Meet Your Peer Advisors
Peer Advising Drop-In Center Schedule
Drop-In Hours Fall Semester 2016
Mondays: 10AM-1PM & 4-5PM
Tuesdays: 9:30AM-12:30PM & 1PM-5PM
Thursdays: 8:45-9:45AM & 10AM-4PM
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 Katrina Borofski and I am a senior from Plymouth, Massachusetts. I am on the science track and my interest is in pre-medical studies. Originally coming to UMass undeclared, it wasn’t until my sophomore year that I discovered the Public Health Sciences major when taking Introduction to Environmental Health Sciences. For me, public health provides a perspective on community health and prevention that complements my interest in medicine. While I am on track to graduate in the spring of 2017, I am also on track to graduate with a Master of Science degree in Environmental Health Sciences in spring of 2018. I am passionate about oncology and plan to apply to medical school following graduation.
The public health program here at UMass is wonderful because it provides students with strong academic opportunities across a broad spectrum of health-related topics. Public health is a diverse field, and the faculty offers endless opportunity for students to explore their interests.
In addition to being a member of the peer advising team, I work on campus in the Timme-Laragy laboratory, where we look at pancreatic development following toxin exposures. I am also involved in the Public Health Student Advisory Board, UMass MEDLIFE, serve as a resident assistant, and work clinically at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center during school breaks.
My best advice for success is to utilize all the resources available to you. UMass is full of staff and faculty that want to help you learn and grow, so never be afraid to ask questions or seek out help. I look forward to meeting you in 221 Arnold this year!
Hi everyone! My name is Charlotte Bruce and I am a senior public health major from Boston. I am on the combined track and have a minor in political science with a focus on health policy. I’m also passionate about community health education, sexual health, and health care reform. Coming to UMass Amherst undeclared, I became interested in public health after taking Public Health 160: My Body My Health with Dan Gerber and learning about health promotion and prevention through education. At UMass I am involved in the Public Health Club and Commonwealth Honors College, and studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. I am also currently pursuing my M.P.H through the 4+1 Program.
What I love about public health is how broad and interdisciplinary the field is. I’ve always been interested in health sciences, and this major allows me to pursue that while incorporating my other interests in government, education, anthropology, and more. It can also be applied in a variety of settings both domestically and internationally, allowing me to travel throughout my lifetime while still doing what I love.
My advice for success at UMass is to take initiative! It is a huge school, and so it is really up to you to seek out resources and community on campus. There are so many great clubs, activities, and people that everyone can find their niche here.
My name is Joan Daniel and I am a Graduate Assistant working with Megan Griffin in Public Health Advising. I am a first year Masters in Public Health Student in Community Health Education. My interest lies specifically in Dental Community Health Education and I am hoping to pursue a career in Dentistry after my master's.
I chose UMass for my graduate school career because of its excellent public health program and wonderful faculty. The public health field is a great one to be in! I’m looking forward to completing my Masters in Public Health here at UMass and I look forward to meeting you all!
Hi everyone! My name is Amanda DuBois and I am a junior from Freetown, Massachusetts. I am a Public Health and Biology double major on the pre-medical track. Within public health, I am highly interested in community health education. Public Health was a major that I just so happened to stumble upon during the spring semester of my freshman year. I came into UMass Amherst as a biology major on the pre-med track and was pretty convinced that this was a route I had to take if I wanted to one day attend medical school. That was, however, until a friend of mine was interested in joining the Public Health major, and had to attend “some sort of mandatory information session.” She didn’t want to go alone, so I offered to go with her and I am so glad I did! Public Health is a major that is focused on bettering the lives and health of people on a global scale, making it a major that can absolutely help me reach my career goal. It was at the information session that I discovered this major and learned that it really combined all of the things I am most passionate about. I’ve always known that I want to help others, especially children. This lead me to the decision that I wanted to some day become a pediatrician.
While the molecular basis of human health still interested me, I found that I really wanted dive into learning about health on a greater scale. So, if I had one piece of advice it would be to take the time to explore different events like the major/career fairs and different clubs on campus. You never know when you’ll happen upon the perfect major/career path for you! Plus, you’ll meet some pretty great people along the way. Outside of peer advising I am member of the undergraduate research team for the Pediatric Physical Activity Lab, participate in UMass Alternative Spring Break and work as a CNA at the Arbors. I look forward to meeting you!
