Health Professions

MLS student earns spot in public health program at the University of Michigan

Medical laboratory sciences bachelor's student Alana Rubio

By Kate Hunger


Three days after Alana Rubio graduates this May with her bachelor’s in medical laboratory sciences, she will begin a 10-week program at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.

Rubio wants to go to graduate school and hopes the University of Michigan Future Public Health Leaders Program (FPHLP) will help her narrow down her focus. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program promotes public health careers among underrepresented college students and includes field placements, mentorship and skill-building workshops. Rubio credits Terri Murphy-Sanchez, MS, MLS: CSMLS, ASCPCM, Division of Medical Laboratory Sciences assistant professor and program director, for encouraging her to apply.

“She planted the idea in my head and encouraged exploring and finding new things — something greater, something beyond,” Rubio said. “The idea kind of stuck in my head.

“I am definitely so honored to have been accepted,” she said. “I hope it broadens my thinking space. It’s a turning point in my educational career. It’s truly like a door that opened, and I’m going to go through it and at the end I’ll understand more about what I want to do.”

Rubio is passionate about health disparities in rural communities, which is a major focus of the program.

“I’m from Uvalde, which is a small community in southwest Texas, and I think there’s lots of change that’s going to happen in the coming years,” she said. “I’d definitely love to take the information I learn to my community. I see myself as an advocate for rural communities and just improving everyone’s overall health.”

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