Krystal Buttitta '21

Major: Public Health
Minors: Biochemistry, Psychology

What made you choose this major?

I stumbled upon public health when completing my cross-cultural distribution (CCD) course. After taking one course, I knew public health was what I wanted to study and be immersed in. It’s such a multifaceted profession, ranging from global health issues to studying the arrangement of a community on one’s health. I really appreciate the wide range of options the discipline allows you to discover.

What is your career objective?

I aspire to be a physician assistant in women’s health. Public health allows me to view patients with a holistic lens when providing care. I would love to be able to bridge the gap in clinical care and community care at a personal level with patients. I also would love to use my platform to advocate for health disparities and public health issues. 

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

The program supports you for life after graduation with networking skills, field experiences, internships and opportunities to get involved in the community. I have also changed the way I approach problems. Public health opens your mind to viewing situations from directly forward to seeing how multiple factors influence the situation, which is really important for my career aspirations.

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

Small classes at Carroll are really beneficial for learning and creating close bonds with your professors. In almost every single course I have taken at Carroll, I have created relationships with my professors and in turn really developed as a student and professional through these relationships and the advice that professors have to offer. Professors at Carroll want to get to know you and love having conversations with students, which is a really comforting feeling when class concepts are confusing or overwhelming.  

What is the most memorable experience you’ve had in your education at Carroll?

As a public health major, we have the opportunity to partner with organizations in the community to experience public health from a personal account. For my field experience I was fortunate to be partnered with the National Kidney Foundation. The CEO was very gracious to allow me to take on an important project developing policy around kidney donation that helped me grow as a professional, network, and experience the true breadth and forms of public health work in a community. 

How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person?

I have been able to complete two minors, psychology and biochemistry, because of the ample time and space in my schedule after planning for my major. This is really helpful when considering the courses I need to complete for graduate school. I was able to join the public health club that does fun and impactful volunteering in the community. I have also been able to pursue my passion of art through the Pioneer Core by taking a few art classes that helped me develop my artistic sensibilities.

If you were recommending your major to a prospective student, what would you tell them?

Public Health is a great major if you’re interested in helping people but aren’t exactly sure how to go about it. This major allows you to discover health from so many perspectives: occupational, environmental, global, community, and disciplines that aren’t always associated with health, such as policy.

How has financial aid has made a difference in your life?

I received scholarships from Carroll donors and from FAFSA. Having financial aid is a such a relief when trying to complete your undergraduate studies because it’s one less thing to stress about, especially when course loads can feel heavy. It is also nice to have the ability to allocate money to different things such as cross-cultural experience (CCE) trips.

What’s your favorite place to study on campus?

My favorite place to study is the coffee shop because it has bustling energy of productivity and there’s always someone to talk to or meet. Feeling the energy of others around me getting work done really helps me focus. Also, there’s coffee, which is always a plus. 

Learn more about the public health program

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