Student Spotlight: Austin Penna

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March 4, 2014

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Austin Penna, and I was born and raised in Sparta, GA. In 2013, I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Public Health here at the University of Georgia. During undergrad, I spent most of my extracurricular time volunteering at Athens Regional Medical Center and playing intramural tennis.

Why the College of Public Health?

My favorite class in undergrad was HPAM 3600, Introduction to Health Policy and Management. I quickly became interested in the field and the program here at UGA. I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare and knew that I would enjoy continuing my education in the College of Public Health.

What interests you the most about Health Policy & Management?

In addition to enhancing a career in healthcare, I find that the HPAM courses offer useful tools for students to apply in their daily lives. Health is such an important aspect of life, but many people fail to learn how government policies and the management of health service organizations affect health on both the individual and population levels.

Describe your experience working in the HPAM department.

This semester I was awarded the opportunity to work as a TA in our department. I have greatly enjoyed taking on this new challenge and getting to interact with our faculty and students on a daily basis. This position has also allowed me to practice improving my leadership skills, which I will need to pursue a career in hospital management.

Where do you plan to complete your internship?

This summer, I will be working in the Department of Graduate Medical Education at Athens Regional Medical Center. ARMC is currently working to establish residency programs for medical students here in Athens.

What are your plans/hopes after graduation?

As I previously mentioned, I hope to pursue a career in hospital management after graduation. Ideally, I would like to stay in the Southeast, but I am open to exploring career opportunities elsewhere.