CSTE congratulates three interns who are moving on to pursue public health careers this summer, having recently graduated from graduate school. National office staff and members alike will miss Katie and Julia. CSTE would also like to recognize Intern Averston Worthy, MPH who earlier this summer transitioned from his role to new employment. The contributions of Katie, Averston, and Julia have been instrumental to several CSTE projects and events over the past two years. Their hard work and friendliness are well appreciated by colleagues. We wish them the very best in their careers!
Katie Thure, MPH
During my internship, I was provided the unique exposure to the world of applied epidemiology. I was afforded the opportunity to participate in a wide range of areas, including: infectious disease, chronic disease, environmental health and occupational health. While my role varied from administrative assistance to data analysis, I was able to get a bird’s eye view of the work health departments are currently doing. Throughout the past two years, I was forced to think about the bigger picture, such as including occupation and industry as demographics, rather than just risk factors, as well as truly appreciate how states come together for the greater public health (e.g. states with legalized marijuana helping states without legislation).
While I will forever be grateful for the breadth of knowledge, I also found an area I am incredibly passionate about: healthcare-associated infections. Although my role with CSTE will be different, I will still be involved as a CSTE Applied Epidemiology fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Marion Kainer in the Tennessee Department of Health. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the CSTE research analysts; I would not have had the experience I did if it were not for the guidance and friendship you all provided. Although, always incredibly inundated with work, you were there to answer my questions in order to provide better context and more depth.
Julia Certa, MPH
For the past year, I have had the good fortune of serving as an intern at the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists national office in Atlanta, GA. This experience coincided with the second and final year of my MPH program at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Interning at CSTE during this pivotal time allowed me to not only employ the applied epidemiologic skills I was learning in the classroom, but to also view epidemiology through a programmatic perspective.
Contrary to many internships, my position was initially designated to work on one specific project: the 2015 State Reportable Conditions Assessment (SRCA). While working on the SRCA, I collaborated with CSTE Surveillance and Informatics program staff and the IT department to create a web-based data collection tool; communicated with state and local epidemiologists to pilot and launch the SRCA tool; provided technical assistance and helped respondents troubleshoot when necessary; and carried out follow-up. The SRCA provided an excellent opportunity for me to take on a leading role and to serve as a primary point of contact for the state and local epis who were completing the assessment.
In addition to the SRCA, I have worked on miscellaneous projects for CSTE staff in all program areas, allowing for a well-rounded experience. Most recently, I provided program support during the 2016 Annual Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.
Working at the CSTE national office has been an incredibly rewarding experience. To top it off, the entire staff – from the research analysts, to IT, to accounting – has made it a pleasure to work there. I am very grateful for my time at CSTE and hope that other Rollins students (and public health students in general!) are able to take away a similar experience to mine.