Adeline Clifford ’26 | Psychology and Community in Public Health Major and Neuroscience Minor

"Being a community and public health major has both broadened my perspective on what I aspire to in my career and provided me with key insights into the social determinants of health and how public health can empower community members. I am incredibly grateful to work with the amazing faculty whose passion for this program is palpable"

— Adeline Clifford ’26

Adeline Clifford ’26 is majoring in psychology and public health, complemented with a minor in neuroscience. She is grateful for the community engagement opportunities Saint Anselm exposes students to, providing them with an early glimpse into their area of interest.

What is unique about the public health program at Saint Anselm College?

What’s interesting is how the major ties back to the aspect of “community.” Saint Anselm is known for having a tight-knit community, and I believe it is because the Benedictine values of community. In public health, meeting a community where they are at is crucial to the success of a health intervention. Working within a group and including the community in conversations about their health is crucial because community members are going to have so many more insights on what’s affecting their health/to what extent because they are experiencing them first-hand. Reaching out to the community leads to a more inclusive and comprehensive change that is more likely to be applied into people’s lives.

What has been your favorite experience in the public health program?

My favorite experience so far was community engaged learning for my public health class. I helped two instructors in Access Academy work with students who are typically underrepresented in higher education and earn high school credit. I found concepts that we discussed in class connected with real-world experience. I fell in love with the program and have taught the course since my first year. I think that getting involved and invested within the Manchester community so early on in my Saint Anselm career helped me understand my interest in public health and psychology even more.

What is your favorite course you have taken, and why?

Adeline Clifford sitting in a chair

One of my favorite courses is Introduction to Public Health with Professor Tauna Sisco. Given that the public health major is new, I am grateful to be a part of the first class and program. From the very first class, I immediately knew I wanted to be more involved in the program. Another favorite course I took was Psychology of Personality with Professor Bert who always found ways to communicate and make personal connections with each and every student.

Who is your favorite professor and/or mentor at Saint Anselm College?

Dr. Bert is one of my favorite professors as he always finds new and inventive ways to keep his students both engaged and entertained in class. Professor Rickenbach has also been an incredible mentor to me. I am so grateful to have met her as she has helped me explore new opportunities and further my interests in both psychology and public health. She is an incredibly talented professor who cares deeply for her students.

Are you involved in any clubs or organizations on campus?

I spend a lot of my time in the Meelia Center for Community Engagement and it has been such a rewarding and life-changing experience. Within Meelia, I work as an Access Academy instructor teaching Marine Biology to high school students so they can earn school credit. Community outreach and engagement has truly changed my life. Working in the Meelia Center has helped me make connections within the Greater Manchester community, and I feel so happy that I can call Saint Anselm and the city of Manchester, N.H. my second home.

I am a member of the Honors Program and am a part of the Honors Council, a peer tutor, a member of the Foster and Adoptive Parents Night Out (FAPNO) leadership team, the entertainment and activities coordinator for the Campus Activity Board (CAB), Event Coordinator for the Best Buddies program, student government senator, Psi Chi member, Anselmian Engagement Committee member, SGA Academics Committee Member, Sophomore Leadership Council Member, Alpha Lambda Delta member, research fellow/coordinator in the psych department, New Student Orientation leader, and Food, Clothing, and Furniture Drive (FCF). 

Do you have an idea on what you want to do post-grad?

Being a community and public health major has both broadened my perspective on what I aspire to in my career and provided me with key insights into the social determinants of health and how public health can empower community members.

After graduation, I plan to take my background in psych and public health and combine them in a clinical setting. I hope to earn my Masters in Public Health (MPH) and then my clinical degree. I want to work with individuals and in larger groups/communities. 

Any additional information that would be helpful to know about the public health program?

With the Community and Public Health Program being so new, I have been lucky enough to have professors that care so much about students' input about public health. Something that's so special about the department is that all four department heads are from different backgrounds that delineates the fact that the public health major is so interdisciplinary. The program is supportive of all its students and helps us to thrive in an area of study we enjoy most.