MPH Practicum - Gloria and Rachel in India
environmental health walk

Virginia Tech MPH students conduct practicum locally, nationally, and internationally. Over 100 MPH students have completed a practicum to date, creating an extensive list of past locations and topics to explore.

See below for a sample list of past sites and some of the project topics completed:    

  • Environmental health
  • Climate change
  • Computational modeling
  • Firearm control
  • C. difficile in hospitals
  • Pediatric emergency preparedness
  • Environmental sustainability, green healthcare
  • Infection control practices, hospital acquired infections
  • Women's health
  • Children's health
  • National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS): Antimicrobial stewardship and improved judicious use 
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS): Customer complaint monitoring system and inspection services
  • Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS): Zoonotic disease
  • Farmer's market manager training manual
  • Nutrition
  • Master Food Volunteer Program
  • Crater Health District
    • STI case analysis and mapping
  • Danville/Pittsylvania Health District
    • Hepatitis C
  • Division of Disease Prevention (Richmond, VA)
    • STD surveillance, statistical modeling, data analysis
  • Lenowisco Health District
    • Companion animals as sentinels of human disease
  • New River Health District 
    • Food safety, restaurant inspections with consumer feedback
    • Women’s health, access to clinic
    • Human Papillomavirus (HPV), vaccination
  • Richmond City Health District
    • Breastfeeding
  • Roanoke/Alleghany Health District
    • Tobacco cessation
  • Suicide prevention
  • Tobacco use and control
  • Farm to school
  • Obesity prevention
  • Cancer prevention
  • Biosecurity/infection control practices
  • Brucellosis in Trinidad
  • Pet safety, domestic abuse
  • Rabies knowledge
  • Oral health
  • Rural healthcare

What the Sites Hosting MPH Students Say:

  1. The student performed an extensive literature search on pathogens that are present in some of our cold water trout hatcheries. She compiled her literature search into a report form for distribution to the hatchery staff. The student also prepared a presentation dealing with antibiotic use in aquaculture.
  2. 1) Assessment of participants in Balanced Living with Diabetes (BLD) - a type 2 diabetes intervention program carried out in African America churches; 2) Compiling and analyzing BLD assessment data; 3) Developing a protocol for implementation of BLD in Malawi to address the growing prevalence of diabetes patients in that country.  
  3. To conduct a survey of safe laboratory procedures/efficacy of current personal protective equipment among personnel working in federal, state and private institutions conducting infectious disease projects in laboratory animals. 
  1. The student is a very self-motivated and driven student that was willing and very able to dive into a subject that is very different from the field of veterinary medicine in which she has extensively trained. She was able to synthesize information into a format that was practical and useful to hatchery staff. She was also very easy to get along with, clearly dedicated to her work, hard working, easy to talk with, and very friendly.
  2. 1) Background and experience in community-based health intervention in her home country; 2) Strong people skills; obvious respect for health program participants; 3) Ability to function effectively as part of a team; recognition of her role within the team; 4) Appreciation for and ability to exercise precision within a research framework; 5) Eagerness to learn and grow in professional competence; 6) Efforts to translate experience with a U.S. community-based health intervention to a potential intervention in her home country. 
  3. Knowledge in veterinary public health, zoonotic diseases, epidemiology, as well as her enthusiasm and zeal to conduct the survey and analyze the data which would be valuable to organizations conducting lab animal research and have an impact on public health.