Student Practicum Experiences

During their public health practicum, students gain hands-on experience in the field while working within an organization that addresses public health issues. Learn more about student experiences.

Brittany Pacarro, '15
National Multiple Sclerosis Society

“I enjoyed my time working with my preceptor and the other staff members at my practicum. I learned a lot about professionalism, setting goals and what to do in certain work-related situations. I believe going through this practicum experience got me to become a little more confident in the work I do. This will  also help in the future as I am better prepared for what will be expected in a work environment. At first, I did not expect my practicum experience to influence my career goals. I expected that I would do my hours and possibly mention my practicum in an interview setting. However, after working in such a positive work environment, I have decided that when I do find a career, that a non-profit organization might be a good fit for me. I still need to further explore my options, but I like the fact that I could be directly benefiting people and my work would give me purpose and enrich my life. Even though my practicum site’s office is located in Portland and I had an hour commute, it was worth the drive every day I went.”

—Brittany Pacarro


Tuong Nguyen, '14
Asian Health & Service Center

"The practicum was the first time I felt like I had the opportunity to explore the public health field. I established strong relationships with community members by helping people overcoming language, cultural and systematic barriers toward health service access. My practicum also helped me improve my professional skills which I find useful in my current job. The practicum was one factor that motivated me to pursue a job as a community health worker and graduate school in the future. In my opinion, it was one of the best academic experiences at Pacific University."

—Tuong Nguyen


Hannah Porter, '14
Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI)

"The variety of public health courses offered allowed me to gain a basic understanding of the multiple areas of public health and further explore those that interested me, such as Epidemiology and Community Health.  The coursework allowed me to discover my main interests within public health, which influenced how I prioritized possible practicum sites, picked a capstone project, and planned career goals.  The core classes for public health along with the list of possible electives allowed me to gain a general knowledge of the vast field of public health.  This baseline knowledge gave me the opportunity to select key areas of study and target populations that I wished to investigate further.  Recently, in job interviews this knowledge has been useful to comprehensively analyze possible situations and propose solutions or interventions that encompass many aspects of public health.  I believe that the public health courses I took provided me with a broad and thorough education that prepared me for post-graduation."

—Hannah Porter


Sean Dalton '14
Washington County Public Health 

"I graduated in 2014 with a major in sociology and a minor in public health. I am now working toward my Master of Public Health. Much of my success as a graduate student stems from my experiences as a student at Pacific, and I reflect on my time at Pacific almost every day. My practicum with Washington County Health & Human Services at Pacific was one of my first experiences with practical public health. My public health courses completely prepared me for the challenges that I have faced in the workplace and I successfully completed numerous projects that were key in my admittance into graduate school. Coupled with the information I learned through my classes, the practicum prepared me immensely for the rigorous studies I face as a graduate student. From the strong dedication put forth by a group of wonderful faculty members, to courses that bridge the gap between fun and rigorous, Pacific’s Public Health program sparked my passion for a field that is essential to our society, and it has put me in a position to have a successful future as a public health practitioner."

—Sean Dalton