MPH@GW Student Spotlight: Christopher Khanoyan
Current Position: Intern with the GW Medical Faculty Associates at the George Washington University Hospital
Christopher Khanoyan was ready to take his career to the next level by earning his Master of Public Health degree. He wants to use his education to help underserved populations and people with disabilities around the world. The MPH@GW program has been a great fit for Christopher. He has a hearing impairment, and the student support team has worked closely with him to caption his lectures. Christopher has big dreams for the future and hopes to work with the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MPH@GW is honored to help Christopher realize those dreams. Find out more about Christopher in today’s student spotlight.
Why and when did you decide to earn an MPH degree?
I had been volunteering with the Livestrong Foundation and the Special Olympics, and I wanted to gain the skills and knowledge to help people affected by cancer and severe disabilities. I had some thoughts of becoming a physician eventually, but I decided public health was the best option for me because it would allow me to focus on preventing diseases and disorders.
Do you have a desired focus area?
I have always wanted to build my career in global health. Public health is a large growing field with numerous in-demand areas. I would like to focus on infectious diseases and epidemiology.
What excites you most about the program?
I’m excited that the program not only gives me the opportunity to learn from a fine faculty, but it also ensures smooth accommodations to my inability to hear — I am deaf, and I use American Sign Language. I believe it is the first time that MPH@GW has had someone like me pursue a degree through the online program. The program’s team has worked so hard to provide a captioning pod, including captioned lectures. Another great thing about the program is that my professors are aware of my inability to hear, and I feel that I have an equal amount of participation as others during live sessions.
What has been your favorite part of the experience at MPH@GW?
Environment and Occupational Health has been my favorite part of the experience because it was my very first class after being out of school for a while. I was scared to death that I started to sweat when my professor asked me to introduce myself in front of students I had never met. Since then, I have made great friends, and that professor eventually wrote me a recommendation letter for several rewarding internships.
Do you know what you would like to do for your practicum experience?
I actually had a recent interview at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters! That is something I really would like to do before I graduate from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. My goal is to do my practicum with the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Hopkins Medicine or an international agency. Hopefully, I will find out soon where I will be next spring.
In your opinion, what’s the best thing about earning your MPH online with GW?
The best thing is to be able to tell others that I am about to earn an MPH without having to attend one in-person class. No need to yell, “I’m late! I’m late! Move over!” again.
What else should we know about you?
I love doing random hobbies such as crafting wood tables and painting canvas. I think I am a master at grilling steaks, too!
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