give me a foundation in preventative health, health promotion, along with critical thinking and clinical reasoning. Not only does this degree prepare me for a future in this career, it is something I personally am passionate about. I genuinely enjoy my time being an undergrad student in this program, especially here at Iowa. There are many other nursing, pre-med, pre-dent, etc. students that are also part of the public health program here which further provides me with that small community feeling. I see it as another way to network and form those meaningful supportive relationships with my peers. I honestly do not think I could have picked a better program for my goals.

Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu

Catch ya next week with a new post!

Jada

Thinking about Iowa?

Hi all! Autumn here! Are you thinking about coming to the University of Iowa, but you’re not sure what to expect when you get to campus? Check out MY top 5 favorite things about the University of Iowa. I’m sure you’ll see something you love!

 

1.  The Sense of Community

The University of Iowa has a unique combination of being a Big-10 school with a small town vibe. Iowa City is a town of about 70,000 people with a quaint downtown area and friendly population. Pair that with a large university of about 25,000 undergraduates (which is still the 3rd smallest in the Big-10) and you’ve got a match made in heaven. The university and the city are melded together so that you really feel at home in Iowa City which creates a nice sense of community. We also have a strong community of students on campus. From cultural groups to religious organization to diverse academic student orgs, you are sure to find where you belong at Iowa.

 

2.  Student Organizations

Speaking of student organizations… let’s talk involvement! We have over 500 student orgs on campus so no matter what you want to be involved in, you will definitely find it. Personally, I am involved in A Cappella, Iowa Students for Refugees and the Undergraduate Public Health Organization. I am also very involved in Dance Marathon. Fun fact —  we actually have the 3rd biggest Dance Marathon in the COUNTRY, and annually raise millions of dollars for pediatric cancer patients at the Stead Family Children’s Hospital across the river. Getting involved on campus is by far the best thing I have done at Iowa, and is something I recommend everyone doing, no matter what school you end up at. It is the best way to make long-lasting friendships, explore campus and even make a difference in your community.

 

3.  The Pentacrest

Now, there is nothing I love better than a nice summer evening stroll on the Pentacrest. The views of the west side of campus are unmatched, and there’s always somewhere to spread out a blanket on the lawn. You may be thinking… what is the Pentacrest? Much like how other campuses have a “quad” (or 4 central buildings), we have the Pentacrest which is made up of 5 buildings! The main one is the Old Capitol Building, the pride and joy of Iowa City. The Pentacrest area is popular for hanging out with friends, lounging in a hammock, or even doing homework (because YES, there is wifi outside!). There is tons of grassy space with trees all around. It is definitely my favorite place to hang out when the weather is nice!

 

4.  The Opportunities

One thing that really drew me into the University of Iowa were the opportunities available to me as a student here. First, we are a huge research school, so if you are wanting to get involved in research, there is plenty going on. Personally, I do research for some PhD students in the department of epidemiology in the College of Public Health. Here, I collect data on developmental markers in children born pre-term. Most of my friends have had experiences in research, so it is something that undergraduates can partake in at our school. Another opportunity I have had is studying abroad. The U of I really encourages all students to gain global perspective by spending time abroad. They offer typical semester long sessions, but they also have lots of summer, spring break or winter break programs for people who can’t fit a semester abroad into their schedule. Additionally, there are plenty of leadership opportunities available at Iowa. From being leaders of student orgs, orientation leaders or student tutors, there are plenty of ways to gain leadership skills on campus.

 

5.  The College of Public Health!

Of course, I have to mention how much I love the College of Public Health. From the friendly professors to the neat study spaces, you really can’t go wrong with this building. I have most of my classes there, so I spend a lot of time there throughout the week. The student commons on the second floor is definitely the most popular hang out place to study or spend time with your classmates. Another highlight is the River Ridge Cafe on the first floor. Here, you can get fresh, hot coffee, snacks or lunch throughout the day. We even get mediterranean food catered in from a local restaurant in Iowa City. Throughout the week, the CPH brings in speakers to talk about work that they have done in public health. There is always something fun going on in our building!

 

I hope I have shed some light on things you didn’t know about the University of Iowa! Of course, there is a lot more to our school than the 5 things I highlighted. These just happen to be my favorite things. I hope some of you choose to make Iowa your home like I have, and then you can experience all of these things for yourself!

 

Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu

Catch ya next week with a new post!

Autumn

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