Haley Cionfolo majored in global health and biology at Duke. She became interested in the field after taking a global health FOCUS seminar during her freshman year.
After graduation … I am most excited about furthering my education. I will be pursuing my master's degree in public health at Emory University in the fall. I am looking forward to this exciting next chapter in my academic journey.
My most meaningful experience at Duke has been … joining a research team in 2021. I was fortunate enough to be a part of a Lancet Commission Research Project, which partnered with the Margolis Center for Policy Research on a project focused on global hearing loss. The principal investigators of the project are Professors Osondu Ogbuoji and Gillian Sanders Schmidler. Being part of this group has allowed me to have amazing mentors, learn a lot, and gain exciting opportunities. In fact, I recently traveled to England to give a conference presentation on one aspect of the study, which is especially exciting for me since I have never been to Europe before.
While at Duke I have been lucky … to have met and made wonderful friends who feature prominently in my fond memories of the university. We have taken trips together, attended shows, and spent time hanging out, whether it be at the Bryan Center or elsewhere. These are people whom I hope to keep in my life forever.
My last few days at Duke … are busy. As I anticipate graduation, I am completing my remaining classes, gave a conference presentation in England, defended my thesis, attended social events with friends, and soaked up as much time as I can with them in these final days.
When I leave, I will absolutely miss … the people, waking up in the morning, and seeing the beautiful campus spread out in front of me. It's wonderful to be in a place that people love so much. I will also miss soaking up the sun with my friends and studying at the Bryan Center, even though it can be noisy, because I enjoy being surrounded by happy people.
In the future … I hope to work for either the government, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - where I will be interning this summer, or in a non-governmental organization or academic institution. I am just starting in this field, and the possibilities are endless.
My advice for Duke students is … Take advantage of the abundance of intelligent and talented individuals at Duke. Embrace the opportunity to learn from others and enjoy the experience. Be true to yourself, do your best, and view everything as a valuable learning opportunity. Remain open to new experiences, roll with the punches, and celebrate your accomplishments.