Tiger Tales: Christopher Discolo '15
WIMS Away Shadower at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Seattle & King County Public Health Department
I had the opportunity to shadow both Annie Phare and Lawrie Robertson in their public health professions. Annie works as the project manager for the Target Zero campaign in King County, which seeks to reduce the number of traffic related injuries and fatalities in Washington State to zero by 2030. I also learned about the challenges of Annie’s job such as creating policy that affects the largest populations and working within resource constraints.
The most distinct aspect of the work environment at Public Health- Seattle and King County was the interdisciplinary nature of all the work done in the offices. There were doctors, biostatisticians, financial analysts, epidemiologists, civil engineers, police officers and social workers all working together to eliminate traffic related injuries and deaths. The multitude of organizations, ranging from Harborview Medical Center to Washington State Liquor Board, working in Target Zero was impressive and testifies to the interdisciplinary nature of the job as well. Before shadowing in a public health office, I was under the impression that government work would not possess such a direct relationship with people and their community, that somehow there was a disconnect between the government and the people they serve. The assumption proved to be inaccurate as I experienced the passion that each public health official had to better society.
For our job shadow experience with Dean Lawrie Robertson, Ben and I were able to meet with a wide variety of faculty in the School of Public Health at University of Washington, such as professors in the departments of Global Health, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Health Services, and Pharmacy. I was also able to meet with the director of the Institute of Public Health Genetics at University of Washington. Every professor we talked with was happy to share their experiences and research. Many professors also gave us strategies to become the best applicant for their respective departments. I am now very interested in becoming a faculty member at the School of Public Health because of the constant connection to cutting edge research in all fields and the collaborate nature of the work.
I learned about the seemingly infinite opportunities in fellowships and post-baccalaureate programs in the government agencies in public health, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, at the schools of public health around the country, and the international programs in public health, such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. I will definitely take a year or two off before applying to professional or graduate school in order to pursue these excellent opportunities.
- Christopher Discolo '15
Public Health, Seattle & King County
Annie Phare '05, Program Manager
University of Washington, School of Public Health
Lawrie Robertson '69, Assistant Dean for Administration
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