Rebecca Carlstrom has yet to complete her graduate studies in Benedictine's Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program, but she's already made several important contributions to the field in which she plans to pursue a career.
In between her studies, the Hickory Hills resident has led a research project to determine community support behind the possible implementation of a tobacco-free campus at Benedictine, organized a health fair in partnership with a local church and participated in a study tracking the legislative outcomes of public health bills introduced in the Illinois General Assembly.
For her work, she was recognized as the "Illinois Public Health Association's Student of the Year" at the organization's annual "Friends of Public Health Dinner" in Schaumburg on July 8, where she was presented with a special plaque.
"Rebecca is a perfect example of someone who was called to the public health field," said Elizabeth Bormann, a M.P.H. instructor at Benedictine. "She is passionate about the field and I am thrilled that she will be part of the profession. She has been the most dedicated and passionate public health student I have ever had the privilege of teaching in my 10 years of higher education."
Carlstrom has maintained a 4.0 GPA while at Benedictine, and as the vice president of the M.P.H. Student Advisory Panel she has helped plan events supporting students' exploration of the field, organized networking opportunities with alumni, and raised money supporting HIV/AIDS and Lou Gehrig's disease research. She is currently a wellness and marketing intern focusing on corporate wellness for Advocate at Work, a division of Advocate Health Care.
"My academic experience at Benedictine has been great," Carlstrom said. "I have had the privilege to work with many students with many different backgrounds and cultures, and I have had phenomenal professors who have helped to shape my knowledge and understanding of public health and its related areas."
"For me, all of these experiences are important because it is essential to have hands-on experience within the field," she added.
Benedictine's M.P.H. program is nationally accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health and combines traditional face-to-face learning with innovative online technology. The program prepares students to practice real-world, real-time public health within a global context by helping students learn to apply public health skills all over the world from northern Illinois to rural Bangladesh.
The faculty includes experienced practitioners who take a personal interest in each student, and create a professional learning environment in small, interactive classes and through community service activities and research projects.
M.P.H. professionals work in local and state health departments, hospitals and clinics, nonprofit health organizations, international health agencies, health insurance plans and government agencies.
To learn more about Benedictine's M.P.H. program and dual master's degree program options with Nutrition and Wellness, Business Administration, Management and Organizational Behavior, and Management Information Systems, please visit ben.edu/mph or call (630) 829-6215.