When Mr. Jay Balagna isn’t studying for his Executive MPH (EMPH) classes, working his day job as a recruiter at McMaster-Carr, or enjoying life in Los Angeles, there’s a good chance he’s engaged with a project for American Journal of Public Health (AJPH)’s 2019 student think tank. Mr. Balagna is one of the six master’s and doctoral students who was chosen for the think tank this past January from hundreds of applications. “I’m very interested in think tank work and am actually looking at the possibility of a policy analysis PhD program [the end goal of which would be to land a think tank job], so I was eager for the opportunity,” says Mr. Balagna.
Members of the year-long student think tank advise AJPH’s editor-in-chief Dr. Alfredo Morabia, on the editorial lineup and issue covers; write editorials for the magazine; occasionally appear as guests on AJPH’s podcast; and help promote stories and boost visibility for the journal through the organization’s newsletter and social media accounts (follow the student think tank on Twitter at @AJPHThinkTank). They meet virtually every Sunday to discuss workflow and in person a few times throughout the year.
Mr. Balagna’s varied resume includes work as a freelance writer and editor both domestically and in Santiago, Chile, as well as stints as a firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management and as an emergency medical technician (EMT). While working as deputy editor of The Santiago Times in Chile, he began to learn and become passionate about policy and politics. When combined with his experiences working in emergency response, Mr. Balagna developed an interest in public health. After seeking out MPH programs, Mr. Balagna eventually landed on the prevention science track within Rollins’ EMPH program. His anticipated graduation date is August 2019.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 12