Increasing Diversity in Environmental Health Graduate Programs
AbstractThe aim of our study was to determine what motivates and deters students from historically marginalized populations from pursuing degrees in environmental health and to develop recommendations that programs can implement to diversify their student body and, subsequently, the workforce. We recruited four self-identified underrepresented (as defined by the National Institutes of Health, https://diversity.nih.gov/about-us/population-underrepresented) environmental health graduate students via an email sent to members of the Environment Section of the American Public Health Association. Students were asked to participate in a listening session to gauge what motivated and hindered their interests in environmental health. The sessions were held in December 2021 and February 2022 via Zoom. Students highlighted the significance of personal and departmental financial support, mentorship, peer representation, and broader support for faculty initiatives as potential areas of improvement, among others. Student perspectives from historically marginalized populations offer invaluable insights into how to foster diversity in the field. Future studies should continue exploring student experiences to assess and further develop these recommendations for university policies.
Published: May 2023
- Sanjana Boyapalli, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Natasha DeJarnett, MPH, PhD, BCES, Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute, University of Louisville
- Megan Latshaw, MHS, PhD, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Jyotsna S. Jagai, MPH, MS, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Chicago