The University of San Francisco: School of Nursing and Health Professions
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G_Nursing MPH


Get Involved: Master of Public Health students have the opportunity to join the MPH Student Association (MPHSA) where they can create lasting connections which often make the difference between surviving and thriving in a graduate study program.

Visit the MPHSA website to learn more about how being a part of a student organization can enhance your experience as a graduate student in the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

Student Profiles

Alison Bell

Alison Bell

Alison Bell was the recent recipient of the Dean's Medal.

Presented by Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions, Dr. Judith Karshmer, to a graduating student who promotes professionalism in the spirit of the University of San Francisco.

Jessica Stillman and Dr. Kia james

Jessica Stillman

Jessica Stillman received the Kia James Founder Award.

The Kia James Founder Award is presented to a graduating MPH student whose academic accomplishments and field experience demonstrates a commitment to social justice in the spirit of the University of San Francisco and the Master of Public Health program.

Florence Fudukowska

Florence Fudakowska

From my earliest years, I was exposed to the concept of service to humanity. I was raised on a remote Central Pacific atoll which, in recent years, has become the focal-point of an increasing number of public health campaigns and socio-economic development initiatives. My parents were heavily involved in grassroots community organization and we had a steady stream of aid workers, doctors, law makers and politicians come through our home.

When I read Mountains Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder's biography of medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer, I decided my specific avenue of service would be through improving public health. I was attracted to the Jesuit principles of social justice and social action that are infused in the University of San Francisco's Master of Public Health program.


Kirstie Ruby

What is your background and education?

I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies, Politics. After graduation I moved to San Francisco and ended up working in the medical field. This experience helped steer me in the direction of a Masters in Public Health, and it was exciting to hear that this degree encompassed a variety of backgrounds, and that my experience in politics would be beneficial to understanding this discipline.

How did you develop an interest in public health?

For a while I thought that I was interested in practicing medicine, and would study to become a doctor or nurse. However, after gaining some experience with direct patient care, I realized that I was so much more fulfilled looking at the big picture, rather than just treating each individual patient. Additionally, I found myself drawn to the so many news stories that are encompassed within the public health arena (infectious disease, reproductive health, antibiotics in livestock, etc.) and knew that I wanted to do more than just read about these problems, I wanted to help make positive change!

What were your favorite parts about the public health program at USF?

One of my favorite parts of the USF MPH program was that it was designed for working professionals. Although this meant that a lot of my free time and weekends were reserved for studying, the ability to work full-time, and continue to make an income while I was a student, was so necessary for me.

I also loved the electives offered, and was so happy to be able to explore a few areas of interest, rather than having to select one main area of focus. Additionally, the final fieldwork component was an amazing experience, and the ability to really go after your dream position and gain real life experience working under an experienced preceptor was so rewarding.

What advice would you give to someone considering an MPH program?

Be prepared to give up most of your free time for the next two years! This is a rigorous program with lots of assigned reading and dense final papers. Have an idea of what interests you within the field of public health before coming into the program, but also be prepared to open your eyes to new ideas and topics! Get as involved as possible. USF extra curricular activities are a great resume booster and working in the public health field during school can really help with your post graduation job search! 

How do you plan on using your degree?

After completing the program, my main interest was in the field of infectious disease and applied epidemiology. I'm hoping to be able to secure a position where I can help prevent pandemics, investigate outbreaks, and keep the public informed about emerging infectious disease trends.

What areas of public health are you interested in and why?

While infectious disease is my main interest, the program really allowed me to understand the importance of so many issues within this field, and it has been fascinating to continue to follow these important topics. I will forever be interested in reproductive health, agriculture, and statistics, as a result of the MPH program, and as the population continues to grow, I look forward to hearing about the progress made in these important arenas.


Rachel Stone

What is your background and education?

I have a BA in Media Studies from USF and had worked primarily in the media and non-profit worlds prior to starting my MPH.

How did you develop an interest in public health?

I had an interest in nursing and patient advocacy and thought that an MPH was the best first step into a generalist health program.

What were your favorite parts about the public health program at USF?

The personalized instruction, opportunities to learn from other students, and the ability to work full-time while in the program.

What advice would you give to someone considering a MPH program?

It is a great general health degree that can take you into many different career paths. I would suggest a program where you can still work and to try to move into a health related career while in the program.

How do you plan on using your degree?

I am now pursing an MSN degree and I plan to use the MPH knowledge I have to improve patient safety.

What areas of public health are you interested in and why?

I am most interested in health policy because that is what leads to decisions that affect a large patient population.