Dr. Alyssa Lederer is an Associate Professor in Applied Health Science who recently joined us at IUB. Dr. Lederer shared with us about her career path, current research projects, and some advice for students interested in a career in sexual and/or reproductive health research:
How did you get to where you are today? What has your career path been like?
I volunteered with my local HIV/AIDS community-based organization when I was in high school, and it was a defining experience for me. I went on to work for several sexual health non-profit organizations and as a university-based health educator. I originally decided to get a doctoral degree to advance my career in public health practice, but once I began the doctoral program (at IUSPH-B!), I fell in love with research and teaching and realized that becoming a faculty member was the right path for me.
What did you study when you were an undergraduate student? How did that shape your subsequent graduate study or your professional career?
In retrospect, I was interested in studying public health before I knew exactly what public health was. My undergraduate institution didn’t offer a public health degree, so I created my own major called Studies in Health and Society. I also double-majored in Studies in Women and Gender. These majors solidified my commitment to studying and working in sexual and reproductive health and public health more broadly. Once I realized that public health was an actual academic discipline, I knew getting an MPH was in my future.