Campus: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Class of 2013
Hometown: Northglenn, Colorado
Research positions spur MS in biostatistics, PhD in epidemiology
Erin Martinez, a Colorado School of Public Health doctor of philosophy student in epidemiology, has been working in academic research for the past six years. From the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center to the Burn Model Systems Data Coordination Center (BMS/DCC), Erin has work on projects researching learning styles, media violence, burn injuries, childhood obesity and school nutrition.
While it may seem like she grew up interested in public health, it’s actually quite the opposite. “I was always good at math, so I decided to pursue a master’s degree in statistics and found that the [CSPH] program was the best fit for me,” says Erin.
“I didn't really understand what public health was until I started my masters program,” she continues. “I have since developed an interest in public health and am now furthering my education in the epidemiology PhD program.”
As a PhD student, Erin has been able to be a teaching assistant (TA) in two courses: “Epidemiology” and “Analytical Epidemiology”. Because she greatly enjoys teaching and is interested in becoming a professor, Erin will continue to TA “Epidemiology” this fall.
She says, “There is no better way to really know the material than to teach it. The faculty who have supervised my TA experience have given me incredible opportunities to really learn my field and learn how to be a good teacher.”
Eventually, Erin would like to teach and conduct her own research. While her role as a project coordinator at BMS/DCC is allowing her to manage and work with data looking at the long-term outcomes for burn injury survivors, she has yet to narrow down her own research interests.
Recently, on a work trip to Galveston, Texas to visit the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Erin developed an interest in injury epidemiology. While visiting the pediatric burn clinics associated with BMS/DCC, Erin says she saw children suffering from large burns, many of which were from abuse. Erin says this sparked her passion for studying intentional injuries.
“As public health professionals we’re usually working on problems that are in the news,” says Erin. “From policy changes in screening activities to oil spills, it is exciting to be in a field that changes and grows in this way. You never know what the next big thing is going to be.”
Until she unravels that next thing in injury epidemiology research, she says she’ll continue to soak in everything the Colorado School of Public Health and Colorado have to offer. “The faculty and curriculum at the school are second to none,” she says.
“I love Colorado and can't think of a better place to complete my education. If you want a great education and opportunities for practical experience then you are looking in the right place.”