Kaitlyn Hanley, MPH
What is your current role?
Animal Research Safety Specialist for the University of California – Los Angeles.
In your current position, are you playing a role in the COVID-19 response effort?
Yes, indirectly. I am assisting COVID-19 response by writing guidance documents for researchers that work with animals and the husbandry/ veterinary team on campus in vivariums. I make decisions in what PPE is required for these groups and assist them in many other ways. Additionally, I am assisting the logistics branch of our EOC which is responsible for PPE procurement and distribution.
What is the main lesson or takeaway that you have obtained during your participation in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
I have learned that during a pandemic it is important to be extra patient with people. Everyone has different levels of stress tolerance and a pandemic is definitely a stress inducer, so being extra kind and supportive is necessary.
How did the VPH program prepare you for this position?
The VPH program has prepared me in many ways. My current job title is brand new to the university and is uncommon even throughout the US. I am essentially creating a program wrapped around animal research for the benefit for health and safety of humans, but animals are also very much taken into account too. The VPH program has cemented the importance of this connection between animals and humans, so I take this knowledge with me when making decisions every day. Even though I was hired for one very specific job I have been put on additional teams and tasks because of my experiences from OSU. I am assisting the EOC because of my emergency preparedness and response trainings and internship with the USDA. I am an asset to the data analytics team for my department and I am on a spill clean-up crew for chemical and biological spills. I am in a career where I have been able to use many skills I have learned from OSU while within the MPH-VPH program. This is one reason why I picked the program; I wanted to be able to take on different career paths and different skills to be valuable to employers.
Any other comments or pearls of wisdom you would like to share with current students and alumni?
Have gone through the MPH-VPH program and obtained my first job after graduating I definitely recommend believing all the professors when they say “You are becoming the expert”. When interviewing you need to be confident in your expertise. The VPH program does set you up to be an expert in many fields so believe in that process. Lastly, take all the extra classes, clubs, trips, etc. you possibly can. Those all lead to networking and experiences that you might think you won’t need, but each one really does.
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