Hannah Berg, HS ’21

Meet Health Studies alum Hannah Berg! Hannah, who minored in Global Health and Health Education & Promotion, told us about her UWB experience and finding a “deep affinity” with Global Health topics.

Tell us about yourself and what led you to UW Bothell:

In my free time I enjoy hiking, cooking, catching up on different shows/movies and spending time with my friends and family. As someone who has always wanted to pursue a college degree, I was fairly indecisive when it came to narrowing down an area of study. After spending a quarter at a different School, I knew it felt better to be closer to home and family. I was born and raised in Washington and have always appreciated the beautiful nature there is to offer. Having seen the range of degree options, Bothell felt perfect for myself as I could dip my toes in different areas and see where I found the best fit for myself.

How did your experience in your coursework help you find your career path or area of focus?

Early in my experience at UW Bothell, I was fairly unsure what my field trajectory was. I enjoyed Interdisciplinary study and writing courses. I knew Science-heavy courses were not my strong suit. However, after taking a few Health Studies electives, I felt confident that I had found the fit for me. One of my favorite things about the program is the array of courses offered that touch on different topics and areas worth pursuing. After finding a deep affinity for Global Health topics, I became familiarized with Health Education & Promotion courses which allowed me to engage in similar discussions on a deeper level. It was through these classes, I could apply course concepts with real-world examples and get practical experience in the field.

In general, I have found the material I learned in the Health Studies program as well as courses in Global Health and Health Education & Promotion have immediate implications on the work I carry out and has prepared me with life-long skills. One of my proudest moments at UW Bothell involved helping organize an Alumni Panel during my time as Co-President of the Health Studies Student Association (HSSA). Getting the opportunity to hear from fellow Alumni on their journey as well as collaborating with my fellow Club Officers, peers and the School of Nursing & Health Studies was a deeply rewarding experience!

Where has life taken you since graduation and what are your future plans?

Since graduating, I have been working with Snohomish Health District’s Covid-19 Response Team as a Disease Intervention Specialist. My work primarily focuses on coordinating our response with Schools and Child Care facilities in Snohomish County. I plan on taking the CHES Exam soon and applying to UW’s MPH in Community-Oriented Public Health Practice.

Was there a faculty, staff or student service that had a positive impact on your success?

I am so grateful for my Undergraduate Research experience with the help of Dr. Jody Early and my research partner, Kathy Luangrath. We were able to develop this around the topic of college health outcomes concerning mental health, substance use, sexual & reproductive health, nutrition and Covid-19 impacts on a nontraditional, commuter campus. Additionally, I am thankful for the experiences I made as a Senior Coordinator for the BASTA Coalition of Washington in coordination with Dr. Vicky Breckwich Vasquez. I worked alongside subcommittees to expand education & training, media communication and public policy efforts toward eliminating sexual harassment against farmworker women in Washington state.

What else would you like to share?

With such a broad program, it can be easily applied to different specialties. Material and coursework is beneficial and relevant to any route you decide to take. Lastly, Faculty and Students are so incredibly helpful and supportive of each other!