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An MPH graduate now working for the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the CDC.
It was a desire to improve the health of the neediest populations that led Tyson Volkmann, 2005 MPH graduate, to pursue a masters in public health. In his speech at the School of Public Health Fall Convocation ceremony, he said that in his travels after college graduation, “Being new to the developing world, the thing that stuck me most, besides the genuine kindness of people everywhere I went, was the catastrophic levels of poverty, and health conditions that are a direct result of poverty. I could not shake what I saw.”
Volkmann was selected as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013. He is currently stationed in Bridgetown, Barbados and serves as the Associate Director for Science and Epidemiologist with the Caribbean Regional Office. His mission there is to improve HIV control programs throughout the Caribbean. Volkmann credits his MPH in Epidemiology and Doctorate in International Health, earned from the University of California, San Diego, with putting him on path to achieve the level of success he has in his career. He states that his “career trajectory is merely a series of events that stemmed from the opportunities the degrees provide.” Volkmann hopes to continue working overseas and would like to work cross-collaboratively with the World Health Organization or another influential global health body.
Volkmann chose the UAB School of Public Health because it was one of the few at the time offering an MPH with an emphasis in international health. However, some of his first public health fieldwork was done on a local level. While working, he gained valuable experience working and traveling around Alabama conducting preparedness training for first responders. Volkmann saw the impact and importance of the work he did in Alabama. At convocation, he reminded new graduates “the description of their career path does not have to read like a UNICEF brochure. They can affect change in the world anywhere they are.”