Dean’s Ambassador Spotlights 2020

PHHP DEAN'S AMBASSADOR

Grace Hansen

Bachelor of Health Science

"PHHP has been tremendously supportive of my academic endeavors and I hope to be able to share my experiences with others and provide the same support to students that I was given!"

What is your degree program, year and hometown?
I am a senior in the Bachelor of Health Science program with a minor in Public Health. I am from Naples, Florida.  

What are your career goals?
After graduation I plan to pursue my goal of becoming a physician. I have always wanted to work in the field of orthopedics/sports medicine. During my time in the Health Science program, I have also become very interested in preventative medicine as well.

What excites you the most about being part of the dean’s ambassador program?
I am most excited to get to interact with alumni, staff, and both current and future students of the college as a Dean’s Ambassador. PHHP has been tremendously supportive of my academic endeavors and I hope to be able to share my experiences with others and provide the same support to students that I was given!

How do you hope the dean’s ambassadors program will help you prepare for your career or education?
I hope the Dean’s Ambassador Program will allow me to improve my networking skills and make valuable connections with others who are in the healthcare field. I hope to expand my community involvement and strengthen my teamwork abilities with other students in the program. 

What hobbies or activities to you enjoy outside of school or work?
Outside of school and work, I enjoy baking, doing yoga, and traveling! 

PHHP DEAN'S AMBASSADOR

Katarina Fiorentino

Bachelor's in Communication Sciences and Disorders

"I am excited to serve and promote PHHP to other students, as this college and its programs have provided me with wonderful friends and an encouraging community. I am thrilled to meet new people through the Dean’s Ambassador Program!"

What is your degree program, year and hometown?
I am a senior pursuing a dual degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as Spanish. I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, but I am now a sun-loving Floridian!

What are your career goals?
I hope to become a speech-language pathologist, specifically working with pediatric populations in a public school setting. My clinical interests include bilingualism and aural rehabilitation, and I hope to one day attain certification as a bilingual services provider. I am passionate about helping children with their speech and language goals and to feel confident in communication!

What excites you the most about being part of the dean’s ambassador program?
I love how the Dean’s Ambassador Program offers countless opportunities to connect with other individuals who share a passion for the health professions. I am excited to serve and promote PHHP to other students, as this college and its programs have provided me with wonderful friends and an encouraging community. I am thrilled to meet new people through the Dean’s Ambassador Program!

How do you hope the dean’s ambassadors program will help you prepare for your career or education?
The Dean’s Ambassador Program combines helping others discover their passions, volunteering, and developing professional networking skills, opportunities which enhance personal character and strengthen community involvement. Through the DAP program, I am excited to gain mentorship and collaborate with faculty, staff, fellow peers, and alumni, experiences I will take with me in my professional career. As a future healthcare professional, serving others is one of the most integral and critical aspects of my field, and the Dean’s Ambassador Program will help prepare me with the skills and knowledge to better serve my community.

What is a fun fact about you that people might be surprised to know?
I am a huge history and movie buff, and I love exploring new places! I visited the Plaza de España in Sevilla (a scene in Star Wars was filmed here!) during my study abroad in Spain — this experience is one of my most cherished memories!

PHHP DEAN'S AMBASSADOR

Jae'Lyn Gilbert

Master of Public Health

"I hope that the dean's ambassador program allows me to gain a new professional family with whom I can develop professionally, network and connect with, as well as use my platform to help other students."

What is your degree program and hometown?
I am currently a second-year in the Master of Public Health program concentrating in Population Health Management hailing from St. Petersburg, FL.

What are your career goals?
My career goals include diving directly into the workforce and healthcare field once I have graduated from my current program. I hope to work on the operations side of a hospital before achieving a higher-level administrative position and getting the chance to exercise the many skills and tools I have gained from my education and experiences. In a few years, I plan to apply to a Doctor of Public Health program and achieve my DrPH.

What attracted you to the dean’s ambassador’s program?
The dean’s ambassador program attracted me first with the opportunity to be a passionate representative and spokesperson for the college when interacting with all staff, students, alumni, donors, and stakeholders. I could see from the beginning that this experience would allow me to aid those who work diligently to make PHHP what it is by assisting with the organization of student events/activities, prepping for guest speakers and seminars, and conducting college tours where the engagement is endless, all amongst other potential opportunities. Additionally, being a graduate student is much different from being an undergraduate student so the position of dean’s ambassador would allow me to focus more on my student role outside of the classroom with my dedication being involvement and engagement.

