September 30, 2021

Master of public health graduate selected for Rollins COVID-19 epidemiology fellowship

By: Mykayla Capeles

Jessica Simon was working her dream job a year before her graduation date. Within two months of the pandemic, she served the Midlands region as a COVID-19 data manager for S.C. DHEC.

Before the pandemic, Simon was a graduate research assistant for the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health. In her role as the COVID-19 data manager, she oversaw surveillance data and maintained a line list of COVID-19 outbreak cases in congregated settings.

“Ultimately, it influenced my decision to apply for the Rollins COVID-19 Epidemiology Fellowship program because the program expands on my previous experience and knowledge and allows me to gain the skills needed to become a successful epidemiologist,” she said.

From being admitted to this program, Simon will spend the next two years immersed in intensive training as part of the Emory COVID-19 Response Collaborative and support the Savannah-area health district. She will learn about infectious diseases, and in the end, have a better understanding of how public health and epidemiology impact different communities.

After completing this program, Simon plans to work as an epidemiologist in the health department where she will be focused on disease surveillance. Simon is also considering a doctoral degree where she will have the opportunity to educate future public health practitioners and researchers and continue to advocate for the importance of the field.

Read the full story, written by Erin Bluvas, on the Arnold School of Public Health website.

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