In our Student Spotlight feature, students working with or honored by the Institute are highlighted. Cassidy Wade is an MPH candidate with the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She is completing her practicum with the SCale Down Initiative.

Cassidy Wade, SCale Down Practicum Student

Hometown: Hammond, Indiana

School: University of South Carolina

Major: Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

Degree pursued: Master of Public Health (MPH)

Expected Graduation: May 2019

How did you become interested in public health/medicine?

I was a nursing major for three years in undergrad at Purdue University, but I realized that I wanted to do something more population-based. I was looking to change my major and stumbled upon public health.

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

I am most interested in addressing public health disparities in minority communities, particularly that affect African Americans. As a black woman, I have seen the issues of obesity, chronic disease and lack of access to healthcare plague my own family and friends, so it is a very personal matter for me. I want to see a new generation of healthy and happy black people who understand holistic heath and fight for their right to be healthy.

What are your future plans?

I graduate soon, so I am hoping to get a job and find my place in public health.

If you weren’t studying public health, what would you study?

If I could be anything, I would be a writer.  I love seeing words come together to tell a story.

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

My greatest inspiration is my mother. She has overcome many obstacles, but has still come out on the other side with bright eyes and a bright smile. She has also sacrificed a lot for me to be a first-generation college student. Love her!

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

I like to read, take nature walks, go to the movies and hang out with friends.