As soon as she stepped foot on MSU's campus, Lauryn Allen knew she was meant to be a Spartan. Her passion for helping underserved groups and using research to understand social determinants of health inspired her to continue her education at MSU and pursue her Master of Public Health. Following a successful summer internship, she currently works as a graduate research assistant for a study focusing on cervical cancer prevention. 

Read more about Lauryn in this Q&A. 

Why are you pursuing a public health degree?  
One of my main goals is to work comprehensively to address the social determinants of health at the population level by implementing evidence-based actions involving public policy, public education, and the delivery of clinical services. 

I am also passionate about ensuring that individuals receive access to the medical services they need related to all aspects of prevention and screening.  
Why did you choose Michigan State University? 
After arriving on campus in 2015 for a summer program, I was fond of the feeling I had while at MSU. Although I was new, I knew I would be in great hands. I felt the warmth and strength in togetherness when interacting with students, faculty, and staff during my four years in undergrad despite varying views, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

What professional or educational accomplishment are you most proud? 
During the summer of 2022 at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, I assessed a multi-level study to assess how home-based cervical screening kits and education could improve cervical cancer screenings, incidence rates, and morbidity among non-compliant underserved African American/Black and Hispanic women residing in Houston Public Housing. Cervical cancer is the fourth deadliest cancer in women. After the internship ended, I continued to work for MD Anderson as a graduate research assistant for the study.

How do you plan to make a difference post-graduation? 
I aspire to conduct cancer research within a health science center or university, acting as the department chair in an effort to mentor aspiring doctors and researchers. I also plan to continue innovative research and technologies to decrease cancer incidence and mortality rates.

If you were to share a best practice with prospective MPH students, what would you share?  
The foundations that the program established makes for learning without limits. Here are the top 5 best practices I want to impart to future students:

  1. Engage with classmates
  1. Ask questions
  1. Build a rapport with teachers and staff
  1. Garner a relationship with your mentor and advisor 
  1. Practice applying what you have learned online in your everyday work and life activities

What does being a Michigan State Spartan mean to you? 
Three words that come to mind are strong, resilient, and innovative.


January 30, 2023