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Care Bears

Public health majors fulfill dreams of helping others
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Nadia Nasah, ’19, knew she wanted a job where she could make a difference in the lives of others. It wasn’t until she became a Bridgewater State University student that she was able to put a name to her aspirations: public health

“Especially nowadays, public health is a growing field,” she said. “It’s one of the hardest majors out there because you have to be up-to-date with everything, but it’s the most rewarding. … We prevent people from getting sick in the first place.”

Nasah, one of the first two graduates of Bridgewater’s new public health major, works as a clinical research assistant at Rhode Island Hospital. She helps physicians with their projects by protecting patient privacy, working with an institutional review board, and completing other tasks.

The other graduate, Sarah Tantillo, ’19, is education program coordinator for the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The division is committed to reducing health inequities and improving medical care in poor areas around the world.

“I am most passionate about eliminating health disparities on a local and global level because I truly believe health care is a human right,” Tantillo said. “I am highly motivated to be a part of changing the world for the better.

Public health is part of the Department of Movement Arts, Health Promotion and Leisure Studies. Nasah praised the major’s supportive faculty and focus on real-world experience. She interned at the health department in her hometown of Attleboro and a YMCA.

Nasah, who transferred to BSU from Bristol Community College, also improved her public speaking ability, a critical skill for public health professionals.

Nasah encourages those contemplating enrolling in the public health major to go for it and not feel daunted by the classes. She enjoyed taking a multidisciplinary mix of courses to fulfill her requirements.

“In the end, I’m so happy I took it,” she said. “I’m all about prevention and helping as many people as possible.”

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