Student practicum spotlight
Shea Littlepage, MSPH candidate
Social and Behavioral Interventions Program, International Health
|Shea Littlepage (left) in Uganda where she worked with the Rakai Health Sciences Program, pictured here with a mother and her child living in the Rakai study area and Professor Caitlin Kennedy (right)|
Through collaboration with the Rakai Health Sciences Program, I helped conduct in-depth interviews with providers and users of family planning to understand the impact of HIV risk guidelines on family planning decisions.
I couldn’t have done any of this without Professor Caitlin Kennedy. She was my mentor through this practicum project, but she also taught all of us priceless skills for qualitative research, public health, and life in general. She’s given all of us so much support and advice. We’ve all benefited from her commitment to mentorship and building the Social and Behavioral Interventions (SBI) program into something really special.
After the coursework required by the SBI concentration, I felt prepared for anything my practicum threw at me. I really have to thank all of the SBI faculty (especially Peter Winch, Elli Leontsini, and Steve Harvey) for that. Even if I didn’t know exactly how to handle a situation, I knew who I could reach out to for help.
Advice to future SBI students: Joining this program was the best decision I ever made, not just because of the coursework or the career opportunities, but because of the people. Enjoy it. My professors and classmates are amazing resources, sure. But they are also some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. Get to know them.