27 Jun 2023

SAU Students Receive Internships with NCDHHS’ Division of Public Health

Minority North Carolina residents will be more represented in the public health workforce this summer. Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) students Jeremiah Reese, Jennifer Hunt, Hannah Jackson, and Lee Sales have accepted internships with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) as part of the department’s Historically Black Colleges and Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program. The American Rescue Plan Act Public Health Workforce Development Initiative funds these paid summer internships.

According to the NCDHHS, the workforce in North Carolina’s local health departments is 80% white, 90% female, with 60% over the age of 45. Nationally, millennials comprised less than a quarter of the public health workforce, and post-millennials were nearly missing from the workforce completely.

“I am extremely proud of our students for being selected to participate in the NCDHHS Internship Program this summer,” said SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail. “The selection of our students for this program is a testament to their hard work, dedication, and excellence. It also reflects our university’s faculty, staff, and administrators’ contributions toward creating a more diverse public health workforce.

“One of our top priorities is building a strong and inclusive workforce, which starts with training the next generation of public health leaders,” said NCDHHS Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “Public health and human services are focused on making a difference in our communities and the world. We’re grateful these students are choosing to spend their time dedicated to making that difference with NCDHHS.”

The students will be working on projects with the NCDHHS. The internship will last ten weeks and include work in their assigned project area, weekly seminars, presentation practice, and an immersion event at the end of the internship experience.

“With this internship program, NCDHHS makes a crucial workforce investment and builds upon our strong partnership with North Carolina’s HBCUs and MSIs to engage students in learning firsthand about public health and human services careers,” said Angela Bryant, NCDHHS Assistant Secretary for Equity and Inclusion in the Health Equity Portfolio. “NCDHHS and its Division of Public Health are excited Jeremiah, Jennifer, Hannah and Lee have chosen to join 49 other students and recent graduates in making a difference for North Carolina residents through this internship.”