Alexis Grant

ScM in Behavioral & Social Health Sciences '18


Undergraduate Institution: Howard University
Current Role: PhD Student, University of Illinois Chicago

Why did you choose the Brown University School of Public Health?
As someone unfamiliar with public health, I wanted to attend a program that would allow me to learn the methodologies behind public health (specifically intervention development and implementation) without forcing me to choose a specific health issue to specialize in. Also the size of the department and the family-feel of Brown School of Public Health was appealing to me, as I did not want to get lost in a huge program.

What made Brown's program different from other programs you considered?
Brown was the only specific public health program (the others I applied to were interdisciplinary social sciences), and I decided that the public health training was really what I wanted and would be the most useful to me and my goals after graduation.

What did you enjoy most about your program?
My favorite thing about my program was that all the professors knew each other and were willing to refer to each other if one could not answer my specific question (or another professor could answer it better). It encouraged me to connect with faculty members who I never had class with and view anyone at Brown as a resource that I had access to. So I could ask anyone for help knowing that I would get it.

What was your academic area of interest and why?
Coming into the School of Public Health, I was interested in interventions to reduce stigma and negative attitudes towards adopting a health behavior. Through my classes, I realized that this varies by community, so I developed an interest on culturally relevant interventions. I envision adapting interventions to be more culturally relevant so that communities (rural, mostly minority, or immigrant) can make the best use of their personnel and financial resources.

How did your program prepare you for your current position/next steps?
My program gave me the foundational knowledge of public health methodologies and theories on which to build my research interests. Although I never envisioned doing a PhD in public health, being at Brown helped me find my passion for research and scientific inquiry, and greater appreciation for the efforts of researchers around the world.

What did you enjoy most about Providence?
Providence has dozens of amazing independent coffee shops and bakeries that are great for studying.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
Instead using what you want to do after graduation as your guiding question, instead ask what skills you want to emerge with and what kind of environment would cultivate the most growth for you.

Note: The ScM in Behavioral and Social Health Sciences was no longer offered beginning with the Fall 2020 application cycle.