Graduating in 2014 with majors in Government & Legal Studies and Sociology, Greg now works as a Public Health Associate with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Houston, Texas. Greg’s position with the CDC is a part of a rotational program that aims to build the public health workforce in the US to provide training in state and local health departments and regional departments. As a Public Health Associate, Greg spent one year working in infectious disease and disaster response by conducting epidemiological case investigations of food/waterborne, vaccine-preventable, and respiratory diseases. Since October 2015, Greg has transitioned into his new role as a Quarantine Public Health Officer with CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, stationed at the Houston Quarantine Station at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. In this role, Greg responds to reports of illnesses and deaths on inbound international conveyances (both airplanes and maritime vessels) into the U.S., and enforces federal regulations governing the importations of potentially infectious material, including live animals and etiologic agents. Greg credits his background in Sociology for his interest in public health. As a student, Greg developed an interest in the social and environmental determinants of health among diverse populations. His coursework allowed him to cultivate the critical thinking that is essential to his current social science and epidemiological research with the CDC. Furthermore, his co-curricular experience with Peer Health assists him in extracting important information through goal-oriented conversations.
The common good and a sense of community remain important to Greg after Bowdoin. In Houston, he has joined a running club that allows him to meet a host of Houston residents of different ages, industries, and backgrounds. This, he says, is helpful in personal development as he is able to learn from people who have backgrounds and perspectives that are different from his.
Greg has also been able to engage with communities outside the United States. On a fellowship awarded to him post-graduation, he spent over two months in Cambodia working for a small local NGO focused on community development and projects in small agricultural villages. One of his most meaningful projects was a report where he interviewed individuals in the community who had been involved in sex trafficking prevention work. Greg’s supervisor presented his work to government officials, and a project was launched based on the service he had performed.
Greg urges Bowdoin students to identify opportunities and to not be afraid of raising their voices in asking for those opportunities. “They do not come around,” Greg says, “It’s up to your initiative to speak up and address your desire to take advantage of that opportunity.”
Beginning in August, Greg will be pursuing a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in International Health, concentrating in Social and Behavioral Interventions, at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.