American Public Health Association Annual Meeting
On the weekend of Nov 15, 2014, a plethora of Wildcats, including myself, packed our bags, boarded our planes and set off to New Orleans, La. for the 142nd American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting. The annual meeting of APHA brings together more than 10,000 public health professionals from around the globe to share their latest research, meet new people, advocate for public health issues and get reenergized (and I was one of them!)
This year’s theme was “Healthography: how where you live affects your health”. I have good news for you Wildcats, UNH is trailblazing the path to create a healthier campus for you to live! At the opening session of the the conference, the Partnership for a Healthier America announced its Healthier Campus Initiative, which is a three-year commitment to make it’s campus a healthier place, and UNH is one of the first of 19 campuses around the country to sign on the initiative!
The annual meeting was an amazing experience for me to attend as an undergrad! I was immensely lucky to have an oral presentation session there for research that I have completed at UNH! My research is called “Comparative Analyses of Flu Prevention at New England State Universities: Recommendations for Change”in which I compared the main campuses of the six New England state universities (including UNH!) and how they prevent, contain, and treat the seasonal flu.
I was not the lone Wildcat making the treck from Durham to New Orleans; I was joined by many of my professors in Health Management and Policy, and also many of my co-workers at UNH’s Institute on Disability.
My favorite part of the conference (aside from my presentation!) was a general session that took place on Monday Nov, 17. The session was called “The Doctors are in: Five Former Surgeon Generals” and as you may have guessed, had five of the former surgeon generals of the United States, including the current acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak. Each surgeon general spoke and they were each amazing to listen to- it was like a history of public health class in less than an hour.
A UNH Wildcat Explores New Orleans
I did get time to explore the city of New Orleans as well as attend the conference. I explored around my hotel in the central business district, the French Quater, Canal and Burbon Street, the Mississippi River, and some art galleries! Overall the trip was absolutely amazing. I had the opportunity to meet so many professionals in my field and gain contacts with people around the country. I got to learn about what I’m most passionate about, and also got to travel to an amazing city to which I had never been.
I highly encourage everyone at UNH reach out to their professors and see what opportunities are available to them! Ask to tag along to meetings or conferences, do undergraduate research! It may have been a stressful process to get my research, presentation, and travel ready in time to go, but for the experience I had while I was there, I would do it a thousand times over.
Imagine, go, do Wildcats!