Danielle Hurst, a native of Nashville, Georgia, graduated from Fort Valley State University in December 2022 with a Master of Public Health degree. Her concentration is in environmental health.
She is currently employed with the Department of Public Health’s offices in Cook County located in Adel, Georgia, as an environmental health specialist.
The 37-year-old took time out of her schedule to answer a few questions about her career in public health and why she selected FVSU’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program to further her studies.
1. How did you find out about the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at FVSU?
I found out about the MPH Program from my director. My director and some of my other colleagues completed the program several years ago and highly recommended pursuing my master’s at Fort Valley State University.
2. Why did you select FVSU to pursue your MPH graduate degree?
I selected FVSU because it came highly recommended from colleagues. It’s web hybrid courses made it convenient, and it was cost efficient.
3. What are your main duties at the Cook County Health Department?
As an environmentalist, my duties consist of providing inspections, permits and consultation of state rules and regulations for food service, public swimming pools, tourist accommodations and body art studios. I also provide services for wastewater management, well water, emergency preparedness, lead program, and other environmental health programs. Additionally, I investigate all assigned health-related complaints received.
4. How would you rate your experience as a graduate student in the MPH program? What impressed you the most?
My experience at Fort Valley was excellent. I was impressed with the professor’s passion for their respective fields of study. Dr. Oreta Samples, director of the program, is one of the most dedicated professors I have had the pleasure of working with. She truly gets excited about the courses she offers!
5. How will the information you learned in the MPH program help you perform your duties?
The information I learned in the MPH program expounded on a lot of subject matter that I work with day to day. I feel like I have increased my comprehensive understanding of those subjects which allow me to better serve the community.
6. If any of your peers or people you know showed an interest in enrolling in the MPH program, what would be your sales pitch?
Jump into the MPH program at FVSU. It will equip you with multiple skills to be successful within your profession. It is convenient because if offers web hybrid courses, and is one of the most cost-efficient programs in the state.
7. What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I like the challenges that my job can pose at times as it requires thinking outside the box to achieve desired outcomes. I also enjoy helping people, and I love that I get the opportunity to teach people concepts that will help them and the people they serve.