Jamie Sokol (BCHS ’07) has worked at the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for eight years, for the last five as administrator for workforce development and training and for the previous three as the preparedness training and exercise coordinator. In her current role she is responsible for ensuring quality internships and other experiential learning opportunities for Pitt Public Health students, including through the Pittsburgh Summer Institute, a 12-week structured program that matches students to ACHD projects. While her job requires a moderate amount of interaction with Pitt Public Health in that she coordinates all student internship experiences at the ACHD, her volunteer contributions have gone an order of magnitude beyond what is required. For the past five years, Sokol has been a near-constant presence at the school—mentoring students, collaborating with faculty and staff, offering suggestions for new initiatives, then helping to implement them herself.
Sokol has spent hundreds of hours working with faculty and students to develop every aspect of the school’s end of the internship program, including the application and selection processes, internship evaluation tools, preceptor training, student professionalism training, special programs, group projects, enrichment programs, presentation opportunities for the interns, etc. She gives a popular annual lecture on the history of public health at the school and speaks in various classes. She has coordinated multiple volunteer opportunities for Pitt Public Health student groups at the ACHD in areas unrelated to her own. She has helped to arrange several faculty-level collaborations between ACHD and Pitt Public Health, including interviewing faculty candidates. She has helped to sponsor a number of student practicum placements at ACHD that have resulted in more and more Pitt Public Health graduates being hired for full-time positions. Finally, she has collaborated with faculty and staff on projects such as emergency preparedness planning and development of the Plan for a Healthier Allegheny as well as on conference presentations about innovations in the school’s internship programs.
Sokol earned an MPH in behavioral and community health sciences in 2007 from Pitt Public Health.