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Public Health Program Student Ambassadors

The student ambassador program is a volunteer opportunity for undergraduate and graduate public health students to be representatives of our Public Health Program. The student ambassadors serve as a resource for current and incoming public health students, and are happy to talk with prospective students about their experiences in the program. You can read more about them and find their email addresses by clicking on their names in orange below. 

2021 - 2022 Undergraduate (BSPH) Student Ambassadors

Hannah C
Hannah Cho
Natalie M
Natalie Martin
Amanda O
Amanda Olney
Maya R
Maya Rakotoarisoa

My name is Hannah Cho, and I am from Williamsburg, Virginia. I am majoring in Public Health with a minor in Medicine and Society. I will be graduating in May 2022, and I am planning on attending graduate school to receive a MPH.

I decided to enroll at Virginia Tech because I was looking to attend a larger school that would provide me with a variety of opportunities and experiences. I loved the campus and the “Ut Prosim”, (“That I may Serve”), motto that Virginia Tech holds. I entered Virginia Tech as an undecided student and was very confused about what I wanted to major in. I had strong interests in both the health and social sciences and was not sure which route to take.  My sophomore year the Public Health major was introduced, and I decided to officially declare it as my major because I felt like it combined my two areas of interest.

I wanted to become a student ambassador to help continue to build the Undergraduate Public Health Program and serve as a mentor to help incoming students navigate the broad public health field. Please feel free to contact me by email if you have any questions! 

Email Hannah:

My name is Natalie Martin and I am from Long Island, New York. I am a Public Health major with a minor in Spanish graduating in the Spring of 2022. I will be continuing my education at Virginia Tech as an accelerated MPH student with a concentration in Public Health Education. 

I chose to major in Public Health because I want to improve the health education of communities across the United States. I plan to develop public health programs that aid in disease prevention and improve individual and community outcomes. I love everything I have learned so far and I cannot wait to continue on in my coursework. I chose to continue my education at Virginia Tech for an MPH because I absolutely love the atmosphere in Blacksburg and at VT. The students, faculty, and community members are some of the kindest and most welcoming people I have ever met. I am grateful to attend VT because I have learned so much from every class and professor. 

As a student ambassador, I want to give incoming students the same excitement and experience I felt coming into the major. I hope to serve as a helpful resource for incoming students about the incredible classes, professors and campus we have at Virginia Tech. Please reach out to me with any questions at all! 

Email Natalie:

Hi! My name is Amanda Olney and I am from Hampton, Virginia. I am an undergraduate student pursuing my degrees in Public Health and Psychology. I’m excited to be going into my senior year at Virginia Tech and am proud to say that I will be in the first graduating class for Public Health in May 2022.

Coming into Virginia Tech, I knew that I had a passion for research and wanted to be in the health field. Then, after taking my first Public Health class I quickly knew that getting a degree in Public Health and pursuing a job in this field was a perfect fit for me. After I graduate in the Spring, I plan on furthering my academic career by getting my MPH. After graduate school, my goal is to work for a health organization, such as the WHO or CDC.

I wanted to become a Public Health ambassador because I want to help students find their perfect fit, as I did with Public Health. My hope is to make more student aware of the amazing Public Health undergraduate program and all the opportunities emerging from this field. This is a newer major at Virginia Tech, so I would love to answer any questions and feel free to reach out to me by email.  

Email Amanda:

My name is Maya Rakotoarisoa, and I am an undergraduate senior studying Public Health and minoring in Property Management. I will be graduating in May 2022 and plan on attending graduate school for an MHA or MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Management.

I decided to join the Hokie family because I wanted to go to a school with a strong and tight knit alumni network with a plethora of professional, social, and service opportunities. Coming into Virginia Tech, I was originally a Business Undecided major but I quickly learned that although the courses were interesting, I did not feel like I was hitting all of my passions. I then switched to a Biology major on the pre-med, which was more aligned to my passion of healthcare. It was quickly after that switch that made me realize that medical school was also not the right path for me. That was when I took Introduction to Public Health and found a field that covers all of my interests and that offered many different paths in healthcare to choose from.

I wanted to become a student ambassador to Public Health undergraduates because of my love for the field and for the accomplished and motivated people who decide to go into the field. I want to be the mentor that I wish I had at the beginning of my college career who could help guide me through the vast options of professions and concentrations of public health as well as to help me choose the courses that catered to my interests and point me towards opportunities to advance my career. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just need someone to talk to! 

Email Maya:

2021 - 2022 Graduate (MPH) Student Ambassadors

Madi B
Madi Bautista
Kirsten K
Kirsten Kohl
Holley M
Holley Moser
Alexis N
Alexis Nuzzo
Julia U
Julia Utting

My name is Madi Bautista and I am originally from Colorado Springs, CO. I graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelors in Microbiology and minor in Genetics. After graduating, I spent a year in Spain teaching English and learning Spanish. I then moved to Roanoke and attended Jefferson College of Health Sciences to get a second Bachelors in Medical Laboratory Science and become a certified Medical Laboratory Scientist by the American Society for Clinical Pathology. 

I accidentally stumbled into public health one year working at a summer camp. We had a mystery illness hit suddenly and when the health department came to investigate, I knew that's what I wanted to do. I picked Virginia Tech in particular because the school was housed in the Veterinary School, and they have a strong focus on One Health. I knew it would provide a foundation for understanding the connectedness between humans, animals, and the environment. In the future I hope to work on infectious disease outbreaks and work with diverse populations all over the world. 

I became an ambassador in hopes of being able to guide current and future students the same way I was guided. As well, I hope I can provide a distinct perspective on how public health plays a huge role in our everyday lives.