Hi everyone! My name is Emily Hamacher and I'm a senior from Hopkinton, MA. I am on the social science track and am pursuing an undergraduate certificate in Public Policy and Administration. My interest within the broad field of public health is healthcare administration and I am looking to pursue a career in the business area of the profession. I initially came to UMass Amherst undeclared but knew I wanted to study something in the health sciences field. I declared Public Health after taking Public Health 160: My Body, My Health and Public Health 129: Healthcare for All. Since declaring the major, my interest have shifted slightly but I am so fascinated by the challenges and complexities the current U.S. healthcare system is faced with that I have settled on healthcare management because I enjoy the healthcare industry and being able to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
In addition to being a Peer Advisor I also hold a job on campus at the Newman Center working in the development department where I've been for the past three years. Additionally, I've had experience outside of UMass working one-on-one with individuals with varying disabilities as well as working in wuality assurance for a large biotechnology company.
My advice for all students is to get involved in something you care about but to not be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. I wouldn't have found my passion if I hadn't tried something that was new to me. 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!
Hello! My name is Abby Lilak and I am a junior from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I am on the science track and my area of focus is in biomedicine.
I originally came into UMass Amherst as a Microbiology major, but I quickly realized that the major wasn't the right choice for me. I wanted to continue to extend my knowledge in science but wanted to also focus more on incorporating social and political aspects into my learning as well. I looked around campus to see if there was a major that incorporated all of my interests and that is how I found the Public Health major. I used my focus area within the major as a way of incorporating my fascination of biology with the real like aspects of public health. I am grateful that I was able to truly make the major my own.
Besides being an Peer Advisor, I am in the Public Health Club, iCons, and the Chancellor's Undergraduate Advisory Council. My best advice for success is to get to know your professors on a personal level. I have had difficulties in some classes and went to the professors for help and they were more than willing to help me. Professors know that asking for help isn't always easy and will do all that they can to try and help you succeed.
I look forward to meeting you all throughout the year!
Hi everyone! My name is Sabrina Marzouki and I am a junior Public Health major. I am on the combined track with a focus in epidemiology and surveillance of infectious diseases. I am from Boston, MA and I came to UMass Amherst as a transfer student majoring in Nursing my freshmen year. I decided to switch into the Public Health major after I attended the New Student Orientation in January and I sat in on an informational session about the School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS). I instantly fell in love with all of the different aspects of public health and how this field can be so important to the health of our society. I truly believe the development of public health around the world is necessary for our everyday lives; without the initiatives of public health there would be no improvements or advancements of health in our communities.
I absolutely love the SPHHS because of all the opportunities it has given me since I have been at UMass. My sophomore year I was able to study abroad in Manipal, India for four and half months. I went on a global/public health leadership program while studying abroad in India, allowing me to work at different hospitals, community health centers and take graduate level courses all related to public health and my focus area. With studying abroad being so expensive, I was able to receive nine different scholarships allowing me to pay all of the costs of being abroad with scholarship money instead of paying out of my pocket. One of the scholarships I received was the Gilman Scholarship which is a federal scholarship given each year to a selected amount of students each year across the country. It is a very competitive scholarship but with the help of my professors, advisors and mentors here at UMass I was able to receive it. Studying abroad last semester in India was honestly the highlight of my life because I truly found myself along with the importance of healthcare for all while abroad. My best advice for success would be to really get yourself involved in the SPHHS, getting to know your professors on a first name basis is one of the greatest aspects about being part of the SPHHS. The professors that we have in our department are really trying to help in anyway they can for their students. Professors are always available to have conversations with, learn different skills from or be a mentor.
Hi everyone! My name is Kenzie McCarron and I am a junior from Lakeville, Massachusetts. I have a focus in health policy and management, and am also working towards a minor in Sociology. I came to UMass Amherst as an undeclared transfer student with little idea of what I wanted to study. After taking Public Health 129: Healthcare for All, I discovered my passion for public health. Through this course and others that I have taken thus far, I have learned about the health inequalities that exist in our society. I hope to make a difference one day by ensuring that the healthcare systems and facilities in this country are equal and promote better health for everyone.
I love being a Public Health major because the major is so flexible that it allows me to focus my studies in areas that I am particularly interested in. The opportunities are essentially endless, which excites me as I learn more and more about this field along the way. In addition, the need for public health professionals is constantly growing, so I like the idea of being in a field that is progressing and expanding.
