Katherine Metcalf

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Kate Metcalf

Katherine Metcalf

Health disco academic program
Public health, health tech
healthy disco cohort year

Why did you choose the College of Health at OSU to pursue your studies?

I was drawn to the College of Health because I appreciated how Oregon State had a clear commitment to population health through its actions and interdisciplinary academics. One persuading aspect of OSU was its deep involvement with research and public health practice. That fact I can say that I go to a school, and am actively involved with, some of the world's leading research that allows people to live longer, healthier lives is amazing and fulfilling in so many ways. It was clear to me that the COH at OSU cares about its students, its local community, and the field of population health sciences.

What sparked your interest in health?

My interest in health and public health stemmed from a broader appreciation of many different fields. I was interested in the infectious disease bio of epidemiology just as much as the policy that runs our health systems. I found a home for my varied academic interests in public health, which is an inherently interdisciplinary field. The holistic ‘systems thinking’ perspective taken by this field is a way of thinking that I am comfortable with and have found to be academically satisfying.

Why are you interested in research?

Research was originally something that really excited me, but I was initially intimidated by the opportunities in front of me. I have since found that my involvement in research has built my confidence in my career path and my academic abilities. Witnessing and contributing to novel technologies and innovations is something that appeals to me. Additionally, research is an opportunity for me to explore new academic areas that interest me that are outside the scope of my coursework. I appreciate how through research I am exposed to new areas and skill sets.

What research will you be working on and with whom?

I am currently involved with research through the SHARE lab with Professor Naomi Fitter. The SHARE lab’s research focuses on human-robot interactions and the creation of socially assistive robots for health care settings.

What are your future career and/or academic plans?

My career goal is ultimately to work on the enterprise side of new health innovations. Working in public health consulting or the growing field of health tech are both industries that interest me as potential career possibilities. After graduation, I plan on going on to graduate school and hopefully earning my Master of Public Health degree.


The Healthy Discoveries undergraduate research program is made possible with the generous support of the Patricia Valian Reser Fund for Experiential Learning.