Esteem Brumfield



Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Berkeley

Why did you choose the Brown University School of Public Health?
I selected Brown because I wanted a school with faculty and associated research centers that focused on the health care needs of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. Brown hosts exceptional faculty and top research centers dedicated to this field. My interests intersect with health and criminal justice reform. I'm deeply passionate about improving community health and reversing mass incarceration.
When I first visited the campus, I noticed how close the school was to the courthouse, the state legislature, and local nonprofits focused on advancing health equity for families impacted by the criminal justice system. This proximity to the government and local community has enabled students to build partnerships with the nonprofit and government sector in improving health outcomes for our communities. I wanted to be a part of a campus that was dedicated to improving the surrounding community.

What makes Brown's program different from other programs you considered?
Brown's faculty partners with community members in creating a curriculum centered on the health care needs of the local neighborhoods. I saw this as an incredible opportunity to gain hands-on experience in developing public health interventions by learning directly from both faculty and local people on the ground.

What do you enjoy most about your program?
I love that I can build my academic plan in the Generalist Track by taking classes from across disciplines and areas within public health. Although I'm taking various inter-disciplinary courses, I appreciate how tailored the program feels and the support that I receive from the department.

What is your academic area of interest and why?
I'm particularly interested in the intersection of mass incarceration and mental health. I was personally driven to seek alternatives to imprisonment and community-based treatments for mental health after witnessing family members with psychological disorders. The public health discipline has a unique opportunity to address many of the social problems in society that have traditionally fallen on the criminal justice system to address. Mental health, addiction, and other health conditions can be treated through public health interventions, and society can shift away from incarceration.

What are your postgraduate goals/plans?
After my public health program, I'll be attending law school and hope to focus on appellate cases centering on access to healthcare and conditions of confinement for incarcerated individuals. I would love to practice law, teach public health law, and continue to make contributions to the field of public health.

Why Providence?
I think Providence has something for everyone. In addition to amazing local nonprofits working in the area, Providence has wonderful shops, local activities, and spectacular coastlines. Students will find engagement and relaxation.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
I highly encourage prospective applicants to reach out to faculty, alumni, and students at the school of public health. Before applying to Brown, I spoke with students and professors about the program and opportunities here on campus. Brown is a wonderful and supportive community and we look forward to meeting prospective applicants.