Master of public health alumni accept prestigious CDC fellowships

Three recent UF Master of Public Health graduates are beginning fellowships this fall with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s leading public health institution.

Fellowship positions with the CDC are highly competitive. Quinn Lundquist and Jennifer Reynolds, both 2012 M.P.H. graduates, are among 11 individuals nationwide to be selected for the 2012 Association of Schools of Public Health/CDC fellowship program. Clint McDaniel, a 2010 M.P.H. alumnus, is one of 25 members of the 2012 CDC Public Health Prevention Service fellowship program.

“The selection of these M.P.H. alumni by the CDC is a testament to their personal dedication and academic accomplishments, and to the outstanding professional preparation they received in our M.P.H. program,” said Michael G. Perri, dean of the College of Public Health and Health Professions.

Quinn Lundquist

Lundquist will complete a policy and communication fellowship with the Scientific Education and Professional Development Program Office, the CDC’s lead office for public health workforce development.

“I see the fellowship as a door that will allow me to open a hundred doors, in that I will get the opportunity to interact with professionals from many, many different backgrounds and several fields, specialties and levels of experience,” said Lundquist, who has been working as a research associate with the college’s Rural South Public Health Training Center.

In his fellowship, Lundquist will help develop policy documents, write talking points for CDC staff members and analyze performance measurement data. He will also be responsible for producing communications materials, including building the office’s social media presence.

“I hope that I continue to develop new skills as a public health professional,” Lundquist said. “I’ve developed this reputation as being a jack-of-all-trades, and I like being involved in many different types of projects.”

Clint McDaniel

McDaniel’s fellowship with the CDC’s Public Health Prevention Service will focus on public health management with hands-on experience in program planning, implementation and evaluation. Fellows receive one year of training at the CDC before completing two-year assignments in public health organizations throughout the United States.

McDaniel, currently a virology lab technician at UF’s Global Pathogens Laboratory, is interested in high consequence and emerging infectious diseases, both domestic and international. The CDC fellowship will allow him to work on these public health issues from a different perspective than he has in the past, McDaniel said.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a world leader in public health and therefore, an outstanding place for me to expand my skill sets,” McDaniel said. “Working with and learning from the best in the field will be invaluable experience for me in the future.”

Jennifer Reynolds

Reynolds will complete an occupational and environmental health policy fellowship in Cincinnati at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the CDC’s agency devoted to preventing workplace injury and illness. There, she’ll be conducting scientific literature reviews and collaborating with different labs in the Cincinnati area to write safety and health recommendations that can be used to present policy recommendations.

“I think policy is important in all aspects of public health because you’re not going to be able to implement any kind of program without policy change,” Reynolds said. “The fellowship will be a good opportunity for me to get hands-on experience and see what goes into the process of making policy recommendations.”

Reynolds, who completed a summer internship at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is interested in a career in health communication programming at the federal level. She is excited about the opportunity to learn from her CDC fellowship mentor, who has 20 years of policymaking experience.

“I hope that I can take everything he teaches me and apply it to the job,” she said. “I want to learn the ins and outs of how to collaborate with different agencies and different researchers to create policy.”