How do you hope the dean’s ambassador program may benefit you in your education or career?
As a new student to the College of Public Health and Health Professions, I hope that DAP allows me to gain a new professional family with whom I can develop professionally, network and connect with, as well as use my platform to help other students. I look forward to conversing with leaders and other constituents of the college to gain insight, especially in all of the disciplines. When it comes to my career path, I am very interested in going into health administration so I would love to see the operations and behind-the-scenes side of organizing events and how the college sustains an environment so conducive for the student population.

What was the destination of your favorite vacation?
My favorite vacation destination was my honeymoon at Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica. The beaches were so beautiful; it was relaxing and much different than home. I enjoyed being completely work, school and stress-free for an entire week while spending time with the one I love.

PHHP DEAN'S AMBASSADOR

T'Kia Gill

Master of Health Administration

"I hope to learn from faculty and my fellow ambassadors as I believe it will give me a chance to engage in some interesting conversations from various perspectives of healthcare. Plus, you never know, some of us may end up working together one day."

What is your degree program and hometown?
I am a second-year Master of Health Administration candidate from Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago.

What are your career goals?
I hope to play a role in transforming the delivery of healthcare to patients through compassionate and high-quality care while controlling costs and promoting education, innovation, and diversity and inclusion. I’ve developed interests in Operations and Ambulatory settings, but I am still open to various areas of healthcare management.

What attracted you to the dean’s ambassador’s program?
I always knew I wanted to work in the healthcare field, but I was like a spinning top in mud trying to figure out my fit before finding the health administration field. The opportunity to help guide others and expose them to the diverse career pathways available through the College of PHHP was a major factor for me. It also doesn’t hurt that I genuinely enjoy interactions, so it was a great way to get to know others in the different programs and hear about their experiences.

How do you hope the dean’s ambassador program may benefit you in your education or career?
I hope to learn from faculty and my fellow ambassadors as I believe it will give me a chance to engage in some interesting conversations from various perspectives of healthcare. Plus, you never know, some of us may end up working together one day. 

What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
When I was 16, I moved to the Netherlands alone to go an international boarding school (UWC Maastricht) for two years to complete my high school studies. It’s crazy because even some of my good friends may hear this and say “Whaaat?”

PHHP DEAN'S AMBASSADOR

Ashley Castano

Bachelor of Health Science

"I love how this program involves a diverse group of students who empower their peers and promote collaboration to formulate a successful outcome in education, research, and service."

What is your degree program and hometown?
I am a fourth-year Bachelor of Health Science student. I am originally from Austin, Texas, but now I live in Miami, Florida. 

What are your career goals?
My career goal is to attend medical school following graduation to become a physician. As of now, I am particularly interested in becoming a dermatologist, obstetrician-gynecologist, or pediatric oncologist/hematologist. I am excited to see which medical school I choose and what specialty I go into! In addition to applying to medical school, I am eager to expand my Etsy account where I sell customized artwork. As a physician, it would be incredible to integrate art into my practice and utilize art as a therapeutic outlet. 

What attracted you to the dean’s ambassadors program?
The dean’s ambassador program attracted me because of the guidance and support I have received from the previous dean’s ambassadors in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. Being a part of this organization will allow me to interact and contribute to prospective students, connect with faculty and staff, and showcase premier activities and events to impact the community and future generations. I love how this program involves a diverse group of students who empower their peers and promote collaboration to formulate a successful outcome in education, research, and service. For my senior year, I am excited to contribute to meaningful experiences and develop my leadership skills. 

How do you hope the dean’s ambassadors program will help you prepare for your career?
As an aspiring physician, I hope that the DAP will teach me powerful teamwork qualities to bring into my future practice. In this way, I can communicate effectively and be an active listener to achieve a common goal amongst other health care professionals, administrators, and hospital staff. The DAP emphasizes the importance of community involvement which is at the forefront of my life mission. In my career, I want to continue to volunteer in the community and share with others the importance of getting involved in programs to develop pivotal social characteristics that I have learned through DAP. 

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
If I didn’t have to sleep, I would paint with the extra time. Art has always been a creative outlet in my life. Since 2017, I have owned an Etsy account where I sell customized artwork, respond to online inquiries, and communicate with my clients. This has been a creative and therapeutic outlet amongst academics and extracurricular activities.