Juan Suazo

Master of Publich Health

Class of 2009



Why did you choose NMSU Graduate School?

I had just finished my undergraduate degree at NMSU in community health, and at the time I was employed at the NMSU Student Health Center as a Health Education Coordinator. It was an easy decision a natural transition to continue my education at NMSU.


What is your current position?

I currently serve as a Legislative Analyst at the Health Resources and Services Administration in Rockville, MD.


What is your biggest accomplishment?

In June of 2018 I was awarded with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Directors Recognition Award for my dedicated service and outstanding contributions to the mission and goals of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, and STD Prevention.


How did NMSU prepare you for your field?

NMSU provides community/public health students with a unique curriculum and experience that many students at other programs and schools of public health do not. Learning from academics who have substantial experience in the field is a major advantage, as they can teach you theory, but also speak to real world execution. Upon graduating from NMSU’s MPH program, I was one of 25 individuals selected for CDC’s Public Health Prevention Service, from a candidate pool of 4,000 individuals. Many of my peers in the cohort of 25 struggled early, as they had difficulty adapting to the practice of public health, as opposed to the foundation provided through academic theories and concepts. I had an easier transition, as NMSU’s faculty taught the theory of public health, but also taught about the importance of being flexible and adaptable.


What did you enjoy most about NMSU?

The campus, culture, and community. NMSU and Las Cruces were home for the first six years of my adult life. NMSU opened my eyes to a world of possibilities that I never had envisioned for myself. I initially intended to earn a business degree, that all changed after I took an introduction to community health course.