The Charger Blog

Senior Reflects on ‘Rewarding’ Internship, Gaining Professional Experience as a Charger

Melissa Nunez ’24, who will be among the University’s first graduates to earn a B.S. public health, is committed to service – whether she’s representing the University’s Student Public Health Association or helping to grant a wish for a child facing a serious illness.

March 15, 2024

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Melissa Nunez ’24 (center) and her “littles.”
Melissa Nunez ’24 (center) and her “littles” are charged up for an Alpha Sigma Alpha event.

For Melissa Nunez ’24, studying public health at the University of New Haven has meant immersing herself in the world of healthcare beyond the classroom. It has also offered her the chance to grow as a leader while sharing her passion for service.

An active member of the University’s School of Health Sciences, Nunez has been a member of the Student Public Health Association, serving as an ambassador during her senior year. It has been a fun and rewarding way for her to get to know her classmates. She’s also collaborated with faculty members and networked with industry leaders at Connecticut Public Health Association events, building important connections.

Melissa Nunez ’24.
Melissa Nunez ’24.

“My time at the University has helped prepare me for success by giving me various opportunities to explore the world of healthcare outside of the classroom,” said Nunez. “I have been to public health conferences where I was able to network with real public health professionals and learn about what I can expect after I graduate and I’m in the workforce.”

Nunez, who one of her professors calls a “fabulous student,” will be recognized as part of the University’s 2024 Commencement, and she’ll be among the University’s first graduates of its Bachelor of Science in Public Health program.

As she completes her final semester as an undergraduate, she’s reflecting on how much she’s grown as a Charger. She credits her involvement in the Alpha Signa Alpha sorority, in which she’s served as vice president of programming and ritual and as ritual chair, for helping her to grow “professionally, mentally, and spiritually.”

‘I cannot imagine continuing my education elsewhere’

One of Nunez’s most gratifying experiences as a Charger has been her internship at Make-A-Wish Connecticut. While working in the nonprofit’s programming department, she’s had the opportunity to help grant wishes to kids who are fighting critical illnesses. Whether she’s helping to arrange a shopping spree, the gift of a puppy, or, even, a trip to Disney World, Nunez has been thrilled to play a critical role in creating wonderful memories for families.

“My greatest accomplishments at Make-A-Wish were getting to use my bilingualism to translate for and work with non-English speaking wish families,” she explains. “I am a firm believer that everyone should have equal access and opportunity, regardless of a language barrier. For me, this has been the most rewarding part of my internship.”

After she completes her degree, Nunez will be continuing her time as a Charger. This fall, she’ll begin pursuing her Master of Healthcare Administration at the University.

“I have absolutely loved and enjoyed my time here,” she said. “I cannot imagine continuing my education elsewhere.”