Shelly Rasnick, MPH ('15)
Assistant Director for Wellness & Assessment - Virginia Tech Recreational Sports
I studied psychology and sociology as an undergraduate and became particularly interested in behavior change. I felt I was lacking the ability to educate people about all the factors in health that would make behavior change possible for them. Pursuing a MPH seemed like a good option to be able to look at things from a broader perspective. I liked the idea of learning to implement the “One Health” approach of connecting human, animal and environmental health.
It is the best! I get to use my skills in health education and program evaluation regularly. I get to plan and implement a variety of health and wellness programming for college students. I really enjoy working with this population as I feel there is opportunity to make a significant impact and equip students with healthy behaviors that will stay with them throughout their lives. I have focused a lot of my programming on physical activity, stress management and happiness, as those are needs that have been identified by current students. I also spend a big portion of my time evaluating current programs with in our department for effectiveness and related health outcomes. This allows me to stay current on related research and best practices.
A year ago, I completed a 200-hour training to become a Registered Yoga Teacher. This has allowed me to approach health education in a different way and influence individual’s overall well-being through yoga practice.
Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible! While I was pursuing my MPH, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in employee wellness, recreation, a cancer study, program evaluations and planning and implementing a farm to school program. Although these experiences were very different, I have found that I pull on skills developed in each of them during my current role. A lot of working in public health is being able to look at things from a larger perspective and pull on different experiences in order to affect the community and individuals around you.