Alumni give career advice

alumni panel members
Members of the alumni panel. Photos by Julie Walter.

A group of College of Public Health and Health Professions alumni shared career and educational insights with scholars in the UF Summer Health Professions Education Program at a discussion held May 18.

The Summer Health Professions Education Program is designed to improve access to information and resources for college students interested in the health professions. The program’s goal is to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students who are underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools.

PHHP alumni panel members included Connor Brown, doctorate in audiology ’18; Rafael Cui, doctorate in physical therapy ’18; Sharon DiFino, master’s in communication sciences and disorders ’13; Meghan Nodurft-Froman, master’s in public health ’12; Kathryn Ross, master’s in public health ’12 and doctorate in clinical psychology ’13; and Nicole Tester, master’s in occupational therapy ’16. Tamara Herchel, the assistant program director for the master’s in health administration program, also served on the panel.

Tester, a UF Health Rehab occupational therapist who works at the UF Movement Disorders Clinic, spoke about the rewards of working in occupational therapy.

“Occupational therapy is a profession that takes a holistic approach that includes physical, cognitive and social well-being,” she said.

SHPEP program scholars
Summer Health Professions Education Program scholars

Cui told the scholars that physical therapists consider themselves movement experts.

“My favorite part is getting to show people that they are a lot stronger than they think they are,” he added.

DiFino, a clinical assistant professor in the college’s department of speech, language, and hearing sciences, told scholars there are three vital ingredients to working in her field: “education, communication and a passion for working with people.”