Intern Michelle Haberstroh Joins JPHMP Direct


Please help us welcome Michelle Haberstroh to JPHMP Direct. Michelle is a graduate student at University of Illinois Springfield who will be lending a hand with various communications efforts this semester. 

JPHMP Direct: Welcome, Michelle. Tell us about your interest in public health. What experiences influenced your career path?

Michelle Haberstroh: My interest in public health sparked relatively recently. However, I always enjoyed math and analyzing data. I utilized public health as one of my disciplines for my undergraduate capstone course. Throughout my research, my passion for public health developed and increased. I quickly explored my options to advance my education within the public health field. Currently, I am pursuing a master’s degree in public health with a certification in epidemiology and an MA in human services with a concentration in child and family studies. Throughout my coursework, my interest in epidemiology increased and I chose to pursue this graduate certification. I hope to one day work within this career field. 

JPHMP Direct: Tell us about some of the projects you’re working on for JPHMP Direct.

Michelle Haberstroh: I’ll be distilling articles published in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice into infographics, supporting the newsletter, sharing information on social media, and interviewing public health leaders, students, and others. I am very excited to gain new skills and to become familiar with different social media platforms and online tools. For example, I’m already learning how to create Twitter cards using Canva, two resources I seldom utilized previously. Finally, I’m eager to  learn more about the public health careers of the many experts on the JPHMP editorial board and other leaders who may shed light on potential career paths I haven’t yet considered. Overall, I am eager to learn and am excited to work within a professional environment. 

JPHMP Direct: What do you hope to gain from your experience with us that will be helpful toward achieving your career goals?

Michelle Haberstroh: From my experience with JPHMP, I hope to enhance my data-analysis skills through developing infographics and reviewing journal articles, learn how to apply my public health education and skills in a professional work environment, and work with a variety of public health topics to see where my passion rests, and what future career opportunities correlate to it. 

JPHMP Direct: What public health issues do you feel are most urgent and why?

Michelle Haberstroh: Personally, I feel that all public health issues can be deemed urgent, especially by the individuals affected by the problem. However, I believe that air quality and environmental health factors within the home remain urgent to child health outcomes throughout the United States. In addition, the access to affordable health care and ensuring the accountability of practitioners to provide equal health care to patients regardless of insurance status remains an urgent issue within my community. Other urgent issues include pharmacy deserts and the lack of access to fresh produce within the Chicagoland area.

JPHMP Direct: What role does communication play in improving public health?

Michelle Haberstroh: I believe that communication plays a key role in improving public health. Without the ability to communicate detrimental public health issues to lay audiences, communities will continue to remain negatively impacted by the problem at hand. For example, epidemiologists need to be able to communicate their research to the populations affected by the public health issues in order to implement their proposed solutions. They must also effectively communicate when seeking individuals to participate in their research studies. Overall, communication allows public health professionals to advocate for the improvement of different public health issues. 

Michelle Haberstroh, a graduate student at the University of Illinois Springfield, pursuing an MPH with a certification in Epidemiology, and an MA in Human Services with a concentration in Child and Family Services, is excited to begin her internship with JPHMP