Susan Harrington, former director of public health for Riverside County, utilized her platform April 11 to inspire and educate students at the College of Health Science’s distinguished lecture series in Innovators Auditorium at California Baptist University.
More than 100 students gathered at the event to hear Harrington speak about how to apply skills, passions, integrity, service and leadership to go into a health science career.
Harrington’s experience of more than 30 years in various public health positions encouraged students to keep moving forward no matter what challenges lie ahead.
Allison Russell, administrative assistant of the College of Health Science, said the distinguished lecture series began a few years ago with one main goal: To make sure student needs are met and they understand the possibilities for their future.
“(The lecture series) is for students to intermingle and network,” Russell said.
Harrington said the lecture series is important because of the need for students to meet other professionals in their communities.
“The lecture series brings in representatives from the community, from different industries and organizations to talk about what it’s like to implement programs (and) what it’s like to actually practice what you learn when you’re in college,” Harrington said.
The lecture series served as a way to get to know more about different careers in health science and how to find what career best suits the student’s passions as they move forward in their careers.
“You need to find an organization or business you work for that really meets your needs, where you can make a difference, where you can serve and where you can really represent yourself,” Harrington said.
While discussing leadership in public health, Harrington reminded students to always look at what is new.
Her message was to encourage them to be the kind of leader who keeps an eye on the horizon — taking every opportunity provided.
Israel Alonzo, freshman communication disorders major, said he liked Harrington’s advice on how to balance priorities and how she managed to invest in all the areas of her life during her public health career.
“It’s important to balance work and family life and I liked that she talked about that,” Alonzo said.