At a Glance
Major(s): Public Health, Political Science
Why dual-major? “In my Introduction to Public Health course, I realized that public health is political.”
Born with a rare health condition, Anthony Milisci ’24 received a liver transplant in his senior year of high school. This experience prompted his interest in health care, but he also had a passion for politics. Seeing a connection between both, he decided to dual-major in public health and political science.
“In my Introduction to Public Health course, I realized that public health is political,” says Milisci, who lives in Lowell. “I saw politics in action with the pandemic but realized through my classes and excellent professors how both politics and health care have always been intertwined.”
A recent visit to the State House for a public health course confirmed his decision to pursue a career that spans advocacy and policy.
“Before the visit to the State House, I had doubts about going into government and policy work with a public health degree,” says Milisci, who is applying to UML’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program. “But after talking with many of the legislative aides with MPH degrees at the State House, I decided to go for it.”
Milisci’s extracurricular interests bridge both disciplines as well. He’s president of the Student Organ Donation Advocates, a student-run initiative to spark dialogue about organ donation. About 20 students involved in the group promote registering to become an organ donor.
At campus events, Milisci shares his personal story. Born with biliary atresia, a blockage in the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder, he didn’t have complications until he was 17 years old. He considers himself lucky because he only had to wait six months for the transplant he needed.
“Some of our student members know someone who needs a transplant, so they are motivated to raise awareness,” he says. “We find that people are open to being donors, but it’s not talked about. We let them know how important organ donation is, and they make their own decision.”
Milisci’s interest in politics traces back to his internship as a campaign coordinator for U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan. He started during the summer before his freshman year at UML. He also worked on a campaign for Tara Hong, a 2022 political science graduate who ran for state representative of the 18th Middlesex District and lost by only 68 votes.
These experiences inspired him to run for a school committee seat at the Greater Lowell Technical High School, from which he graduated in 2019. He received over 200 write-in votes, losing the race by only 20.
At the university, Milisci serves on the executive board of the Student Government Association.
“Getting involved in the student government is one of the best decisions of my life,” says Milisci, who is chair of the Campus Life and Environment Committee. “The experience has opened many doors for me. I’ve met so many people, such as the chancellor, the executive cabinet and the deans. We give student feedback on everything from dining and transportation to the campus environment.”
It’s an experience, Milisci says, that he didn’t expect to get involved with, but he is so glad that he did.
“At UMass Lowell, you have so many opportunities to gain experiences and make an impact with people with different perspectives,” he says. “I learned that you have to take advantage of anything that interests you and see how far it takes you.”