IMPH Interns Include Fulbright Scholar and SEC Women’s Soccer Champion

South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) public relations interns Ellen Fahey and Christina Galardi from the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Journalism and Mass Communications will graduate in May 2012 having achieved numerous awards and honors including a Fulbright scholarship and serving as co-captain of the SEC Women’s Soccer championship team.

The IMPH internship opportunity is open to select students with outstanding credentials and skills with an interest in public health and health communication.  The unpaid internship program is designed to provide students with education and experience in social media and media relations in an active and dynamic environment outside the classroom.  Communications interns create projects and campaigns that may be added to portfolios and professional experiences, including writing press releases and news stories, developing communication plans for report releases, background research and editing of report, website development, and day to day management of IMPH’s social media presence under the supervision of Associate Director, Outreach and Program Development Megan Weis.

According to IMPH Director of Operations Lee Pearson, “The Institute is committed to engaging promising students in a manner that affords them the opportunity to gain valuable, first-hand experience.  Fostering future leaders in public health and related fields is not only a way to expand our own organizational capacity, it is an investment that will reap benefits for us all well into the future.”

Ellen Fahey, intern during Summer 2011, is a senior from Ft. Wright, KY graduating with a major in Public Relations and minor in General Education.  During the Spring 2012 semester, Ms. Fahey interned with the press office of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.  Ms. Fahey earned numerous honors throughout her career on the USC Women’s Soccer team, including serving as co-captain of the 2011 SEC Women’s Soccer Championship team.  Her additional honors include 2011 NSCAA Third Team All-South Region, 2011 First Team All-SEC, 2011 SEC Preseason Watch List, 2011 Our Game Magazine Player to Watch (Week 4), 2011 SEC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 8), 2011 Soccer America National Team of the Week (Week 8), 2011 Top Drawer Soccer Team of  the Week (Week 9), 2011 USC Team Defensive MVP, 2011 USC Teammate Award, 2011 Dean’s List (Fall/Spring), 2010 Second Team All-SEC, 2010 USC team defensive MVP, 2009 SEC Tournament Champions, 2009 Dean’s List, 2008 USC team rookie of the year and 2008-12 SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Following graduation, Ms. Fahey plans to continue playing soccer and pursuing a Master’s degree in either Finland or England.  She has received informal notice of acceptance to the Master’s program in Public Policy and Health at Durham University, England.

On her experience at IMPH, Ms. Fahey says, “My time at IMPH proved to be the most enriching experience of my college career. Not only did I gain knowledge with communications in the health field but I worked with an outstanding group of people who really made my experience worthwhile. During my internship I worked on projects that varied from social media to working with the Affordable Care Act. Everyday I learned something new about the health in South Carolina and was always kept on my toes. I am so grateful for my time at IMPH and the doors that it has opened for me.”

Christina Galardi, from Lexington, SC, interned at IMPH during the Spring 2012 semester. The Public Relations major and Health Promotion, Education and Behavior minor student also serves as President of the Carolina Service Council.  Ms. Galardi received USC’s top undergraduate honor, the Sullivan Award, and received a Fulbright scholarship.  Her other honors include USC 2012 Outstanding Woman of the Year, USC Hall of Leaders, 2012 Gold Level President’s Volunteer Service Award, 2012 Public Relations Department Outstanding Senior Award, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society and 2011 USC Homecoming Queen.

Following graduation, Ms. Galardi’s Fulbright scholarship will allow her to work as an English teaching assistant in South Korea.  She then plans to prepare for a career in health communication by pursuing a master’s degree in public health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Ms. Galardi reflects on her experience at IMPH, “For as much as I may have been able to contribute to the work of IMPH, I have been able to gain twice as much public health experience. Working here allowed me to tap into current health research and trends by working alongside IMPH staff to publicize the County Health Rankings, support the state’s sodium reduction initiative and expand use of health impact assessments in South Carolina, among many other projects. I look forward to becoming a part of this growing professional field.”

Internship director Megan Weis expresses that the leadership and staff of IMPH appreciate the opportunity to work with students, adding, “It has been a pleasure to work with these talented young women.  I have been impressed by their dedication and interest in public health, as well as their preparation when they arrived at IMPH to contribute as a full member of our communications team.  Ellen and Christina both have numerous opportunities to choose from as they develop their careers, and I am honored that IMPH has played a role in preparing them for their very bright futures.”

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