Elizabeth Johnson, MPA, MPH

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Hometown

Deerfield, WI

Undergraduate education

Bachelor of arts in rehabilitation psychology and history, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Professional/research interests

Health policy, education policy

Expected graduation date

2024

Why an MPA-MPH?

When I first started at UW Madison as an undergrad, I wanted to become a nurse practitioner. While working as a certified nursing assistant, I realized that I was sending my patients back into a broken system. Many patients would return to the hospital within a few weeks. Instead of continuing this path toward direct patient care, I wanted to act as an agent of change to fix that broken system.

Why the La Follette School?

I love Madison, Wisconsin and I am so happy that the faculty here are top scholars in their fields.

Career goals?

I would love to work for the State of Wisconsin within the Department of Health Services and create programs that address the high rates of minority maternal and infant mortality rates in Wisconsin and  lower healthcare and pharmaceutical costs.

How has the La Follette School set you on the path to meeting your career goals?

The core courses of PA 874: Policy Making Process, PA 873: Intro to Policy Analysis, and PA 878: Intro to  Public Management have really helped me with learning how to write concisely! The material covered in these courses has been super helpful in understanding policy recommendations and analyzing problems.

Assistantship

I work as a teaching assistant for a course on human anatomy.

Internship

I will be working as a Program and Policy Analyst for the Department of Health Services in the Bureau of Children’s Services within the Medicaid division.

What experiences and skills helped you get the internship?

My hiring manager told me that she really liked my direct patient care experience and the project skills I am working on with Professor David Weimer in PA 873. I am writing a policy memo on where to place electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Mentors

I talked with alumni Kiersten Frobom, MIPA ’19-MPH ’19, and she gave me wonderful advice about her career and doing the dual-degree with the Master of Public Health, which I will be doing. I was excited to share my acceptance news with her.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students?

If you are looking to create a better future for yourself or the world, you will have the opportunity to learn how to do that here at La Follette.

Most rewarding La Follette School experience?

Making connections with the students and faculty.

Were you familiar with the Wisconsin Idea before coming to La Follette?

I actually used in it my senior thesis for my history degree, which analyzed how the role of the protests of the Vietnam war shaped this campus directly and the state.

Before the La Follette School

I was an undergraduate student at UW Madison and worked as a certified nursing assistant.

People would be surprised if they knew that I …

Went skydiving in the fall of 2021! I would totally go again!

Anything else?

I love walking and biking around Madison. It is such a beautiful city. I also love reading and traveling the world. I am hoping to travel to some countries in Europe soon.