Graduate Profile: Laura Wasek
Laura Wasek began attending the University of Michigan for her master’s degree in public health while they were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the polio vaccine.
Her time at Alma College made her realize that her public health minor could allow her to be a part of a similar discovery.
“When Dr. Robin Anderson first introduced me to public health it piqued my interest because it could be applied to so many different areas in the medical field,” the 2005 graduate says.
“Additionally, public health works at the population level, so work in the field has the potential to be very widespread; one public health policy or discovery could affect hundreds, thousands or even millions of people!”
An exercise and health science major, Wasek had never considered a career in public health before she came to Alma.
In graduate school, she was one of few students who had the opportunity to study epidemiology as an undergraduate.
“Epidemiology isn’t just about diseases, it’s about all of the different determinants of health, whether they’re biological, social or otherwise,” she says.
“A degree in public health teaches you to approach problems from many different standpoints and to use all of your scientific knowledge to think outside the box.”
While at Alma, she was involved in the Alma Symphony Orchestra, Gamma Phi Beta, Alma Leadership Alliance and in planning Homecoming.
She also was a student representative on the Board of Trustees and the Alumni board, worked as a student admissions representative and was the senior class secretary.
“Looking back on my time there I realize that so many of the different opportunities that I had at Alma helped shape me personally and academically and have led me to a place where I never thought I’d be when I started as a freshman,” she says.