Email Madi:

Hi! My name is Kirsten Kohl and I am originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, but have called Blacksburg home for the past 5 years. I graduated from Virginia Tech in May of 2020 with a B.S. in Animal and Poultry Sciences. After spending two years working at the One Health Center for Research studying the mechanisms of Brucella abortus, my interest in public health and the One Health Initiative was sparked. I decided to continue my education with the Master of Public Health program in both the Infectious Disease and Public Health Education concentrations. 

Virginia Tech's Master of Public Health program was a perfect fit for me because it brought together my passion for helping people, animals, and the environment through understanding health needs and educating the public. Public Health plays a role in every part of our community and I know my MPH degree will allow me to bring a versatile, innovative, and professional approach to any job I pursue. I hope to eventually be able to work in epidemiology in federal, state, or local government.

I wanted to be a student ambassador for the Virginia Tech MPH program because I love to connect with people and help in any way I can. I am so excited to have the opportunity to share everything I love about Virginia Tech, the MPH program, and the public health field. Please feel free to reach out to me by email at any time. I can't wait to share my home away from home with you!

Email Kirsten:

My name is Holley Moser and I am from Martinsville Virginia, pursuing my degree in Public Health Education through the accelerated MPH program at Virginia Tech. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in HNFE (Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise), which sparked an interest in the importance of nutrition and bringing awareness to more resources regarding healthy food options. Almost more than half way through my degree I did not have many options that I thought were the most efficient for me until I heard about the Accelerated MPH program my junior year. I knew I needed to go to graduate school, but it seemed a little intimidating, then thankfully I heard about the accelerated option which gives students the opportunity to begin the program whilst in undergrad and then finish it only a year after, which sounded possible for me mentally and financially. 

Now with my experience in nutrition and some public health education I am seeing many opportunities to combine both fields focusing on bringing awareness and resources to help others make healthier, but affordable food choices. I have had the great opportunity of receiving an education from Virginia Tech, but not many individuals have had that chance, which leads me to my passion of helping individuals who do not have access to nutrition education or credible information in general. I believe everyone, despite their backgrounds, socioeconomic status, location, current health status and other life influencing factors, deserve knowledge and resources to make healthy choices. 

Being welcomed into this incredible program with endless support influenced me to pursue being a student ambassador. I wanted to bring more awareness to the opportunity for the MPH program to allow more students to know about the options right here in Blacksburg. Now a year into the program I can confidently say that I made the right choice for me and would love to help others do the same. Please feel free to reach out with any questions!

Email Holley:

My name is Alexis Nuzzo and I am from Williamsburg, Virginia. I am in the Infectious Disease concentration. I graduated from Virginia Tech with my Bachelor’s degree in Animal and Poultry Sciences. I wanted to continue my education at Virginia Tech because over the past four years during my undergrad I consider Blacksburg my home away from home.

During my senior year, I was introduced to the MPH program and I instantly became interested in applying to the program. I realized I could use my background in Animal and Poultry Sciences and apply it to my interest in the field of public health. My interest in public health was sparked when I realized the connection between humans, animals and the environment. Because of this my public health interest are One Health and zoonotic diseases.

I am excited to be an ambassador for the MPH program because I want to share my experiences in the MPH program both current and future students. I am looking forward to connecting with students since I am very passionate about this public health and my love for Virginia Tech. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have about the MPH program or Virginia Tech! 

Email Alexis:

My name is Julia Utting and I am from Annandale, Virginia. I am in the Infectious Disease concentration for my MPH and the Public/Corporate Track for my DVM. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Animal and Poultry Science in May of 2020. Shortly after graduation, I started my MPH classes during Summer 2020, and will take my second set of summer courses after my third year in the DVM program. I plan on completing both degrees by Spring of 2024.

My interest in public health is connected with my interest in wildlife medicine and One Health. I started an internship with the CDC One Health Office during Summer 2021, working on the global zoonotic disease database for the One Health Zoonotic Disease Prioritization (OHZDP). I hope to use the knowledge and experience gained through my MPH and this internship to lead me into a career working with wildlife health/conservation and zoonotic diseases on a global level.

During my first year in the DVM/MPH program, I have utilized the program’s connection with the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) to help vaccinate the NRV community and Virginia Tech’s student body during the COVID pandemic as a veterinary student volunteer. After just one year in the VT MPH program, I have already gained more public health experience and opportunities than I could’ve imagined, helping me reach my future goals. Now, I want to help others achieve their careers goals. I became an ambassador for both the MPH and DVM programs to be a source of contact and information for students interested in both programs. Feel free to contact me through email for any questions or to chat!

Email Julia:

Student Ambassador Alumni

  • Fernanda Gutierrez Matos, MPH - Infectious Disease & Public Health Education
  • Teace Markwalter, MPH - Public Health Education
  • Sam Miller, MPH - Public Health Education
  • Hannah Reed, MPH - Infectious Disease
  • Lauren Smith, Accelerated MPH - Infectious Disease
  • Harper Lovegrove, MPH - Public Health Education
  • Jordan Mills, MPH - Public Health Education
  • Malik Outram, MPH - Infectious Disease
  • Emilie Schweikert, MPH - Infectious Disease and Public Health Education
  • Samantha Seay, MPH - Public Health Education
  • Steven Black, MPH - Public Health Education
  • Shelby Borowski, Simultaneous (PhD) MPH - Public Health Education
  • Taylor Holsinger, MPH - Infectious Disease & Public Health Education
  • Travis Oishi, MPH - Infectious Disease
  • Mariah Malachi, MPH - Public Health Education
  • Mari Shelton, MPH - Infectious Disease & Public Health Education
  • Kristina Jiles, Simultaneous (PhD) MPH - Public Health Education
  • Andrew Riddle, MPH - Public Health Education
  • Zana Shabani, MPH - Public Health Education