Shannon Kesey, a recent graduate of Grand Canyon University’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program, has wanted to be an epidemiologist since she was an undergraduate. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she spent three years with Texas A & M University working in molecular and cellular research.
During her MPH program, she had the opportunity to focus on analyzing rates of antibiotic resistance across the State of Texas during her practicum experience. Data from two prominent hospitals was analyzed to determine if a county in north Texas had lower rates of resistance across a variety of bacterial species.
Shannon extracted the data, compiled charts by hospital and identified trends. Results of this analysis found that the county had lessened resistance of E. coli to commonly prescribed drugs and the further out from that geographic area, the higher the resistance became.
When asked what skills and knowledge she gained from the experience, she said, “This experience has taught me so much. I have greatly strengthened my ability to independently research new topics and methods. As an aspiring epidemiologist I can say that my data analysis skills, though definitely not finished growing, have greatly improved since working on this project!”
Shannon had the opportunity to present her research at the Interprofessional Education and Research Symposium (IPER2) held by Baylor Scott & White Health and the Texas A&M Health Science Center on April 20, 2016, an experience she said was “definitely out of my comfort zone!
“However, I learned to present my research in a clear way and then communicate with people when they asked me questions. I even ended up winning best oral presentation out of 38 people! I would say that overall I learned not to hold myself back.”
Shannon’s advice for MPH students is “always be growing and stretching yourself. The field of public health will never be stagnant, so we cannot be either. Oh, and remember why you entered this program in the first place! In the everyday challenges of each course, it can be easy to forget the future impact we can have as public health professionals.”
Congratulations on your accomplishments, Shannon! Best of luck to you as you pursue your goal of becoming an epidemiologist. You are a great example of the impact GCU MPH graduates are making in the field of public health!
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.