Student Highlight – Alejandro Hughes is a first year MPH student (Health Promotion) at the UNMC College of Public Health. He grew up in beautiful Cedar Falls, Iowa, before attending Iowa State University, where he received a degree in Community/Public Health Education. The prevention-focused, wide-reaching nature of public health is what led Alejandro to gravitate toward the field. Since then, he was fortunate to have some great experiences as an AmeriCorps member at a non-profit in Council Bluffs, and most recently he worked for a county health department in Waterloo, Iowa. Those practical, real-world experiences cemented his interest in public health and his desire to obtain an MPH.
In his time so far at the COPH, Alejandro has most enjoyed building relationships with faculty and other students. He has found that the COPH has a great deal to offer students in terms of research opportunities, educational quality, and practical experiences. Aside from studying and homework, Alejandro spends much of his time as a work-study student in Sponsored Programs Administration and is also working as an intern for the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition.
Alejandro’s professional interests include chronic disease prevention and intervention, the effects of the built environment on human health, cancer prevention, and nutrition education—particularly in youth. His career goals after graduation are constantly being refined. He truly enjoyed his experience working for a local health department and entered the COPH with the intention of returning in a health educator/program manager capacity. However, Alejandro has also developed an interest in chronic disease epidemiology. Alejandro is excited to continue expanding his public health knowledge here at the COPH.