News Warehouse

To own your education is to dare mighty things

By Alex Tirado, Economics ’16

The Huntsman School of Business challenges its students to “dare mighty things.” I find that challenge intoxicating and invigorating.

As an economics student planning to enter the field of public health and health policy, I discovered the Summer Public Health Scholars Program (SPHSP) at Columbia University through a Google search—proof that opportunities are literally at our fingertips. This program includes public health coursework through Columbia University, placement in a health-related internship, career development seminar and immersion in the diverse, economically disadvantaged urban environment that makes up much of New York City. With recommendations from Dr. Chris Fawson of the Huntsman School and Dr. Steve Hawks, executive director of USU-Moab, I was accepted into the program in March and started it at the end of May.

We initially spent a week at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, to learn about the future of public health and healthcare in America, before flying to New York City for the remainder of the program. I have been placed in an internship with the New York State Health Foundation, whose mission is to improve the health of all New Yorkers through grants, informing healthcare policy and practice, and spreading the word about effective programs that work to improve New York’s healthcare system. I perform research on diabetes prevention, review grant proposals related to opiate abuse and visit grantee sites around the city in order to see the impact of our funding first-hand. We are dedicated to preventing disease and creating an environment that promotes health and happiness. In addition to improving the state of hospitals and health centers, we’re concerned with eliminating health disparities among ethnic groups, improving access to care, protecting the environment, and creating safe neighborhoods. These factors help determine your health status long before you ever walk into a hospital.

Because of the Huntsman School, I am learning to become an ethical leader in a global community. I am proud to be an Aggie and a student of the Huntsman School. My hope is that every one of us will continue to dare mighty things, and change the world as we do so.