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Courtney Blondino, M.P.H. [View Image]
Department: Division of Epidemiology
I received my BS in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise from Virginia Tech in 2015 and my MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Kentucky in 2017. While at the University of Kentucky, I was the Fitness Graduate Assistant for the Personal Training Program, working within the Campus Recreation and Wellness Department. I was also a Research Assistant for the Kentucky Violent Death Reporting System where I collected data for my thesis paper “Do numbers matter? Comparing single homicide-suicide and multiple homicide-suicide using the National Violent Death Reporting System, 2003-2012.”
My interest in public health developed from a wellness standpoint and translated to epidemiology, studying more specifically in social epidemiology. While working as an intern at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond, Virginia, I began to understand that violence is much more than a criminal-legal problem. Violence is a public health problem. By changing the lens and studying violence as a health outcome resulting from multiple risk factors, prevention efforts can be more accurately addressed.
I chose the VCU PhD program to become an independent research scientist with one-on-one attention from faculty mentors. The academic environment cultivates opportunities and open conversation to better develop my skills as a public health professional.