Exemplary performance recognised with top student prize

Health worker applying spray to hands | Carolyn Hudson wins 2021 Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA) Top Student Prize | Torrens Uni

Master of Public Health student, Carolyn Hudson, landed a top student prize across Australia and New Zealand with exemplary performance in her epidemiology studies.

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states and events. It’s the method used to discover the causes of health outcomes and diseases in populations, and what better time than the past two years to work and study in this field?

That is just what Carolyn did in 2021. She commenced her Master of Public Health with Torrens University whilst she was working as a Public Health Officer for the Victorian Department of Health in their COVID response division where she managed COVID exposures in critical industry and high-risk workplaces. Prior to this role she was a Senior Nurse Immuniser in the Albury-Wodonga COVID Vaccination Hub so her experience during the pandemic was wide ranging.

Rapport and recognition lead to the accolade

Carolyn received the 2021 Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA) Top Student Prize in recognition of exemplary performance. She says her High Distinction mark in Epidemiology and being nominated by her Senior Lecturer in Public Health, Associate Professor Dr. Bhawna Gupta, for the AEA award has definitely been her highlights of study so far. 

“It was so lovely to be recognised for all the hard work I had put into my studies,” said Carolyn.

“Winning this award allows me to connect and network with other Epidemiology professionals and I hope it will lead to some employment in the field, preferably in vector borne diseases.”

Carolyn has worked in health as a Critical Care Registered Nurse for 27 years and has always been interested in data analysis and infectious diseases saying her interest in epidemiology was born during her Undergraduate health sciences degree in the 1990s. 

“It became more pronounced when I studied Epidemiology at Torrens University with Dr. Bhawna Gupta,” she said.

“I developed a great rapport with Bhawna, her classes and way of teaching really motivated me to learn more and more.”

It was the great online program and the subject selection that drew Carolyn to Torrens University.

“I am glad I choose Torrens as I have really loved the subjects I have completed,” said Carolyn who also loves biostatistics and research.

What’s next?

With full time work and completing 2 subjects a trimester Carolyn says she has another 12 months or so left of her studies.

“This allows me to focus on the subjects and work hard to attain good grades and gain the knowledge I require for a career in Public Health.”

When she completes her course, she’ll be looking for a career in Epidemiology. 

“I am very interested in the areas of Vector Borne Illness and would like to go onto a PhD, hopefully in this area or in another area of Epidemiology, possibly new emerging diseases,” she said.

“I am also very excited about the possibility of an Australian Centre for Disease Control (CDC) being created and would like to work in research or field epidemiology in an Australian CDC in the future.”

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