A Professional Development event I organized this semester was another alumni spotlight featuring Greg Zane, an IA alum who graduated from Ohio State in 2018 and now works as an epidemiologist for the Washington State Department of Health. I found out about Greg from another IA alum who came to a community meeting last semester and encouraged me and Steven to reach out to him. I did not have his contact information, but I sent him a cold LinkedIn message and he responded to me with great excitement about coming back to IA and sharing his experiences after graduation! I have had a lot of interaction with IA alumni this year and they have all been very eager to come back to the program and share their experiences, which really has helped me see how involved IA alumni have been with the program and how this program really builds lifelong connections!
Greg studied Public Health as an undergrad and after graduation, he obtained his MPH from the University of Washington in 2020, and now works as an epidemiologist, which is a career path that has become increasingly relevant, since we are living in a pandemic! Although Greg’s epidemiology interests revolve around female reproductive health and disparities in developing nations, he has currently been working as a Lead Outbreak Systems and Notify Epidemiologist where he has coordinated COVID-19 case investigations, contact tracing policies and is also working to develop an online database for tracking COVID cases in Washington and nationwide. Along with learning about a new career path that is very relevant to International Affairs, I was also able to learn more directly about the COVID pandemic from a public health expert! Greg offered his knowledge on vaccination and how the Washington State Department of Health has been working to increase public awareness in social distancing measures and now encourage vaccination among the public.