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Arnold School of Public Health

Public health major, cheerleader to pursue career in maternal/child, women’s health

August 6, 2021 | Erin Bluvas,

Olivia Ramos fell in love with UofSC from afar. After growing up just 15 minutes from the ocean, the New Jersey native knew she wanted to experience something new.

Ramos discovered photos of Carolina’s beautiful campus and then followed up with a tour that included in-person views of the horseshoe and hearing student testimonials first-hand. A lifelong cheerleader, Ramos’ selection to join the UofSC team sealed the deal for her.

“I always wanted to go to a larger school because I felt that the opportunities were so vast and diverse,” says Ramos, who also joined the Capstone Scholars Program. After discussing healthcare career paths with her University 101 mentor, who happened to be a public health major, she decided to join the field.

I grew the most as a student and as an individual when I was pushed outside of my comfort zone.

-Olivia Ramos, B.S. in Public Health 2021

“I chose public health because not only did I get to learn about anatomy and physiology and how our bodies work, but I also got to learn about health inequalities, determinants of health and barriers to healthcare access,” Ramos says. “The school of public health allowed for me to receive a holistic education about the field I was interested in, and I know this will help me with my clinical practices in the future.”

During her three years at UofSC, Ramos was a member of the Public Health Society and served on the executive board her senior year. She found mentors in her advisor Barbara Cuevas and global health instructor Tina Devlin, both of whom encouraged Ramos to pursue post-graduate education.

Off campus, Ramos volunteered at Lexington Medical Center to learn more about health-related career paths. Throughout her undergraduate tenure, the President’s List honoree remained a member of the cheerleading team while notching a 4.0 GPA. 

Now that she has completed her bachelor’s degree, Ramos is working as a certified nursing assistant in an assisted living facility. Over the next year, she will apply to physician assistant programs. Ramos is particularly interested in maternal/child and women’s health – areas she chose to study whenever possible throughout her public health program – and would like to help advance healthcare for all women while eliminating barriers to prenatal care.

“Switching my major to public health was the best decision I ever made,” she says. “Do not be afraid to try something new and unfamiliar. I grew the most as a student and as an individual when I was pushed outside of my comfort zone.”

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.