From classmates to colleagues, recent grads share new career experiences

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USF College of Public Health alumni Anthony Marquez and Matt Allman have found themselves in the same building, but this time as colleagues rather than classmates.  

The recent epidemiology grads—Marquez earned an MPH in 2019 and Allman is a double COPH alumnus earning an MPH in 2019 and bachelors in 2017—are working as epidemiologists for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) in Maryland

The DHA is a support agency that supports military medical services in an effort to provide a medically ready force. They also support the delivery of health services to military beneficiaries.

Anthony Marquez (left) and Matt Allman (right) stand outside their office at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. (Photo courtesy of Anthony Marquez)

“I’ve wanted to be an epidemiologist since I was 13,” Allman said. “The position itself was highly attractive—being able to help serve my country as well as keep people healthy is a big plus. I’m excited to help make a positive difference in the health of our Army soldiers.”

Allman, who is originally from St. Petersburg, Fla., investigates trends in various rates of outcomes for behavioral health and infectious disease.

“[This] is an amazing opportunity to learn my craft, specifically in my field,” Marquez said. “It checked the two most important boxes for me, being great for my skill development, and setting me up for the future. In addition, my newfound sense of adventure felt it was time to leave Florida for a new adventure.”

Marquez—a Newport News, Va. native—who works in the injury prevention and disease epidemiology division, is now desk neighbors with Allman.

“I love working around so many experienced and intelligent people,” he said. “My coworkers serve as both role models and leaders to what I want to become in the future. It’s amazing to be there to contribute to actual projects that actually make a difference in the lives of soldiers in the armed forces.”

While these new careers are bringing new experiences to the grads, the pair both said that their time at the USF COPH helped to fully prepare them.

Allman completed an internship with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County Department of Epidemiology as a student and Marquez worked with Tampa’s Special Olympics of Florida to enhance their public health initiatives.

“I never lived outside of Virginia, so coming to Tampa was a huge change for me,” Marquez said. “I was really uncomfortable for a while (that heat!), until I started creating routines and striving towards goals. Once I was able to create a sense of home for myself and make some new friends, it became a lot easier to settle in. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to go through the program. Everything I learned in school is actually used in my career. I feel as though there was no fluff in the program.”

Anthony Marquez poses with Rocky at graduation. (Photo courtesy of Anthony Marquez)

Allman said that during his time at the COPH, a big challenge was balancing life, classes, work and all his extracurriculars—he was also a member of the USF Health Executive Student Leadership Board (ESLB).

“I earned a great education, made incredible friends and connections with professionals, and got fantastic hands-on experience from my internship,” he said. “USF had the right combination of program and location for me. It was close to home, and number 1 in the state of Florida for public health.”

Plans for the future for Allman include going for a DrPH degree and for Marquez to transition into data science and analytics for professional sports.

“I love how public health has the ability to help large groups of individuals through numbers,” Marquez said.

Matt Allman (second from right) as a student practicing public health affairs training skills in how to respond to a disaster scenario at the American Red Cross. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dunn)

“I love that public health is so versatile—you can do just about anything with a background in public health. I love epidemiology especially because you can see big trends and help fight different kinds of diseases or negative health outcomes,” Allman said.

Fast Five (Matt Allman):

What did you dream of becoming when you were young?

I dreamed of being an astronaut!

Where would we find you on the weekend?

Usually at home relaxing with my wife.

What is the last book you read?

A Star Trek book, the “Latter Fire” by James Swallow.

What superpower would you like to have?

I think teleportation would be pretty cool.

What’s your all-time favorite movie?

The Matrix is my all-time favorite movie!

Fast Five (Anthony Marquez):

What did you dream of becoming when you were young? 


Where would we find you on the weekend?

At a coffee shop

What is the last book you read? 

“Movies (And Other Things)” by Shea Serrano

What superpower would you like to have? 

Not really a superpower but I’d like to be half human, half robot… basically like Robocop

What’s your all-time favorite movie? 

Garden State

Story by Anna Mayor, USF College of Public Health