Activists. Researchers. Clinicians. Policymakers. Leaders. You’ll find them all — and more — at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I’ve always been interested in health on a global level, and I’m invested in helping other people understand how to take care of themselves. I want people to have agency over their own lives, to feel empowered to do these things beyond the walls of my practice.”
Amanda Fitterer MPH Registered Dietitian (MPH/RD)
Read on to meet just a few of our talented students and learn more about their experiences, achievements and goals.
Askia Dunnon, MD
Leading Systemic Change in Clinical Settings
Askia Dunnon, a trained physician, often considers the systems that shape his patients’ health. He knows his clinical training is just a piece of the puzzle — and that an MPH will give him the leadership skills and interdisciplinary perspective he needs to provide comprehensive care.
As an athletic trainer for a primary care sports medicine practice, Amanda Fitterer supports patients of all ages. Her work has opened her eyes to the many variables of nutrition that can prevent illness and promote health, inspiring her to enroll in our online MPH/RD program.
After studying neurology, physiology and social work as an undergraduate, Meena Gopal participated in several public health outreach initiatives. She decided to earn an MPH when she realized the need for systems-level change, including stronger policies and more effective implementation practices.
Anna Feld is a pediatric dietitian who works closely with physicians, social workers and other interdisciplinary professionals on a daily basis. An MPH will hone her skills in nutrition communications, broadening her impact within and beyond clinical settings.
As a rheumatology specialty pharmacist with the Indian Health Service and a Commissioned Corps officer with the U.S. Public Health Service, Jeannie Hong serves some of the most vulnerable communities in the country. An MPH will help her build a powerful skill set and explore disciplines like epidemiology.
Victoria Oropello, the director of forensic science for a Raleigh-based detention center, has almost 20 years of experience in the mental health field. An MPH will give her the advocacy skills she needs to make a difference for patients and clinicians at national and global levels.
Improving Public Health in Marginalized Communities
Through academic study and hands-on service, Courtney Peragallo started laying the groundwork for her public health career as an undergraduate student. She knew an MPH would prepare her to solve systems-level challenges, such as the serious health disparities faced by migrant farmworkers.
Earning an MPH gave Laura Dugom the confidence and skills she needed to pursue a leadership role with FHI Clinical, a nonprofit human development organization. With the online program, Dugom was able to align her education with her professional goals and meet other passionate practitioners, all without relocating.
Makala Carrington, a graduate research assistance at the Gillings School, has dedicated her career to increasing equity and access — not just for the populations she serves but within the public health profession, too. Earning an MPH will help her parlay her natural leadership skills into lifelong action and change.
Improving Health Equity for Underserved Populations
Grace Lee had every intention of pursuing medical school after earning an undergraduate degree. After spending time on a hospital floor working as a research assistant, she realized just how many variables contribute to the health of individuals and entire communities. She was eager to make a bigger impact through a career in public health.
Throughout her 13 years as a dental hygienist, Jenna Nazario always had bigger plans to help her community. During her MPH@UNC practicum, she fought for an internship with the Rockland County Human Rights Commission, which turned into a permanent role and a new career path.