Alumna Addresses Public Health Through Outstanding Service and Academics
Brittany Imel ’19 found her calling for public health at Allegheny College. Today, Imel is taking the next step toward a fulfilling career in the field, pursuing a dual Master of Medical Science—Physician Assistant and Master of Public Health program at Arcadia University.
Initially, Imel had planned to attend medical school after finishing her undergraduate studies in biology with a minor in art history. However, her experience at Allegheny College helped her recognize the pressing need for public health professionals.
“During my time at Allegheny, I did internships that made me passionate about working with underserved populations,” says Imel. “Having those opportunities from Allegheny gave me a bigger vision of what’s going on in our country with healthcare and gave me a drive.”
Allegheny College’s pre-health advisors connected Imel with internships that took her to Maryland, Kentucky, and Hawaii. However, Imel says her experience as a health coach with Meadville Medical Center stood out. As a health coach, she met with an at-risk patient once a week to educate them on their health and to present notes to a team of medical professionals for further guidance. In particular, that work gave Imel insights into health disparities throughout the local community.
“Allegheny has a lot of resources for students to help get those experiences, which I think is really important,” says Imel. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the Allegheny experience. Those internships are invaluable.”
The solid foundation of research further helped Imel become confident in her skills. She continued the work of her Senior Comprehensive Project, which focused on diabetes, into her graduate public health capstone. Imel even had her public health capstone published in Behavioral Medicine, and she earned a prestigious National Health Service Corps Scholarship.
She additionally credits Allegheny with teaching her to learn a large volume of information quickly — an ability that has helped her immensely in graduate school.
Imel advises current students to “Take every opportunity. Take those chances. Take those risks. You never know what each opportunity will give you or what you’ll learn from it. There’s a lot to offer in Meadville and through the College whether you’re in pre-health or not.”