In this episode I interview Angel Algarin. He provides guidance and helpful tips for becoming actively involved, and gaining public health experience. Angel is a doctoral student, working towards his PhD in epidemiology. He is a very active member of the American Public Health Association’s epidemiology section, as well as a few other national and local organizations. In the section below, you will find a summary of highlights of what we discussed in this episode, but I encourage you to listen to the full episode as well.
Covered in this episode:
Angel discusses his educational background and the degree he’s currently working on.
B.A. in Spanish with a focus in Latin American Culture and Literature from Ohio State University
MPH in Epidemiology and a certificate in global health from the University of Kentucky
Currently working on my PhD in Epidemiology at Florida International University about HIV in the MSM population
Angel explains about how he became interested in public health and HIV research.
He was first inspired by Lady Gaga’s campaign to fund HIV prevention research.
He was interested in becoming a research veterinarian to find a cure for HIV through animals with similar diseases.
He found himself drawn more towards sociology and psychology and how those topics intertwine with science and public health.
His educational background helps him tell a story with the data and give people a different perspective on his scientific research.
He plans to write his PhD dissertation about HIV related stigmas and psychological disorders of people living with HIV.
Angel describes how research projects, associations, and volunteering have shaped his learning process and how he got involved.
As an undergraduate, he utilized “The Ohio State University” Undergraduate Research Office to find faculty that had research projects he was interested in. (he explains why it is important to always say “the” instead of just saying “Ohio State University”)
He sends cold emails to professors, public health professionals, and people involved in the community to network, find research projects, and learn about new opportunities.
He has a great mentor at FIU that has helped him find research projects and collaborate with organizations like with the Southern HIV and Alcohol Consortium (SHARC) of Florida.
He has volunteered with populations that he wants to serve, which has changed his perspective on his own research.
He serves as a Governing Counselor with the American Public Health Association.
He helps with local task forces like the Prophylaxis Task Force in Miami, sponsored by the Florida Department of Health, to help prevent new HIV infections
Angel shares tips for current students interested in public health that have helped him along the way.
Participate in local task forces to show your interest in the issues. People will see you involved and when they have a job open up they might reach out to you.
Sit in on meetings with local organization, government, and events and apply what you observe in those settings to what you are learning in the classroom.
Join the American Public Health Association, submit an abstract to the conference, and present your research.
Find a mentor and senior researchers that you can collaborate with.
Improve your writing. Ask your professors and college writing centers to help you with your scientific writing because good writing helps you present your research, get grant funding, and get published.