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Mandy Woodfield ('05)

Presidential Management Fellow and health advocate

Photo: Mandy Woodfield

Mandy says her career in public health and health promotion was inspired by her Madison Experience, beginning with community service-learning, Alternative Spring Break, student government and REACH, a program that educates JMU's community on developing and maintaining healthy lifestyles. "I can't imagine having a career that does not fill me with the same motivation that I felt everyday at JMU," she says. She's not afraid of controversy when it comes to issues she believes in. She helped lead the fight to stop the ban of emergency contraception on campus -- sparking a movement that garnered student, parent and alumni support, led to a reversed vote from the board of visitors, and ultimately defeated a bill in the state legislature. Her passion, dedication and leadership abilities were noticed. Mandy received a Presidential Management Fellowship, the federal government's "call to leadership," which recognizes and develops high-achievers to be the government's future leaders. Today Mandy works at the National Cancer Institute helping create and implement policies that improve the effectiveness of cancer prevention and treatment research. "One set of public health policies that I have assisted with is implementing smoking bans," she says. "The day I learned I had been accepted into this fellowship felt like the day I learned I had been accepted into JMU -- I was inspired, honored and excited." This JMU grad has walked through the door to federal service and grasped the opportunity to change the health of the world for the better.

"You can find yourself in difficult situations where you have to make tough judgment calls. Being a part of student organizations like REACH can help you gain the confidence necessary to be a resource to your peers."