In her summer internship with the Uxbridge Board of Health, Shannon Gray worked on housing inspections, an abandoned housing initiative and town regulations that set sanitation standards for private and semi-public wells.

The master of public health student says the experience broadened her exposure to the role public health professionals play and strengthened her skills.

“I was able to shadow an epidemiologist for the day and meet with several members working at the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services. I am now more confident in my abilities and skills through this internship,” says Gray, a North Attleboro resident who graduated in 2018 with her bachelor’s degree in public health. She expects to complete her master's degree with a focus on epidemiology in December 2019.

Gray says she selected public health because of the expansive career opportunities.

“The career options for public health span far and wide, and that’s what I love,” she says. “I could work for a nonprofit, a board of health or a state agency on issues that I’m interested in. I could work on programs that prevent food-borne illnesses, infections from needles or smoking.”

Through her internship, Gray has helped families facing substance abuse issues – work that she has found gratifying.

“I’ve been able to assist with Narcan training for the public, create education materials for the families of people who suffer from addiction and help educate parents on how their children could be hiding substances and the best ways to approach them,” she says.

Since Gray is enrolled in the accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s program, she will complete her MPH a semester early. She took four graduate courses while earning her undergraduate degree and says the program saved her time and money.

“The curriculum, professors and internships for the MPH program are excellent,” she says.