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Online Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences

Honing in on a Career in Public Health

Maria Capella-Morales

Maria Capella-Morales

Infection Controls and Response Scheduler, Washington State Department of Health’s Infections Prevention Department

Like many people who support themselves through college, Maria Capella-Morales found it challenging to juggle in-person classes and a full-time job. She also had trouble deciding what career path to take because she had so many interests.

During a late-night web search, she found her solution: the UW Online Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences. “I was immediately intrigued by the interdisciplinary structure as well as the fact this program was completely online,” said Maria. “I loved having the opportunity to take classes in so many different fields while still being able to work full time.”

In this Q&A, the 2019 graduate shares how her experience in the ISS program helped her find her path to a successful career and future. 

What was one of your most valuable experiences in the ISS program?

One of the most valuable experiences for me was the opportunity to sit down with an advisor and share my interests and map out my classes. It was through these advising sessions and a wonderful experience in my epidemiology class that I discovered the field of public health.  

How did the ISS program help you hone in on a career in public health?

The ISS program allowed me to explore my interests in virology, health equity and political science. After realizing that I wanted to apply the knowledge I gained in these classes in a practical way, a career in public health seemed to be the right fit. I am happy to say I work in the field of public health today! I’m an infection controls and response scheduler for the Washington State Department of Health’s Infections Prevention Department.

What did you do for your ISS capstone?

For my ISS capstone, I curated my online presence by creating a personal website. This website still serves as my professional summary today.

What do you plan to do next?

I want to further pursue a career in epidemiology. I plan to apply to the University of Washington for a master of social work and master of public health concurrent degree program.

Do you have advice for anyone interested in the program?

I highly recommend this program for people who are feeling stuck or are unsure about how all their random interests may culminate into an actual career. My advice for prospective applicants is to stay curious. This program offers so many fantastic and fascinating classes that you can be sure that you’ll find a path that works for you and your future.