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Samantha Luu

Samantha is a second-year Masters of Public Health Student in the department of Health Behavior. She is a valuable member of the Health Behavior Student Services team and her research focuses on Peer Support. During her free time, Samantha enjoys volunteering for the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) and their subgroup, Classrooms to Community (C2C) as a health educator when she is not on food adventures with her friends and husband.

What made you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I grew up in a small town in an immigrant family, so throughout college my knowledge on health professions were doctors and nurses. After casting my net a bit wider, I found that I was really excited about the intersection of health and education–particularly the importance of one on another. Before applying to return to UNC, I was working in international education when I realized I needed to more technical skills and a better shared understanding of the public health field, so graduate school was the next logical step.

What’s the thing you love most about Chapel Hill?

Chapel Hill has a little bit of everything mixed into a beautiful setting! Being from a small-ish town in NC, coming here was like coming to the big leagues and several years later, I still get excited by town events and discovering new places in the Triangle.

If you had any advice for someone thinking about pursuing a graduate degree, what would it be?

I always tell others to go out and work in a couple different contexts before going to graduate school whether that means different fields, positions, or locations. The experiences I got during my years away from the classroom are invaluable to me now and bring a richness and self-confidence that I would not have had if I went straight from undergraduate.

What is your dream career after you’ve completed your studies?

I’m hardly ever one to put myself in a corner with these kinds of decisions since I enjoy dynamic and diverse work. However, I do know that I’d love to stay in the Triangle and support communities to live their healthiest (and best) lives, particularly youth.

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