Nicole A. Hoff, M.P.H., Ph.D., UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
The Faucett Fellowship has been a prestigious award which has allowed me to live, study and participate on multiple projects based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and gain invaluable field experience for an extended period of time. Before starting my Doctoral degree at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, I had limited opportunities for long term international experiences which included hands on work in a collaborative environment. I have now had the opportunity under the Faucett Fellowship and the guidance of my Doctoral advisor, Dr. Anne Rimoin, to gain hands-on experience with immense benefits, which includes living abroad in a low income country with limited resources, networking with experienced public health leaders (both national and international persons), participation in consultancies with large organizations including WHO and UNCIEF, and experience working with data and applying epidemiologic methods learned during course work. It provided me with the time and flexibility necessary to develop a dynamic dissertation topic, not only important for completing my own degree objectives, but also a project which could have a major impact on disease surveillance methods and data compilation and analysis within the country. I have had the time to foster meaningful relationships with others in the public health field, including those within the country’s Ministry of Health, which allowed me unparalleled access to data and information at a country level with the support of those in the programs to succeed. The support and generosity from the Faucett Fellowship have been and will continue to play a central role in the completion of my doctoral dissertation and experiences in the field necessary for future employment. With this fellowship, I have the gained confidence, knowledge, skills and soon a completed degree which will make me a sought after candidate in the field of international public health with a focus on epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases.