Annamaria Vesely, a master’s student in public health, was in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s degree in management. “My career has spanned many fields and now I seek to continue a legacy of service by striving to improve the nutrition and public health of the population of North Carolina.
What made you choose UNC-Chapel Hill when deciding on a program/place to study?
My last assignment in the Air Force was teaching the Air Force ROTC here at Carolina. My husband and I love this area and did not want to move our children again, so I looked for a public health program near home. The Gillings School of Global Public Health is world-renowned for educating public health practitioners.
Tell us about your research plans.
While research is not my primary focus as a master’s student, I am currently a research assistant exploring the impacts of different warning labels on red and processed meats through the Carolina Population Center. I am also interested in research pertaining to improving the diets of children and adolescents.
What is an important lesson that you learned in the military that has helped you in graduate school?
That I can do hard things. Balancing two children, husband and a full-time graduate degree is not easy, but as I learned many times in the Air Force, just when I think I’m in over my head, I learn how strong and resilient I am.
What are you hoping to accomplish with your Carolina degree?
It might sound cliché, but I hope to make a positive impact in the lives of North Carolinians, and maybe by extension, the country. I want to increase my knowledge of the processes and principles of public health to best serve the citizens in improving the health of the communities we live in.