Alumni Features Public Health

Commencement 2021: Maddie Fuhrman

Maddie is an undergraduate student studying public health and will celebrate her graduation this spring. In fall 2021, she will start a Master of Science in Nursing program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Maddie Fuhrman

Maddie Fuhrman received her bachelor’s degree in public health from Oregon State University in winter 2020. Originally from Silverton, Oregon, Maddie participated in Oregon State’s track and cross-country teams throughout her college education. 

We asked Maddie about her time in the College of Public Health and Humans Sciences, as well as her future plans. 

What inspired you to study public health? 

I have always been interested in health and medicine. I was attracted to the public health major because of the ability to make an impact both on individual lives and communities. I enjoy learning about how to help people through solving problems, addressing a large range of health issues, intersecting with social justice and equity, and pursuing meaningful contributions to the health and well-being of others.  

What are you most proud of from your time in the CPHHS? 

I am proud of how hard I worked. I am graduating from the CPHHS Summa Cum Laude after switching majors in the middle of my college education, as well as being a student athlete. There have been a lot of little wins along the way, but looking back at my time in the CPHHS I am proud of all the hard work that went into graduating!  

Have you received any scholarships or assistance during your time here? 

I am thankful and appreciative to have received the Finley Academic Excellence scholarship and the CPHHS Dean’s Scholarship. 

What will you miss the most about the CPHHS, OSU or Corvallis? 

I will miss the sense of community in Corvallis. This is a wonderful place to learn, grow and make memories. Having ran on the track and cross-country teams during my time at OSU, I will miss runs during fall around campus when all the leaves are glowing! 

What have you learned in the past year? 

I have learned that flexibility and patience are valuable and come in handy! You can never commit 100% to one plan because there is a lot out of your control.  

What’s next? What are your plans after graduation?  

In fall 2021, I will start a Master of Science in Nursing at Johns Hopkins University. I also plan to take classes from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to get a certificate in public health. I am so excited for this next chapter! I can’t wait to move to the East coast, but I will miss the Pacific Northwest! 

How will you create a healthier world? 

I will create a healthier world by pursing nursing, and acquiring the skills to address health issues at a community and individual level. Both clinical and community interventions are valuable, and together they can have a synergistic effect on health outcomes. I will advocate for policies and regulations that protect the health of the most vulnerable. I will continue to learn, serve others and live with empathy so that I can be the best and most effective public health professional possible. My goal is to help others create and live in ways where being healthy is an option, and to remove barriers for others to choose it – regardless of race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, country of origin, immigration status, occupation, etc. – to create a more equitable and healthier world.  

What does health and well-being mean to you?  

I don’t think it is adequate to look at health and well-being in terms of what is lacking – such as a state without disease or injury – but by what is present. The opportunities to grow and learn, the freedom from fear of injury, disease or financial instability, as well as a body that functions to the best extent possible in order to pursue purpose and happiness in life. Everyone deserves to be healthy and well in order to have opportunities to grow, learn and make decisions for themselves throughout life.  

Do you have any advice for incoming students?  

These are the “good old days,” so enjoy them! There are so many opportunities to learn, grow, make an impact, meet others and explore your interests. Some of the best advice I have ever received is to “keep showing up.” It is easy to get discouraged or overwhelmed, but continuing to face challenges head-on will pay off. Showing up can mean literally, as in going to your lectures and professor’s office hours – and figuratively, such as giving an honest effort no matter what, asking questions, and being intentional. Hiding from challenges, such as a confusing class, difficult conversation or hard workout, can be easy; showing up for yourself and others will make it possible not only to overcome challenges in life, but also to thrive!