Each year, Ledge Light Health District selects students with an interest in public health to participate in the Harry A. Watson public health summer internship program. This year, Lafayette College student Kendall Berry of North Stonington and University of Connecticut student Jessica Gulutz of Groton were selected to work with LLHD staff in the fields of health education, environmental health, communicable disease prevention and epidemiology.
Over the six-week duration of the internship, Berry and Gulutz will assist in various public health activities, including the inspection of day cares, pools and restaurants; health education and promotion; complaint investigations; water sampling; the study of infectious disease and more. The internship provides opportunities to explore the various careers associated with public health.
Berry is an upcoming senior majoring in biology and minoring in women and gender studies at Lafayette. She is active in her community at Lafayette and has been a member of the Landis Outreach Center for three years. This past semester, Berry traveled to India, Argentina and South Africa to study global and public health as part of a study abroad program. It was during that time that she solidified her interest in public health and realized its impact on a community. Berry said she is excited to learn more about what public health looks like in action, and plans on pursuing a public health career in her future.
Gulutz’s undergraduate path at Rutgers began in the medical field until she realized she was less interested in the science and more interested in working with people. After discovering public health, she began an internship in community outreach at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey. After graduating, she joined AmeriCorps where she empowered students at Middlesex Community College to do community service with the school’s community partners. Gulutz recently moved to Connecticut to pursue her dual degree of a Masters in Public Health and Social Work.
Berry and Gulutz said they are excited to explore the different facets of public health. Together, they will participate in health inspections, epidemiologic investigations, community health education and environmental safety practices. They said they are eager to see how public health plays a role in where they live and to see the behind-the-scenes efforts that are not visible to the public.
The Harry A. Watson internship was established to honor the contributions of Harry Watson, a 1993 founding Board member of Ledge Light Health District who served as Board Chairperson and Vice Chairperson until elected Mayor of the Town of Groton. The internship aims to educate college students and counselors of excellent public health career opportunities.