University of South Florida


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Become a public health professional with BullPEN

The USF College of Public Health’s (COPH) Bull Professional Engagement Network (BullPEN) is a program housed within the COPH’s Office of Success and Student Well-being. The program prepares students for their post-graduate careers by offering career planning workshops, career development seminars, alumni job talks and more.

Created and led by Dr. Anna Armstrong, associate professor, director of the COPH Core and co-director of the MPH program, the BullPEN program provides both required and optional career planning and professional development opportunities for students while emphasizing professional reflection, intention and application to help students develop healthy, professional habits both now and in their future public health careers. 

“Through this program, we want our students ready and polished to attain the jobs they want. They are our practitioners and the future of the public health workforce,” Armstrong said. “We want students to maintain a competitive edge as they continue their career paths and to have confidence in knowing who they are as public health professionals.”

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An MPH student presenting her assignment during BullPEN’s annual Igniting Passion for Professionalism event. (Photo by Caitlin Keough)

BullPEN offers optional activities such as a seminar series, featured events, cohort-based programs and career cafes, as well as required assignments within the COPH Core courses, specifically the Passport to Professionalism assignment series. 

The Passport to Professionalism assignment teaches students the professional practice of identifying relevant and timely continuing education and professional development activities that suit their needs. Students will then attend these activities and engage in critical reflection and report on the activity just as they will eventually do to maintain their CPH certification. 

“Through participating in the BullPEN cohort, I've earned an internship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta,” MPH student Shriya Bhatnagar said. “This program helped me grow my professional mindset and use resume building skills and interview tips.”

The program, while designed for MPH students to address their career development needs, is advertised widely and does not turn students away from program offerings. However, the cohort programs are specific for MPH students and the annual Igniting Passion for Professionalism competition is for MPH students only.

“I always tell the students graduation is not the end of their education in public health, it is a profession with a lifelong commitment to learning,” Armstrong said. “BullPEN has really become my passion in public health, and I love when students share their experiences and how it has helped them in the field of public health.”

To learn more, reach out to Dr. Anna Armstrong (

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