Student Spotlight: Laura Potter

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April 11, 2012
As an environmental health science student, my internship was at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Wuxi, China. The Wuxi CDC serves the 6.3 million people that inhabit the city. I worked in the Public Health division which focuses
on water and air quality, food and school hygiene, and the prevention of pathogenic biological media. 
 
During my two months at the Wuxi CDC, I was able to experience many aspects of environmental health in a foreign country. One of the main things I took part in was water monitoring and testing. I learned how to sample drinking water from different factories and office buildings. I also got to take water samples form Lake Taihu, which is the third largest freshwater lake in China. With the help of my mentors, I was able to analyze the water and count algal cells. I visited several water treatment facilities and saw how the city treated its drinking water. In addition, I participated in air quality monitoring at local hotels and supermarkets. We tested for temperature, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, noise, moisture, and took a bacterial culture. I learned an incredible amount about environmental health in China and it was great to experience in real-life what I have learned about in so many of my classes.
 
My internship at the Wuxi CDC was invaluable. I now have experience working in public health internationally and better understand the needs of public health workers in other countries. I was also able to share with my coworkers at the CDC about U.S. water quality and policy and some of the methods that we use in this country. Overall, it was a great partnership with the Wuxi CDC and UGA. I will take what I learned in China and use that knowledge to become a better public health professional.  
 
Degree Program: Master of Public Health in Environmental Health Science
Hometown: Monroe, GA