Internship Experience: Casey Connolly

Date posted: 
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 13:45
Blog poster: 
Kaylan Celestin and Casey Connolly
Email of Blog Poster: 

Casey is a current Master of Public Health candidate at the Colorado School of Public Health in Denver, Colorado.  While her concentration is Health Systems, Management, and Policy; she is passionate about Environmental Health and plans to center her future career in health policy around advocacy in Environmental Health.

headshot of Casey, an intern at NEHA

NEHA: What attracted you to an internship at NEHA?

What attracted me most to an internship with NEHA was that it allowed me to combine my interest in Environmental Health with my passion for health policy.  I am passionate about health policy because I believe policy is where we can affect the most change at the population level.  My internship with NEHA has allowed me to expand my knowledge and interest in Environmental Health while honing my health policy skills. 

NEHA: What are you currently working on during your internship at NEHA?

The main project I am working on is a policy statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards).  The purpose of this policy statement is to encourage Jurisdictions to enroll in the Retail Program Standards to help them to reach the “gold standard” in retail food safety regulation.  This project involves extensive research, including a literature review, stakeholder analysis, and writing and editing the policy statement based on findings. This project involves working closely with NEHA’s policy statement work group including members of; FDA, CDC, industry, and environmental health professionals from local health departments around the country.

NEHA: What have you learned and what skills have you gained from your internship thus far?

This internship has helped me to expand my knowledge of environmental health topics, develop strong and professional communication skills, and gain experience in writing policy statements.  The skills and experiences I gained during my internship have furthered my development as a public health professional.

NEHA: How will this experience help to further your career as an environmental health professional?

During my internship at NEHA I connected with professionals internal at the organization and external partners like the CDC and FDA.  I had the unique opportunity to work directly with these professionals and conduct informational interviews with them to gain insight into their career path and receive advice.  These professional connections will help me as I enter the environmental health workforce.

NEHA: What else do you hope to gain from the remainder of your internship?

One thing that I hope to gain form my remaining time at NEHA is subject matter expertise in food safety and regulatory systems.  Prior to this internship I was not particularly interested in food safety; however, through the research I have done for this project I have developed a keen interest in food safety and regulation and recognize its importance to public health. 

 

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Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect NEHA policy, endorsement, or action, and NEHA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.  

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