Meet: Steven Sola

Steven Sola, MPH student at Emory Rollins School of Public Health

Program and year: 1st year, MPH in Environmental Health

Undergraduate University and Major: Arkansas Tech University; Sociology
Minor: Criminal Justice

Before coming to Rollins: I was a Peace Corps volunteer in East Java, Indonesia. I taught English as a foreign language classes at a vocational high school.

Why I chose Rollins: Rollins is highly regarded in the public health world, and the opportunity to take classes right next door to the CDC is a major perk of the school. Hardly a week goes by without the opportunity to interact with someone who works at the CDC or has some type of connections to the CDC. There are a lot of opportunities to network and apply the things that you learn in class to your every day life.

Why I chose EH: I chose EH because I’m interested in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in low-resource settings. Since WASH is a major part of EH, it was a no-brainer to join the department.

Research interests: Disaster preparedness, WASH in under-resourced communities, environmental epidemiology (infectious diseases), neglected diseases

Career goals: Work for MSF (Doctors without Borders), the UNHCR, or the WHO as an epidemiologist with a WASH background. I would also like to become an EIS officer at the CDC.

Three favorite things about Rollins:

  1. The students here are super impressive. It’s invigorating being around such a stellar group of people.
  2. The connections that the school has to the CDC and all of the other public health organizations here in Atlanta. The opportunities are endless.
  3. The faculty here are amazing and some are leaders in their fields. They’re approachable, so it’s easy to get connected with a research project that they’re doing.

Favorite classes: Epidemiological Methods I and Human Toxicology

Clubs and extracurriculars: Rollins Student Government Association, Rollins Mobile Health Collaborative, Clarkston Community Center volunteer, first generation freshman mentor, Medical Reserve Corps of DeKalb County, Rollins Peace Corps Community, EH department graduate assistant

Advice for prospective students: Ask questions! You are making a big investment by coming to Rollins, so you need to make sure that it’s a perfect fit for you. Make sure you do you research. Even though you don’t need to know what your career plan is when you get here, it helps to have a direction. Ask current students about advice for classes.

My favorite thing about Atlanta is: The diversity. The Your Dekalb Farmers Market is amazing and there are TWO Indonesian restaurants here.

Anything else you’d like to add that would be helpful for prospective applicants?: Feel free to email me at if you have any questions! I would love to answer any that you may have!