Leslie Gomez studied public health at the UW
Why did you decide to major in public health?
I’ve always wanted to help people with their health, but I wanted to do it in a way that wouldn't put limits on who or how I helped. Doctors and nurses, though very important jobs, work to make a difference in the health of people who are already sick or injured. Public health workers are focused on preventing poor health among large populations of people. This degree has opened doors to a wide variety of career options. Public health is woven into our daily lives and we often do not notice.
What do you find most interesting about the field?
The people who work in public health come from all sorts of backgrounds. That's important because the more diverse the field is, the more knowledge we can gain to help make lasting change.
What are you passionate about changing?
Public health can make a huge difference in communities of people from minority groups and low-income backgrounds. These are people that need our help to decrease health disparities.
What experiences at the UW have been most influential?
The diversity of people at the UW. I love working with people from all backgrounds and learning new things. This was also in part why I decided to major in public health with a minor in diversity.
What are your professional goals?
I hope to continue to work with interesting people and to help work towards equity in our health system. I would specifically like to work with people from minority groups and low-income backgrounds. I feel I could make the most change here and understand where they are coming from a little better because of my own culture and background.
Tell us about your extracurricular activities.
I’m a current member of Phi Sigma Pi, a gender-inclusive national honor fraternity at the UW that works to guide students in leadership, scholarship and fellowship.
What’s one piece of advice you have for prospective students?
Be organized and plan your classes ahead of time. Talk to an advisor about suggestions for possible schedules. Use My Plan on the UW student portal to look at possible schedules and create a backup plan in case things don’t work out.
Can you share an interesting fact about yourself?
I’m a pretty decent artist but do not like to draw or paint unless it is a competition.