Meet Master of Public Health Student Melody Marzjarani. She is a triple threat, serving on the Student Advisory Board, working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, and holding a bachelor's degree in Human Biology from MSU's Lyman Briggs College. For Melody, having a public health background will give her a broader perspective and allow her to provide optimal care to future patients.
July 6, 2020
Why are you pursuing a public health degree?
I am pursuing a public health degree because, as an aspiring physician, I want to provide my future patients with the best possible care, and this involves not only caring for them on an individual basis but having a broader perspective of population health as well.
Why did you choose Michigan State University?
I chose Michigan State University because I fell in love with it's inclusive, diverse environment and with the popular motto "Spartans Will." It's been the place where I've experienced some of my greatest successes and overcame obstacles, both of which I needed to grow as an individual.
Tell us why you serve on the MPH Student Advising Board?
I serve on MSU's Master of Public Health Student Advisory Board (SAB) because I want to be an agent of change within the MPH program. As a student myself entering the MPH program, I found it difficult to adjust to the purely online curriculum at first. It was through connecting with faculty and students that allowed me to thrive as an MPH candidate.
The SAB was created in response to this need to bridge the communication gap between students and establish a student-led organization. This is the main reason why I decided to participate in the SAB because connecting with students is embedded in our vision and mission, and I hope that in being a part of this newly formed organization, I can help promote change and a sense of community within the program.
What do you hope to accomplish through the SAB?
SAB has allowed me to promote a sense of connectedness within the MPH program—this has and will continue to supplement my existing role in being an effective TA as well. In headlining the creation and maintenance of SAB's Instagram page, I have witnessed how powerful connection is, whether it be in person or through social media. We hope that with our platform, the SAB will continue to serve students' needs and allow students the necessary means to connect and share their stories.
What is the topic of your public health Capstone paper?
The topic of my public health Capstone paper is designing an intervention program geared at mitigating the effects of risk factors (specifically, high acculturation and coping styles) on perceived discrimination among African American women.
What professional or educational accomplishment are you most proud?
I am most proud of being a Graduate Teaching Assistant because I'm able to serve as a role model for other students in the program. I'm able to better improve the connection between students and their professors and aid in enhancing the MPH program.
What has been the most influential moment of your practicum experience?
The most influential moment in my practicum had to be the COVID-19 pandemic because as everything went to a standstill, I encountered a lot of obstacles that I could never have predicted. In doing so, I had to learn how to troubleshoot, make adjustments accordingly, etc. I think this was impactful for me because it is representative of what occurs daily in the professional field.
What are your future career plans?
I plan to become a pediatrician after graduation. With my public health background, I feel that this will provide me with another dimension to my current understanding of health and will allow me to provide optimal care to my patients in the future!
What words of wisdom do you want to share with current and prospective MPH students?
In these current unpredictable times, we see the importance of public health in a real-world setting; we are all doing important work! Remember to take advantage of every opportunity within this program as it will help better your understanding of what public health encompasses.
What does being a Michigan State Spartan mean to you?
Being a Spartan means being determined, passionate, and unique in your own way.