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Houston, Texas

Lauren Caton wearing a blue shirt and necklace.
Lauren Caton

Maternal and child health/health policy, in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

What motivates you?

For my work to be utilized. For my time (and research work) to be impactful to those in my life and in my community!

I was immediately drawn to the sense of community and prioritization of mentorship found here. The school of public health is also world-renown, with a critical mass of implementation science and dissemination scholars, as well as one of the few MCH Ph.D. programs. It was an easy choice!

How have you built community at Carolina?

I consider community building a critical component of my academic education. The exchange of thought and perspective with others is as important as the production of scholarly works. Conceptualizing it as such has allowed me to prioritize it, when I could easily make an excuse to stay in and finish an assignment, reading, or paper. I have intentionally sought out community outside of UNC-Chapel Hill (sports leagues, musician meetups, and local politics, etc.). This is to combat the temporary mindset that it is easy to adopt when in graduate studies. For Ph.D. programs in particular, which are a long haul, this is not sustainable. My life is not on hold!

Describe DSS in five words!

Supporting students to lead!
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