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Featured Master’s Student


 

Zeruiah Buchanan crouched on a hillside abovle the oceanZeruiah Viola Buchanan

Community Health Education;
Minors in Epidemiology and Statistics

Hometown

Cordova, TN and Uniondale, NY

Previous Education

  • Bachelor’s of Arts, Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Bachelor’s of Arts, Africana Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Accomplishments Since Joining the Program

  • Diversity and Equity Committee Member
  • Philanthropy Chair, Public Health Graduate Student Association
  • Teaching Assistant with Dr. Kristina Kintziger for Biostatistics and Epidemiology
  • Research Assistant in Dr. Samantha Ehrlich’s Lab
  • Research Assistant for Dr. Laurie Meschke

Current Occupation

  • Program Counselor, Peninsula Behavioral Health HospitalZeruiah Buchanan selfie with CRC sign

Personal Interests

  • Volunteer mentor with Girl Talk, Inc.
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Photography
  • Writing poetry
  • Traveling

Future or Vocational Goals

I will pursue my PhD in Epidemiology and NP license, with the intent of practicing as a Psychiatric Epidemiologist and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I plan to perform all of my jobs throughout life with social justice as an underlying priority and make sure the work I do continually combats and dismantles institutionalized oppression.

Zeruiah Buchanan at the beachWhat would you tell an incoming student who joins this program?

Graduate school is fun and challenging but the most important thing is to make sure you are not intimidated by the challenge but rather motivated by it. You were admitted into this program because you are intelligent and unique, which means we have just as much to learn from you as you have to learn from us. As you go through this program it is important to share your experiences while being open-minded in order to respect and learn from the experiences and knowledge your peers and professors share. Our program provides a brave space to converse, so remember no matter what your point of view, you’re here to grow.

What do you think has been the most rewarding part of this program?

Being mentored by multiple faculty members is one of the best parts of this program. The amount of support and love I have received from the people in this program is heart-warming. It will be bitter-sweet saying goodbye in May!

Time management is the most challenging part because there are academics, working with professors, volunteering, social life, “ME TIME”, work, etc. which is challenging to juggle, but possible nonetheless.Zeruiah Buchanan poses in front of water fixture at UT Gardens

Vita/Resume

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Tim Chamberlain takes a selfie with the city of Zurich in the background.

Tim Chamberlain

DVM/MPH (Veterinary Public Health)

Hometown

Lodi, CA

Previous Education

BS in Biology from Nova Southeastern University (Davie, FL)

Accomplishments Since Joining the Program

  • Gross Anatomy Lab Technician & Teaching Assistant: September 2016 to Present
  • Radiology Club Wet Lab Coordinator: May 2017 to Present
  • Vice President for the Class of 2020: September 2016 to May 2017

Current Occupation

  • Chief Warrant Officer – US Army Special Operations Command – Africa: 2014 to Present
  • Gross Anatomy Lab Technician & Teaching Assistant: September 2016 to Present

Timothy Chamberlain stands in front of large fountain while dressed in army uniform.Personal Interests

  • My pets (2 Standard Poodles & 2 cats – 1 tuxedo and 1 Himalayan)
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Traveling
  • Drawing
  • Foreign Languages
  • Scuba Diving
  • Military Mentor
  • Photography
  • Visiting with Friends

Future or Vocational Goals

After graduation from veterinary school, I plan on staying in the Army as a Reserve Veterinarian, while also pursuing additional experience with small animals, domestic exotics, zoo populations, wildlife, and radiology. I hope to help under-developed countries with their veterinary needs and further expand the field of exotics, zoo, and wildlife diagnostic imaging.

What sold you on this program?

I chose this program after hearing feedback from other MPH students and speaking with veterinarians on the opportunities that are typically available to dual DVM/MPH degree holders. This program allows me to complete the MPH concurrently with my DVM with the support of very understanding faculty and staff. Although the additional courses are mostly at my own pace, I will have all requirements for the degree completed within two years from enrolling in the program.DVM/MPH student Tim Chamberlain operates on a small animal.

What do you think has been the most rewarding part of this program?

The most rewarding aspect of this program is the exposure to public health as a veterinary student and the interaction I can have with human health professionals as we discuss One Health concerns. Our conversations are very fluid and although I know I benefit from their input, it also seems to be useful for the human health students to have input from the veterinary field. This collaboration is imperative to ensuring we all are considering secondary and tertiary effects that cross local and national boundaries, but also those that cross over into varied species.

