Cami Rencken

ScM in Global Public Health '19

Biography

Undergraduate Institution: University of California Davis
Major: Global Disease Biology


Why did you choose the Brown University School of Public Health?
Brown is one of the few universities in the U.S. offering a Master of Science in Global Public Health and the School is unlike any other that I came across in my application process. It has outstanding faculty and staff who truly want to see each student succeed. More than I have seen at any other academic institution, everyone is kind, brilliant, and willing to help students. Each day I am here is a positive experience and I feel blessed to have this opportunity.

What makes Brown's program different from other programs you considered?
In making my decision about which program I wanted to attend, the two most important factors were the research opportunities and the content of the classes. Brown was the clear option when I examined these two areas. Brown has dozens of successful professors in the global health field with decades of experience who have amazing research opportunities for my interests in South Africa. Many classes drew my attentions, especially the class titled "Ethics of Global Health." This is a course that I believe to be crucial in this field, yet few schools offer it. Because of the combination of these factors, Brown was the obvious choice, and I know that I made the right decision!

What do you enjoy most about your program?
As the first student in my program, the aspect that I enjoy the most is the faculty attention and engagement in my studies. Not only do I get to work alongside outstanding faculty, but they have invested personal interest in my success here at Brown. I know that every step of the way I am supported by the faculty, staff, and other students. The school is collaborative and everyone wants to help others achieve their academic goals. I have already made friends and built relationships that I know I will keep for years to come.

What is your academic area of interest and why?
As a student early in my first year, I have not yet narrowed down my research interest. I am, however, hoping to do my thesis on burn morbidities and mortalities in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. I am also interested in virology and infectious disease work in the global health field. I am keeping my interests broad and using all of the amazing resources at Brown to narrow down my research interests.

What are your postgraduate goals/plans?
After graduation, I am hoping to work with an international health organization. Although I plan to pursue further education later on in my career, immediately after graduation I will be applying for jobs in global health.

Why Providence?
I only moved to Providence around six weeks ago, but it has already become home! The food is amazing, and the people are so kind. Providence is an emerging city with fun opportunities for students. It is also extremely walkable and affordable.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
Congratulations on embarking on this chapter of your life! Graduate school is an exciting time in one's academic career. However, it is also crucial that you make the right decision for you. My main advice would be to ask questions! Never be shy when contacting schools and asking questions. Do your research on the programs that you are looking at, and make sure that you choose the one that fits the criteria that is important to you. If I can help in any way, please reach out to me! I have gone through the process and am happy to answer any questions that you may have about the ScM in Global Public Health, or about applying to graduate school in general. Good luck!

Learn more about Brown's Master's in Global Public Health