To Alexis Strokoff, it’s all about the people.
The double-major takes a people-centric approach to environmental health and safety, tying in her anthropology background, to push for the best health outcomes for all.
The Tampa native earned her first bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of South Florida in 2014, and graduated May 6 with her second bachelor’s degree in public health from the USF College of Public Health.
“I love my home city so much that even though I was accepted to other colleges, I took the opportunity to study here,” she said.
Strokoff first developed an interest in public health while working toward her anthropology degree, and says that part of public health’s inherent interest is its usefulness.
“In the anthropology program, you learn a myriad of topics, which is fitting for the holistic study of mankind. You learn about our evolutionary origins, the vast amount of different languages and cultures, population genetics, our archaeological record and global health inequities,” said Strokoff. “Anthropology turned me on to wanting to explore people and health deeper, and that’s when I learned about public health and medical anthropology.”
“Whenever we see a statistical comparison before and after a program is implemented and we see a positive change, I get really excited because it’s people helping people in doable ways,” she said.
While at the COPH, Strokoff had the opportunity to experience “people helping people” hands-on; she counts it as one of her all-time favorite experiences with COPH.
Strokoff participated with the annual flu drive offered by COPH last fall, and helped to educate the public about the virus and provide vaccinations.
Although Strokoff “has met a myriad of amazing people, students and faculty” during her time with COPH, there is one person who manages to stand out among the rest—Elizabeth Dunn, adjunct faculty in the Department of Global Health.
“She is passionate about her subject area and liked by all,” said Strokoff. “I aspire to be more like her.”
Strokoff can sum up her experience with COPH in just three simple words:
“Time well spent.”
Strokoff balanced education, extracurricular activities and volunteering as a student, serving as a true example for the term “jam-packed schedule.” As a student, she was a part of the USF Disaster and Humanitarian Relief Student Collaborative, USF Fencing, USF Combat Sports and USF Jiu Jitsu.
“This program has been enriching in every sense of the word,” she said. “I feel super privileged to have met the people I have, and have learned the concepts and ideas that I have.”
Strokoff has already secured post-graduate employment with Amazon’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHAS) Sector as a safety specialist.
“I am extremely excited to be tasked with the position to keep people safe while on the job,” she said. “These duties largely revolve around promoting a safety culture, auditing work place conditions and practices, as well as equipment.”
Although Strokoff is excited to put her education to use, she’s still got her eyes fixed firmly on the future. One day, she said hopes to be influencing global progress as a philanthropist or prolific author.
“Marriage, personal luxuries, and achievements all take second place to that number one goal, and I will stay hungry chasing that goal,” said Strokoff.
Story by Shelby Bourgeois, USF College of Public Health