Margo Rosner

photo of Margo Rosner

  • BA in Anthropology (2012)
  • Master of Public Health (Johns Hopkins University, 2016)
  • Certificate in Health Communication
  • health social and behavioral scientist at The MITRE Corp.
  • served as a judge for Miami's Global Health Case Competition (February 2018)

My Profession

"I came into Miami as a zoology major, but although I'd always been interested in health I realized that I wasn't passionate about chemistry or biology. I started taking anthropology courses, where I learned about different cultures and the framework for understanding people. Anthropology was a better fit for me, but upon graduation in 2012 I saw I could go in a million different directions — it was tough to figure that out.

"I spent my first year out of Miami doing a lot of networking — talking to people who were working in public health, which seemed like a great match for my interests and background. I ended up applying for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's 2-year Public Health Associate Program (PHAP), which gave me great mentorship and on-the-ground training. I worked with the Baltimore City Health Department's STD/HIV Prevention Program on a variety of initiatives. I quickly realized that I wanted to gain practical, as well as more formal public health knowledge, so I obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH) at Johns Hopkins University in 2016.

"While in graduate school, I focused on social and behavioral health and health communication, working at the Center for Communication Programs (CCP), a non-profit associated with Johns Hopkins, to further develop my skills. Upon graduation, I continued networking, which led me to my current role.

"As a health social and behavioral scientist at The MITRE Corp., I currently support the All of Us Research Program pilot, an historic effort by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health. This is part of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). I previously supported a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) project aimed at improving surveillance and reducing disease reporting burden across the country. On both projects, I've initiated and facilitated various communications components and deliverables."

Best Miami Experiences

"I became interested in anthropology through taking one of the Miami Plan anthropology courses. Before then, I had never considered majoring in anthropology. However, once I began the course, I realized how exciting it was to learn the theories to better understand why people behave the way they do, and how their values influence their behavior. I then proceeded to take nearly every cultural anthropology course offered during my 4 years at Miami.

"One thing I'm happy to do as an alum is talk to students about my career trajectory and give them ideas for their own. Earlier this year I was asked by professor of anthropology, Dr. Cameron Hay-Rollins, to come and serve as a judge for the Global Health Case Competition, which is part of Miami's global health minor. I was honored to be able to lend my experiences to the competition and help students develop their knowledge of public and global health while giving them a taste of different options for careers as they move forward."

[Read the February 2018 CAS press release Global health expert and Miami alum Judith Kaufmann to give keynote for Department of Anthropology's global health case competition.]

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"Majoring in anthropology allows people who are interested in learning about culture to forge their own path. For me, public health became a smooth transition, as I discovered ways to use social and behavioral methods to impact health and healthcare.

"My background in behavioral health has given me experience building holistic programs for different facets of an all-encompassing, complex problem. My expertise is in program implementation, deciding where to put resources to build a sustainable program.

"As just one of the many focuses someone can have at a liberal arts university, behavioral science is an interesting way to apply skills gained from studying anthropology into careers for developing impactful solutions that better people's lives. As I have grown in my career, I frequently draw upon the knowledge I gained from my major — specifically dealing with cultural sensitivity. This is extremely important in public health and the healthcare space.

"I feel that anthropology and public health are the perfect complement for one another — especially for social and behavioral health, which requires you to deal with people from very diverse populations. Anthropology provides a framework for respecting people who are different, teaching you fundamental ways of thinking that carry well into careers about serving people.

"I'm happy to see that Miami's global health minor has partnered with programs in business, political science, and other disciplines to give students a great background in education and personal development. As an alum, I'm looking forward to participating more in the future to help students consider their lives after Miami."

Advice to Students

"I strongly recommend that students put themselves out there and start networking — it's a learned skill that takes a bit of practice. It really takes a lot to reach out to a professor or alum and ask, "Will you have coffee with me? Will you talk with me on the phone? I want to hear about what you're up to." Use as many opportunities as possible to meet professionals at all levels and network. Learning about their careers and career trajectories will provide a better sense of what career options are out there and how to pursue them.

"In addition, trying out different roles can help recent graduates better understand what they like and dislike, and give them a sense of how they could be spending a certain day in various positions. It is impossible to know completely if you are going to like something until you try it, whether it is through shadowing, internships, or another method.

"Remember that Miami has alumni who are very passionate about student education and setting students up to thrive and get a taste for different experiences. I vividly remember my own time as a student here, so I want to help in any way that I can!"

[March 2018]