Career Services : Recent Alumni Profiles

Kelly Withum, MSPH ‘13

Research Associate 2, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma and Critical Care, William Lehman Injury Research Center, Miami, Florida

How did your MPH or MSPH prepare you for what you’re doing now?

Through the MSPH program I was able to mature professionally, and develop skills that are crucial in a highly competitive market. My work on research studies in trauma education and training required the use of the diverse skills I attained from the MSPH program, specifically study and survey development, data management/analysis, public speaking, and the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. The skills obtained from the global health and public health administration courses were directly applied when I coordinated multiple trauma training programs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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

I am currently the Research Associate for the BMW Accident Research Program at the University of Miami, William Lehman Injury Research Center. This program is unique because of our multidisciplinary research team including experts in bio-mechanical engineering, trauma medicine, automobile crash investigation, and public health. We collect data from severe accidents to be able to understand how and why occupants are injured in motor vehicle crashes. What I like best is seeing a case come together with driver interview, police reports, vehicle and scene investigation data, radiology, and medical records that are utilized to determine countermeasures for motor vehicle crashes in the future.

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

I believe the value of your learning experience is heavily dependent on what you invest in the process. Use every opportunity available to meet new people, develop a professional network, reach out to faculty, hone critical thinking skills, develop data analysis skills, and enhance your public speaking and leadership skills. The University of Miami is a strong advocate of collective learning and collaboration, which is ever more relevant in today’s highly interconnected world.