Cassie Kersten, UMR Alumna 2016, holds a globe representing the Public Policy and Global Health career pathway.

Public Policy and Global Health

"My Capstone experience taught me the importance of contextualizing science and always keeping the bigger picture in mind. It is important to be able to communicate the goals and results of your project in order to make the desired change. This is especially important to remember in public health, where much of the research can make a major impact." - Cassie Kersten, '16

Public Policy and Global Health

The ongoing international discussion about health care highlights the critical importance of a deep understanding of the political, social and economic effects of providing access to those who need it. UMR students can explore the implications of the delivery of health care and can create careers based on the creation of policy that addresses societal concerns. Working with others to create social impact, health equity and environmentally responsible practice, students who complete this Career Pathway often study abroad, engage in experiential learning focused on sustainability, or complete internships in government agencies before going on to study public health, law, political science, international relations or public affairs.

Careers in this Pathway include:

    • community health workers
    • education specialists at health care companies
    • environmental public health official
    • global health educators
    • health care policy reform advocates
    • service in the Peace Corps

Featured Students

Evan Doyle, ‘13

Evan Doyle Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Policy and M&E Advisor, Global Fund
Hometown: Canton, SD

"The Capstone experience was an open-ended opportunity to explore anything and everything I was interested in outside of the classroom. I spent four months in Ecuador conducting a qualitative research study on barriers in access to health care services. These interviews with health care workers, along with the time spent volunteering in clinics across the country, provided me with an in-depth perspective on how a nationalized health care system functions."

Learn more about Evan's experience.

Audra GaikowskiAudra Gaikowski, ‘20

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Planning Counsel Coordinator, Hennepin County
Hometown: West Salem, WI

"My Capstone experience gave me the opportunity to practice my second language and conduct independent, qualitative research, which allowed me to understand research from a very different perspective than what I had previously been exposed to. My experience abroad deepened my passion for women's health and health equity, which is a passion that I carry to this day."

Learn more about Audra's experience.

Lindsey KueflerLindsey Kuefler, ‘14

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Environment, Health and Safety Manager, Toro Company
Hometown: Mason City, Iowa

"The amazing part about UMR was that all the instructors were fantastic. All of them were there to help me succeed."

Learn more about Lindsey's experience.

Sami JohnsonSami Johnson, ‘20

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Medical Scribe, Mayo Clinic
Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN

"I fell in love with the integration of health care that ran through the veins of UMR. Every course provided scientific perspective despite representing different subjects of learning. I loved the possibilities that the proximity to Mayo Clinic provided and was awed to work in collaborative labs in my second year. "

Learn more about Sami's experience.

Cassie KerstenCassie Kersten, ‘16

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Senior Crisis Management Consultant, Deloitte
Hometown: Nerstrand, MN

"I started at UMR as a PSEO student during my senior year of high school. I wasn't originally planning to stay for the entirety of my degree, but after experiencing the unique learning environment and engaging with the faculty for a year, I couldn't imagine leaving!"

Learn more about Cassie's experience.

Anjelica MontanoAnjelica Montano, ‘15

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Currently Pursuing a Master of Development Practice at the University of Arizona
Hometown: Palisade, MN

"My capstone for UMR involved two different study away programs and a semester that included courses at the University of Minnesota TC campus. During my time at UMR I shifted my focus from being a medical practitioner, to studying different forms of health, well-being, and medicine. "

Learn more about Anjelica's experience.

Aracely MontecinosAracely Montecinos, ‘16

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Hospital Partner Liaison, LifeSource
Hometown: Ramsey, MN

"My Capstone allowed me to demonstrate to professionals and peers how we can learn so much about bettering our lives and communities by understanding death, the dying process and end-of-life care."

Learn more about Aracely's experience.

Glen MorrisGlen Morris, ‘17

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Currently Pursuing a Masters and PhD at Purdue University
Hometown: Medford, MN

"My Capstone experience prepared me to pursue and apply my health science degree to the many areas it encompasses. I structured my Capstone as a stepping stone to the next step of my journey; which has allowed me to branch into the different areas of health sciences."

Learn more about Glen's experience.

Rithinay PunyamurthulaRithinay Punyamurthula, ‘18

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Currently Coordinator of Equity and Inclusion at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

"I loved the idea of small class sizes, a city that was integrated with Mayo Clinic, and the ability to live on campus while taking courses related to the medical field. It felt like a conservatory where everyone was meant to be there. "

Learn more about Rithinay's experience.

Ashlyn StenbergAshlyn Stenberg, ‘19

Degree: BSHS
Current Employment: Lead Agency Review Evaluator, Minnesota Department of Human Services
Hometown: East Troy, WI

"My Capstone prepared me to think on a systems-level. It also gave me a better understanding of what health is and how much social, environmental and historical factors determine the health of our communities and overall well-being."

Learn more about Ashlyn's experience.

Read more about UMR's featured Pathways students.

Students pursuing the Public Policy & Global Health Pathway have engaged in meaningful experiences such as these listed below.

Current UMR students: reach out to your Student Success Coach for more information. 

Prospective students: contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

Internships and volunteer opportunities allow you to gain valuable experience in a professional field. These opportunities help students develop marketable skills and competencies through hands-on experience, build a network of contacts and gain insight into a professional field. These experiences assist students in finding a career that aligns with personal and professional goals and passions.

You will have various opportunities for employment during your undergraduate studies. The organizations listed below are good places to explore employment opportunities.

As a student in health sciences, you will have many opportunities to participate in research. Below is a list of previous research experiences students in the Public Policy and Global Health pathway have participated in.

    • Developing & Applying Public Health Initiatives: EcoliteracySCHOOL
    • Cradle to Career Paid Research Experience
    • Sustainability Research with the City 
    • UMTC Centers: Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, Obesity Prevention Center, and Epidemiology Clinical Research Center (ECRC)


There are other avenues you can take to pursue your pathway as well. Check out the options listed below.

    • Sierra Club
    • Colleges Against Cancer
    • UMTC Undergraduate Public Health Association (UPHA)

Study Away/Global Travel Experiences: