Public Health Faculty Spotlight: Gina Dorsan

Public Health Faculty Spotlight: Gina Dorsan

A World Away, Making a Difference

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean country of Haiti. With an estimated three million people affected, as well as over 100,000 tragically killed, the country was in dire need of assistance. 

Over 5,000 miles away in the small town of Rexburg, Idaho, a young Haitian American student at Brigham Young University–Idaho decided to make a difference. This student was Gina Dorsan of West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Being of Haitian descent, she knew immediately following the earthquake that she wanted to help. Looking for ways to volunteer, she boldly reached out to then President Kim B. Clark via email for direction. In a matter of hours, she was connected with Humanitarian Services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Once connected with HS, she helped organize a relief project and assemble 200 hygiene kits that were sent to those affected in her native nation. Already considering a degree in public health at the time, this experience solidified her interest in giving back to underserved populations both in and outside the United States. 

Now, nearly 12 years to the day of the devastating 2010 Haitian Earthquake, Gina Dorsan is a lecturer in the Department of Public Health at Utah Valley University. After completing her bachelor's degree in Public Health at BYU–Idaho, she went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Health from Brigham Young University. Post-graduation, she worked in the public health field for Comagine Health. In this role, she partnered with community organizations to promote and increase enrollment and attendance in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and Diabetes Self-Management Program (DSMP) classes, primarily assisting Native American populations of Utah in managing or delaying a diabetes diagnosis. 

During her time with Comagine Health, Gina gained a desire to teach. While talking to a former professor from BYU Idaho, she was advised to look into Utah Valley University. Describing UVU as a great “teaching school”, she reached out to inquire if there were any teaching opportunities available. She was then connected with current Associate Dean of Health, Sue Jackson. Two years later, she is now a full-time lecturer in the Public Health Department at UVU. In her own words, her favorite part about her role is, “supporting students and sharing my experiences with the next generation of public health professionals.” 

Moving forward, Gina hopes to receive her Ph.D. and continue making a difference teaching in the public health field. We are grateful to have Gina as a lecturer in our Department of Public Health!

To learn more about Gina’s interests outside of public health, visit our spotlight on Instagram

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Gina Dorsan