Career Services : Recent Alumni Profiles

Jamal Jones, MPH’13

Doctoral Student, Ph.D. in Public Health, Georgia State University, School of Public Health, Atlanta, Georgia

What did you like most about your MPH/MSPH program?

I was fortunate to meet some great people while I was a graduate student at the University of Miami. From fellow students to faculty and staff, there was a great support system. Students participated in study groups so that we could maximize our success in the MPH program. More important, there was comradery beyond the classroom as we often participated in community service and social events together. The faculty were very helpful and made themselves available to answer questions and clarify concepts during office hours. My faculty mentors served as guides along my path to the MPH degree and helped to influence my decision to pursue a PhD.

Please provide a description of what you’re doing now and what you like best about it.

I am currently a PhD student at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health (GSU SPH) in Atlanta, GA. I also currently serve as the Vice President for UM’s Public Health Alumni Association. Upon enrolling at GSU, I was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Southern Region Education Board, State Doctoral Scholars Program. I am currently working with GSU SPH faculty members on several projects including a social media marketing campaign aimed at increasing HIV testing among the African-American population in cities of the Deep South as well as determining how traumatic events and other psychological stressors impact telomere length among transgender women in the Atlanta area. My primary research interests are HIV prevention among minorities in urban communities and sexual health disparities experienced by minorities. Atlanta is home for me so I am thrilled to conduct research among minority populations here! I’ve also had the chance to travel and implement research in other cities of the Deep South. My research here allows me to improve the health of Georgians and adopt our prevention strategies for populations in other places around the country.

What advice would you give to prospective and current MPH/MSPH students looking to do something similar to you?

They should get to know the faculty within the Department of Public Health Sciences and find a mentor. The faculty there can provide excellent mentorship and practical research opportunities. All it takes is a little courage to approach the faculty and tenacity to accomplish your goals.