Stephanie Cook, MPH 2008, DrPH 2013, Sociomedical Sciences
Starting in the fall, I’m going to be a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. I will be working on a population-based survey looking at how the neighborhoods where black youth live make a difference in how they form emotional bonds and develop high-risk behaviors.
I’ve been at the Mailman School for seven years. It’s been an amazing ride. I worked for USAID and I traveled to South Africa, Mozambique, and Tanzania. The School gave me all these great opportunities to explore my research interests here and abroad and think critically about my work in global public health and domestic public health. You are learning new skills, concepts, and ideas, but at the same time, the School challenges you to really think critically about developing yourself as a research scientist—the topics you are interested in and how these topics contribute to solving the major problems in public health. That’s something you don’t get at every institution.
My time here prepared me for very specific post-doc positions. Most students apply to about 20 positions. I applied to four. I wanted a post-doc where I wouldn’t be a project coordinator, but where I would be able to develop my own program of research in order to transition into a faculty position. Out of the four I applied to, I received two. I chose Michigan because there is a team of researchers there who I’ve been working with for the last 10 years. When I was in South Africa, I did a research project with the chair of the department of Health Behavior and Health Education at Michigan. I’ve always wanted to go back and continue my research with him. And now that’s what I’m doing.
My summer plans are very interesting. I get to go to Portugal to present at the LGBT Psychology conference. I have a paper I’m presenting there. Then I’m going to Brazil for a friend’s wedding. In August, I’m attending the American Psychological Association Conference is in Hawaii. After that I’m done with everything and I’m moving to Michigan, but I think I’m going take two weeks and go to India.