Second Senior Selected for Columbia University Summer Public Health Scholars Program

photo of Jones

A second Eastern Kentucky University senior has been accepted into the Summer Public Health Scholars Program at Columbia University, the prestigious Ivy League institution in New York City.

Brittney Jones, a public health major from Corbin, joins Stephanie Smith, a senior public health major from Barbourville.

Jones will take field trips to various neighborhoods in and around The Big Apple to observe public health interventions and programs in operation. She will also attend lecture-based courses and work in small groups with teaching assistants to discuss practical applications of class studies.

Before heading to New York, she will attend a one-week orientation at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Jones will spend the following nine weeks based at the Columbia University Medical Center. All expenses are covered by the program.

“This will give me hands-on experience in the field of public health and will hopefully open the doors for many other opportunities across the U.S. or the world,” she said

Jones, the daughter of Amy Webb and Randall Jones, is a 2009 graduate of Corbin High School. Named last year as EKU’s Outstanding Junior in Community Health, she maintains an overall GPA of 3.54, is a member of Eta Sigma Gamma Honor Society and the secretary of the campus chapter of the Kentucky Public Health Association. She will graduate this December.

"Being at Eastern has given me so many opportunities,” Jones said. “I’ve become a part of student organizations and met so many amazing people. All the professors in the department want us to achieve the highest goals possible.” She credited Dr. Michelyn Bhandari, in particular, for pointing her to the Columbia Scholars Program.

Jones said she is uncertain of her career plans, adding they might include working for the CDC or, for a time, as a Peace Corps volunteer.

For now, though, she’s looking forward to what promises to be a memorable summer.

"I’ve never been to New York City,” she said, “but I’ve wanted to go forever.”

Published on April 18, 2013