From healthy food and beverage choices at Weld County concession stands to water and sanitation practices around Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda, ColoradoSPH at CSU Master of Public Health students demonstrated a broad range of research during the recent summer capstone forum. The presentations are the culmination of MPH studies, focusing on practice-based learning that aligns with a student’s career goals.

MPH students usually undertake capstone projects within their concentrations, applying competencies gained in the classroom to public health initiatives. Capstone projects can be completed locally, nationally or internationally. Evan Thompkins, who studied in the Global Health and Health Disparities concentration, completed his project in Uganda. He worked with the Global Livingston Institute to assess water and sanitation issues in rural Uganda around Lake Bunyonyi, with the objective of making recommendations for improvement.

“I was in Uganda one month and it was really eye-opening,” he explained. “Take boiling water. My perception was always, why would you not? But there are a lot of obstacles, a lot of behaviors and risks associated with something as simple as boiling water that I didn’t think about before.”

Janie Klapko, who studied in the Physical Activity and Healthy Lifestyles concentration, worked with UCHealth to develop a health clinic food pantry as well a guide to establishing a food pantry that can be disseminated to other health clinics. Kristin Milardo, an MPH graduate in the same concentration, studied the food and beverage policies and options at public venues in Weld County, and the possibility of advancing healthy food and beverage policy.

Eight current and graduating students presented their capstone projects to faculty, staff, professional mentors and students. We congratulate them for achieving this milestone in their educational and professional development.