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Alumni Profile: Elizabeth Edgerley, M.P.H. ’20 (Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases)

March 14, 2022

Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases (EMD), M.P.H. ’20
Public Health and Disease Surveillance Specialist, Deloitte Consulting LLC

What is your current job?

I am a Public Health and Disease Surveillance Specialist at Deloitte Consulting LLC in the government and public service sector.

Describe your work and why you find it rewarding/challenging.

My primary role is providing strategy, analytics, and public health framing to emerging crises facing our country. My work at Deloitte is highly impact driven and based in principles of health equity. I derive a sense of purpose from supporting clients such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). As a consultant, I am able to serve as an advisor to public health officials I respect and assist in the implementation of their vision.

How did YSPH prepare you for your current work?

YSPH provided me with the ability to incorporate the values held by the field of public health into everything I do. Consulting can lack a human touch, and I try to bring that to the table. Additionally, I learned the hard skills I needed to thrive, such as statistics, coding, and practical scientific knowledge. I balance my work between evidence-based decision making and empathy, which can be challenging. As public health workers, our decisions have repercussions on the lives of real people and larger populations. I learned to value the weight of that responsibility and the power of leading with compassion.

Do you have a favorite YSPH experience you can share?

My favorite experience at YSPH was absolutely the relationships I formed with my classmates. It is impossible to pick one individual moment out of the endless memories I made with my friends and peers. Often, graduate programs can be individualistic and competitive, but YSPH fosters a collective energy that encouraged us to work together on our academic and personal journeys. On late nights, when the work seemed insurmountable, there was always someone there to offer support and a new perspective.

What advice do you have for current students?

The best advice I can give is to not be afraid to network. It can be counter intuitive sometimes to put yourself out there, but there is a lot of value in seeking out those you admire and asking them to set some time aside to share how they accomplished their goals. Not only can a student explore various career paths through conversation, but meaningful relationships almost always come back around. Don’t be shy to let peers and mentors know that you are talented, driven, and have a lot to offer.

Were there any faculty or staff mentors who influenced your YSPH experience?

As a primarily research-based institution, I stuck out at YSPH as a practice-based student.* My professors, especially my advisor Dr. Gregg Gonsalves, took the time to listen to me talk about my fears and anxieties and move me towards goals that would help me in the long run. I am a different type of learner than my peers. Often, it takes me extra time to conceptualize lessons until I see them implemented. I will always be grateful for Dr. Melinda Pettigrew, Dr. Daniel Weinberger, and other EMD faculty members who took the time to reach me where I was and elevate my experience.

*EDITOR’S NOTE: The Yale School of Public Health fosters collaboration through a variety of centers, initiatives and partnerships that promote public health practice: the real-world application of public health scholarship, knowledge and skills as well as advocacy. We continue to expand our public health practice opportunities and encourage and embrace students eager to apply academic training and evidence-based practices in real world settings.

Submitted by Denise Meyer on December 03, 2021