Skip to main content
Hero Image Loading


Office of Communications

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401



Submit Your Deposit
Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Colleen Shelly '14

Graduate Student

Major in Biology, Minor in Business

Colleen’s experiences doing research and studying abroad in London led to her pursuit of a master's degree at the EHESP School of Public Health in Paris.

Colleen Shelly '14 studies public health in France.

Why did you choose to go to graduate school abroad?

During the fall of my junior year at Knox, I chose to study abroad in London. It had a much bigger impact on my future choices than I ever thought it would at the time. I think a lot of my sense of adventure stems from the fact that I'm a Galesburg native. Going to college in my hometown activated this desire to see the world, with Galesburg always being a place to call home.

What sparked your interest in studying public health?

A variety of events led me on the path towards a future in public health. I chose to research the politics and media role of obesity in the UK, which got me really fired up about policy related to nutrition. I then completed senior research for my degree in biology, looking at the mechanisms, policy, and public knowledge concerning the compound folate/ folic acid in women at the child bearing age.

How did your study abroad and research experiences help you prepare for graduate level studies?

My study abroad experience and research projects were absolutely key for my admission into an international master's program. Studying abroad not only opened my eyes to what life could be like across the pond, but it displayed my ability to thrive outside my comfort zone.

My research showed not only my knowledge and skills in the science field, but also my critical analysis and communication skills in general. Because many of my colleagues in my program are physicians, nurses, dentists, and midwives, it was important to exhibit my competence to be able to contribute to a very diverse, dynamic, and experienced cohort.

During her time at Knox, Shelly studied abroad with the IES London program and participated in a short term research experience in Belize.

Share this story

Knox College

Printed on Wednesday, April 24, 2024