Seeing community agencies and local hospitals work with UMass Lowell to improve outcomes for rape survivors is what sparked Tara Lynch’s passion for promoting health and wellness. That experience, gained through a UMass Lowell undergraduate psychology program practicum at Lowell’s Center for Hope and Healing Inc., led her to pursue a Master of Public Health.
The degree, she says, will lead to a career that unites her desire to help others with her interest in improving the quality of care and services for those in need.
And for this member of a multigenerational River Hawk family, she didn’t look far to find a high-quality master’s program; she continued on at UMass Lowell. Lynch, a full-time student, is working as a research assistant with Department of Public Health Prof. David Kriebel, who has been recognized by both UMass Lowell and student organizations for his outstanding teaching.
“Designing studies, analyzing risk factors and human behaviors – that's what I'm doing right now, and it's what I love,” says Lynch, whose concentration is in epidemiology. A $1.4 million, multiyear study she is helping with, examining the impact of occupational factors such as heavy lifting on a type of eye injury, is entering the analysis phase. Lynch is excited that the study’s results could lead to safer practices and help protect workers from harm.
“UMass Lowell is really good about the real-life experiences while you’re taking classes,” says Lynch. She expects the degree to prepare her for employment with a state or national public health department, the federal Centers for Disease Control or Environmental Protection Agency, or a research firm that provides risk assessment.