public health student

When looking into a graduate program, it’s important to read about current student experiences. Jordana Burkeland shares her insight into Concordia’s public health degree. Discover her interests in public health and her experience at Concordia.

Where are you from and how do you like living in Wisconsin? 

I am from Madison and love being in WI as I am close to home and am familiar with the area. There’s so much to do in Madison, such as visiting the Capital Building or going to the Madison Zoo, and all the festivals throughout the year. It’s also a beautiful city with a walkable downtown. I’m not a fan of the cold though, even though I love snow for Christmas.  

What interests you about public health? 

There is so much I can do, which I love. Having a focus on overall population and intervention is very interesting to me along with insurance. Public health is such a huge part of the world today although many people don’t realize it.  My hope is to work with children and focus on behavioral health such as eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. 

The key principles of public health are prevention and health equity. Which one interests you more and why? 

I have a passion for health equity which is the main reason why I chose to pursue public health. I want everyone to have equal access and the ability to have the best treatments possible.  

Describe the importance of public health in today’s world. 

Many people don’t truly realize what public health is and how much of our world involves public health. They’re responsible for getting important messages across such as when the pandemic was taking place and spreading information about COVID. They research disasters and create emergency preparedness plans for when a hurricane or earthquake may hit.

For our U.S. troops, they may research current health concerns happening in other countries and identify steps they need to take to protect our citizens when traveling. The list goes on and on, they’re essential to the health and well-being of the greater population. I’m excited to work alongside these important leaders.

What has been your favorite public health course you have taken so far? 

I loved the public health perspective, communication, and advocacy course with Dr. Frazier. She really stressed the importance of reaching rural communities and the importance of cultural competency. Many of the projects we did in the class opened my eyes and showed issues I didn’t know much about.  

What concentration have you chosen, community health or the pre-clinical? Why?

I chose the community health concentration because I wanted to interact with people and be very hands-on. I didn’t see any specific medical profession that fit what I wanted to do as a career. As of recently, I am interested in combining my degree and becoming a physician assistant which would be a pre-clinical tract.  

How did you learn about Concordia University? Why did you choose to attend?

In high school, I had a friend that chose to attend Concordia. She told me there were a lot of great benefits so I decided to check it out. I knew Concordia was going to be the right fit for me, especially with the field I was planning to study.

At the time I wanted to be a pharmacist and Concordia had an early acceptance program for pharmacy school which was a huge benefit. Therefore it was one less stressor of not having to worry about getting accepted into grad school. I also wanted to pursue college tennis which Concordia offered.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in at Concordia? 

I was on the tennis team for two years but recently quit as I just adopted a Goldendoodle puppy who takes up a majority of my time.  

Are you interested in a career in public health? You can find out more about our Masters of Public Health program here.