December 6, 2019 | Erin Bluvas, firstname.lastname@example.org
When it was time to choose a university for her undergraduate degree, Hayli Marshall was looking for a college experience that was completely different from where she had grown up – a small town in Massachusetts.
“I was excited for both the challenges and opportunities that USC had to offer,” Marshall says. “I was particularly drawn to the Arnold School because of their commitment toward undergraduate research.”
It helped that Marshall was also offered financial scholarships, and she held up her end of the bargain by earning a spot on the President’s or Dean’s Lists every semester. She also took advantage of the research-rich environment that initially attracted her to the Arnold School. With funding as a Magellan Scholar, the public health major conducted research alongside health promotion, education, and behavior associate professor Spencer Moore and doctoral candidate Jennifer Mandelbaum to examine the effects of parental social networks and dopamine reception on children’s nutritional habits.
“Dr. Moore and Jennifer Mandelbaum have served as exceptional research mentors over the past few years,” Marshall says. “I attribute many of my accomplishments to their continued support for not only my research endeavors, but my personal growth as well.”
Marshall also found role models in public health instructor Charlotte Galloway and associate dean for undergraduate student affairs Sara Corwin, whose professionalism, student support and passion for the field of public health she hopes to emulate in her future career.
Outside of the Arnold School, Marshall served as a Changing Carolina Peer Leader, studied abroad in Australia and handled public relations for the Women’s Club Volleyball team. Off campus, she gained professional experience with internships at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Building on these experiences, Marshall recently accepted a position as a Contract Specialist with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore, Maryland.
“I am looking forward to utilizing my public health knowledge in a professional setting,” says Marshall, who hopes that this experience will help narrow down her interests (e.g., maternal/child/reproductive health, health policy, health communication) in order to choose a graduate program that best fits her aspirations. “Long term, my overarching goal is to apply my public health knowledge to better serve others and improve health outcomes of vulnerable populations.”
Graduating this month (a semester early), Marshall has achieved Graduation with Leadership Distinction in Research and received the University of South Carolina Academic Scholar Distinction Award. For those interested in a similar path, Marshall has some ready advice.
“Build relationships with Arnold School faculty,” she says. “Given the varied areas of expertise among faculty members, you are bound to find a faculty member whose interests match your own. My experience doing this has entirely transformed my undergraduate experience and provided me with countless opportunities.”