University of Pennsylvania, Master of Public Health Program, 2020—expected
University of Pennsylvania Law School, Juris Doctor, 2020—expected
Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, Bachelors of Arts in Biology and English, 2015
Favorite thing about Philly: Its affordability
Jason is in a unique position: he’s the only JD-MPH student at Penn.
While it can be challenging at times, he’s found it to be a gratifying experience. Jason originally started out in the law school and applied to the MPH Program once already admitted. Having now taken courses in both programs, he’s found the main difference to be that you get to learn two different concepts of how to work.
“At the law school, you’re kind of taught to fend for yourself and do your own research, whereas the MPH Program is really structured around collaboration,” Jason said. “I think seeing the stark differences is really interesting and being able to get my education in both spheres has made me a better student I think.”
At the beginning of his dual-degree studies, Jason was introduced to Evan Anderson, JD, PhD, a public health and legal expert on the Penn Nursing faculty, who teaches two required MPH courses, Public Health Law and Capstone I. The duo decided early on an idea of what they would do together and how Jason’s JD-MPH curriculum would look. He went on to work as a research assistant for Evan on a number of projects, including one involving the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, where they analyzed data involving opioid deaths, criminal records, and whether individuals could be helped by divergent programs.
“Because of my connection with the DA Office, the following year while I was at the law school, I was able to do an externship there in that same office with the same officer I had been working with,” Jason said.
His connection with Evan has been “paying dividends,” Jason, who now works as a consultant for him, says.
“Really try to seize every learning opportunity you can get. Try to take advantage of everything you can in both programs,” he advises prospective JD-MPH students.
To his surprise, he has been able to continue practicing his creative writing skills through a course called Writing About the Law.
“It’s really fun that I’m able to explore that interest in law school, which I never thought would be a thing,” Jason, who was a creative writing major in undergrad, said. “To be able to continue that education in a formal setting, even though I’m in law school, is really special.”
Upon graduation from Penn, Jason plans to work at a large law firm focused on health law in New York City.