Sociomedical Sciences Alumni Testimonials
Where are they now?
Drew O'Neil '21
Center for Disease Control (CDC) Public Health Associate; M.S. graduate student in Sociomedical Sciences starting Fall 2023
"Course content, reading, writing, and research requirements for the Sociomedical Sciences major prepared me to excel in my position with the CDC. The experiences and perspectives I gained in this major got me this job and made me into the person I am today. The topics covered in the Sociomedical Sciences courses made me familiar of many issues I deal with daily at work and in life! I was also fortunate to present at GREAT Day twice, with two research projects I completed through the Sociomedical Sciences major. Better yet, one of those research projects, my senior capstone, was published in Geneseo's The Proceedings of GREAT Day, making me a solo published author at a very early stage in my career. Lastly, the professors in the major made me feel seen, valued, and cared for. I was provided with the perfect balance of independence and guidance to succeed in and out of the classroom."
Angel Alejandro '21
Clinical Program Coordinator, NYU Langone Health; MPH in Public Health and Healthcare Management/Policy, New York University's School of Global Public Health (2023)
"The Sociomedical Sciences program provided me with the realization that I love public health. The courses in this major were amazing and taught by the best instructors who really cared about their students and really took time to get to know us, help us learn, and during senior year, get the most out of our careers after we graduated. The classes in this major taught me real life skills that I use in the workplace and prepared me for graduate school by teaching me about topics that I am now seeing again in my masters level program."
Emily Lumbis '22
MPH Graduate Student at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
"I am currently pursuing my master’s in public health (MPH) in the department of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City. Majoring in Sociomedical Sciences at Geneseo well-prepared me for this program since it provided a broad and interdisciplinary range of social science courses and unique experiences. Many of the courses I took while at Geneseo for Sociomedical Sciences directly apply to what I am learning in my public health courses now. The Sociomedical Sciences program exposed me to important theoretical concepts, history, and social determinants of health that are relevant in the field of public health. I feel that the Sociomedical Sciences program did an excellent job at preparing me for pursuing graduate education."
Qyarah De Jesus '21
Community Health Worker at AIRnyc, Bronx, NY
"My time at Geneseo and in the Sociomedical Sciences program extensively prepared me for the role I am currently in as a Community Health Worker. Our mission at my current organization is to improve health, connect families to social care, and build health equity at the individual, family, and community levels. I believe everything I learned through the Sociomedical Sciences program aligns with this mission. I have always had a passion for helping others, but my time in the SMSc program directed my spark in the direction of how I want to help and what changes I want to see in the medical field. Everything I learned in the SMSc program, from the social determinants of health to social inequality to structural racism, as well as many other topics within the medical community, is something I use every day in my career. I am forever grateful for the Sociomedical Sciences program and everything it taught me; It has significantly impacted my career thus far, and I know it will continue to do so."
Rachel Roth '21
MS Graduate Student in Occupational Therapy at Clarkson University
"I have had employers and many graduate schools tell me that having my degree in Sociomedical Sciences made me highly marketable and allowed me to stand out as an applicant. I truly feel that the concepts I learned within the Sociomedical Sciences major can easily be applied to graduate school, occupational therapy, and my everyday life. Many theories and ideas I learned throughout my classes are easily applicable to graduate school and my future practice. The most applicable idea I gathered through the Sociomedical Sciences major is the notion of intersectional perspectives of patient care."
Allison Panaro '22
NYS Public Health Fellow, Erie County Department of Health
"The Sociomedical Sciences major has given me every skill I need in my current position as a public health fellow. Without this major and especially the capstone project, I would not feel nearly as prepared as I do. Not only that, just the content I have learned in the Sociomedical Sciences major alone has allowed me to be able to understand research and discuss it with experts. I feel incredibly knowledgeable and often see a lot of the same terminology or names of individuals we learned about in different classes as part of the major. The Sociomedical Sciences major was the best choice I could have made towards my career and especially for the fellowship position I currently hold. I cannot say enough and feel the program could not have prepared me any better."
