Field Placements

Natalie Taylor (Emory University) worked with Community Wellness Manager Mitzi Fears at the Clayton County Board of Health’s Office of Community Wellness in Jonesboro, Georgia. Her primary focus areas were chronic disease, worksite wellness, childhood safety and injury prevention, and community health promotion.


Kisa Harris (University of Alabama-Birmingham) worked with Dr. Wendy White, Deputy Director of the Jackson Heart Study Undergraduate Training and Education Center on the “Know Your Numbers” program, which aims to increase awareness of cardiovascular disease risk factors among African American teens.

Neil Horsley (University of Kentucky) joined the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Immunization Program to study the epidemiology of influenza in that state.

Region IV Pathways to Practice Scholars Field Placement Program

The Pathways to Practice Scholars program provides an opportunity for current public health students to gain practical experience working with seasoned public health practitioners (mentors) serving or working on behalf of underserved communities or populations. All field placements are intended to enhance a student’s professional skills and knowledge while giving them the opportunity to use skills learned in the classroom. Broad areas that might be addressed by a field placement experience are: epidemiology or biostatistics, health policy, health management, health promotion and education, global health; health communications, environmental health, or refugee health.  A limited number of awarded student scholars will be placed in organizations in the Region IV Public Health Training Center’s (PHTC) eight states, which are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

PROGRAM COMPONENTS (Overview, Award/Recognition, Mentor Support, Student Deliverables)

Student Scholar Award and Recognition

Students selected to be a Pathways to Practice Scholar will receive an award total of $1500 for the field placement program from the R-IV PHTC Central Office at Emory University.  A press release of the selected scholars will be sent to all Region IV participating institutions.

Student Scholar Support

All student scholars will work directly with a seasoned public health practitioner who will be their mentor.  In addition, the Region IV PHTC Program Manager/Coordinator will provide all scholars with orientation to the field placement program and ongoing support and assistance.

Student Scholar Commitments

In addition to agency deliverables, students will be expected to develop the following items in conjunction with mentors:

  • Competency-based Work Plan
  • Reflection Paper*
  • Executive Summary*
  • Photos of Experience
  • Draft Conference Abstract

* If a student is using this field placement to complete a practicum or graduation requirement for their own institution, the student should contact Michelle Carvalho (Email Michelle Carvalho) at the R-IV PHTC to inquire if those deliverables can be used to meet the Student Scholar commitments. In addition to the requirements of this program, student scholars will be expected to abide by all the policies and procedures of the institution where they are enrolled.

RESOURCES (Student information and timeline/guidebook)

Summer 2017 Field Placement Opportunities

The following agencies will host Summer 2017 Pathways to Practice Scholars. Students from accredited programs of public health within the 8 R-IV states may apply. Please follow detailed application requirements for each posting. Candidates applying to multiple positions must send separate emails with all application materials and position title in the subject line to Applications are reviewed and considered in the order they are received. Unless noted, applications will be accepted until positions are filled.

Past Placements

Student Testimonials

My summer field placement helped me to develop knowledge, skills and experience that I will use throughout my professional career. I was able to strengthen my skills in all five competencies that I identified as important for my work with the agency and for a career in the field of behavioral science and health education. In addition to learning on the job, I was able to apply concepts and skills that I learned in the classroom over the past two semesters at the Rollins School of Public Health.

“The experience deepened my desire to work with underserved populations. I have been nominated for a position with the Peace Corps.  I plan to utilize the skills I learned through the [Emory PHTC] to maximize my own potential and impact wherever I serve. I plan to attend nursing school when I return from the Peace Corps so that I can provide primary healthcare to and advocate for homeless, uninsured and underinsured persons.”

Mentor Testimonials

“[The student] contributed comprehensive and reliable research for a statewide publication that thousands will use as a resource guide for the upcoming 3 years. She was well received by the staff and was immediately embraced as a colleague. She was reliable, capable, and full of energy and enthusiasm. We miss her terribly and would hire her immediately given the chance. We would definitely desire to have another intern and we feel that graduates from Emory’s MPH program are being well prepared for real work and contribution to society.”  Executive Director, Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center, Albany, Georgia 

“The greatest benefit was having a graduate student provide fresh, innovative ideas to many of the projects and initiatives that were being carried out by our community coalition. [Student] helped us with social media, ideas about coalition building and assisted in completing an analysis for a community health assessment.  We learned that students like to know that they are contributing to something worthwhile (projects that have measurable results) and that their work with the agency helps to develop their skill set while benefiting the agency.” Community Liaison, DeKalb County Board of Health