Anna Correa, who will receive a Master of Public Health in community and behavior health from the University of Iowa in May 2022, is the winner of a Fulbright Study/Research grant in Public Health to India for 2022-23.
Hometown: Clive, Iowa
Award: 2022-23 Fulbright Study/Research grant in Public Health to India
Degree: BA, public health, BS, international relations, Master of Public Health
Could you give us a brief synopsis of what you'll be doing with your Fulbright?
With my affiliates Dr. Johnson and Dr. Angeline of St. John’s Medical College, I will facilitate interviews and focus groups with migrant workers in Bangalore, India. This research will help us explore the mental health landscape and needs of the migrant laborer community that faces many systematic challenges to daily life, overall health, and mental well-being. The goal is that this study helps inform future educational campaigns, health programming, and policy changes to support migrant worker mental health.
What drew you to this field of study?
Within the field of public health, I have had the privilege of learning from many incredible people who do meaningful public health work. These role models led me to lead my own research study about stress and well-being among an occupational group in Iowa during the pandemic. Along with coursework in community-engaged and qualitative research methods, family history of migration, and a year of dedicated language study, my Fulbright grant combines many areas of academic and personal interest. Furthermore, I was motivated by the opportunity to use my education and grant resources to uplift a group that has been consistently pushed to the margins of society.
How do you envision this will influence your life/future career?
This award will have a massive impact on my growth as a global learner, aspiring public health practitioner, and person. This will be the first time I get to put my training to the test in the global public health world, and I am so eager to learn from my partners at St. John’s and the community with which we will work.
"This award will have a massive impact on my growth as a global learner, aspiring public health practitioner, and person."
What advice do you have for future students interested in applying for a Fulbright? or What experiences at the UI inspired you to pursue a Fulbright?
- Be open to the feedback and criticism that comes with preparing a competitive application. It can be disheartening to continually receive “this still needs a lot of work” messages, but if you maintain a growth mindset, you’ll submit something you’re proud of.
- Remain true to your vision. Don’t be afraid to push back or ask questions about feedback you’re unsure of because you know yourself and your project best.
Are there individuals you'd like to thank for their investment in this process?
My biggest thanks go to my recommenders from the College of Public Health. Dr. Will Story has been my advisor, connection-maker, and recommender during graduate school, and without him, I would not have had most of the global learning opportunities I’ve had. Dr. Maggie Chorazy was the first person to nominate me for the Fulbright program way back as an undergraduate, and she supported me as a recommender when the nomination finally came to fruition. Dr. Rima Afifi also wrote one of my recommendation letters and showed me a version of public health I could truly see myself in.
I’m also thankful for my affiliates at St. John’s, my application reviewers, Karen Wachsmuth, and everyone from my time at Iowa who has helped me reach this point.
Students are encouraged to begin their funding searches and applications at least six months to one year in advance. Schedule an advising appointment with Karen Wachsmuth to discuss your interest in an international fellowship or begin an application (as a UI undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/us).