Tyler Griswold, MPH '10

Forward thinking inspires high-tech work in Romania

As a teenager, Tyler Griswold, M.P.H. ’10, ventured far from his native Colorado to volunteer in the jungles of Bolivia. “That experience really pushed me into the public health realm,’ he says.

Griswold majored in social work at Fordham University in New York City, graduating in 2005 to work at the New York State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute. “Were it not for that job,” he says, “I would not have pursued Public Health so avidly.” Among his duties in HIV outreach, education and surveillance was to facilitate an intervention designed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which entailed training community members and HIV–positive patients so they, in turn, were equipped to train medical personnel in local hospitals. “So often, fundamentals of intervention get lost in translation between academic research and community action,” says Griswold. “This way, patients with a stake in the outcome were able to craft the message to their communities. It was a great model.”

Pondering a career as an attorney, Griswold joined a law firm to investigate public policy and soon decided to pursue an M.P.H. “The generous financial aid was key in my decision to come to Yale,” he says. “This school had so much to offer.” A student in the department of Environmental Health Sciences, Griswold pinpoints a course taught by Theodore Holford, Applications in Public Health Practice, as the catalyst for his summer project as a Downs Fellow, which has taken him to Romania to use GIS (geographic information system) as a tool to assess the risk of lead exposure in children. “Incorporating emerging technology into public health, and using the skills I’ve learned, are my priorities in pursuing this summer initiative,” says Griswold.