Sep. 16 2019

Video Series Highlights Student Practicum Experiences

A new series of videos is highlighting the practicum experiences of Columbia Mailman master’s students. An integral part of most students journeys, these fieldwork assignments complement classroom lessons to prepare students for rewarding careers in public health. The first two videos focus on members of the class of 2018—Navjot Singh and Celia Wright.

As an MPH student in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences’ Health Promotion Research and Practice certificate, Singh transformed a lifelong interest in reproductive health into a practicum with Planned Parenthood Global where he used social media to tell the stories that highlighted the organization’s work around the world. In a post on Medium, he shared the perspective of Tarcila Rivera Zea, an indigenous woman activist from Peru. Since graduation, Singh has been working in health communications in New York City with a focus on topics including HIV, and reproductive health.

In her practicum with Burma Children Medical Fund, Celia Wright conducted interviews with Burmese migrants and refugees with complex medical needs. After identifying a widespread need for wheelchairs suited to the rugged terrain in the area of rural Myanmar where she worked, she applied for grants and successfully secured funds to procure 175 all-terrain wheelchairs. Wright, who earned her MPH in the Department of Health Policy and Management, is now an associate strategy officer at Open Society Foundations.

“My practicum experience was honestly integral to my learning experience throughout this two-year MPH experience,” she says in the video. “I carried it with me through my classes and certainly will throughout my career.”