1st Year MPH: Nellie Garlow

1st Year MPH: Nellie Garlow

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Nellie Garlow!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I was the second class to graduate with a public health degree from Franklin & Marshall College, which meant I got to help shape the major and take a lot of experimental public health classes. In one of my favorite courses, I learned the ins and outs of the local Drug Courts program by sitting in on hearings, talking with graduates, and attending lectures taught by the judge.

What are your primary research interests?

I am primarily interested in applied epidemiology and the intersection of epidemiology and activism. Topically, I have focused a lot on maternal/child health and substance use disorder, and am hoping to expand my portfolio to include STIs and reproductive health.

How have you been navigating the work from home experience during the COVID-19 outbreak?

I consider myself a very social person, so when we changed to an all-remote environment, I knew it’d be important for me to join virtual communities. I have felt very energized being part of the Epi COVID Journal Club that I help run as well as a student group that advocates for local politicians to follow the evidence when making decisions about reopening businesses. Staying at home all day is challenging, but feeling like I can make a difference in my community is why I get out of bed in the morning.

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on?

I just started working with Dr. Allison Chamberlain and the Fulton County Board of Health to analyze survey data from the 2019 Atlanta Pride Festival. I believe it is critical to understand how local public health departments operate and am excited to pitch in with their surveillance efforts.

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Rollins?

The diversity of learning opportunities available both inside and outside of the classroom. For instance, I am learning core programming skills through my classes and am going to apply them when I intern this summer with the Georgia Department of Public Health’s MCH Epi team.

What advice do you have for people who may be interested in getting their MPH?

Don’t be afraid to take your time when deciding which master’s degree to pursue! I took off 5 years after undergrad because I wanted to be sure the degree I picked was going to help me build a strong future and new skills.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

I am currently reading “Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family” by Gary M. Pomerantz. Before moving here, I asked a colleague who was from Atlanta what books I should read to help me understand the history of the city. She said that this book was a must read.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I used to host concerts in my living room when I lived in Washington, DC
  2. I have lost my car so many times in the Michael Street lot that I now only park on the roof
  3. I have listened to every episode of the “Modern Love” podcast by the New York Times


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