Hello! My name is Mikaela Moore (she/her) and I am one of the University Honors College Public Service Internship Award recipients for the summer of 2021. I am a rising senior majoring in Biology with minors in Social Work, French, Music, and Chemistry. I am originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, and in my free time I like to crochet, hike, watch movies, and search for the best ice cream in Pittsburgh (feel free to leave recommendations). Next year will be my “crossover year” with the Graduate School of Public Health, where I will start taking public health courses along with the rest of my undergraduate course work so I can graduate with an MPH in Epidemiology in the spring of 2023.
After graduate school, I would like to pursue some short-term programs such as the PeaceCorps, or fellowships with the CDC. After a few years of hands on field experience with different populations, I would like to work with a non-profit or government agency focusing on the social epidemiology of maternal and child health with a focus on health inequities.
On campus, I am involved with Residence Life, a Biology research lab, and many organizations, including Days For Girls. Days for Girls is an extension of the national non-profit that aims to advocate for and provide sustainable menstruation products to menstruators around the world. Through this organization, my passion for women’s health and health inequities has developed, and I have been able to focus on education and advocacy. I have also been a part of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service sorority, and through them I have had exposure to the Pittsburgh community and health disparities faced by many. My time with both organizations have provided an outlet for me to serve others and advocate for better care.
I wasn’t very aware of public health as a field until the COVID-19 pandemic. With it at the frontline of everything for the past year, I developed an appreciation for the work done by public health officials, and found the perfect intersection of health, service, and advocacy. While gaining exposure to the field, I have learned about different opportunities, including the ability to work closely with communities to improve health outcomes.
This summer, I am interning with the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI). ARCHI is a backbone collaborative organization that works with over 150 partner organizations to tackle important health issues in the Atlanta area. They work in a variety of ways to educate, implement, and engage with partners to align activities. By helping other organizations align their resources, they are able to combine interventions towards a common goal. Through co-designing solutions, transforming systems, and building credibility, they are able to contribute to the shared vision.
Although I will be remote, I’m excited to be able to work closely with ARCHI and their partners to improve health outcomes. I will be able to work on different projects ranging from community discussions focused on policing and health, to the integration of health and housing services.
I chose this internship because I have had minimal public health field exposure, yet I am passionate about health equity and wanted to be exposed to not only one organization, but a variety of partners all working towards a common goal. I also wanted to be exposed to a new geographical area, and Atlanta has a lot of great public health organizations. With ARCHI, I hope to learn more about initiatives in place to improve health outcomes, and better understand the different ways to approach a major problem like health inequity.
I am looking forward to starting my internship, connecting with other professionals, and learning more about social determinants of health in the Atlanta region. Come back in a month to see what I’ve been up to!