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Spotlight: Mona Dai, MHS '17

Mona is a PhD student in environmental science & engineering at Harvard University, working on global pollutants including perfluorinated compounds (PFAS).


Mona is a graduate of the Master of Health Science in Environmental Health program in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, with a focus on Food Systems, Water, and Environmental Sustainability. After graduating from BSPH, she completed a fellowship at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Why did you choose the MHS in Environmental Health program in EHE?

After college, I realized that my interests didn’t align well with my first job. I decided to enroll in the MHS program at BSPH because I had worked on some global health projects as an undergraduate and knew that there were components to my work that I was missing with only an engineering background.

How was your experience in the MHS program?

Initially, I was nervous because I had never taken any public health classes, so almost the entire curriculum was new to me. However, I was very grateful to have the opportunity to learn completely new topics taught by experts in the field.

Your focus area was Food Systems, Water, and Environmental Sustainability. What attracted you to this area?

I chose to follow the water and sustainability track and to pursue a food systems certificate. The classes were fascinating and I especially appreciated having classes with service components that allowed us to work on real issues in the Baltimore food environment and have the chance to learn and interact with people outside of Hopkins.

What's your opinion of the program's faculty?

The faculty was both knowledgeable and inspiring, always encouraging us to think outside the box and to pursue different paths.

Tell us about your experience with other students in the program.

I felt lucky that my cohort was small enough that I could get to know everyone and I was able to discuss with my peers about so many environmental health topics that interested all of us. I was also happy to be surrounded by so many talented individuals and have the chance to explore many different opportunities.

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