Students in the health and society major are encouraged to build on their coursework by taking advantage of opportunities tailored to their specific skills, interests, and goals. Individually-assigned faculty advisors aid students in designing their personal paths to discovery.
Interested in learning more about Public Health Schools and Programs?
Attend the "This is Public Health" Virtual Fair on September 18, 2019!
- Meet admissions representatives
- Have your questions answered
- Register and attend for free at CareerEco.com/Events/TIPH
For more information: call 770-980-0088 or email tiph@CareerEco.com
Many of our students undertake internships abroad or in the U.S. with direct relevance to their health and society degree in non-profit organizations, businesses, government, media and international organizations. You can receive credit for the internship, but even non-credit internships offer excellent opportunities for gaining priceless practical experience and networking opportunities.
Intern at the Vermont Department of Health
New England Public Health Training Center (NEPHTC) is sponsoring internships at the Vermont Department of Health and has extended the spring deadline. This opportunity would start immediately and end in late June 2019. Visit the website for more information and to apply or contact Heidi Klein for more information at Heidi.Klein@vermont.gov.
Intern at a National Anti-Hunger Organization
The College of Arts and Sciences has partnered with MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. Intern at either their D.C or L.A. offices during summer 2019 getting involved in campaigns, lobbying on the hill, working with directors and staffers, and gaining hands-on experience as part of the anti-hunger effort in the United States. Learn more about this opportunity on the CAS website and apply by January 30th on Handshake.
Faculty in the health and society program teach in a variety of disciplines and involve undergraduate students in their research and open doors to fresh research opportunities in the field. UVM also devotes an entire office to helping you to get involved in stimulating research projects before you graduate. Learn more about student research opportunities in our program.
Student Opportunity Profiles
Here are some in-depth examples of opportunities Health & Society students have pursued
Student Club- Vermont Student Assembly for Public Health
HSOC student, Madison Shaffer, saw a gap in local public health advocacy on campus and started the VtSAPH (Vermont Student Assembly for Public Health). VtSAPH is a club designed to cultivate a community for those interested in the field of public health to work together on public health and student-related issues within Vermont. Members in the club are provided information on how they can engage with the health of the community in Burlington and the greater Vermont area. There are opportunities to participate in community outreach projects with the goal of fostering sustainable change in these areas. For example, we have partnered with the Community Health Centers of Burlington and are helping with meal preparation for their new Low-Barrier Homeless Shelter. Other opportunities include educational events such as webinars, speakers and documentary screenings, that serve to empower our members with information about the field of public health. For more information, or to sign up to be a club member, contact Madison Shaffer: Madison.Shaffer@uvm.edu
Unite For Sight Fellowship
For one month in the summer of 2017 Madison Shaffer worked as a Global Impact fellow in Ghana, traveling and learning from a local eye clinic. This opportunity was facilitated by Unite For Sight (UFS), a NGO that supports eye clinics worldwide by investing human and financial resources in their social ventures to eliminate patient barriers to eye care.
The fellowship is a hands-on, immersive, and unique global health experience. As a Global Health fellow Madison learned first-hard about best practices in public health, international development, cultural competency, and cross-cultural communication.
UFS provided extensive pre-departure training which included online language, optical anatomy, and cultural competency courses. While in Ghana, fellows participated with and learned from Unite For Sight’s talented local partner doctors. The fellows assisted with patient intake, tested visual acuity, observed surgeries, distributed glasses and medication, and assisted with patient education. Each day the outreach team provided care to 100-300 patients in villages, slums, and refugee camps.
The organization partners with local eye clinics that struggle to reach rural populations. UFS provides year-round health care delivery in Ghana, India, and Honduras. To date, Unite for Sight and its partner local doctors have provided care for nearly 1.8 million patients living in poverty, including more than 80,000 sight-restoring surgeries.
The money raised by UFS goes towards subsidizing the medications and eye glasses for the clinics to distribute. The glasses and eye drops are then sold to patients who require them for a significantly lower price. Friends Eye Center, the clinic Madison worked with, was based in Kumasi. With the help of Unite For Sight the clinic is able to travel to rural areas and have an outpost clinic in Tamale, further north. Shaffer says: “This experience helped me apply things I’ve learned in my HSOC classes at UVM. Anthropology 089, Global Health Development and Diversity, taught me to look closely at NGO’s and to cast a critical gaze on Unite For Sight. My classes have provided me with a diverse tool kit with which to approach and process this experience.”
To apply to Unite For Sight you can visit the website and click on the Volunteer Abroad tab. When you reach that page, pick the program that you want to enroll in and follow the instructions. The application includes short essays, a resume, two letters of recommendation, and a $55 application fee.
Health & Society Student Profiles
Here are a few Health & Society students on why they chose this major and how they are applying it outside of the classroom
Lindsay Aldrich '20
The Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program (EMRAP) is an excellent opportunity available to UVM students looking to get involved in clinical research. EMRAP students begin by taking the course SURG200 - Emergency Medicine Research I to learn about everything that goes on behind the scenes in clinical research including ethical dilemmas, protocols, standards, human rights, and the history of the field. In addition to lectures, students shadow healthcare providers in the UVM Medical Center Emergency Department. Students can then also enroll in SURG 201, where they work on officially obtaining consent from ED patients for clinical research trials being conducted by current UVMMC staff and upper-level EMRAP students. This is a perfect opportunity for students to learn the nuanced skills of patient-interaction and bedside manner. Students in SURG 201 are also given the opportunity to propose their own research study. If approved by the IRB and awarded a grant, selected student projects are then carried out in the advanced course, SURG 220. Students can choose to continue to build their clinical research skills with staff in EMRAP in the SURG295 course if desired. Each course and its opportunities within EMRAP offers valuable exposure to the clinical research field for students, showcasing the interconnected teams at the UVMMC working on promoting and advancing healthcare. It is very clear that the EMRAP staff and professors put so much of their personal time and effort into giving students priceless connections and opportunities, which has made this program one of the most valuable courses I have taken during my time here at UVM.
Julia Carlson '21
Julia Carlson, majoring in Health and Society and Political Science, is part of the graduating class of 2021. In taking a Global Health class her first year at UVM, Carlson developed an interest in health systems and how health disparities can be addressed through policy and intervention. Learning about the new Health and Society program sparked Carlson’s interest in pursuing a graduate degree in public health. The interdisciplinary nature of the Health and Society major as well as its flexibility in allowing for a double major was appealing to her. For Carlson, being able to combine social science of health with political science coursework provides a wonderful foundation for Carlson’s future ambition to work within the public policy field. Starting in Spring 2018, Carlson began working as a research assistant at the UVM Medical Center on the “Vermont Family Based Approach and Obstetrics Study (VFBA/OB).” This study focuses on peripartum women across a range of socio-economic backgrounds. Being a preventive intervention study, it offers a range of wellness activities for mothers and their babies to see how their participation affects their overall health and well-being. Through this experience, Carlson has been able to gain valuable hands-on experience in how public health measures are taken. In addition, she has been able to develop transferable skills such as observational reporting, data entry, and analysis.