Public Health Program


Amia Nash '15

What are you doing now?

This Fall I started a year­long Fellows Program through the Stanford School of Medicine and Stanford Prevention Research Center, called Stanford Health 4 All. I have an internship with Stanford Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, doing formative research on mental health in Asian American adolescents in the Palo Alto Unified School District.

Why did you decide to major in Public Health Science at SCU?

Initially, I declared a Public Health Science major because I was interested in pre­med and going to medical school. After taking several Public Health courses focused on prevention and intervention programs, policies designed to improve community health, and health disparities, I became passionate about health as a social justice issue.

Where did you do your internship for the PHS major when you were a student?

I did my PHSC internship for the Eating Disorders Resource Center (EDRC) in Los Gatos. How did the internship impact your education, or influence what you did after graduation? The mission of the EDRC is to increase awareness and understanding of eating disorders for the community members and health professionals in the Silicon Valley area. The organization encourages awareness through education and outreach programs in the local community, and by offering weekly support groups for sufferers and families and friends. My internship experience focused on eating disorders has influenced my interest in mental health and the formative research that I am doing now for Stanford Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

What was your favorite PHSC class, and why?

My favorite class was Community Health (PHSC 31) because our class discussions frequently applied a social justice perspective to health. Also, I learned about intersectionality and how it explains health disparities that exist in our society today. Dr. Mackenzie and the course material influenced my passion for community health and preventive medicine.

How did the Public Health program at SCU help prepare you for what you are doing now, or for your future goals?

As a public health major with minors in biology, sociology, and religious studies, I enjoyed exploring and drawing connections between my different academic interests while at Santa Clara. My Jesuit education has emphasized global issues, service to others, and critical thinking, and has challenged me to change my perspective on the topic of health as a social justice issue. The learning experienced in my Public Health major has provoked my interest in research and working in health focused on marginalized populations.

What are your long term goals?

I am interested in furthering my education and earning my Master’s and PhD in Public Health so that I can do research in preventive medicine.

What advice do you have for current public health students at SCU?

My advice to current public health students at SCU would be to pursue internship and volunteering opportunities in community health serving different populations and health issues that interest you. Also, to establish relationship with the Public Health faculty and learn from their mentorship.

phAlumniStory, alumnistory
Valeriote Goldman Symposium: Public Health & Social Justice