MPH Students Selected for Inaugural TSAHP Student Leadership Program
In late fall 2020, first year Master of Public Health (MPH) students Adren Warling and Pooja Tewari were selected to participate in the Texas Society of Allied Health Professions (TSAHP)’s inaugural Student Leadership Program, hosted by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.
Warling and Tewari were among 11 students selected from across the state of Texas to participate in the six-month leadership program, commencing this February and concluding in September with a professional leadership conference in Edinburg, Texas. The inaugural cohort is diverse, with representation from across health fields including clinical laboratory science, clinical nutrition, healthcare administration, genetic counseling, nutrition, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, pharmacy, radiologic sciences, and speech-language pathology.
Tewari was initially drawn to the public health field through her experiences in an interdisciplinary public health undergraduate program. As a double major in biology and health and society, she was only able to take a few classes focused specifically on public health, but quickly found a passion for the field. Determined to further her knowledge about social determinants of health in order to better serve local communities, she decided to apply to the UTEP MPH program and now works under the direction of Dr. Thenral Mangadu as a graduate research assistant for the Minority Aids Research Center, managing social media strategies for the Coordinated Community Response program.
Tewari believes her prior experiences with research and classwork in public health contributed to her selection into the TSAPH Leadership Program. She hopes that her diverse background will enrich the conversation with other participants, through which they will debate strategies for becoming better public health leaders. She expects the experience will benefit her journey through the MPH program and a future DrPH or PhD degree into her professional career in global health—ideally in a position with the World Health Organization.
“As an MPH student, the tools will help me to better navigate and lead my own thesis project, as well as help make it more applicable and relevant to the local community,” she said. “Additionally, working and networking with others in public health is essential, so having these skills will be critical in allowing me to become a better leader in this field.”
With an equally diverse background, Warling’s introduction to public health came through ongoing research and undergraduate classwork focused on the top of intimate partner violence, a phenomenon considered a public health issue. He believes his experience in presenting his own funded research at both a national and international conference contributed to his selection into the TSAPH program, along with his prior professional positions as an administrative assistant at UTEP and an intern in Congresswoman Veronica Escobar’s office.
Warling, whose professional aspirations include a position at the United Nations and, eventually, a career in academia, said that he expects he will benefit in both the immediate and long term through his experiences in the TSAPH program.
“Looking towards a future in health policy, this program will help me advance in the field, from a leadership standpoint. It will help me as an MPH student by giving me a leadership perspective to color my critical lens as I advance in the program and begin work on my thesis next year,” he said.
For more information about the Master of Public Health Program, please visit: https://www.utep.edu/chs/phs/academic-programs/graduate/master-in-public-health.html