Welcome to my blog!
My name is Mia Tellmann. I’m a high school senior with a strong interest in pandemics and biodefense. Having grown up on three continents, I have seen firsthand how hard it can be for people in different countries to understand and coordinate with each other. Biodefense and pandemics are perfect examples of this problem. They always have a local source and yet global coordination is needed to solve them.
I became interested in this area in 2016, long before our world was turned upside down by Covid-19. I started by reading books on the topic, including Jeffrey R. Ryan’s “Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Containing and Preventing Biological Threats”, and completed undergraduate level online courses in global health from Harvard and the Karolinska Institute.
I keep myself updated by subscribing to weekly newsletters from the CDC and the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government Biodefense Program.
In 2018, I started an independent research project that considered how public health systems in different countries approach the subject of pandemics and preparedness for deliberate events. I interviewed several public health experts in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Norway, Canada, Germany, and Austria. Some of these interviews are featured on my blog.
I have been fortunate to have as a mentor Professor Robyn Gershon at New York University’s School of Global Public Health, who has helped me to further deepen my understanding of and interest in the field and she has given me the opportunity to work with her on grant submissions and articles.
In 2019, I interned with New York University’s Department of Public Safety which has to deal with complex and fluid threat and crisis situations around the globe on a daily basis in order to keep NYU’s global community and campuses safe. I was invited to come back during the summer of 2020, but the campus was closed due to Covid-19.
Instead, I was offered a position as teaching assistant intern for an NYU School of Global Public Health online course taught by Professor Gershon on Emergency Preparedness for Healthcare Organizations. The course is designed to provide public health professionals, healthcare professionals, graduate students, and emergency managers in health care organizations with disaster management capabilities. I’m currently assisting for the second time with this course, including helping students to develop disaster plans. I will share these on my blog for the broader healthcare community to use.
Through my research and work, I have come to realize how complex the problem of global public health and pandemic preparedness is and how much global commitment and coordination is involved.
I hope to keep sharing what I learn with you. Thank you for visiting!