Student Highlight – Douglas Marcel Puricelli Perin (Doug) grew up in the metropolis of Porto Alegre, Brazil. While obtaining a law degree from one of Brazil’s most prestigious universities, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), he worked for a non-governmental organization helping poor and underprivileged communities regularize their housing conditions. His professional experience with social work would prove beneficial later in his life. After graduating from college, his passion for culture, history, and nature prompted him to travel extensively throughout Latin America. For a brief period, he worked as a diving instructor in Honduras, educating and interacting with people from all over the world.
Eventually, Doug achieved a diving instructor position in Dublin, Ireland. While living within the EU, Doug traveled to many countries, including North Africa. Coming into contact with so many people of such various cultures gave him a global perspective. It also deepened his appreciation for social work, especially since he had witnessed staggering poverty firsthand. Since his ancestors are Italian, he finally transferred to Florence, Italy, where he became a European citizen and met his lovely wife. He began working for one of the top tour companies in Tuscany as an environmental hiking guide in beautiful Cinque Terre. Although his job in Italy was pleasurable and profitable, he wanted to advance social causes and to devote his time to helping others.
Doug learned about public health through a serendipitous conversation. Realizing that his previous work and his interest in addressing societal and public problems aligned with the field of public health, Doug applied to the masters in public health program at UNMC. He is currently in the epidemiology concentration and working as a graduate assistant in the Center for Global Health and Development. He has an interest in public health informatics and environmental issues, mainly long-term sustainability of food production He has co-authored several papers with Drs. Ashish Joshi and Terry Huang. What Doug likes most about the COPH is the versatility of the academic disciplines. His future career goal is to establish programs in developing nations that will teach communities to be self-sustainable and that can free them from dependence on outside forces.