APHA-SA: Biosketch Michael Pacheco
Involvement in APHA-SA:
Co-Chair for Advancement (2010-Present)
East Carolina University
Health Education and Promotion
B.S. in Health Education and Promotion – Community Health
Health policy, International health policy, Infectious and tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS and TB; particularly on the African continent
Other Leadership Activities:
Fellow/Co-Author for the M.A.C. AIDS Fund Leadership Initiative in partnership with UCLA and Columbia University on a legal practitioners guide for HIV/AIDS in South Africa (2010-Present)
Plans after school:
Upon completion of my B.S., I will pursue my MPH in Health Policy and keep my career path focused on international health policy issues, ideally as an advocate on HIV/AIDS policies for developing African nations.
Personal Statement about APHA-SA:
Roughly about the beginning of my undergrad, I didn’t really know anything about APHA or APHA-SA. I was a pre-med major when I realized that I no longer wanted to practice medicine, but I always knew I would be health focused. It was actually on accident, that I discovered my department at East Carolina (Health Education and Promotion) on a course guideline sheet on the chair in my basic Health 1000 class. I looked over it and saw all the classes I could take; all health oriented, no chemistry, no physics, completely caught my eye. So, the following day I went to my guidance counselor and requested a change in my major and switched over. It was love at first site. I took to my professors like they were my family. I fell in love with Public Health. I felt it was my calling and I have those feelings still to this day. What is Public Health? So broad of a word, it is hard to describe it. Public Health is, well, everything! It’s in the water, it’s in the air, and it’s everywhere you look. It’s the seatbelt you put on every day when you are driving and the helmet you see on a kid riding their bike for the first time. Public Health is America’s necessity and the world’s and it is up to our generations and future generations to help contribute and improve it. That is why I joined APHA-SA; to encourage others so that they can share the same experiences I had. I also have to give credit to my professors who helped guide me on this long but exciting journey. I applied for this position as Co-Chair for Advancement because I want to make sure that other students, my colleagues, have the opportunity to get out and explore the world through networking and mentoring as I was given the opportunity to do. In this field, you have to take chances and not fear the competition or fear the challenge. Rise up to it and take the first leap, because once you have, you’ll realize, as my professor and mentor once said to me, “the world is truly your oyster.”
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Last Update 01/25/2011