UNH graduate student Sophia Japhet of Manchester received the “Rising Star Award” from the NH Public Health Association, which is awarded to a young professional who has demonstrated significant potential in the field of public health.
Japhet recently completed her Master of Public Health (MPH) field study project titled: “City of Manchester Emergency Heat Response Plan,” which included bringing together local agencies to discuss public health preparedness, planning, and response efforts during times of excessive heat. Of the many project outcomes, Japhet helped develop a comprehensive planning and response guide for municipal use that can be replicated in other communities.
Japhet first discovered her passion for public health while earning her bachelor’s degree in health administration. After graduating, she knew that she wanted to further her career in the public health field, but wanted to gain some practical experience first. She spent a year volunteering for AmeriCorps helping vulnerable individuals and families at Families in Transition.
“While at Families in Transition, I had the opportunity to be part of work that directly impacted homeless families in my community,” Japhet said. “Each day I went to work with a sense of purpose, a feeling of pride, and a determination to improve the lives of those living in my community. Because I felt like my work had a significant impact, work never felt like work. Pursuing a career in public health enables me to continue improving the lives of those in my community.”
Japhet chose the Manchester campus due to its convenient location and availability of evening classes, which allows for working professionals to continue their education while also working. Small class sizes allow students to closely engage with professors and other students who are also working professionals.
As she nears the end of her graduate program, Japhet has taken a new position working for the City of Manchester’s Health Department. “Sophia came into the MPH program with a passion for learning about public health,” said MPH Program Director Ann-Marie Matteucci. “It was not a surprise to any of us when she obtained a highly coveted position with the Manchester Health Department while still a student in the program. I look forward to working with her in the future as a public health professional.”
The MPH program prepares graduates for multiple public health career opportunities in a range of fields, including community, environmental and global health, policy development, research, and health care management.
The fall application deadline is rapidly approaching on July 1, 2017. For more information about the Master of Public Health program or to register for the June 7 Graduate School Information Session at UNH’s Manchester campus, visit: www.gradschool.unh.edu/manchester.
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