UHP Alumna Kirstin Woody Scott on Harvard, Nicaragua, and the Boston Marathon

Kirstin Woody Scott '11 at Harvard Yard

Kirstin Woody Scott '11 at Harvard Yard, where she is a doctoral candidate in health policy.

Kirstin is currently a PhD Candidate in Health Policy at Harvard University, studying the politics of health reform as well as issues related to quality of healthcare delivered both in the US and abroad with the support of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  Kirstin graduated from UC Davis in 2006 with a double major in NPB and Classical Civilization, and then obtained her MPhil in Public Health at the University of Cambridge in 2007.  After serving as the Public Health Advisor to a County Supervisor, she worked at the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical & Translational Research to develop ResearchMatch.com. In 2011, she and her husband had the opportunity to move to Boston where she began her PhD studies and he began his general surgery residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

Since beginning her PhD, Kirstin has been doing her best to make the most of each day.  She has served as a Teaching Fellow for numerous courses (global health, quality of healthcare in America, elections, etc.) at Harvard's undergraduate campus and a few graduate schools, including the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Medical School. Kirstin’s commitment to teaching has been recognized by a variety of awards from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard's Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning for my teaching.  She has also had the opportunity to write weekly briefs for the New England Journal of Medicine Perspectives health policy website and has been working with Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard's School of Public Health (HSPH) to help his team launch the Harvard Initiative in Global Health Quality. One of her most memorable teaching experiences thus far has been the serving as a teaching fellow for one of he longtime personal heroes, Dr. Paul Farmer, and other thought leaders in health policy and global health who are committed to global health equity.

kirstin scott with Boston Marathon memorabilia

Kirstin finished her third Boston Marathon in 2013.

Kirstin is currently a PhD Candidate in Health Policy at Harvard University, studying the politics of health reform as well as issues related to quality of healthcare delivered both in the US and abroad with the support of the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program.  Kirstin graduated from UC Davis in 2006 with a double major in NPB and Classical Civilization, and then obtained her MPhil in Public Health at the University of Cambridge in 2007.  After serving as the Public Health Advisor to a County Supervisor, she worked at the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical & Translational Research to develop ResearchMatch.com. In 2011, she and her husband had the opportunity to move to Boston where she began her PhD studies and he began his general surgery residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

Since beginning her PhD, Kirstin has been doing her best to make the most of each day.  She has served as a Teaching Fellow for numerous courses (global health, quality of healthcare in America, elections, etc.) at Harvard's undergraduate campus and a few graduate schools, including the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Medical School. Kirstin’s commitment to teaching has been recognized by a variety of awards from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard's Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning for my teaching.  She has also had the opportunity to write weekly briefs for the New England Journal of Medicine Perspectives health policy website and has been working with Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard's School of Public Health (HSPH) to help his team launch the Harvard Initiative in Global Health Quality. One of her most memorable teaching experiences thus far has been the serving as a teaching fellow for one of he longtime personal heroes, Dr. Paul Farmer, and other thought leaders in health policy and global health who are committed to global health equity.

Woman in red jacket running on a trail in the vermont woods in autumn

Kirstin's singular path takes her all over the world (here, the Vermont 50).

Additionally, Kirstin alongside her husband John served as Resident Tutors (aka RAs) to over 350 undergraduate students for the past two years at Harvard College's Dunster House. They felt blessed to have the opportunity to mentor, advise and support Harvard College students through this role.  

Currently, Kirstin is focused on completing her doctoral work and plans to spend the next academic year in Rwanda with John.  There she will be working on global health policy research with the Ministry of Health.

While Kirstin is still contemplating her next steps beyond the PhD program, she knows that her time as a student at UC Davis and especially in the Honors Program, has helped prepare her for all that she has done thus far and all that she aspires to do in the future to make a positive difference. She is thankful for the incredible mentorship she had while a student at UC Davis – especially from UHP faculty and advisors – and hopes to continue making them proud by striving to make the most of each day, and all with a smile.


-Story and photos, Kirstin Woody Scott '11