PHHP DEI Committee Feature: Meghan Jacobsen

Our featured committee member is asked to respond briefly to three questions: 

Who or what inspires you right now? 

There are so many people who inspire and have inspired me, but I’m choosing to write about my Aunt who recently passed away. Despite all the challenges she had in her childhood and adulthood, she still managed to find joy in her life. Growing up, my immigrant Grandma raised her three children on a single income where they struggled financially, but always seemed to have the best life. Family was everything to my aunt and remained that way until her last day on Earth. Sadly, she was proceeded in death by three of her five children, one of her grandsons and her husband of 64 years. Thus, she was still able to live each day to it’s fullest with her remaining family members.

I can remember her laugh, her hugs, calling me Meggie and her spotless house. She would wash her towels every day! She challenged everyone to be the best person they could and firmly believed in the power of positive thinking. She expanded my horizons when she was alive and has continued to do so after death. She didn’t believe in handouts or freebies for those able to work and earn for themselves, but she was the first person to help out if help was needed. Her heart and house were always filled with love, joy, and laughter. That’s truly inspiring to me!

What have you read or participated in lately that has broadened your perspective or challenged your viewpoints? 

Simply put, being a member of the DEI committee has broadened my horizons and perspectives. This diverse group of individuals from various backgrounds share some of their personal experiences in hopes to improve the day to day lives of our faculty, staff and students in our College and the University.

What topics or activities are you most engaged with for the current or future plans of the PHHP DEI committee? 

Our current focus is to help develop the College’s newest initiative called the Pipeline to Public Health Program and present at the ELC Retreat in December. The potential to connect with local high schoolers to hopefully broaden their horizons about Public Health and all the options for them to consider is really exciting. I fully support the outreach to high school students because like most of us, they don’t know what they don’t know. This could be a groundbreaking initiative and I’m excited to see it come to fruition!