When Emily Barnes declared her International Studies major during her junior year, she was interested in the Global Environment and Health sub-plan but didn’t know how it fit in with the major’s other tracks. Taking her fourth-year INTLSTD seminar on Public Health in Conflict and Reconstruction, Barnes saw just how large public health can be.

“All the different sub-plans were in that seminar … The discussions could have lasted for hours because it was my first class at the University of Michigan where everyone was deeply involved and there wasn’t anyone that just wanted to get through. The topics Dr. Marcum selected represented my interests in global health and the environment and then we’d get into policy and then security,” Barnes said.

As Barnes prepares to start her Master’s program at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, she said coming from an International Studies background made her applications stand out.

“When I declared International Studies, I didn’t think I’d end up in public health and then I think going through the route of International Studies actually brought in a new perspective where I think I gained almost more … When I wrote my essays for grad school, being a different major than the other applicants gave me an edge,” Barnes said.

Barnes will be in the Behavior Science and Health Education program at Emory University and hopes to eventually work in community health.

Emily Barnes

BA International Studies (Global Environment and Health) ‘20

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI

Affiliations: Michigan GIVEr's, CURE International, Ronald McDonald House

Future plans: “Attending Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, to start a Master of Public Health this fall!!!”

Fondest memory of her experience in PICS: “I loved all of my PICS classes, but I was especially fond of my fourth year INTLSTD seminar, Public Health in Conflict and Reconstruction. This class is where I really connected with my peers, and the discussions were absolutely amazing each class. I discovered my love for public health in this class.”

Is there anything you would like to express to your peers, parents, professors, or others?:

“I would like to thank my wonderful parents, my siblings, my roommate, my fiancé, and my professors. Especially Dr. Marcum, and Mark Kligerman.”