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Internships and Applied Learning are central to all the programs in the Department of Public Health and Human Performance.

Exercise Science Majors are required to complete a 3-credit internship in the field, and Public Health Majors complete a 12-credit capstone internship at the end of their undergraduate career.

Public Health interns have served agencies across areas of the field including sexual health, nutrition, access to healthcare, maternal health, drug and alcohol treatment and recovery, and more. Some past internship sites include:

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, as well as counties across NYS
  • Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley
  • State and County Public Health Departments
  • Planned Parenthood of the North Country and other locations
  • WIC locations including Community Health Center of the North Country
  • Seaway Valley Prevention Council
  • The American Red Cross in the North Country, NYC, and more

Exercise Science students have interned in many locations, including:

  • Site P & Site B, Potsdam, NY
  • Beast Fitness, Potsdam, NY
  • Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam, NY
  • Shane T. Shaul Fitness Center, Potsdam, NY
  • Goodemote Physical Therapy, PLLC
  • Middletown YMCA, Middletown, NY
  • Strides of CNY, LLC, Syracuse, NY

Internship Coordinator Sarah Lister is available to work with community health majors, students pursuing a master's degree in community health, and others looking to find applied learning experiences in the field. Reach out to schedule a meeting!

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'The Gold Standard'

Ever since the inception of SUNY Potsdam’s public health program (formerly community health), internships have been strategically integrated into the curriculum. The culminating capstone experience has allowed students to take the skills they’ve learned in the classroom, apply them in a real-world setting, and then fluidly transition to full-time jobs immediately after receiving their degrees. This semester, nine students are in the field gaining real-world training at sites ranging from Canton-Potsdam Hospital to the Canadian Ministry of Health.

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Rising Leader in Health Education

Hands-on internships are at the heart of a community health degree. Meghan Conklin ’21 returned to her local high school to teach students about sex education. “One lesson I was excited about was on gender and sexual orientation. As a native of Canton, I know that this is a topic not commonly discussed in our rural community. However, I also know that this is a formative time in students’ lives. I wanted to encourage open discussion and show them that there is a world outside of high school,” Conklin said.

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Interning with the American Red Cross

As part of her internship for the American Red Cross, Tarawally traveled all over New York City educating children about disaster preparedness as part of the Pillowcase Project. “We didn’t spend a lot of time in the office. We went out to Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens and make presentations to kids about safety," she said.

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“SUNY Potsdam’s Public Health Internship Program is an incredible resource for our organization. The interns are well-prepared and knowledgeable by the time they get to the Cornell Cooperative Extension. They are ready to be impactful contributors to our educational outreach, especially in the areas of health, nutrition and youth development. The students immediately become part of our team. In fact, many of them later return to begin their careers with us. I always know we will get a quality employee when we hire from the Public Health program!”


Patrick Ames, Executive Director Cornell Cooperative Extension