“We are simply the BEST! I really love how the major has classes from each discipline in public health,” said Gladys Munoz, a 2014 USF College of Public Health graduate. “The instructors and professors are amazing! They teach with passion and describe their experiences in the field and inspire you to get involved within the public health community.”
Never one to be shy, Munoz jumped right into campus life in her first semester as a Bull. She joined the Latin American Student Association and participated with REACH. She also found her her passion for public health through a course called Sexual Health Decision Making.
“Everything in public health is fascinating and interesting,” Munoz said. “I think what interests me the most is community and family health, specifically reproductive health.”
In her sophomore year, Munoz traveled to the Dominican Republic with the Global Health Student Association. As a junior, she became an HIV/AIDS Counselor for The B.R.I.D.G.E. Healthcare Clinic and an active member of the Undergraduate Public Health Student Association (UPHSA).
Eventually, her peers elected her UPHSA secretary and in her senior year she led the group as co-president.
“This is my own personal accomplishment because I get to make a difference in the community and educate Hispanic/Latinos on reproductive health matters,” Munoz said.
Like most college students, she had to learn how to balance academic and extracurricular activities. In fact, time management was one of her greatest challenges that she eventually mastered.
“I believe the key to success is to manage your time … knowing what assignments, responsibilities, and tasks I need to complete keeps me sane!”
A native of Lima, Peru, Munoz loves to travel. At least once a year she hits the road on a new adventure. The next state on her list to conquer is California. That’s because she begins a graduate program in health promotion and behavioral sciences at San Diego State University this fall. Ultimately, Munoz hopes to earn a doctorate with a focus on Latino health research.
Regardless of the road traveled, the first generation college graduate is sure to be a success. And, is well on her way to landing her dream job of being the executive director for the National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health.
Established in 1984 as the first school of public health in the State of Florida, the USF College of Public Health is a recognized leader in community health, online education, maternal and child health, social marketing, and global infectious disease research. Fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, the college offers 25 concentrations that lead to MHA, MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degrees, as well as a BSPH, several dual degrees, graduate certificates, and online programs. To learn more about the college committed to passionately solve problems and create conditions that allow every person the universal right to health and well-being, visit www.publichealth.usf.edu.
Story by Infiniti Mincy and photos by Kenneth Griffin and Natalie D. Preston, USF College of Public Health