Skip to Content

Coronavirus: Get complete details about the university's response to COVID-19.

Arnold School of Public Health

Public health graduate to pursue career in health care law and policy

April 19, 2019 | Erin Bluvas, bluvase@sc.edu

Choosing UofSC for her undergraduate degree was a no-brainer for Clirae Bourke. The Columbia native’s parents are both alumni of the university, so she believes she was born to become a Gamecock. With long-term plans to pursue a law career, Bourke focused on the health and nutrition classes she enjoyed during her undergraduate tenure at Carolina.

“Naturally, public health was the major that I gravitated toward because I knew that I would be able to do well studying a subject that I was already passionate about,” Bourke says. “And I knew that the field of health care law would grow tremendously in the coming years since health care remains a hot topic in our nation.”

Everyone in the school of public health has been so helpful as I have navigated my academic career here at the university.

-Clirae Bourke, May public health graduate

On campus, she focused on the health and well-being of students as resident mentor/advisor and as the liaison between the student body and the university/dining faculty to implement programs as a member of the Student Dining Board of Directors. Bourke also served as vice president of the Carolina Judicial Council’s Creed Programming to spread awareness and create safe learning spaces to educate individuals about UofSC’s guiding philosophy (i.e., Carolina Creed). Through the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the President’s and Dean’s list recipient engaged in a variety of service projects.

Off campus, Bourke continued her favorite hobbies (golfing and bowling) and built her resume.  She spent the past two summers as a safety and fossil hydro intern at SCANA Corporation. In these roles, she contributed to employee safety programs, conducted safety audits and inspections and investigated safety incidents.

There are so many different career paths to take—including a nontraditional one for a public health major, like law—so it is important to keep an open mind and explore as many different topics under the umbrella of public health as possible.

-Clirae Bourke, May public health graduate

Though she was offered a full-time role with SCANA following her May graduation, Bourke has chosen to continue her education. After achieving USC Leadership Distinction in Professional and Civic Engagement, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Presidential Scholar will head to Georgetown University to pursue a juris doctor degree.

“Take the time to consider all of the courses offered in the school of public health so that you can truly discover your passions and interests,” Bourke advises other students. “There are so many different career paths to take—including a nontraditional one for a public health major, like law—so it is important to keep an open mind and explore as many different topics under the umbrella of public health as possible.”

“Everyone in the school of public health has been so helpful as I have navigated my academic career here at the university,” she adds. “I feel adequately prepared to continue my education and eventually influence health policy.”


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

©