Contact Info

 

Leanne H. Field, Ph.D.
Director, Public Health, Health Information Technology and 
Medical Laboratory Science Programs
Email
Main Office: PAI 1.06B
Phone: (512) 475-8897

Diane E. Larson, B.S.
Senior Academic Program Coordinator for Public Health
Email
Main Office: GEA 319
Phone: (512) 471-3375

Maggie Rigney, M.A.
Assistant Academic Advisor,
Human Ecology Advising Center
Email
Main Office: GEA 37
Phone: (512) 471-7219

Chris Connelly, M.Ed.
Senior Academic Advisor, CNS Center for First-Year Advising
Email
Main Office: WCH 1.106
Phone: (512) 471-3796

This collaborative program gives undergraduate students the opportunity to explore careers in epidemiology and public health laboratory science.

The University of Texas at Austin Public Health Internship Programs

In partnership with the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), the Austin Travis County Health and Human Services Department (ATCHHSD) and the UT School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus (UTSPH), UT Austin students have the opportunity to gain experiential education in public health.  Students conduct goal-oriented, one-semester research projects in epidemiology, laboratory science or field biology under the mentorship of state and local public health scientists. Participation in these programs for junior and senior students is via an application process that includes an interview. 

Students chosen as interns complete 180 hours of work for the semester (12 hours per week). Benefits include the chance to work with mentors who share their knowledge of public health and their personal experiences in the field.  Students earn 3 hours of academic credit for PBH 361P.  This course carries the Independent Inquiry and Writing flags.

Each summer, public health majors have the opportunity to conduct advanced "border health" research projects with Dr. Joseph B. McCormick, at the University of Texas School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus. The program is open to undergraduates and post-baccalaureate students and to UTEACH Summer Master's students. Credit may be earned for PBH 341R.

Program Impact

The Public Health Internship Programs have provided students with a capstone experience to their undergraduate education.  These real-world experiences in public health have influenced their career choices and have been instrumental in their acceptance into graduate schools of public health and to employment in the public health workforce in Texas.

The research projects conducted by UT Austin public health interns have assisted public health scientists in their mission to protect the health of the citizens of Texas. Student interns have contributed to the development of new laboratory methodologies and to the collection and assessment of information related to the incidence and epidemiology of infectious diseases. Areas of research have included bioterrorism preparedness, the link between tuberculosis and diabetes along the Texas-Mexico border, prevention of Methicillin ResistantStaphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Texas high school athletes, the development of new laboratory tests to screen Texas newborns for metabolic disorders, and environmental studies of Texas coastal waters.

 

What students are saying about the Public Health Internship Program:

“This internship has been the single most interesting and rewarding thing I have done in my four years at the University of Texas. Coming into the project, I knew almost nothing of molecular biology laboratory procedures or theory. However, that changed on the first day in the lab. Dr. Tanksley has since served as a fantastic teacher and mentor, helping me every step of the way and ensuring the success of this project. I feel like this project has made a positive difference not only in my life, but also in the lives of all those who are affected by the disease galactosemia as well as the families and doctors of those patients."
"This opportunity has been crucial to my undergraduate experience for it has confirmed my interest in epidemiology. As an undergraduate there are few options to explore the field of public health. I feared my lack of real-world experience would be a hindrance, in regards to my acceptance into a graduate program and my confidence in choosing the right career. I have been accepted into several top schools of public health with scholarship offers from all but one. I will be attending Harvard School of Public health this coming fall, where I have been awarded a Goldsmith Fellowship. I am confident that my acceptances and fellowships are due to my involvement in the public health internship program."
"The people I met and the experiences I lived have become memorable and of great benefit both personally and professionally. The positive feedback received from the people at TDSHS left me with a desire to continue in the field."
"This was an extremely rewarding experience for me. I was able to experience life as close to a public health professional as I can get without formal training. I was able to conduct a research project which I felt I have direct control of the design and implementation. The professional mentor to whom I was assigned provided guidance throughout the project. This project has raised my level of professionalism."