Graduate Program: Master of Public Health (MPH)
Emily Guthrie ’18 MPH enrolled in the Master of Public Health program as a part-time employee of the University of Lynchburg. First, she worked in dining services and then the campus bookstore.
A former stay-at-home mom, it took her three years to complete the program.
“My sister went to Lynchburg College for her undergrad and I always loved the campus and had a lot of friends that went there,” Guthrie said, adding that she liked the “hands-on” nature and “one-on-one support” in her classes. “I got to know my professors really well.”
It was in her classes that Guthrie developed a passion for the kind of work does now as an environmental health technical specialist for the Lynchburg Health Department.
“The administrative classes talked about leadership skills,” she said. “The environmental health class [was] where I realized I was really more passionate about that side of things. It’s a mix of public health and science.”
Guthrie, who has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, had long had an interest in community health, particularly nutrition and food safety. The MPH program amplified that. Two of her classes, environmental health and epidemiology, directly related to her training as a district standardization officer for the Central Virginia Health District’s food program.
“Those classes really prepared me for my class, especially with food-borne illness outbreaks on the epidemiology side,” she said. “It’s interesting. There’s always something new to learn. We do get complaints for food-borne illnesses every now and then. You really never know what the day’s going to bring with that.”