Tyra is a recent Walden alumna with a PhD in Public Health. During her degree program, she consulted the Career Services Center for help with getting a job in her field. She was advised to gain public health work experience to complement her educational background and to build her professional network. The Career Services Center sent Tyra links to public health opportunities in her area and suggested that she explore volunteer opportunities that would give her substantive experience. Tyra took this advice to heart and landed a volunteer position for her county’s Board of Health. She volunteered Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm and took a position doing temp work to earn an income.
During her volunteer work, Tyra designed and distributed community health promotion materials related to reducing obesity. She collaborated on “Live Healthy” and “Master Active Living” programs. She made targeted networking efforts and was very willing to to volunteer for special events, which were often held on weekends. Through registering attendees at a local “Let’s Move” event, a high profile initiative developed by First Lady Michelle Obama, she met many professionals and experts in the public health field. Through volunteering at a woman’s health conference, she met the District Director for her county’s Board of Health.
Tyra’s hard work and dedication in her volunteer position paid off after just six months. When positions opened with her county’s public health department, she was offered a position without even an interview! Her employer stated that it was her work ethic that got her the job.
In her new role as CPPW (Community Putting Prevention to Work) Obesity Coordinator for the County Board of Health, Tyra works on community health programs – such as community gardens to raise fruits and vegetables and healthier lunch options in public schools – to reduce obesity. Obesity is an area of special interest for Tyra, as it was the subject of her Walden dissertation where she compared the effectiveness of worksite wellness programs and on-line wellness programs in reducing obesity. She hopes to land an adjunct teaching role and plans to continue obesity research at the County Board of Health.
We wish Tyra great success in her new role!
Written by Career Services Director Lisa Cook