Chris Chanyasulkit

Chris was a doctoral candidate, who conducted her research in the area of health policy. After earning a B.A. degree at Boston University, with dual majors in biology and art history, she took a year off and joined AmeriCorps. Following that, she returned to Boston University and completed an M.P.H. degree and took a position in the Immunology and Infectious Diseases Department of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

“During my professional career,” Chris explains, “I started realizing that there is a lot in my field to conduct research on. I started looking into Ph.D. programs to find one that fits my interests and visited Northeastern. Professor Chris Bosso kindly spent time with me and helped me find a program and research topic that matches my interests and work experience. Having work experience in public health, I discovered health policy could be a great area for my doctoral studies. Professor Bosso recommended Professor Michael Dukakis to be my advisor because of his vast expertise in health care policy.”

Chris continues to work at the Harvard School of Public Health and also at Vaccine Technologies, Inc. And in addition to her scholarly pursuits, she is a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Asian American Commission, a Town Meeting Member in Brookline, Co-Chair of the Brookline Commission for Women, an Education Board member and a Joint Policy Committee Member for the American Public Health Association, and has been President of the Graduate Student Government at Northeastern. In what little spare time all of these other accomplishments leave her, she spends it with her husband and two young sons.  She also enjoys acting and has been on stage in places such as the Boston Center for the Arts and the Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain.

Chris’s parents are from Thailand and she is first generation born in the United States – in Maryland. “I think the diverse environment at Northeastern is a great melting pot to prepare students for today’s job market. The diverse backgrounds of students here create a challenging environment that we all can learn a lot from. I believe I brought worthwhile different perspectives to my classes, too. For instance, when we have a discussion about genocide in Darfur, I can develop the discussion from a public health perspective and articulate issues related to the health of victims. As another example, on the topic of globalization, I open discussions on issues that are not always quickly noticed such as emerging diseases like SARS and Avian Influenza.”

“I believe Northeastern pays lots of attention to the future of students and their intellectual lives. Departments organize conferences and they also support students who attend events in other universities. My department also helped and encouraged me to join scientific associations in my area. These types of events are great networking opportunities and I have learned a lot from other members.”

“From the day I started, I have had a great experience at Northeastern. Although I was away from school for 5 years working in the field of public health, right from the beginning the environment here has been completely supportive and helped me get up to speed. Study groups, professors and classmates all have great roles in this supportive environment.”

“At Northeastern, professors become your family. We quite often have gatherings with our professors and classmates. I was honored to have Professor Dukakis officiate my wedding ceremony. This friendly environment at Northeastern creates a wonderful bond among scholars.”

Chris successfully defended her thesis, ”An Examination of the Influences on Massachusetts Legislators’ Level of Awareness regarding Health Disparities: Implications for Public Health Policymaking” in April 2013 and graduated in May 2013.