Employee Spotlight: Whitney Allen

June 30, 2018

Tell me about your current role at Yale University?

As of May 1st, I became a Research Assistant at the School of Public Health at the Advancing Relationships and Community Health (ARCH). The team is currently finalizing a study where we will identify how social network and environment influence health among young men. 

For more information: 
https://arch.yale.edu/news/mobile-devices-may-determine-
how-places-and-people-increase-hiv-risk-behavior

What are your main responsibilities?

My main responsibilities within the position are to recruit and maintain participation in our community. I am the person who would engage with participants and to make sure that they are safe and comfortable throughout the study. So far, because we are in the beginning stage of the project, I have been involved with finalizing surveys and training on the different programs we plan to use for the project.

What do you like most about your work?

I like how I can incorporate my community engagement skills within research. Part of what I get to do is to strategically plan out how to best engage with the community and build partnerships with other organizations

How does your job affect your general lifestyle?

I think now having this job, it has taught me to keep a steady routine in my life and has already improved my lifestyle. (A much better lifestyle compared to when I was a full-time grad student).

How did you begin your career?

I graduated from Eastern Connecticut University and became an AmeriCorps member. Within the two years, I was stationed at organizations in Eastern Connecticut where a lot of my work focused on advocating for underserved communities in Connecticut. From there, I worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital while at the same time I was going to school at Southern Connecticut State University. I was thankful that I was offered a position at the School of Public Health and I started the position a couple of weeks ago. On May 17th, I will be graduating with my MPH!

What steps would you recommend one take to prepare to enter this field?

Getting to know the community, being compassionate, and finding time to volunteer. Especially in Public Health, it is essential to know who you are serving and to show compassion in what you do, because if you are just there to solely “treat” the problem, we only temporarily solve the problem

What skills, abilities, and personal attributes are essential to success in your job/this field?

Being friendly, asking questions, and being mindful of people who I encounter. It’s important to be mindful of what you say, be understanding, and be objective with the information you are given because you would be surprised at how much you learn from others.

If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same path for yourself? If not, what would you change?

would be in a similar path line because I like the idea of talking to people and getting to know them. I don’t think there is much that I would change.  

What does YLNG mean to you and how have you contributed as a member of the Steering Committee?

I started attended meeting in June of 2017 with Jose DeJesus, and I love we have opportunities to collaborate and share resources that help each other and the community we reach out to. I’ve was able to network with people within the group, and got exposed to a lot of useful resources and opportunities. Having a partnership with YLNG has been a more efficient way to get to know the community that I serve.