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Arnold School of Public Health

I Am Public Health: Lauren McAbee

May 1, 2024 | Erin Bluvas,

Greenville, South Carolina native Lauren McAbee loved her experience in the B.S. in Public Health program so continuing at the Arnold School for her master’s degree was an easy decision. The Capstone Scholar graduated in 2022 with Leadership Distinction in Professional and Civic Engagement – largely thanks to her service work as vice president and membership educator with a professional/social sorority focused on women in STEM majors (Alpha Omega Epsilon). 

Lauren McAbee
Lauren McAbee graduates in May with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. 

“I’ve loved the time that I’ve spent at USC,” McAbee says. “I’ve met some amazing friends, connected with faculty, and learned a lot throughout my programs. Being in the school of public health has provided me with a wealth of opportunities, and I’m very grateful for the time that I’ve had here.”

During the final semester of her senior year, McAbee gained experience as an undergraduate research assistant with the Arnold School’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Working with epidemiology assistant professor Mufaro Kanyangarara, she helped write three manuscripts on vaccine interventions and neonatal health – even co-authoring a paper on vaccine intentions among South Carolina residents in the journal, Vaccines.

As an extension of this work, McAbee chose epidemiology for her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree that fall. She spent the next two years honing her research skills as a graduate research assistant with the Center for Applied Research and Evaluation.

In her program, McAbee developed interests in maternal and child health, completing a Graduate Certificate in Maternal and Child Health alongside her MPH in Epidemiology degree. She is particularly interested in birthing experiences, breastfeeding and access to abortion.

Being in the school of public health has provided me with a wealth of opportunities, and I’m very grateful for the time that I’ve had here.

Lauren McAbee

After graduating in May (with a 4.0 and a first-author PLOS Global Public Health Journal publication to her name), McAbee will begin a new position with Prisma Health as a biostatistician. She believes the data analysis and critical thinking skills she gained from her programs have helped prepare her for this career and says that faculty have also played a key role in her success. For McAbee, those mentors have been Susan Steck, Myriam Torres and Nandita Perumal, who have helped her plan her coursework and been inspiring instructors.

“Try and find strong faculty connections early on,” she advises prospective students. “Having a close connection with faculty can be extremely beneficial as you navigate graduate school and start to plan your career path.”

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