PhD Epidemiology Alumni

bauerSamantha Bauer, PhD Epidemiology 2018, MS Epidemiology 2016

After earning my PhD in Epidemiology in 2018, I accepted a position at the Detroit Health Department as their Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist. My work includes analyzing surveillance data, evaluating program effectiveness, providing program data support, and advising the Health Department in making data-driven decisions on local health priorities. Descriptive epidemiology is heavily relied on to determine the Health Department's priorities, while analytic epidemiology is used less frequently. What I like most about the job is the juxtaposition between public health and epidemiology. Specifically, epidemiology adheres to rigorous research methodology, while public health can be an iterative cycle of evaluation and implementation. I like that the marriage between these two fields has provided me with both a new puzzle to understand and work to contribute to.

The PhD program gave me a strong epidemiologic tool-kit and data analysis skills, which I believe helped me get my job. Having this knowledge allows me to juggle multiple content areas within Maternal and Child Health (e.g., lead surveillance, infant mortality) and to see both the distinct specialties with unique biologic/social mechanisms and the related dynamics within eco-epidemiology. This perspective has been especially helpful given the Health Department's emphasis on Life Course Theory and social determinants of disease.

I am very grateful for my time as a graduate student within the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. It gave me a supportive home to learn from challenging puzzles and led me to new opportunities I would not have known otherwise.