Student Spotlight: Tyler Dent

In our Student Spotlight feature, students working with or honored by the Institute are highlighted. Tyler Dent is a practicum student working with SCale Down.


Tyler Dent, IMPH practicum student

Hometown: Florence, SC

Undergraduate School: University of South Carolina, BS Biology 2011

Current School: Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Major:  General MPH

Degree program:  Master of Public Health

Expected Graduation: August 2016

How did you become interested in public health and medicine?

Anytime there was an open topic paper in high school or college, I would choose anything to do with public health or medicine. I am not really sure where this interest originated but I have always been fascinated by science and medicine and its significant contributions to society. I decided to seek a masters of public health after a couple years of patient care and becoming frustrated with how clinical medicine was not addressing the major determinants of health.

What areas of public health/medicine are you most interested in and why?

I am most interested in preventative medicine that focuses on empowering patients to take control of their health. I hope to use my educational background to find big picture solutions to improving population health and reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases in the state of South Carolina.

What are your future plans?

I will be starting medical school at Nova Southeastern University in August 2016. During med school I am thinking about getting a masters of biomedical informatics to have a stronger foundation to bridge the gap between medicine and public health.

If you weren’t studying public health/medicine what would you study and why?

I would probably study biomedical engineering because I enjoy physics and seeking anyway to make things better.

Who do you consider your mentor/greatest inspiration and why?

I believe I am the person I am today from a culmination of each interaction and relationship I’ve had. I find inspiration through knowing that every day is another opportunity to impact someone’s life even just a little. If I had to name someone specific, I have to give a shout out to my parents and Jean Dickens, who both helped mold me into the man I am today.

When you aren’t studying or working, what are your favorite activities?

I enjoy watching and then attempting to emulate Stephen Curry on the basketball courts. Go Warriors! I also enjoy all things Gamecocks! Hoping for four straight years of beating Florida, so I can give my gator classmates a hard time.

Anything else you want to share or highlight?  Any scholastic/athletic/volunteer activities or recognitions? 

Since IMPH’s office is beside the Lt. Governors Office of Aging, I guess I’ll mention winning the Lt. Governor’s Essay Contest when I was in 5th grade. The topic was to write about your hero, so I wrote of how I admire my mom’s work ethic to be the first to get a college education in her family and make the most of what so little she was given.

During my time at USC, I organized various fundraisers for the Ray Tanner Foundation to help economically and medically disadvantaged children and their families. I am also an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America.

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