Alumna Melissa Schreiber soars for study abroad

| Academic & Student Affairs, Featured News, Global Health, Monday Letter, Our Alumni

USF College of Public Health alumna Melissa Schreiber is using her public health knowledge and passion to educate her students at Valencia College in Orlando, Fla.

USF COPH Alumna Melissa Schreiber, MS, MPH (Photo courtesy of Schreiber).

USF COPH Alumna Melissa Schreiber, MS, MPH (Photo courtesy of Schreiber).

She later earned her MS in molecular biology and microbiology in 2008 at the University of Central Florida.

While earning her undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences, she was introduced to the field of public health during a microbiology class which prompted her to want to learn more.

“My favorite undergraduate class at USF was microbiology. I wanted to learn more about infectious disease and prevention,” Schreiber said. “I really enjoyed taking classes in the COPH and learned a lot of useful information for the prevention of disease.”

Schreiber said her most valuable experience while at the COPH was being able to study abroad.

“I am thankful for the USF COPH for the opportunities to study abroad in Germany, completing my field experience in Panama, and my internship regarding HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia,” she said.

After earning an MPH in global communicable diseases from USF, Schreiber obtained an MS in molecular biology and microbiology.

Since then, Schreiber has been teaching full-time at Valencia College earning tenure in 2011. She teaches biology, microbiology and health education study abroad courses.

She appreciates that she’s able to apply what she learned at the COPH especially during her time studying abroad to her current position.

“I love taking students abroad so they can learn about different cultures, languages, history, food, etc. It is amazing for students to learn about microbiology in a textbook, but to be able to apply it in real life is better.”

Melissa Schreiber with her study abroad students in front of the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France (Photo Courtesy of Melissa Schreiber).

Melissa Schreiber with her study abroad students in front of the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France (Photo Courtesy of Melissa Schreiber).

Her favorite experience with her students was traveling to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

“I learned about the WHO in college, but to visit the WHO in Geneva was an amazing educational experience,” she said. “We listened to a lecture at the WHO about the eradication of polio. Truly amazing!”

Melissa Schreiber and her study abroad class at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland (Photo courtesy of Schreiber).

Melissa Schreiber and her study abroad class at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland (Photo courtesy of Schreiber).

In her free time, Schreiber leads fitness classes and trains on aerial silks.

“I have been training on aerial silks for almost six years. I have been active my entire life and I started training on silks because I wanted to do something different than just lifting weights,” she said.  “It is amazing to lift your body weight 25 feet in the air.”

Melissa Schreiber performing on aerial silks (Photo by Holly Wheldon).

Melissa Schreiber performing on aerial silks (Photo by Holly Wheldon).

In the future, she hopes to make her dream of opening her own gym a reality or be able to lead a study abroad office at a major university.

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Fast Five for COPH Alumni:

What did you dream of becoming when you were young? 

To own a gym.

Where would we find you on the weekend?

Teaching fitness classes, at a local bar or home watching football, and traveling the world.

What is the last book you read?

My microbiology textbook.

What superpower would you like to have?

I can fly in the air on aerial silks.

What’s your all-time favorite movie?

“Liar, Liar”.

 

Story by Caitlin Keough, USF College of Public Health

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