Meet Our Students

Our Public Health program prepares professionals who are dedicated to improving the health of individuals, communities and whole populations – regionally and around the world. Our alumni pursue careers in direct service, public policy, community-based clinical care or healthy choice campaigns.

Lauren Cruz, MPH 2020 

"I really think that the curriculum here promotes a well rounded student. You have classes about qualitative research. You have serious classes about quantitative research and that can really be applicable not just in my track, population health but also all the other tracks in the MPH program."

Timothy McCue, MPH 2009

"Public Health is really broad and public health changes and evolves all the time."

Ashley Brooks-Russell, MPH 2004

"The reason why I chose the Master of Public Health program is because I wanted a degree that was action oriented and focused on change and so it seemed to be an opportunity to take some of the skills I learned in undergrad and apply them to solving in solving real world problems and really making a meaningful difference rather quickly."

Richard Carpiano, MPH 2001

"Really I think from my experience, the biggest surprise to me was being exposed to just how broad public health is as a discipline. The students that were in my cohort at the time period and the ones that came the following year when I was still in the program really came from so many different backgrounds and so it really created a wonderful learning culture within the program itself."

Student Spotlight

Adebanjo (BJ) Solaru

Meet Adebanjo (BJ) Solaru

Pursuing a career in a healthcare profession was not on Adebanjo (BJ) Solaru’s radar when he graduated from college. Solaru graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English and began a career in the mortgage industry. But, after 10 years in the business world, he made the decision to pivot into the healthcare field. “I was burned out in the for-profit field and found my passion through my volunteer opportunities within the community. I wanted to pursue a Master of Public Health degree to provide better outcomes for people.”

Solaru chose Case Western Reserve University because it was at the forefront of thought processes in the community. “I wanted to learn from the best while being in the place I want to help and impact the most. Case Western offered me the opportunity to use my skills in my own community and learn how to affect policy change.”

Once he decided on CWRU for his MPH, it was his wife who suggested incorporating his business skills with healthcare and encouraged him to pursue one of the MPH program’s 11 dual degree options. Solaru decided to focus on the MPH/MBA Dual Degree program with a Health Policy and Management concentration. He believes business has a role to play in making our lives better and that there is a way to capture good business to bring it to public health.

In March 2020, Solaru was selected as a Paul Ambrose Scholar. The Paul Ambrose Scholars Program prepares public health and clinical health professions students to promote change and be leaders in addressing population health challenges at the national and community level. This distinction is only offered to a cohort of 40 students from across the health professions and they are invited to attend a Student Leadership Symposium. Students commit their time and effort to improve health within their communities through the planning and implementation of a community-based project.  For Solaru’s community-based project as a Scholar, he drew on his experiences as a volunteer at the Citizens Leadership Academy. He decided to build out the mentorship program there which supported the underserved population in the community. Instead of just focusing on providing mentorship to assist 8th graders in getting accepted into high school, he focused on creating a multi grade mentoring program. His mentor for this project was Dr. Scott Frank whom he credits with his success as a Scholar. “Being one of the Scholars has been a very formative experience for me. I would not have been able to do this without the support of the MPH program. It’s been incredible to see how public health works outside of the classroom and learn how to turn my thoughts and ideas into action.”

Solaru believes the Dual Degree option is a powerful asset to the MPH program. It has allowed him to pull in learning from his MBA to MPH and integrate these in the classroom and applied professional experiences. “The interdisciplinary part of the MPH program has allowed collaborations and robust conversations in the classroom. It helps reinforce our learning and applications. The common thread among our backgrounds is that we all want to make a positive difference.”

Solaru credits his wife and 1 year old son for giving him the motivation to continue to pursue his passions. While he may not have envisioned himself working in the healthcare field 10 years ago, he is grateful for the opportunities MPH has provided him so far. “The MPH structure allows me to test my ideas and assumptions in a space that is safe and where being right or wrong is not the point. It helps you understand the elements around you in order to make decisions. The MPH directly translates to the real world and I am so grateful for the opportunities to try new things and the support that comes with it.”