Hi there! My name is Jasmine Hodges, I’m a rising 2nd year MPH candidate in the Maternal, Child, and Family Health (MCFH) concentration. This summer I am working with UNC’s Zambia Hub as their analysis and dissemination intern. You may ask, what does that mean, haha? Well, right now I’m helping with a systematic review that evaluates literature to help identify risk factors for HIV acquisition during pregnancy and breastfeeding in sub-Saharan Africa.
So far, I’ve enjoyed working on the project because it combines two topics I’m passionate about, HIV prevention and MCH in a global setting. I specifically like that this research is focused on pregnant and breastfeeding women which is a population that is often overlooked. In addition to learning more about this population, I’m learning about the many methods of public health research; and gaining a deeper understanding of different epidemiologic terminology and measurements. The skills I learned in SPHG 712 are really coming in handy 🙂
As this summer continues, I hope this experience gives me some further insight on what I call “the behind-the-scenes work,” producing research that informs solutions. Prior to starting my MPH program, I worked a lot with community engagement and implementing interventions. I discovered that I really enjoyed this, but I wanted to learn more about how those solutions are created and how the ideas all begin; for me the best way to do that was through research. I look forward to this experience showing me more of that side, and in the future hopefully I will be able to culminate my skills to work with the best of both worlds.
Overall, this summer is off to a great start! I think there may be a few challenges since I am working from home. It will be important to take those necessary breaks and have intentional check-ins with my support system. One of my goals this summer is to explore the different coffee shops in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham to get out of the house and work. Wish me luck! 🙂