Noelani Powers, Bachelor of Public Health ’21

Noelani PowersMajor: Public Health

Minor: Health Disparities in Society

Hometown: Plantation, FL.

Why major in public health? I chose to major in public health because I have always had a very strong desire to help people and I thought that by choosing this major, I would be given a great educational background in order to fulfill that wish. I also wanted to study public health because it will give me the opportunity to work at breaking down health disparities that exist between various  populations when it comes to prevalence of disease and differences in quality of life or access to care.

What is most interesting about public health? I think that one of the most interesting things about public health is that in comparison to other fields that have to deal with health, it focuses more on prevention methods as opposed to treatments. I think that this is something very important to note because by placing more emphasis on preventative methods, we have a greater ability to create a healthier population overall by helping people before they get sick.

Why did you choose UF? I chose to study at UF because it is one of the top 10 public universities in the nation and has a great public health program. Another plus was that some of my closest friends from high school were accepted to UF as well, so I came in with a strong support system for such a significant life change. I am also very glad to be a Florida gator because I have been given the great opportunity to study under the UF Public Health combined degree program in order to pursue a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in epidemiology, in tandem with my undergraduate public health degree.

What experience at UF has been most influential? Being at UF has been a wonderful experience, but I think what has been the most noteworthy thing for me is the fact that I have been able to meet, connect with, and befriend so many different people. The friends I have made at UF are incredible and I am so grateful to have met them because they had such a positive influence on my college experience as a whole.

Do you participate in extracurriculars? If so which? One of the main extracurriculars I participate in as a student as UF is Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA). This is a co-ed service fraternity that works towards raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and I absolutely love being a part of it. I’ve gotten to make a lot of great friends by joining this club and I would highly recommend checking it out! I have also volunteered with the North Florida Regional Medical Center and interned with the Minority AIDS Program at the Alachua County Department of Health.

Do you have any jobs while in college? What do you do? While attending UF, I started working at the university Student Financial Affairs (SFA) office. I have worked there since the summer of 2019 and it has been a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about the importance of being able to work well with others, as well as how to improve my communication skills. Despite my love for this job, I will soon be leaving because I have accepted a research assistant position and am set to begin this upcoming January.

What are your professional goals? In the future, once I graduate with my Bachelor of Public Health degree in Spring 2021, I hope to complete my Master of Public Health the following year and start working within government. I would eventually love to secure a job within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an epidemiologist!

What do you like to do for fun? I am a bit of an introvert, so for fun, I really enjoy watching documentaries, drawing, and listening to music. I also love spending time with my friends and my dog Bruiser! When heading out, I like to go to the movies, visit museums, and spend time downtown!

What advice do you have for prospective students? My advice for prospective students would be to remember to always find a balance! It is so easy to get really focused on school work or job responsibilities as a student, but please never forget that your well-being and mental health is important too. Although it is important to always try your best, it is also completely okay to take a break every once in a while too!