Meet Your Peer Advisors
Peer Advising Drop-In Center Schedule
Thursday- 11:00am-2:20pm & 2:30pm-3:00pm
Peer Advising Drop-In Center
221 Arnold House
Welcome to the Peer Advising Center, the home-base to peer advisors who are experienced students dedicated to supporting you and your academic needs. We are here to help you understand the field of public health and the nature of the Public Health Sciences major. While we will not tell you which classes to take or avoid, we will offer insight to help you make the best informed decision about your own academic career.
While there's no need to make an appointment, if you drop in, please bring an updated copy of your tracking form. Being well prepared will help us help you.
Meet Your Peer Advisors!
Hi everyone! My name is Lily Borisov and I am a senior from Auburn, Massachusetts. I chose to be a public health major my freshmen year because I wanted to be in a major that would allow me to make a difference in people’s lives. Pursuing a major in public health would not only help me achieve this goal but it also gave me the flexibility in my schedule to complete my requirements for physician assistant school. Being a public health major allowed me to complete my science classes but it also gave me an understanding towards the social health sciences. Along with my public health degree, I am also double minoring in biology and psychology. Along with being a Peer Advisor I am a member of the UMass Red Cross Club and President of UMass HOSA-Future Health Professionals. My proudest moment at UMass has to be when I helped make HOSA into an RSO at UMass. I am extremely excited to be working as a Peer Advisor this year and can’t wait to meet all of you!
Hello! My name is Declan Carbery and I am a senior public health major. I am on the science track and pursuing a minor in Psychology. I am from Radnor, PA, a town right outside Philadelphia. I originally came to UMass as a sociology major, but chose to switch to public health because it fit my passion for illness prevention and finding solutions. Within the field, my focused interest is in prevention, but specifically disaster prevention and preparedness. This is a relatively new field as a career and I am excited to be able to bring my public health knowledge to the table.
I chose to do a psychology minor in order to better understand the human condition and to round out my interest in public health. I believe the two fields overlap on many topics.
At UMass, I have a job as a bus driver. This is a great job that involves meeting a lot of great people and being part of something as important the UMass’s transportation. It also has taught me a lot about public interaction and how to handle diverse situations that arise on buses.
My best advice for success would be to ask as many questions as possible. Your professors and guest speakers are experts in their fields and have the knowledge that can really add that extra edge to your education.
Hi everyone! My name is Aniko Haber and I am a senior from Cohasset, MA. I can’t say that I found my major easily, but public health did eventually find me. I have always had a passion for sciences, so I chose to enter my freshman year as a pre-med student. However, I realized that understanding the molecular basis behind human health was not my passion. The following semester I enrolled in Public Health 160: My Body, My Health and discovered an organic love for studying health in a broader scale and finding ways to ensure the health and safety of our society as a whole. I visited the Public Health Peer advisors a few times and found that they were so passionate and helpful, which I hope to do now too! I have a passion for someday using public health to make a positive impact in the way others live, which has always been my ultimate goal.
Alongside public health, I am pursing a dual degree with communication (also my collateral field) and a minor in Spanish. These three fields open countless opportunities, and believe it or not, they overlap all the time. Someday I hope to have a career where I can combine these three fields and work with them in an interdisciplinary setting.
Fall semester junior year, I took my favorite class of my college experience thus far, Public Health 324: Epidemiology in Public Health with Dr. Sofija Zagarins. This course on epidemiology sparked a serious interest for me, especially in the field of disease control and Dr. Zagarins was an amazing teacher. Because of this class, I would take any opportunity to get to know the field of epidemiology better.
My best advice for success is to never let stress get the best of you. If you simply work hard and be patient, things always work out. Be honest with yourself and above all, keep things in perspective about your work. Always ask questions and be persistent; no one is going to criticize you for being curious and persistence exemplifies your dedication and drive as student. If you are stressed because you do not know what major to choose or what you are going to, don’t be afraid to talk to people like us for help! As someone who initially bounced around a few majors, I know what the feeling is like and can relate to anyone who feels like they haven’t found their niche quiet yet.
Hi everyone! My name is Emily Hamacher and I’m from Hopkinton, MA. I am a junior on the social science track, planning to graduate in December of 2016. In addition to a major in public health I also am working towards a minor in sociology. My area of interest within the broad field of public health is health care administration. After graduation I plan to go on to earn a master's in healthcare administration.
I entered UMass as undeclared and took Public Health 160: My Body, My Health during my freshman year, which was one of the main reasons I declared public health as my major. This class truly opened my eyes to the vast majority of careers that a major in public health offers. I immediately knew this course of study was a perfect fit because I had always been drawn to the health care field but did not know specifically the direction I wanted to go in. In addition to being a Peer Advisor I also hold two jobs on campus. I work for the Director of Development at the Newman Catholic Center doing community outreach and Phonathon fundraising. I also am a personal care attendant for a student on campus with Cerebral Palsy.
If you’re like me and know your general interest but don’t have a specific focus, my advice to you is to get involved on campus as much as possible and never be afraid to ask tons of questions. Take advantage of what this incredible school has to offer and remember that it is OK if you don’t have it all figured out yet!
