Caleb Brodie



Undergraduate Institution: University of Maryland: College Park

Why did you choose the Brown University School of Public Health?
Beside the high recommendation from undergraduate mentors, I chose to attend Brown University School of Public Health because of the excellent faculty reputation, the epidemiology department’s spotlight on a deep understanding of methods for establishing causality and the school’s unique emphasis on learning public health by doing public health. Furthermore, unlike some other institutions, Brown is committed to training the future leaders of public health practice, so they are ready to contribute to the advancement of public health.

What makes program different from other programs you considered?
The faculty to student ratio in the epidemiology department is extremely favorable compared to other institutions across the country. The faculty in the epidemiology department are also regularly advancing the field of epidemiology. I am incredible excited to be taking a course on causal inference taught by Dr. Chanelle Howe. Another aspect of the MPH program at Brown that is very different from other institutions is the school’s relationship with the state and local government. As the smallest state in the Union, Rhode Island serves as a mini-microcosm of the United States. Therefore, it proves to be an exceptional place to learn and practice public health.

What do you enjoy most about your program?
Relative to other fields of science, epidemiology and public health are young and less concrete. As an MPH student at Brown, the motto “learn public health by doing public health” affords you the chance to learn not just “what” but also “why” and “how.” These invaluable opportunities also help students get a foot in the door at many reputable companies, national government agencies, and state government departments.

What is your academic area of interest and why?
I am deeply interested in economic epidemiology- oversimplified to be, the intersection between the distribution of disease and economic motivations. I have been interested in gaining a further understanding of the mechanisms of causality involved in infectious disease and income. However, I am currently conducting novel thesis research into the association between SARs-CoV-2 incidence and the State of Rhode Island quarantine policy among K-12 students.

What are your postgraduate goals/plans?
I will be applying for Ph.D. programs by December of 2021 so I would ideally like to continue formally building my education in the field of epidemiology. However, I will also be looking into employment as a consultant in a job market likely to need those with an epidemiological perspective and understanding.

Why Providence?
As a young man from Boston, MA the only times I had ever been to Providence were driving through the city on the highway on my way to the beach. Now that I am here, I am learning that Providence is a unique place with creativity at every corner. Plus, you would be hard pressed to find better food spots east of NYC. That being said, Boston still has better lobster rolls.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
During my application process I would regular speak with my undergraduate professors and mentors. During these conversations I would ask them what kinds of questions they might ask if they were in my position. From there I reached out to a few different current faculty members and administrators to get answers to my questions. Looking back, the conversations I had with faculty members like Nina Joyce, Ph.D. were the best insights I got from any of the many programs I was accepted to. Long story short- Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. It is the only way to find out the answers!