Jack Buyske ‘18

Jack Buyske '18

I came to Pomona with plans to major in chemistry, a subject I still love. But after taking a few semesters of classes and doing lots of reading, I realized that the field of public health also fascinated me. This realization led to some stress, as suddenly I was unsure about my major. Fortunately, a friend gently suggested that I could major in public policy analysis (PPA) – a major that I had barely heard of before – and choose chemistry as a concentration.

I spent the rest of that night reading about PPA and all the amazing projects that its students have worked on, and suddenly I was no longer concerned but rather excited by the possibilities. After talking with a few students and hearing about how much they loved the department and its faculty and staff, I knew I had a home.

I’ve had the opportunity to explore the world of global health nonprofits while I worked for HealthRight International in the summer of 2016. That fall, I traveled to Durban, South Africa, where I completed a policy-based research project about the ambulance service in the local area. That semester sparked my interested in the HIV epidemic, which I’ve spent a lot of time studying ever since. For my internship in the fall 2017, I’ll be the HIV Intern at East Valley Community Health Center in the city of Pomona and I’m planning on writing my thesis about something related to either HIV or the opioid epidemic.

What I love about PPA is that it allows me to continue taking the science classes that I love, while also study the human and societal implications of various medicines and diseases, rather than solely the biochemistry. I like to think that this gives me an interesting perspective on a number of important public health issues such as HIV and the opioid epidemic, and I truly believe it will serve me well in whatever I pursue post-graduation.