Viviana Quintino-Zavala finds joy in contributing to public health initiatives as a leader within her community in Kent County, Michigan. Her desire to promote health equity in underserved communities inspired her to pursue a career in public health. As she enters the final semester of her degree, Viviana reflects on working in public health and what motivates her.

Learn more about Viviana's experience as an MPH student in this Q&A. 

Meet Viviana Quintino-Zavala, Michigan State University Master of Public Health student. Viviana currently works as a Nurse Technician at Trinity Health Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, working in inpatient services. She recently completed her practicum experience at the Kent County Health Department, where she worked closely with the Hispanic/Latinx community on a community-based participatory research project. 

Why are you pursuing a public health degree?
I strive to endorse my leadership skills to promote health among the Hispanic/Latinx community. As an individual of Mexican-American background, I want to create great opportunities within my community.

Why did you choose Michigan State University?
As I strive for paramount goals to accomplish the most challenging successes, I decided that I needed a respected university that would challenge me to reach my optimal strengths.

What does being a Michigan State Spartan mean to you?
Being a Michigan State Spartan means that I am becoming part of something innovative. I am a Michigan State Spartan in my own unique way.

What professional or educational accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of how far I have come in my education, all while being a wife, mom, friend, and daughter. For every graduation ceremony where I have walked, I have done this with great pride as I am contributing to the proportion of minority and non-traditional graduates. If I am most proud of my educational or professional accomplishments, it would be due to my resilience in not letting anything act as an obstacle to succeeding academically and soon professionally.

What is something you like to do to de-stress?
To de-stress, I enjoy working out and taking mini vacations, especially where I get to be with my family. Family is a huge component of my life, and they are the driving force of my motivation, so being with them is de-stressing to me.

What do you like to do outside of work and schoolwork?
Outside of work and school, I love to travel and try new things whether it is a new restaurant or a new activity, and I also enjoy the arts such as painting, sculpture work, and ceramics. Most importantly, I enjoy traveling, especially to Mexico where there are multiple beautiful states and my hometown.

If you were to share a best practice or words of wisdom with prospective MPH students, what would you share?
I would advise prospective MPH students to put their heart into the work of public health as many underserved communities need improvements that they could potentially contribute to achieving.


August 19, 2022