Dyanna Coble '22
MHA/MPH Graduate Student in dual Healthcare Administration and Public Health program at Purdue University
"I think that when I started the Sociomedical Sciences major, I was able to hone my interests in as well as realize what I really wanted to do. I think that all of the classes I took for this major flowed together really well and because I had the same professors for several classes, I was able to get really close to them and have them as mentors as well as professors."
Haley Kent, '21
Health Coach, MaineHealth
Since graduating from Geneseo, "I applied, was accepted, and committed to Emory University's Master of Public Health Program in Global Health and Infectious Disease. I deferred my acceptance for one year and now work as a Health Coach for MaineHealth. This involves working with immigrants and low socioeconomic status Mainers to reduce SDOH barriers. The Sociomedical Sciences major gave me a broad perspective on the challenges minorities and non-Americans face when trying to obtain equitable healthcare."
Jillian DeMaria '22
AmeriCorps, Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS); MPH Graduate Student at Boston University starting Fall 2023
"Currently, I am serving with AmeriCorps to gain experience within the field of public health as I am in the process of applying for Masters of Public Health programs. I am serving with the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) as a member of the Community Health Network (CHN). As an AmeriCorps member at CHN, I am screening underserved members of NYC for insurance eligibility and making appointments for referrals, as well as Department of Health reporting, support the Health Literacy Department’s work to ensure patients are able to understand the health information they are given, and engage in outreach to assess the digital divide that has made it difficult for patients to connect to healthcare providers during the COVID-19 era and beyond. The Sociomedical Sciences major at SUNY Geneseo has prepared me immensely for my AmeriCorps position at CHN. The Sociomedical Sciences major helped me gain interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that are directly associated with health and medicine, and especially the social determinants of health that make it difficult for many to receive adequate health care services. Core courses such as Medical Anthropology and Sociology of Medicine prepared me greatly for this position as they focus on the biopsychosocial model of health – which is very important for me to evaluate multiple layers of health within the patients I cater to as well as discuss the various divides in medicine that make it difficult for patients to receive the care they are entitled to and deserve. In addition, opportunities such as the senior capstone within the Sociomedical Sciences major has also prepared me for aspects of my position such as engaging in outreach and DOH reporting.
Katie Sheehan '22
Biomedical Research Technician, NYU School of Medicine
"The Sociomedical Sciences major strongly prepared me for my current position where I’m required to contribute to medical journals and do a significant amount of writing, which I was required to do in a lot of my Sociomedical Sciences classes. I also feel more comfortable interacting with patients of diverse groups given the immense amount of time we spent on concepts such as social determinants of health and patient provider interactions. I’ve stood out as a candidate when applying to healthcare positions because there has been a huge push for people in healthcare to be socially aware and have knowledge of disparities in the healthcare system so that patients feel understood and more comfortable interacting with providers and in return receiving better care."
Olivia Leclerc '21
AmeriCorps VISTA, Central Vermont Prevention Coalition
"The Sociomedical Sciences program prepared me in a plethora of ways for the position I have held this past year, as a rural community organizer, and I know for my career to come. Firstly, the extensive writing and analysis I did in this major was unlike another other classes I had taken before, I was encouraged to take my learning under my control and worked hard to write weekly essays about important points I was learning that week. My capstone project, which focused on Black women's childbirth experiences and infant mortality, was one of my most impactful projects in my major. I learned how to affectively conduct a research project, including setting deadlines, and how to analyze qualitative data. I continue to talk about this project to my employers today and believe it has set a foundation for me to feel confident talking about research in present day."
Brooke French '22
Applying to M.S. Programs in Physician Assistant Studies
"The Sociomedical Sciences major was a great major choice for myself with my goal of attending school to become a Physician Assistant. Because of the broad range of courses this major entails, I was able to take many applicable classes about medicine from different perspectives such as Sociology of Medicine, as well as courses that are required for applying to PA programs, like Anatomy and Physiology. This major makes you think about health and medicine from a viewpoint that is very different from the typical one we look at health through and because of that I think it is a great and beneficial major that is helping me excel in my post-bacc program and will someday help me excel in becoming a PA!
