I AM FPHLP 2022: Lal Thangi

I AM FPHLP 2022: Lal ThangiLal Thangi was part of the Michigan FPHLP 2022 cohort. She is currently a senior at Iowa State University majoring in Kinesiology and Community & Public Health. During FPHLP 2022, Lal interned with Wayne County Health Department.

Lal wanted to participate in Michigan FPHLP because of the diversity of accepted cohorts and the concentration in public health. She thought this was a perfect way to expand her knowledge and skills in public health.

In her field placement with Wayne County Health Department, Lal worked as a case investigator for COVID-19 cases within Wayne County. She was responsible for contacting patients that tested positive for Covid via telephone calls. With the cooperation of the patient, Lal proceeded to interview them for demographic info as well as trace their contacts for a possible outbreak.

Some highlights of Lal’s FPHLP experience were the goodbye session and the closing ceremony. The goodbye session gave the cohort quality personal time with the whole group to share their testimonies, which helped bring them closer to each other. "Everything that was said needed to be heard throughout the whole program because the cohort was, at some point, depending on each other a lot more than said. The closing ceremony was a great time to appreciate each other and cherish the cohort's success." Lal says.

Lal’s biggest challenge as a FPHLP 2022 participant was time management. She learned that she had to be more mindful of her priorities and set a time limit on her social interactions and school work.

After leaving Michigan FPHLP, Lal continues her classes at Iowa State University and works part-time as a CNA and an undergraduate researcher at the ISU Vet Med lab. They are investigating neuroinflammation in epilepsy and the effects of different drugs. She is in the process of applying for graduate school and will be applying to the University of Michigan School of Public Health for next fall entry.

In the future, Lal hopes to keep pursuing higher education in Public Health and incorporate what she learned from the program into her graduate school curriculums.

Lal encourages others to apply to Michigan FPHLP because it teaches you aspects of yourself you may not have been aware of. Also, Michigan FPHLP surrounds you with such supportive people that want you to succeed.