Katherine Waye



Undergraduate Institution: University at Albany, State University of New York
Current Role: Project Coordinator, Boston Children's Hospital

Why did you choose the Brown University School of Public Health?
Brown University School of Public Health is one of the most unique schools of public health you can find. I was drawn to Brown's small class sizes, personable and approachable professors and faculty, its emphasis on producing a publishable thesis, and the ability to support travel abroad for research.

What made Brown's program different from other programs you considered?
The MPH program offers students the ability to tailor and choose their classes, which is a unique characteristic to have in accredited schools with mandated class requirements. Further, the School of Public Health is nestled closely to Brown's main campus, unlike many other programs, and allows you to feel identified with the rest of Brown University. As a student I was able to utilize the University's resources and meet students outside of the School of Public Health. Further, the MPH program requires a thesis which is a unique characteristic that many programs do not have. While the sound of a thesis is daunting, it is a great accomplishment and truly puts together all that you have worked towards in the MPH program.

What did you enjoy most about your program?
Thanks to generous donors, I was able to travel to South Africa to conduct a portion of my thesis research. I would say this was a highlight of my two years. It would not have been made possible without the Framework in Global Health Award, Graduate School funding, and the support of my professors. Another highlight was the hands-on learning I received as a research assistant with Dr. Brandon Marshall. I felt prepared to graduate and enter the job market after working with his research team during my two years at Brown SPH. With Brown's support and the research experiences, I truly learned public health by doing public health.

What was your academic area of interest and why?
My academic area of interest generally focused on drug use and HIV/AIDS. As a research assistant, I conducted a qualitative research project with people who use drugs on their perceptions of Prevent Overdose RI's overdose prevention material. While in South Africa, I studied the intersection of familial support and treatment adherence among men living with HIV/AIDS. I pursued these two fields because I am passionate about harm reduction policies, both in the fields of HIV/AIDS and addiction.

How did your program prepare you for your current position/next steps?
My hands-on learning and classes left me feeling prepared to enter the job market. As a Project Coordinator I feel confident maintaining data, running reports, editing manuscripts, and more thanks to my experiences at Brown.

What did you enjoy most about Providence?
Providence is a fun city with true character. There is so much to do, and checking out the coffee shops, restaurants and bars in this city cannot be missed! Providence is a culinary hub and makes it a fun place to go out and enjoy dinner with friends. When you need to walk off those delicious dinners and lunches, Providence is home to beautiful parks as well as bike and walking paths like India Point Park and Blackstone Boulevard.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
Identify professors at Brown you think you would enjoy doing research with. Your thesis becomes a big part of your two years as an MPH student, and knowing that you are interested and connected to some of the research that is happening at Brown will help you find the right mentor.

Learn more about Brown's MPH program