Beyond her education outside of the classroom, Hoffman also considers the college's liberal arts values as crucial to her success.
“Denison's critical thinking emphasis and multidisciplinary approach has granted me a really unique perspective,” she says. “It allows me to adapt a variety of skills to different cultural contexts, which is essential for working in a global setting.”
And, with 70 percent of the world’s countries self-reporting to be unprepared to properly prevent, detect, and respond to a public health emergency, Hoffman and her team have their work ahead of them. In the past two and a half years alone, CDC’s Global Rapid Response Team have mobilized more than 500 times for public health emergencies such as the Zika virus response and hurricanes Maria, Harvey, and Matthew.
On site, Hoffman and others work on everything — identifying the source of an outbreak, conducting surveillance to monitor and control outbreaks, overseeing logistics, providing lab support, educating the public on how they can protect themselves during the emergency. This, in Hoffman's opinion, is where her Denison education and liberal arts problem-solving skills really stand out.
“We often work in high stress and low resource settings,” she explains. “I have to be flexible and adapt my technical skills to solve the problem in front of me — which is constantly changing.”
Even at her home base in Atlanta, Hoffman uses her integrative approach to help instruct other CDC employees’ in their emergency response style.
“When you're in the field, you don't always have the expertise with you that you need. So, I help to train staff in a variety of disciplines so that they can approach a situation from multiple perspectives,” says Hoffman.
Reflecting further, she adds, “I learned that at Denison.”