First-Year Spotlight: Tiffany Firebaugh

We sat down with first-year PHHA student Tiffany Firebaugh to learn more about what led her to PFMH and her vision for her future in public health!

Previous Education: BA in International Affairs from Columbia University

Previous Work Experience: Tiffany has accumulated a wide range of work experience, primarily in non-profit fundraising with Riverside Church, a historic church in Morningside Heights. She also spent some time working with UNICEF and the Center for Migration Studies. Additionally, Tiffany currently takes comedy classes at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

Experience with humanitarian assistance: Tiffany’s first exposure to public health was an Intro to Global Health course she took during undergrad. Soon after her class, she volunteered with Global Brigades, building latrines and assisting with water and sanitation education in Honduras. Since then, she has also worked as a volunteer tutor at the IRC.


After taking an Intro to Global Public Health course, Tiffany was drawn to public health due to its holistic focus and emphasis on creative solutions to complex, wide-ranging problems. Tiffany’s two key passions are pursuing the idea of “wholeness” in health and well-being and combatting what she feels is the greatest challenge of the next 100 years: climate change. PFMH immediately stood out to Tiffany as one of the few programs looking at forced migration in a health context and one that would provide critically relevant skills as we see an increase in climate-related disasters and crises.

What’s next?

Tiffany hopes to apply knowledge around program planning, WASH, nutrition, and emergency response from PHHA to address the health of populations forced to migrate due to climate change. She hopes to incorporate her love of comedy into her public health work as an advocacy tool to deconstruct the issue of climate change and help build linkages between critical issues for the public!