Jordan Moore '22
AmeriCorps, Apicha Community Health Center, Jackson Heights, Queens; MPH Graduate Student at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
"The Sociomedical Sciences major opened my eyes to an array of public health issues. My experience in the program instilled critical thinking skills, which are advantageous for analyzing creative solutions to problems faced by affected communities. As an AmeriCorps member primarily working with target communities in Queens, NY, this has been one of the most useful tools while helping those in need access resources to healthcare services. The major requirements also instill a strong sense of cultural competence in students, which is crucial to understanding daily obstacles when working with individuals who face challenges such as language barriers and lack of transportation."
McKenzie LaDue '22
MS Graduate Student in Occupational Therapy at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY
"The Sociomedical Sciences major gave me the well-rounded education I needed to be successful in my Master’s program for occupational therapy. I had the opportunity to take courses regarding biological health and learn how environment and culture impact well-being, all of which I will use in practice as an occupational therapist."
Laura Montes '22
College Access Coordinator, Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York (BHGHNY)
"The Sociomedical Sciences major allowed me to explore different roads post-graduation to non-profit organizations that align with my passion to achieve social justice in all spaces of society. From education to immigrant rights and reform, what I learned in my courses prepared me for the work that I am doing now. For example, my major challenged me to think critically about the social determinants of health, one being education as a powerful force that impacts people's lives. In many of my classes, we learned about the relationship between education and health. With this knowledge, I was able to concentrate my interest in higher education and access to it as the focus of the beginning of my professional career.
Jason Nietzschmann '20
Health Home Care Manager at HONOR; MPH in Health Policy & Management from CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (2023)
“Completing the Sociomedical Sciences major equipped me with a robust understanding of complex social, political, and cultural restraints that prevent quality of care within the United States, such as socioeconomic and ethnic health disparities. Continuing my education with a Masters in Public Health, I can say with confidence that this degree has helped me immensely in preparing for my future career in the health care field.”
Sneha Singh '21
Ophthalmic Assistant and Applying to M.S. Programs in Physician Assistant Studies
"The Sociomedical Sciences major helped me gain a deeper understanding of the correlation between social issues and health inequalities and the complexities present in the health care industry. The majority of the classes have been relevant to my current work as an ophthalmic assistant. This position enables me to serve underserved populations and inspires me to pursue my dream of becoming a physician assistant. I am thoroughly invested in serving underserved communities and the ability to view situations through the lens of the sociomedical sciences has provided me with a deeper understanding of the prevalence of racial, social and economic injustice in healthcare. Applying the concepts I learned has helped me to navigate complex real life situations and to provide resources to underserved communities.
Abigail (Abbie) Guisbond '19
Project Operations Specialist with the New York State Department of Health; MPH in Health Policy and Management from University of Albany's School of Public Health (2022)
After graduating in 2019, Abbie, an Anthropology major and Sociomedical Sciences minor, worked as a Government Affairs and Policy Associate at Capital Health Consulting LLC, in Albany, NY. Abbie obtained an MPH in Health Policy and Management from University of Albany's School of Public Health in 2022 and is now a Special Assistant to NY's Commissioner of Health Mary T. Bassett. Abbie says, "The Sociomedical Sciences Program and the Anthropology Department has given me the experience to be "thrown into" full-time work post-graduation (5 days) in the field of Government Affairs and Health Policy. I am confident that my time at Geneseo has prepared me for future interactions with important members of the State Legislature, so I can continue to advocate for the health issues I am passionate about!"
Lorenzo Rodriguez '19
Fulbright Scholar, Bulgaria
After graduating, Lorenzo, an Anthropology major and Sociomedical Sciences minor, moved to Bulgaria as a Fulbright scholar to study Bulgaria's healthcare system. Lorenzo believes that his minor in Sociomedical Sciences gave him "the knowledge and experience necessary to best carry out his role as a Fulbright researcher, and to remain civically engaged both at home and abroad."