Prior to her MPH work, Katherine volunteered with HealthCorps in a rural California community. She worked out of a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and provided oral health education and screenings for children in a large, rural school district.

“This opportunity opened my eyes to the serious problem of childhood caries and the link to overall health.”

At CSU, Katherine chose to focus on Nutrition because she wanted to learn the microbiology behind how/why our current American diet leads to obesity.

“A focus on Nutrition through the Public Health lens allowed me to not only study the nutritional science behind obesity, but also how the social determinants of health influence the obesity epidemic.”

For her practicum, Katherine worked with an RN at the Coalition for Activity and Nutrition to Defeat Obesity (CanDo) in Fort Collins, and then for her capstone project, she switched gears to analyze tickborne disease research for the CDC. While the project was not nutrition related, she appreciated the opportunity to explore her interest in data analysis. Katherine also volunteered with the Food Bank, the Health District, and La Familia, through Cooking Matters.

Katherine is now Administrative Coordinator for Community Initiatives, a small organization that facilitates community groups working toward healthier communities. Currently much of its work focuses on Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) but it has also worked with conservation and education initiatives.

Katherine’s role is to coordinate the associates’ work all over the nation. They are currently assisting communities in WA, CA, WI, AL, CO, FL, among others. She also assists with the curation of the Community Commons, a website that provides the conditions for collective action for communities. The site includes mapping and reporting capabilities to support community change work.

Katherine’s MPH helped her to hone her professional writing and communication skills and prepared her to understand the context for the work Community Initiatives associates do.