May 11, 2020 – The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine faculty, staff, students, and alumni are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have asked any affiliates with our school to share their experiences and stories. This story comes from Laura Scott:
Laura Scott, Ph.D. student at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, was written about in Citizen Potawatomi Nation for her current studies of wastewater to gain a greater understanding of how COVID-19 can live and spread and for volunteering as an epidemiologist for the City of New Orleans at the pandemic’s onset.
"COVID-19 has created a feeling of dread across the world, but for Citizen Potawatomi Nation tribal member and Pettifer family descendant Laura Scott, the pandemic opened an opportunity for her to utilize personal experience, expertise and education to fight for the greater good. As a Ph.D. student at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Scott currently studies wastewater to gain a greater understanding of how the virus can live and spread. She also volunteered as an epidemiologist for the City of New Orleans at the pandemic’s onset.
“It’s been such an opportunity to flex my expertise and be able to use it and do something really helpful,” Scott said during a phone interview with the Hownikan.
“Infectious disease and epidemiology is a pretty small field, and we were thrust into being needed so quickly. It’s been a unique opportunity.”
Scott graduated in 2011 with a degree in zoology from Oklahoma State University. For the next four years, she worked at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City."
“That’s where I got really interested in studying infectious diseases and realized that I wanted to get a graduate degree,” she said.
Scott received a master’s in epidemiology in 2016 from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Her experience inspired her to continue her education at Tulane University, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate.