Allison loved the math, logic and problem solving in her first degree in Civil Engineering, where she focused on water and wastewater treatment. But what she really wanted to know was why. Why prioritize treating this contaminant over another? What was the science behind this decision making? Completing a Master of Public Health at Queen’s was her way to answer those questions.
A graduate of Queen’s MPH’s second cohort in 2012, Allison recalls learning from her classmates as her favourite part of completing the degree. “We came into the program with such diverse backgrounds and over the course of the 16 months had opportunities to learn from each other’s experience.”
Allison is now a Research Associate and Data Scientist at KFL&A Public Health. Though she has carried her engineering skills with her, Allison shares that “I think it’s the public health science skills that I gained from my MPH that have prepared me to be where I am today. I came into the program with a wide variety of technical skills, and the program gave me the epidemiological and research skills to focus them and learn to apply them in a field I want to be in.”
Her favourite part of her current job? The variation. “I can go from survey design and qualitative analysis to developing interactive data visualizations from scratch to complex machine learning statistics. It allows me an opportunity to constantly be learning new skills and thinking through new problems (and it’s impossible to get bored). Likewise, I get to be exposed to the whole gamut of public health topics and the professionals with expertise in them. One of the things I value most about my job is the opportunity for hands-on research. I really get to see how the work I am doing is being used by public health in practice locally.”
Allison now sits on the Queen’s MPH Program Committee, and continues to contribute her insights and connections to the MPH program at Queen’s.