I knew moving back to Ann Arbor for a year would be a good time, especially with Briana in town, but I had no idea all that would come from my MPH year. The most fortunate event came in the first week when Dr. Amr Soliman announced at the epidemiology talk that he was looking for students interested in cancer epidemiology to adopt! I think I was one of his first adoptees as the first of many many meetings with him was still within the first week of school. From the very first meeting we started discussing potential countries, projects and collaborators that matched my career interests. Dr. Soliman is much more than a professor to me, he is a lifelong mentor that I am eternally grateful for meeting.
Little did I know that becoming part of the cancer epidemiology training grant would mean 5 classes with Dr. Soliman and the formation of the “Cancer Epid girls.” All of the great classes and events at SPH were intertwined with countless hours on Dr. Soliman projects, proposals, conferences and the like. Basically, we formed a little family for the year. To all of you girls, I thank you so much for making my year what it was. I will miss you guys, but don’t worry, Dr. Soliman promised at least one return visit for me!
I look back on the year and all the amazing speakers that I was able to listen to including: Jim Kim, Tadataka Yamada, the former medical director of the UN, Bill and Melinda Gates, and the Dali Lama. It is like a dream come true. I leave Ann Arbor a different individual than I came. My thoughts about healthcare and where I see myself fitting into the larger scope have been greatly shaped by all that I learned this past year.
The added bonus is that I leave SPH with a new best friend. Brita, I don’t know what I would have done without you! Word seemed to spread around SPH about these crazy students that took ridiculous numbers of credits each semester, and yes, we were two of them! The workload was a little heavier than we envisioned for ourselves. We managed to turn public health studying into a great time. I truly couldn’t have done it without you!