Our most recent intern from North Carolina Central University Edward Morris sat down with us to discuss his motivation in joining the team and his interest in male contraception. This blog post shares highlights from that conversation.
Hello, my name is Edward Morris, I am a Public Health Education student at North Carolina Central University. I am a non-traditional student who had a prior career in the United States Army as a Bradley Commander and a Chemical Operations Specialist. I served 2 tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I wanted to continue to serve the American people and advocate for better health for underserved communities.
It can be said that Public Health picked me more than I picked it. The military gave me the ability to learn information and repackage it into a learning experience that everyone can understand. I wanted to utilize this skill to help communities achieve better health and well-being. I can teach in a classroom but detest being confined to it. I wanted to be able to reach out with a broader perspective than merely algebra or biology lessons to kids that will be more interested in their phones than the experience the lesson was currently giving them. Public Health Education was described to me in a way that could impact communities, nations, or even globally. There were branches that allowed me to be specific or broad and continue my education and learning experiences along the way; this is what got me interested in Public Health Education.
I am excited about being at Male Contraceptive Initiative because it provides many unique opportunities for my learning experience. As taboos about men’s health decrease and responsibility increases, it gives me an opportunity to see how other agencies are targeting men and their health. When working with theories in public health, I expect for the Health Marketing theory to be utilized in this setting. I would think that creating a market for something that does not yet exist has its high points and its challenges. Toy companies have done it quite successfully forever. Drug companies are trying to walk the fine line of ethics and marketing success.
I am interested in how MCI utilizes current marketing techniques in getting information to the public. As far as personal growth, I love to learn, however networking and utilizing current technology to distribute information are my weakest attributes. I can give a PowerPoint presentation with the best of them. If I practice a skill long enough, I can do anything with precision. Interpersonal with entities outside of your organization and how to truly distribute information to the public are weak points that I would like to strengthen.
I am very much interested in how the younger generation views sex education and what the prospects different options bring to the table. In the news today, we see governments worldwide trying to limit the birth rate of certain minority groups. Introduction of innovative contraceptive products to a target audience will have to be very strategic, as well as ethical. Therefore, it is more important to create the market and set a positive narrative in advance. I do see working here at MCI as a great opportunity to observe how these challenges are approached by the academic community.