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Alumni Profile

Katharine Rossitch, BSPH Class of 2012

Katharine Rossitch, BSPH Class of 2012

What have you been up to since graduating from the BSPH program?

Since graduating from the BSPH program in May 2012, I have completed three years of dental school at UNC (across the street so I haven’t gone far). I am on track to graduate in a year as planned!

What are one or two of the highlights or most rewarding things you have done?

One of the most rewarding opportunities was my dental mission trip to Nepal. I spent a month of my summer with four other dental students and a dentist traveling around the country providing free dental services to the Nepalese. We were able to work closely with Nepalese dental students, which amplified the experience even more! Even though Nepal is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world, you would never guess it by talking with the people. Every conversation I had further proved that happiness came from perspective, love, and family and not from money or possessions.

Another rewarding experience has been working very closely with two faculty members to transform our school wide service organization into a student chapter of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. I was missing my public health roots and wanted an outlet to learn more about how to incorporate public health into my dental career. Along with several representatives from each dental class, I organized about 10-15 service projects per semester for all students. We also try to educate students about what it means to be a public health dentist through “Lunch and Learns” and newsletters. Our mission is to help students learn how to continue incorporating service into their career once they graduate.

What are your plans for the next few years, as far as you know them?

My plan for the next few years is still in the works! I may pursue a General Practice Residency in Seattle (where I did my BSPH internship) with the hopes of gaining more experience treating more medically compromised patients. I’d then like to work for a community health clinic in a big city. I want to be very involved in prevention outreach projects so I can make a greater impact on my community. I do love the clinical side of dentistry so that will always be on my list.

From where you are now, what are some of the things that were most beneficial about the HPM BSPH program?

I cannot say enough wonderful things about the BSPH program! The program honed my ability to be a strong leader, an effective presenter, and a better clinician. Learning to work well in a team is surprisingly a skill that many people do not possess in the professional world. I am so grateful to have the chance to work so closely with other students in the program. Learning how to work with people who may have different styles has been crucial. Also, all of the “real world” experience we receive has been incredibly helpful. I feel so comfortable leading service projects and organizing large groups of students because of those experiences.


Burcu Bozkurt, BSPH Class of 2013

Burcu Bozkurt, BSPH Class of 2013

What have you been up to since graduating from the BSPH program?

I was one of a few students that took an extra semester to graduate, displacing my senior fall with a unique public health study abroad program in Vietnam (an opportunity that the HPM program so graciously allowed me to pursue).

After graduation in December 2012, I joined RTI International as a public health analyst for their Women, Children and Families program. My portfolio consisted of projects with clients like the CDC, CMS, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In February of 2013, I transitioned to a one-year policy associate role with a reproductive health organization named Ipas. I worked on sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy surrounding U.S. foreign policy in Washington, DC. I am now headed to the private sector to work with the Advisory Board Company!

What are one or two of the highlights or most rewarding things you have done?

In November of 2013, I was chosen as one of a handful of youth delegates to attend the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. I addressed and opened a plenary in front of several hundred people at the African Union, which was a big career highlight for me. Since then, some of the youth delegates and I have worked hard to launch the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning, which now has over 1,000 members and has received financial support from the Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.

What are your plans for the next few years, as far as you know them?

Graduate school is in the works, but I am still learning a tremendous amount from being in the workforce, so it’s a balance!

From where you are now, what are some of the things that were most beneficial about the HPM BSPH program?

By far, enrolling in the HPM BSPH program was the best decision I made as an undergrad. The program afforded me an incredible amount of high-quality mentorship, client exposure, and project management experience I would not have received in any other program, let alone the public health expertise that I gained. In many ways (and I feel I can say this because I’ve been out for several years), from my own experiences, the graduates who take full advantage of all that the HPM BSPH program has to offer are just as, if not better, prepared for professional leadership than many in the field with an MPH. I am incredibly grateful for the experience that I gained, and personally, I know that it jumpstarted my own career in public health.

Anything else cool going on – or that you would like to add?

There is something to be said about the community that is created throughout the two years students spend in the program. Attending classes with your cohort, working on collaborative projects over a semester or a year, helping each other develop your theses – you obviously get to know your classmates really well! I met some of my best friends through the program. We spent many late nights in the atrium, working on this or that, and some of these HPM adventures are still some of my fondest memories from university. My HPM BSPH cohort certainly set the bar high for any graduate school cohort I may look to join, and I know it wasn’t luck – the students that enroll in the program are incredibly bright, diverse, and well-rounded individuals!

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Send your news (and pictures) to:
Jeffrey Simms
Director of Professional Development and Alumni Relations
117 Rosenau Hall, CB #7411
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411
919-966-7380
jsimms@email.unc.edu


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