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Episode #186 From Mechanical Engineering & Aerospace To Public Health, With Vicki Hart, PhD, MS


When she left aerospace, she originally planned to pursue a MS in statistics. In her first year, she took an epidemiology course as an elective and was hooked on public health. Statistics became biostatistics, which led to epidemiology.


On this episode, you’ll meet Dr. Vicki Hart, who is an Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont. She will share how her career journey has helped her transition into her public health career today. She also offers informative career tips for students, graduates and professionals.


Meet Victoria Hart


Dr. Vicki Hart is an Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont, where she teaches epidemiology and biostatistics in the online Master of Public Health program. Her primary interests are in engaging students in evidence-based public health, performing research related to rural health, and exploring best practices for teaching online.


Dr. Hart discovered public health after earning her BS in Mechanical Engineering and working in the aerospace industry for 9 years. In pursuit of a socially responsible application for her skills, she earned a MS in Biostatistics and a PhD in Epidemiology. Public health has since become an ideal professional home because it allows Dr. Hart to apply quantitative methods to work that is both necessary and meaningful. The current pandemic has only emphasized the importance of this work.


Before joining the full-time faculty at UVM, Dr. Hart worked as an independent consultant, providing research design and analysis support to public health organizations. Consulting gave her the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects and the flexibility to relocate to the Netherlands for a couple of years. Now back in Vermont, Dr. Hart brings that entrepreneurial energy to the online classroom and the UVM MPH program.


Listen To The Podcast Episode


Dr. Hart's Career Tips for Students


(1) Use your faculty, they are there to help! Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice.


(2) Engage with your fellow students; they will form the base of your public health network in years to come.


(3) Take at least one elective outside of your specific public health interest. Public health is so broad and you may discover a new perspective or direction.



Dr. Hart's Career Tips for Graduates and Professionals


(1) Be flexible but specific in your career search. Public health can range from policy to statistics. Be open to different ideas, but also have an idea of what direction you want to pursue.


(2) Network, network, network.


3) If you're interested in the quantitative side of public health, look wherever research is being done; where there is public health data being gathered, there is a need for someone to analyze it!



Connect with Dr. Vicki Hart


Connect with Vicki Hart, PhD on LinkedIn


Email Dr. Hart



Action Steps


Enroll in the Public Health Consulting & Entrepreneurship EXPO.


Work with Dr. Huntley to build and grow your public health consulting business.


Subscribe to the podcast.


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