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Sommer Scholars

Paul Rebman

  • Country of Origin: United States
  • MPH Student

FINDING EQUITY IN PUBLIC HEALTH

Growing up in Wheaton, Illinois, in a family with a social justice bent, Paul Rebman knew that he wanted a career that would focus on equity. Toward that end, he studied psychology and human rights and humanitarianism in college.

But the cognitive psychology research he worked on felt too academic. Yet the volunteer work he performed in his community, teaching English to adults and promoting early childhood literacy, didn’t feel academic enough.

Looking for a balance between the two, Rebman found an Americorps Vista position, developing and evaluating a hospital-based youth violence prevention program for the city of Minneapolis. “That’s where I found the field of public health,” he remembers.

Over the next several years, Rebman accumulated more experience in the field—through qualitative research projects on the state of youth and father involvement among unmarried parents in Minneapolis.

Later, he spent time in Kampala, Uganda, in a director-level position through Global Health Corps at Days for Girls, an international nonprofit that trains women’s groups to sew reusable menstrual pads and teach a reproductive health education curriculum in their communities.

Rebman felt like a valuable contributor to this organization, but he knew that with more training in development, implementation, evaluation, and policy at the Bloomberg School, he could be more effective.

“In global health, it takes a community to do the work,” he says. “With the training I’m receiving now, I’ll be even better at providing my piece of it.”