Veterinary college welcomes new director of Master of Public Health program
Nicole Holt has recently joined the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine as assistant professor of practice and director of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program.
Established in 2010, the MPH program focuses on rural/Appalachian health and One Health principles. One Health recognizes the interdependence of animal and human populations and promotes collaboration among medical, veterinary, public health, and other professionals.
The MPH program has the distinction of being the first MPH degree to be accredited at a veterinary college in the United States. The college also offers a dual degree program for those simultaneously pursuing their doctorate in veterinary medicine.
“There are very few universities in the United States that have a one health focus—and here, it’s integrated throughout the entire program. That component really makes this program unique,” said Holt.
Holt earned her bachelor of science, master of public health, and doctorate of public health degrees from East Tennessee State University. She has worked as an assistant professor and assistant MPH program director at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where she also was coordinator of the MPH epidemiology track.
Her research interests include oral health and childhood obesity.
“I’ve done a lot of work in Central Appalachia, so part of the draw coming to Virginia Tech is that I would be able to be back and work in these communities,” said Holt. She said that she appreciates how MPH program members actively work to promote public health in their communities.
“Dr. Nicole Holt brings excellent experience with teaching, curriculum development, and the MPH accreditation process,” said Laura Hungerford, head of the Department of Population Health Sciences and the public health program, which encompasses the undergraduate and graduate public health programs.
“Her enthusiasm and commitment to students and their success is especially compelling. Even before her official start date, she joined us for student orientation, program discussions, and other community events. We are very fortunate to have her leadership as the MPH program continues to evolve and expand.”
Written by Sarah Boudreau M.F.A. '21, a writer with the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine