When Studies Go Beyond the Classroom
“Getting the opportunity to help someone other than yourself and developing this bond with other cultures and communities who are different from your own was really important to me.”
– Will Burnett, Public Health Education Major
WHY PURSUE THE IMPROVEMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATION?
Will Burnett didn’t always know public health was his path. When he first arrived at UNC Greensboro, he was set on a major in the sciences, but taking a few public health education courses ignited his passion and changed his trajectory.
“I just realized I really wanted to be more involved with the community,” he said. “I think public health opens your eyes to the idea that you’re working towards something greater.”
Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public health education allowed him to take courses like Mental Health and Wellbeing, which left a lasting impact on Burnett and fueled his enthusiasm for the field.
“That course truly taught me the power of personal wellness and the importance of public health’s holistic approach.”
He was then able to put these public health principles into action to make a real difference in the community. Burnett served in the field collecting data for the Center for Housing and Community Studies to understand student attitudes toward the COVID-19 pandemic. He later interned with the New Arrival Institute where he helped immigrant and refugee communities.
Why UNC Greensboro?
“UNCG always just captivated me – there was just something about the environment. It was really nice to come to a campus that was so diverse. In my high school, I was one of two Asian kids, so coming here and seeing that diversity is always breathtaking,” Burnett said.
The Ashby Residential College student says his time in the living and learning community was transformative and provided him a sense of belonging on campus. As a Spartan Guide, he got to share this sense of belonging with prospective students and their families, helping future Spartans find their way here just as he did through UNCG’s diverse student body and vast array of academic programs.