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Emma BarnesEmma Barnes sitting on a stone wall.

Health Policy and Management

Hometown

Richmond, KY

Previous Education

B.A. in Communication from Denison University (Granville, OH)

Awards Since Joining the Program

Travel Award for presentation at the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) Research Day, March 2017

Accomplishments Since Joining the Program

  • President, Public Health Graduate Student Association
  • Department Representative, Graduate Student Senate
  • Presenter at Department Research Day, February 2017
  • Poster presenter at CEHHS Research Day, March 2017
  • Department Representative for Interprofessional Education (IPE) Team, Fall 2016
  • Member of the DPH Equity and Diversity Committee

Current Occupation

  • Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Laurie L. Meschke
  • Student Researcher, COMPASS Grant Project, UT-Chattanooga

Personal Interests

Since moving to Knoxville in August of 2016, I love exploring the ins and outs of the city – it’s such a vibrant place that’s always buzzing with things to do! One of my favorite things is going to the Farmer’s Market; I enjoy walking around downtown (and petting all the dogs) and finding all the good food spots. In my leisure time, I love reading and watching House of Cards. I’m also a huge traveler – having friends all over the country gives me an excuse to get away

Future or Vocational Goals

After graduation, I’d ideally like to work for the federal government (NIH, CDC, HHS) in health communications, epidemiology, or strategic planning. My more immediate goals include working for an academic medical center, such as UT or Vanderbilt, or a state health department in a project management or strategic planning role. Any experience is good experience, so I’m open to all options!

What sold you on this program?

I initially became interested in healthcare after several internships during undergrad. However, as graduation approached I wasn’t quite sure how to merge that passion with the communication degree I was acquiring. Public health is an incredibly holistic field that combines several disciplines and acts on those different perspectives to help create social justice and health equity. I knew I had found my home with the MPH program at UTK when these values and goals aligned with my own.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program?

As Amelia Earhart once said, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” This work is so important to improving the lives of so many – no matter the scale, just get out there and do it.

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Pragya Gautam PoudelPragya Gautam Poudel

Community Health Education with minor in Statistics

Hometown

Pokhara, Nepal

Previous Education

  • Master of Science (MSc) in Human Anatomy (Medical): April, 2012-  May, 2014
    Kathmandu University, Nepal
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Biology: August 2007- December, 2011
    Kathmandu University, Nepal

Accomplishments Since Joining the Program

Provided administrative support to conduct graduate seminar (PUBH 509) under the guidance of Dr. Paul Campbell Erwin and Dr. Kathleen C. Brown – August, 2015- May, 2016

Teaching Assistant- Biostatistics (under Dr. Samantha F. Ehrlich)- Summer 2016

Current Occupation

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) in the Department of Public Health, UTK.

Personal interests

I love to keep music loud and dance whenever I get off work or have free time. I enjoy traveling to new places, learning new languages, and cultures. I live in Knoxville with my loving, supporting, and caring husband. Every weekend I find some time to talk to my parents who are living in Nepal. Since I am an older child to my parents, I often play a key role when it comes to family decision making. Apart from this, I am a connoisseur of good food and love to visit different restaurants. I am a big fan of Thai food.

Future or Vocational Goals

I have always dreamed of helping mothers and babies! I want to provide better health care to mothers and babies who are suffering due to disasters, especially in developing nations. In the future, I would like to implement my knowledge of public health practically and turn my dream into reality.

What sold you on this department?

I was born and brought up in Nepal where I witnessed women suffering from several health issues and children dying at an early age from several treatable illnesses. Poverty, illiteracy, and natural disasters occurring every year are some of the common causes of people suffering there. This motivated me to go to the field of public health.

When my husband started his PhD at UTK, I got an opportunity to come to the United States. I came to Knoxville on May, 2014 and I couldn’t stop myself falling in love with this beautiful place. I wanted to continue my studies, but I had no idea where to start since the culture and place was new to me. Memories are still fresh! The first Google search I made was “Public Health, University of Tennessee, Knoxville”. I was passionate to continue my study in the field of Public Health with the goal to serve people. With this passion and enthusiasm, I applied to the Department of Public Health, UTK.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the department?

