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Renee Kramer

Graduate Student in the PhD Population Health program since 2016

Hometown

Fox Point, WI

Biography

Brief Interest Statement: I received my B.A. in Psychology in 2012 and my MPH in 2016, both from UW-Madison. During my time in the MPH program, I gained program evaluation experience while working as an evaluation project assistant with the Lifecourse Initiative for Healthy Families (LIHF), which aims to reduce racial disparities in birth outcomes in Wisconsin. My MPH capstone project explored racial differences in women's use of long-acting reversible contraceptives, and I hope to continue pursuing that line of work in my doctoral studies.

What experiences in your life led you to study population/public health? I have always had an interest in improving the well-being of low-resource individuals, families, and communities. Before entering graduate school, I worked in several psychology research labs on campus, studying children's social preferences and status inferences as well as prejudice and intergroup relations among adults. I also conducted lengthy mental health and life history interviews with inmates at a state prison, where I learned firsthand about how social determinants exert a powerful influence on health behaviors and health outcomes. I have always been drawn to research and methods, and population health allows me to apply rigorous quantitative methodology to solving the social issues I care deeply about.

Why did you choose UW-Madison for your degree: UW-Madison is a special place, with faculty who are not only brilliant and well-respected but who also value mentoring students. It is also an incredible place to collaborate with faculty and students in other departments.

What do you hope/plan to do with your degree? I hope to stay in research, whether it's academia or another research setting. I would be honored to find employment with an institution or organization that values and promotes the advancement of women's reproductive health.