Allison Poehler: Student Spotlight

Allison Poehler, MPH student (graduating Spring 2018)
Hometown: Louisville, IL
Undergraduate school and major/minor: McKendree University, B.S. Biology

Three things you have with you at all times…
1. Coffee
2. Coat/jacket
3. Giant backpack filled with stuff for work, a change of clothes and shoes, notebooks, colored pens, snacks, etc.

What are your hobbies or activities when you aren’t studying or working?
I enjoy yoga, rock climbing, sleeping, knitting, reading, and being snobby about coffee.

What were you doing before you came to the Brown School?
I spent several years working in basic science research. Then I spent a year doing planning and evaluation of adult and senior services programs. Afterward, I transitioned into public health work as a DIS (disease investigator) in Nevada.

What first made you interested in studying public health?
I was studying algae for biofuel applications, and working with epidemiologists and biostatisticians. I would attend their talks and discuss their research with them, and I was interested in the applicability and impact of their work on people’s lives. I began to realize there are many factors that influence health and disease, aside from medical interventions. I also became aware I didn’t know anything about those factors. I was more curious about public health problems than I was about algae, so I switched career paths.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I grew up in a rural area, and was involved in 4-H and FFA. I’m really passionate about both organizations and agricultural education in general. I occasionally sneak in some ag fun facts in my classes.