Rachel Steckelberg

Master of Public Health candidate

Steer-Johnson Award for Excellence in Physiology
Cross Cultural Solutions International Volunteer Scholarship
International Medical Volunteer (Project MayoShare, Africa Partners)

United States

Epidemiology and Control, International Health

What are your career goals?

I envision my career in medicine as one based on the fundamentals of service, academia, and research. Following completion of my studies, I would like to continue to travel to underserved areas to provide medical services, while maintaining an active medical practice and teaching medical students and other trainees. A graduate education in public health will allow me to engage in discussions and implement positive change(s) in my country and abroad, while contributing to the field by using my knowledge to confront public health issues from many different angles. Additionally, I would like to instruct and effect change in current medical education curricula, therein empowering future generations of physicians with the skills required to combat emerging public health challenges. I would also like to continue to remain active in the realm of clinical research, to provide scientific evidence to promote health and prevent disease.

What sparked your interest in global health?

I first became aware of the importance of public health in June 2007 when I volunteered at a rural health clinic in Ayacucho, Peru. As I gained an appreciation for the Peruvian culture and its impact on the healthcare system, I became aware of the commonality of many preventable health care disparities that existed there, including HIV/AIDS, lack of access to health care, malnutrition, and inadequate maternal care. I began medical school in 2007 with a renewed interest not only in medicine, but also in improving the health of individuals and communities through disease prevention and promoting good health practices in my future patient population. While in medical school, my interest in public health has repeatedly been reaffirmed as I have seen how the direct application of public health measures can improve the quality of life for patients and the relevance of public health issues to virtually every medical specialty.

How do you see yourself making a difference in public health because of the Global Health Scholarship?

The Global Health Scholarship will allow me to explore and solidify my knowledge of public health principles as a graduate student in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, as I learn from experts in their respective fields. I hope to apply the skills, knowledge, and unique experiences I will gain from the Masters in Public Health program to empower future generations of physicians as an instructor, effectively provide aid to those in need as a medical volunteer in developing countries, provide a higher quality of care as a practitioner, prevent suffering from treatable and preventable diseases, and help solve public health problems around the world through the application of public health assessment tools and implementation of public health-based research.

Who inspires you and why?

I am most inspired by the individuals I have encountered in developing communities that are motivated to make positive changes in their lives, despite having endured unspeakable hardships. I am also continually inspired by the ability of physicians, scientists, and social advocates who dedicate their lives towards making a positive impact on society as leaders in their communities and by working to improve the health of populations around the world.


Joanne Katz, ScD MS,BSc

Associate Chair, Director of Academic Programs

Robert Bollinger Jr., MD MPH

Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE); Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global...

Stefan Baral, MD MPH,MBA,MSc

Director, Key Populations Program

Caitlin Kennedy, PhD MPH,BA

Co-Director, MPH concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health; Associate Director, Center for Qualitative...

Noreen Hynes, MD MPH

Director, Geographic Medicine Center of the Division of Infectious Diseases

Yukari C. Manabe, MD

Associate Director of Global Health Research and Innovation

February 2018



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