The guidance and friendliness that the peer advisors showed me as a transfer student and throughout the rest of my experience here is why I decided to become a peer advisor. I was very timid when I came to this university, but the sense of support within this major helped me feel more comfortable. With that being said, the best advice for success that I can give to students is to believe in your capabilities and strengths. While this may sound cliché, I believe that it is important to be confident in yourself when interacting with professors and peers. Voice your ideas when doing group work, ask questions in class, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to new people. I look forward to meeting you in Arnold House 221!
Hello everyone! My name is Joseph Owuor and I’m from Everett, MA. I am a senior Public Health major with a focus area in science and education. My area of interest within the broad field of public health is global community health. After graduation I plan to pursue a master's in community health and education.
I entered UMass Amherst as a biology major and took Public Health 160: My Body, My Health during my sophomore year, which was one of the main reasons I declared Public Health as my major. The course introduced me to the interdisciplinary field of public heath and all the avenues the field provides in educating and promoting healthy lifestyles in communities. Growing up, I knew that I always wanted to help people somehow, and public health has allowed me to use my passion into helping others. In the past year I’ve had the opportunity to use my public heath knowledge and skills learned at UMass to help educate and promote the well being of citizens within the community both nationally, in Washington, DC, and internationally, in India.
In addition to being a Peer Advisor I also work at a public health center in core competency training for community health workers, and I am also the Vice President of the Public Health Student Advisory Board.
One piece of advice I have for students is to get to know your professors. The SPHHS has a lot of amazing faculty that are committed to helping students grow and succeed. Most of the faculty share the same common interests students have such as environmental health, epidemiology, community health, and health policy. Whatever your area of interest may be, there’s a good chance faculty in the department also share the same interests and have opportunities for students to get involved.
Hey friends! My name is Regina Scott and I'm currently a senior Public Health major. I'm originally from a small town in Western Mass called Monson but now I live on campus. I came to UMass Amherst as a declared Public Health major, so this major has been my life since the start of my college career. I chose it because I find the medical field extremely interesting, but I wanted to incorporate a more human, holistic aspect to it-which public health allows me to do. I really want to study infectious disease control and interventions, specifically in areas of low socioeconomic status. I'm particularly interested in malaria control and prevention as well as other diseases with insects as vectors.
Outside of peer advising, I'm very involved on campus. I train and foster a service dog so you will often find me with my Labradoodle, Forrest, out walking around campus. You may also see him in the office with me during my peer advising hours! I also work as an RA, am President of the Public Health Student Advisory Board, and work as a head intern for the Henry Gets Moving program at UMass, which raises awareness about childhood obesity in local elementary schools. Ask me for how you can get involved with any of these opportunities!
My greatest advice for success is to try to ALWAYS SAY YES to new opportunities. Even if an opportunity doesn't jump out and excite you right away, think about what you can gain by saying yes. If you think that you're not good enough for something and think you shouldn't bother applying, say yes instead. After all, what do you really have to lose by being rejected? By opening yourself up to new opportunities you wouldn't usually say yes to, you end up learning more about the world around you and about yourself as well. I'm so excited to work be working as one of your Peer Advisors, come stop in and see us!
Hello! My name is Erik Wills and I am a junior from the small town of Uxbridge, Massachusetts. Currently I'm on the social science track with a focus in economics. I seemed to stumble upon the Public Health major mid-freshman year by enrolling in Public Health 129: Healthcare For All out of pure curiosity. After taking that course I’ve never looked back and fell headfirst into the major. Specifically, my academic interests lie in analyzing health insurance policies, learning about health literacy and the relation of economic status when it comes to healthcare access. What I really love is that the Public Health major won’t ever restrict or hold you back, but instead will launch you forward into a lifelong journey of helping others.
Outside of peer advising I'm on the Student Wellness Advisory Board (aka SWAB!) and enjoy working as a team with fellow students to discuss how UMass Amherst can be continuously improving health and wellness on campus. I also enjoy snowboarding during the winter months, skateboarding during the summer months and going to the rec center in my spare time. My advice for students, new and current, would be to always try and get involved early on! It never hurts to volunteer or try out something new because you never know what bigger opportunities will be revealed later on.