We worked with epidemiologists at the Injury and Violence Prevention Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health. Pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities increased in 2015, so we were asked to perform descriptive epidemiological analyses on statewide fatal and nonfatal injury data.
We found that although pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities spiked in 2015, they had been following a downward trend for the past decade. Our analyses revealed that age, alcohol intoxication, crash location, and helmet non-use (among motorcyclists) were related to injury severity for both pedestrians and motorcyclists.
Working at the Department of Health allowed us to take what we have learned in the classroom and apply it in a professional setting, working closely with experts in injury and violence epidemiology. We were invited to present our findings in November at the state’s Toward Zero Deaths conference in Duluth, Minnesota. Through the support of our supervisors, our findings are currently in the submission process for publication.
Although we have very different majors, we both have concentrations in Community and Global Health. Being located in the Twin Cities enabled us to work for a large state agency, the Minnesota Department of Health, an opportunity not afforded to undergraduates in many other parts of the country.
Approaching graduation with real-world experience in the field of public health will benefit us as we start our careers with a clearer understanding of how we can best improve the health of communities.
Ilana’s and Ruth’s research was supported in part by a grant to Macalester from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program.
December 5 2016Back to top