Master’s student Michelle Vazquez takes advantage of diverse experiences at Campbell

Michelle Vazquez

Hispanic Heritage Month is dedicated to the recognition and appreciation of Hispanic Americans and their cultures. To honor this month, which spans from September 15 to October 15, CPHS will be highlighting hispanic students and their amazing stories.

Student: Michelle Vazquez

Current Program: Master of Science in Public Health

Undergraduate Program: B.S. in Biology, Campbell University

Why did you choose CPHS and what benefits do you believe you gained/are gaining from attending Campbell? Did you/do you connect with the “Campbell family”?

I chose CPHS because of the rural focus on Public Health. During my undergraduate experience, I was fortunate enough to take classes with President Creed, Dr. Justin Nelson, and Dr. Laura Lunsford which introduced me to rural community health and rural leadership. I followed this curiosity by getting my Master of Science in Public Health at Campbell that continued to concentrate on rural health. Each class in the curriculum has provided me with different tools and lenses that can be used to engage from a Public Health approach.

Please summarize your personal, business, and academic journey, please be sure to include info about dual degrees, student orgs, communities, residencies ,fellowships, business ownership, special certifications, serving rural and underserved, practicum, awards won, promotions, national organization leaderships positions papers published, etc. :

I am a current second-year MSPH (Master of Science in Public Health) student. I grew up in a rural unincorporated town all my life and I would like to continue working in rural areas after I graduate in the Spring. The MSPH program at Campbell has provided me with diverse knowledge and experiences. I am currently working on my final practicum experience with an emergency preparedness organization based in Lillington NC called On Target Preparedness. On Target Preparedness offers a variety of services ranging from threat assessment to CPR training. Throughout my coursework and my community engagement, I have noticed the growing prevalence of the Hispanic community in contrast to the lack of Spanish-speaking initiatives. Addressing language barriers effectively plays a vital role in creating comfortable relationships between health promoters/providers and patients. I believe I can use my bilingual background to aid existing programs and implement Spanish services that will increase accessibility for Spanish speakers to improve their health.

Please summarize any additional accomplishments you would like to highlight or talk more personally about what you are passionate about.

Before my MSPH, I had National Board Certification Medical Interpreter (NBCMI) training at the University of Arizona through Campbell’s Foreign Language department with Dr. Tiago Jones and Dr. Ann Ortiz. During this experience, I learned the different types of interpreting as well as aspects that maintain accuracy in these interactions. Language provides a sense of trust and credibility among communities. I also had past experiences volunteering in Spanish-speaking rural communities in Costa Rica with Dr. Debora Weaver and Ms. Claudia Williams of Campbell’s biology department. While there, I experienced and observed national Costa Rican programs which confronted healthcare disparities faced by rural and underserved populations of Costa Rican people, including those of poverty-stricken families, domestic abuse victims, teenage pregnancy, and the geriatric community. For me, observing the government support for these programs that positively impact its underserved people presented an admirable example of a vision for activating the potential within rural areas.

Reasons why prospective students should choose Campbell over other Graduate and Professional Schools.

One of the advantages of attending Campbell is that the University continues to grow and develop. I have been at Campbell since Fall 2016 when I started earning my bachelor’s degree. Throughout this time, I witnessed not only the geographical growth of the campus but growth amongst administration and organizations to make this campus more diverse and inclusive to its students.

To read more about our Master of Science in Public Health program, visit our website