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Meet Our Student Ambassadors

Student ambassadors are here to help prospective students learn about the Online Executive Master of Public Health program at the University of Washington. They have a wide variety of experiences and interests. If you are interested in connecting with a student ambassador, please email our marketing and student recruitment manager, Jennifer Kim at

Christina Caso

Research Analyst | UW Alzheimer's Disease Research Center

Baldwin_Brittany-(2).jpgI grew up in Boston and have called Seattle my home for the past four years. After earning my bachelor's in psychology in 2013, I worked as a research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital, where I investigated how neurodegenerative diseases alter the normal anatomy and function of the brain. I currently conduct similar research at the University of Washington Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

I have been learning about the social determinants of health before I made the decision to pursue an MPH. Public health converges my interests in social justice, quality of life and healthy cognitive aging. I am particularly interested in translating my research into comprehensive programs and policies. I feel it is important to address the social inequalities that underlie the rising prevalence of dementia in the United States in order to promote health and well-being. 

Enrolling in the Online Executive MPH program at the UW was one of the best decisions I have made. While I earn my degree, I could continue to work full-time and apply what I'm learning in real time. The program's on-site sessions and virtual classes allow for interpersonal connection and bonding. There are numerous opportunities for collaboration with faculty who are on the forefront of public health research locally and worldwide. 

Choosing a graduate program is one of the biggest and most important decisions that you'll make. I applaud you for making the next step in your career. I would be happy to speak with you if you have questions about the program or what it's like to be a graduate student at the UW. 

Kate Flynn

Kate Flynn

I started the Online Executive Master of Public Health program with a background in marketing and public relations, with the goal of moving into a more "traditional" public health role. My undergrad is from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington where I earned my BA in Public Relations.

Since then, I've worked in the private sector, both on the consulting and in-house side. After starting a career in healthcare at one of the local Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, Premera Blue Cross, I wanted to build my experience in public health, while maintaining the opportunity to continue my professional progression. This program provided just the right blend of online flexibility and in-person coursework.

I am interested in program implementation and community outreach within historically marginalized populations. I'd like to develop the skill set to create community-driven programs that empower folks to take control of their health outcomes, while also advocating for system changes that make health experiences more inclusive and built with an anti-racist lens.

Matt Harnpadoungsataya

Pediatric Physical Therapist | Seattle Children's

Matt HarnpadoungsatayaI am a pediatric physical therapist at Seattle Children's. I have been practicing for the past six years, all within the pediatric setting including: private clinic, schools, and hospital settings. Honestly, I never thought I would want to go back to school again, but here I am and enjoying every minute of it. My job allows me the opportunity to work with very diverse families from all different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds. These families have broadened my awareness of the injustices there are in the health care system. My desire to offer more to families have led me to pursue a MPH degree. My passion for physical therapy has not waned, but will now have the ability to better curate our therapy sessions.

I applied to UW’s Online Executive MPH program because it allowed me to continue working, practicing, and learning simultaneously. This has been particularly beneficial to be able to critically think, apply, and engage my expanding knowledge in real time. I am able to utilize what I learn from the program with my patients and treatments and even vice versa where my experiences with clients relate to material we are learning reviewing in classes. It can be challenging finding the balance between work and life, but it is completely achievable. Do not be afraid to reach out to your family, friends, and the program for any needs, as there are supports for you. UW as an institution reflects my own values and visions, including diversity, respect, and leadership. UW offers programming and support around diverse cultures and populations which are important to me, including the Asian American experience, LGBT rights, and the environment. UW cultivates frank conversations where you feel heard and understood. This feeling creates mutual respect between student and institution.

Niels Johnsen, MD

Urologist | Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Baldwin_Brittany-(2).jpgI am a urologist who specializes in male genitourinary reconstruction and trauma. I previously worked at the University of Washington and Harborview Medical Center, and now work at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. 

While completing a clinical fellowship at the UW, I was interested in learning more about health services research and improving my grasp of research methodologies and health policies. I evaluated a number of MPH programs but ultimately chose the one in my own backyard for a number of reasons. The UW Online Executive MPH program provided the research and health services courses that I was most interested in, while allowing me the flexibility to continue working full-time. 

This program is perfect for working professionals who are either considering a career change or who are looking for additional training and/or a new perspective on public health. I initially joined the program for the training on research methods, but quickly found all of the class material interesting and useful towards understanding my job, the health care system in which I work and the global position of U.S. health care as a whole. My practicum was a health services research project involving resource utilization for the management of traumatically injured patients in Washington state through the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center. Using the new skills and knowledge I picked up in the qualitative methods course, I completed my thesis examining the experiences of men following traumatic pelvic fractures. 

I could not be happier with my decision to pursue this program and would highly recommend it. Everyone pursues an MPH for different reasons. UW's Online Executive MPH program has provided me exactly what I desired from the degree. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or want more information. 

Evelyn Le

Naturopathic Medical Student | Bastyr University

Baldwin_Brittany-(2).jpgI was born and raised in Vietnam until my family moved to the U.S. in 2008. While earning my bachelor's in biochemistry and medical humanities at Baylor University, I found my calling to become a doctor who focused on holistic health care and treating root causes. I found Seattle to be an amazing place for integrative medicine, so I enrolled in the Naturopathic Medical School in Bastyr University in 2017. After two years, I realized that my education in individualized medicine has the potential to transform many lives in the community. I became passionate about community health education and public health research.

I chose the UW Online Executive MPH program because of its resources and the vibrant community that is willing to face challenges, interact and push forward to solve public health problems. I am very impressed with the diversity of my cohort. Everyone is an expert in their own field. We come together to share our knowledge, wisdom and proposals to change the health care system. 

I am working my way through school as a caregiver, medical administrative assistant and research assistant while actively involved in clinical rotations, conferences and lectures. I truly believe that experience helps one grow skills, wisdom and maturity. These diverse experiences will enable me to become a better leader, clinician, researcher and best of all, daughter, sister, aunt and granddaughter to my family. My future goal is to practice in a community health clinic in a rural area. 

I am looking forward to supporting you, so feel free to reach out anytime. 

Liqaa Essam Naser

Naturopathic Medical Student | Bastyr University

Baldwin_Brittany-(2).jpgAfter working as a pediatrician in Bahrain for ten years, I started the doctorate program in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University in 2016. I dreamt of holding degrees in both conventional and naturopathic medicine so that I could have the chance to treat my patients with the best of both sides of medicine. 

After spending around six months at the Bastyr Health Center for Natural Health, I began thinking about the local community's awareness of naturopathic medicine. I asked myself, "Will I be able to make a change in my community by being a physician who focuses their energy on one patient at a time?" I am not underestimating my role as future doctor or my ability to make a difference in people's lives; rather I was craving more. 

My passion for health education and community outreach brought me to the Online Executive MPH program at the University of Washington. 

The field of public health calls for a particular set of skills. You need to be curious, analytical and able to present information in a manner that is easily understood. At the same time, you need to be persuasive to non-clinicians overseeing decisions related to public health matters. Before starting my journey, I searched for programs that demonstrated an appreciation of cultural differences and sensitivities. The UW School of Public Health was outstanding in that regard. That in combination with the UW's excellent reputation, made me look no further. I decided to be part of this community to receive the best education and preparation for  opportunities in the future. 

The Online Executive MPH program will be demanding; however I am ready to help you do your very best. I would love to provide you with assistance in your journey.  I want to see you excel as a student and I want to help you maximize the benefits this program has to offer. I look forward to this opportunity to give back to the community.