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Saving Lives and Earning a Degree

A Bill and a Diploma

Sterling Haring celebrates passing law and earning MPH


As an MPH student in the Health Systems and Policy concentration, I helped to pass a law in my home state of Florida relating to the use of child booster seats. 

Even though the law had failed for 13 years straight, the skills and knowledge I learned in my program this year helped me to identify and change key factors in the approach to the bill. It passed both houses of the Florida legislature in April 2014.

I learned of the need to update Florida law while taking associate professor Jon Vernick’s class on injury prevention. The stakeholders who had worked toward the bill’s passage for over a decade provided a wealth of information on the bill’s history and the challenges faced, but it was the principles I learned in Dr. Shannon Frattaroli’s course on health policy that allowed me to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign and address them. Bridging the gap between my Hopkins education and the stakeholders “on the ground” brought invaluable experience.

In addition to the training I received during my MPH, the support and guidance of a number of JHSPH faculty were integral to my successful work on this bill. I have been amazed at how dedicated our professors are to our individual success.

Being a part of this successful effort has been incredible. Next, I plan to complete my final year of medical school (at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine), but with a drastically changed perspective. I have always wanted to change the world—now I know how to do it. 

By Sterling Haring, MPH ‘14

Health Systems & Policy

Learn more about MPH Admissions 

Center for Injury Research and Policy