Hi everyone! My name is MaryKate McLoughlin, and I’m from North Attleboro, Massachusetts. I am on the social science track and have a second major in management. I look forward to pursuing a career in healthcare management field. I chose to be a public health major because I’m passionate about health, making a difference, and helping others. When I took Public Health 129: Healthcare For All during my freshman year, I was fascinated by the challenges and complexities the current U.S. healthcare system is faced with.
What I love about public health is that it’s such a broad field, so there is something for everyone. No matter which discipline you choose within public health, the mission of our work is the same, to improve the health and well-being of people in the community, the country, and make the world a better place.
In addition to being part of the peer advising team, I’m involved in the Public Health Club, the Club Gymnastics team, and Isenberg Women in Business. I also have experience interning at Boston Children’s Hospital for the past two summers where I held an administrative position within the Cardiology Department.
My advice for success is to always ask questions and most importantly, take initiative in exposing yourself to as many different areas of interest as possible to help assess your likes and dislikes. You never know until you try and you’ll be surprised to find how certain experiences might shape your career path!
Hey there! My name is Amanda Ng and I am a senior from Melrose, MA. When I first started at UMass, I was a pre-med student, but I wasn’t entirely sure what major I wanted to pursue. I am passionate about helping others, but wanted a major where I can be creative as well. It wasn’t until I took Public Health 160 and 129 that I wanted to major in public health. I really like this major because it is broad and interdisciplinary. The nature of the major encourages students to really branch out and find what they are excited about. It is very easy to find something that will interest you in this major.
In an ideal world, I would love to be a pediatrician helping kids in underrepresented countries. This future goal incorporates my desire to travel, but also to provide care and help to children where it may not be readily available.
In addition to being a peer advisor, I am a teaching assistant for Public Health 160, an undergraduate leader for the STEM Ambassador Program, a math tutor, a research assistant for the Cognition and Action Lab, and a volunteer at Arbors Amherst. I volunteer at Boston Children’s Hospital over breaks whenever I can as well. One thing that brings joy to me is volunteering because I love hearing other people’s stories. I feel like the other person and I are happy being in each other’s presence and that is enough.
I know that school can be really stressful and sometimes you just want to hide from all your responsibilities. My best advice for de-stressing is to take five deep breathes whenever you feel overworked to immediately relieve your nerves. You made it this far and there’s nothing that can hold you back. There are multiple paths to success and just because you do not follow the paved road, does not mean you are failing! I also like to take walks and look at the stars when I am stress to put my issues in perspective. Also, keep a planner and really use it!
Hello! My name is Molly Papazian and I am a senior from Harvard, Massachusetts. I started UMass as an undecided student, but I quickly fell in love with public health and declared it as my major. Doing so has given me the opportunity to apply my passion for science and health in a meaningful way so that I can use my degree towards improving lives in the communities of both today and tomorrow.
The undergraduate public health sciences program is great because it introduces students to so many new areas of study. This is particularly useful for students like me who have a strong background in the hard sciences that they wish to expand upon. After taking Ecotoxicology & Public Health and Introduction to Environmental Health Science, I developed an entirely new perspective on the chemistry of disease patterns in populations and this has continued to inspire my career goals.
One of my highlights as a public health student was the semester I spent studying abroad in New Zealand! I not only got to take public health classes from an international point of view, but I also got to experience and witness their public health practices in action. It was definitely a life changing experience and I recommend it to everyone!
Hi everyone! My name is Erica Price and I am a senior from Westborough, Massachusetts. I’m on the social science track with a focus in public health administration/management and communications. After coming into UMass undeclared, I became interested in the field after taking several public health courses such as Introduction to Public Health with Maria Bulzachelli and My Body, My Health with Dan Gerber. I have always been interested in the healthcare field, especially promoting health to others, so I knew a major in public health would be a perfect fit for me.
Public health is a great field because it is so expansive. The major allows for many different opportunities along multiple career paths. I love the major and how its overall goal is to improve the health and well-being of our community.
My best advice for success is to try to get involved as much as possible and to take advantage of the endless opportunities that UMass has to offer. It is so important to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people, while also having fun!
I’m looking forward to meeting you in 221 Arnold House this year!
Hi everyone! My name is Meredith Willis, and I am a senior from Simsbury, Connecticut. I am on the social science track and have a minor in economics with a focus in healthcare management. I chose to be a public health major because I enjoy the health industry and being able to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I am passionate about helping to better the health services for the public. I love being a public health major because of all the opportunities that the field has to offer. It provides a variety of options that all lead to improving the health of the community.
Last semester, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy and completed public health requirements. I had the time of my life and highly recommend going abroad. It helped me develop a variety of skills that I will be able to use in the future. I really grew as an individual from my experiences of being abroad.
In addition to being a Public Health Peer Advisor, I am a part of the Public Health Club, and am excited to start my internship this summer at The Hartford. I will be interning in their Claims Department focusing on Latent Bodily Injuries.
My best advice for success is to get involved on campus and take in all that UMass has to offer. Step out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and try new things. UMass is a great place, so make the most of it!