Jodi Brookins-Fisher, PhD, CHES®

Establish your passion and where you fit best in public health

Jodi Brookins-Fisher was one of those lucky people who knew her career direction early. During undergraduate school, she started on a pre-pharmacy track. However, after one healthy lifestyles course in her junior year, a light bulb went off and the trajectory of her career changed. Jodi began to ask herself — “why help cure sick people when I can prevent sickness?”

At that point, a degree in health education from Central Michigan University made sense. She loved her school so much that she came back. She is currently a faculty member at the university. Jodi earned her Master of Science in health science from Ball State University in Indiana and her PhD in health education from the University of Utah.

Jodi’s career has always been in higher education. She found that her CHES certification enables her to connect in different circles. Jodi decided to get CHES certified because she felt that she had to practice what she preached to effectively teach young professionals. She values credentialing as it demonstrates the competency needed to play a pedagogical role. In doing so, she has the platform to advocate for credentialing and she is offered different professional development opportunities as a result.

As a professor, Jodi finds that the most rewarding aspect of her job is watching her students flourish. Jodi plants the seed and gets a front-row seat for the evolution. She watches them transform from unsure students into confident professionals. She takes great pride in their competency in the field of public health and loves to see the students outshine her.

One thing to note about Jodi is that she is a woman on fire! She is driven by passion. She loves that public health is so broad that she can reinvent herself and therefore never gets bored. Outside of her job, Jodi engages in volunteerism and personal advocacy.

“It is easy to be complacent and say someone else will do the work but in public health we do not have that option as we are the ones doing the work.”

That said, the work is not easy. In fact, Jodi finds the disjointed nature of public health to be challenging. She feels that many sectors are working in silos and would like to see professionals doing a better job with collaborating to ensure a collective impact. However, even when Jodi starts to feel powerless, she surrounds herself around people with positive energy who also seek to be agents of change to reinvigorate herself.

To the young professionals, Jodi suggests that you all get as many different experiences as you can to establish your passion and where you fit in best in public health.

Jodi also advises other young professionals to

” . . . get a formal education in health education and get CHES certified because these programs will typically follow the competency areas and provide young professionals with a solid foundation on which to grow as a professional.

Moreover, Jodi feels it is also important to find role models and mentors and have them help you. She suggests finding someone who can be your champion. Lastly, Jodi advises that individuals interested in this field get involved with both local and national SOPHE.

Jodi is originally from Saginaw, Michigan, and has bounced around between different states for school and work. She has lived in Mount Pleasant, Michigan for over 20 years and is happily married with three beautiful kids. In her free time, Jodi enjoys running, reading, working puzzles, being one with nature, and spending time with her family.