Pioneer Profile

Nick Maniaci '17

Major: Public Health
Minor: Psychology

What made you choose this major?

I wanted to do something in the medical field and this sounded like it could potentially be a great fit. When sitting in my first public health class I knew I made the right decision. I love how broad the public health field is and I really enjoy all aspects of it. I like how public health is focused on prevention instead of trying to fix an issue after it happens—I think this is the future of health care.

How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?

When I was in class learning about all the different aspects of public health, like the community health improvement plan (CHIP), community health assessment and epidemiology, I often wondered how this information would be useful and if they really did use this in the world of public health. When I started my internship at the Oak Creek Health Department I was shocked at how much of the information I learned in all my public health classes was being used on a day-to-day basis in the health department. It was like all the dots had finally connected and I then realized that everything I had learned would be extremely beneficial to me at my internship.

At my internship, I’ve helped design and implement programs based off the community health improvement plan. Because of my knowledge from my public health classes, I felt extremely prepared to do this. I’ve also been developing a community health assessment for Oak Creek through the collection and analysis of local, state and national data. My public health classes on program development, assessment and evaluation and community health have been extremely valuable in helping me to do that.

What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?

I’ve worked closely with Dr. Barbra Beck and because of this she recommended me for opportunities in the public health world. Currently, I am the Wisconsin Public Health Association campus connector for Carroll University. This is a great opportunity for me to network and connect with other public health professionals. Dr. Beck reached out to me and asked if I would like to fill the campus connecter seat since the previous student graduated. I was so excited for this opportunity and grateful for the doors it could possibly open.

What’s the most unique experience you’ve had relating to the coursework in your major?

I would say the most beneficial assignment was the program planning, semester-long assignment with Dr. Pam Pinahs-Schultz in public health program development, assessment, and evaluation. We had to design, develop, implement and evaluate strategies to improve a problem in a community and the problem I chose was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It was a fun assignment, but also the hardest thing I’ve done in my college career. This project was extremely rewarding and beneficial to me and I gained so much knowledge from it.

How has Carroll provided you with opportunities outside of the skills you’re learning in the major?

If I were to start college all over again, I would have done a double major in both public health and healthcare administration. There’s plenty of room in this major to explore other passions you may have in life along with a major or minor. I decided to minor in psychology because these classes were extremely interesting to me. Although I was not extremely involved at Carroll, I was busy working in the Admission Office and my other two jobs off campus. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it and public health is an extremely rewarding major that makes you feel like you’re making a difference.

Are you happy with your choice to attend Carroll University?

I’m extremely happy with my choice to attend Carroll University! I’m constantly impressed by the willingness of the professors and staff who go above and beyond to help me succeed. I’ve made some amazing friends and have connected with so many people during my time at Carroll and I’ll be forever grateful for all the memories we share.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Make sure to enjoy every minute of your time in college, because before you know it, four years will have passed and you’ll once again be starting a new chapter in your life. Although at times you may feel overwhelmed and want to give up, don’t, just tell yourself the struggle is temporary and everything will be worth it when you’re walking across the stage with that degree in your hand.

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