Revisiting My Alma Mater: Harvard Chan School of Public Health
In recent years, I’ve enjoyed several opportunities to be engaged with my alma mater, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I have engaged with numerous HCSPH students and faculty when a speaker at its Women in Leadership conference, presenting on cultivating personal power for breakthrough organizational change (shown above), and when a speaker at Harvard Medical School’s international leadership conferences. Without fail, these fascinating conversations open my eyes to bold initiatives and technical developments that were unimaginable during my years as a student at this venerable school.
But one of the activities I find most rewarding is one-on-one mentoring with students—and learning from smart, ambitious mentees embarking on new adventures. Recently I spent one such fulfilling afternoon with a handful of these bright students—talented professionals, dedicated to making the world a better place. Such richly rewarding conversations—a dialogue that left me even more hopeful about the transformative possibilities for public health. Shown below are three of these impressive individuals. (You’ll read of their accomplishments in years-to-come; I’m confident of that.)
The Joys of Mentoring
Dr. Shrey Lakhotia is taking additional classes at mid and Harvard Business School to advance his technological innovations for emergency rooms and ICUs. In his “spare” time,” he is preparing to submit a patent - confident that his innovation holds promise for healthcare institutions worldwide.
“It was a unique experience as I got a chance to meet an accomplished alumna who is humble and has rich and diversified experience in law, public health and business. I consider myself lucky as opportunities like this come rarely.”
Dr. Whitney Lee heads a family foundation for disabled children. With so many opportunities presented to her at HSPH, options for her next adventure range from advanced clinical work to non-profit to joining a start-up that focuses on pediatric medical devices.
“I was searching for a career path that I would be enthusiastic in pursuing, and I met Christine. She gave practical suggestions and, most importantly, took me a step back - building up the mindset of how to find a motivating job and become a successful woman. It was a really encouraging and inspiring talk!”
Anthony Morgan is Fulbright scholar who just finished his tour in global health at the United Nations. Seeking to combine his core capabilities in public health with strong business skills, he is setting off to NYC for an internship in the healthcare practice of a global management company.
“It was wonderful to hear Christine’s concrete advice regarding general leadership, navigating different professional spaces and finding authentic mentors.”
These eager students—all focused to do good—are an inspiration. While they begin new journeys, HCSPH continues its innovative and data-driven research on a number of fronts, including combating malaria and leading the charge on climate change—dedicated and visionary faculty and students advancing worldwide public health for all people and across all boundaries.
Give Back to Your School!
The School is doing work that affects the health of populations around the world. From the Nurses Health Study that has been underway for more than 40 years (and cited in hundreds of published scientific papers) to the International Health Systems Program that is providing public health training and technical assistance in 21 countries—to the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Resolution that addresses public health issues in conflict-torn regions, the School remains one of the key data-driven, innovative public health institutions across the globe. It goes without saying that our world is increasingly interconnected and we are inexorably interdependent; through these (and other) global initiatives and research projects HCSPH connects through humanity.
Your alma mater is making an impact—whether locally, regionally, nationally or globally—and it needs your help. Get involved! Give back to your school! You’ll experience rewards that you could not have imagined.
About Harvard Chan School of Public Health
“Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health traces its roots to public health activism at the beginning of the last century, a time of energetic social reform. From the start, faculty were expected to commit themselves to research as well as teaching. In 1946, no longer affiliated with the medical school, HSPH became an independent, degree-granting body.
Today, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere.
We work together as a community of leading scientists, educators, and students to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives, not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices.”
HCSPH’s website lists these as the school’s goals:
Deliver an evidence-based educational experience to prepare students and postdoctoral trainees, through study, research, and practice, to address public health challenges of the twenty-first century.
Create and sustain a vibrant and inclusive intellectual community with an environment that fosters the acquisition of knowledge and skills about diversity, equity, cultural competence, and advocacy to improve public health locally, nationally, and globally.
Create and advance knowledge and its translation into discoveries that lead to actions that improve health of people and populations.
Engage in service activities that expand the capacity of communities to improve health.
Employ innovative communication strategies that increase public awareness of public health problems and solutions.