After joining the Department of Public Health, UTK, I have learned public health in more detail. Every class I took at UTK has broadened my horizon in the field of public health. The department ambience is so comforting and ‘the Professors’ are so friendly and helpful which is contrasting to what I experienced previously. If you become lost in your courses, talk to the professors. Trust me, they will listen to your problem and guide you in a very commendable way. I have done this several times and it has WORKED!

Public health is very broad and is expanding everyday in response to the needs of communities and population around the world. The spread of disease is not simply related to biology, but it is largely related to social, economical, and political conditions. No one should die of a disease that can be treated. Every individual living in the community deserves to live a healthy life. We, public health people, live with the responsibilities to take actions and build a healthy community. Together, we can bring positive changes around the world.

Vita/Resume

Click here


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Max Taylor Max Taylor, HPM student

Health Policy and Management

Hometown

Westmoreland, TN

Previous Education

Bachelor of Arts in both Spanish & Anthropology

Current Occupation

Administrative Coordinator, UT College of Nursing

Personal interests:

I serve as program manager at the Vine School Health Center, UT’s school-based, nurse-managed pediatric clinic. I regularly volunteer at many Knoxville News Sentinel events such as the Southern Appalachia regional spelling bee and Free Flu Shot Saturday. My hobbies include weightlifting, meditation, reading, cooking, and traveling with my wife Nicole.

Future or Vocational Goals:

After graduation I hope to work in emergency preparedness, disaster response, or program evaluation.

What sold you on this program?

I was initially interested in Public Health as a result of my work with the Vine School Health Center. As a UT employee, the fact that so many classes were offered in the evening was very attractive as well. I also had several wonderful discussions about the program with Dr. Charles Hamilton and program alumna Stephanie Welch that convinced me the program was right for me.

What would you tell an incoming student who joins the program?

As Professor Emeritus Charles Hamilton told me, an MPH is like an MBA with a heart. You need to believe, deep down, that everyone deserves the chance to live a healthy life and the opportunity to make healthy choices, and you need to believe that YOU can do something positive to help.


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img_toddfrench (2)

M. Todd French, DVM, MAJ, VC

Veterinary Public Health

Todd French is an MPH student in the veterinary public health concentration. He is also an active duty veterinarian and major in the US Army Veterinary Corps. His path to the University of Tennessee was long, winding, and unconventional. After a few years at a neighboring SEC institution in Georgia, Todd enlisted in the army as a veterinary assistant. Five years later, he relied on the army’s gracious offer to finance his education in order to earn a BS in animal science (2004) and a doctorate in veterinary medicine (2008) from North Carolina State University. That signaled a return to Raleigh, Todd’s city of birth, and enrollment in an institution from which his parents received five degrees.

Upon graduation from veterinary school, Todd entered the US Army Public Health Command. This afforded him opportunities as a clinical veterinary intern at the Department of Defense Military Working Dog Center in Texas, a stint as the base veterinarian for the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, and a job as chief of the Fort Campbell Veterinary Branch in Kentucky. Along with Major Kari Olson and Major John Crawford, Todd is focusing his MPH efforts on the human-animal bond and particularly how animal assistance programs can be built and promoted for wounded soldiers and veterans within the military. He currently assists with the Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT) program in the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. HABIT is graciously allowing him to spend the spring semester there as an intern. Among other things, this means that he occasionally gets to kiss French bulldogs.

Todd’s wife, Kristina, should be given credit for a lot of his success. The couple currently has no free time since the arrival of their son, Elliot, in April 2015. When they do have free time, they like falling asleep to Parks and Recreation reruns.


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Jennifer Grahamimg_jennifergraham

Community Health Education

Jennifer Graham is a current student in the MPH program concentrating in community health education (CHE) and pursuing a minor in epidemiology. She is also pursuing a certificate in grant writing and proposal development through the Office of Research. Her interests are varied and include health communications, health promotion, emergency management and preparedness, and infectious disease control and prevention.

Jennifer is currently a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) in the Department of Public Health. As part of her GTA responsibilities, she is the editor for the MPH Memos and is the MPH alumni survey director. Additionally, she has collaborated with faculty members on grant proposals and a manuscript on data synthesis. For the last year, she has served as volunteer coordinator on the Healthy Transitions project, a volunteer group dedicated to helping refugees from Burundi adjust to living in Knoxville. She had the opportunity to attend the Tennessee Public Health Association’s Annual Education Conference in September 2012.

Jennifer enjoys spending her free time reading science fiction, eating international cuisine with friends, trying new recipes, and traveling as much as possible.

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