Ty Kraniak

Picture or Ty Kraniak

Ambassador for Change

Global Epidemiology, MPH ‘19

“Before you come to Emory, you read those reports about CDC people that are travelling internationally to stop an outbreak from spreading. Now, I’m sitting in meetings with those people [in his CDC position]. I have to pinch myself. These people are the real heroes!”

Ty Kraniak has been thinking globally for much of his life. Raised in a family that valued travel, he visited Rwanda for the first time when he was in high school and has been to 80 countries to date. "That kind of travel gives you exposure to the world at a young age," he says.

During his trip to Rwanda, Ty and his family visited a local hospital and his eyes were opened to many of the country’s health needs. During the same period, someone introduced him to Paul Farmer’s work and Ty’s path in public health started to take shape.

After undergrad at Wake Forest University, Ty returned to Rwanda as a Peace Corps volunteer and worked on a USAID PEPFAR-funded grant that helped HIV-positive families with young children to meet their nutritional needs. Ty applied and was accepted into Rollins prior to his Peace Corps service and enrolled in the global epidemiology degree program after returning from his post.

In addition to the knowledge Ty acquired in class, Ty elevated his skillset when he snagged a position at the CDC through the Rollins Earn and Learn program. Starting out with the Global Immunization Division, he later transitioned into an ORISE position with the rubella team in that division. Through that experience, he was afforded a life-changing opportunity to present a global strategy for eliminating measles and rubella at the World Health Organization in Geneva.

"It’s opportunities like this that made me choose Rollins. It’s that kind of exposure and that kind of experience where I was working with the world’s best—and at such a high level—that really allowed me to learn and grow. I think it’s very difficult to beat the opportunity for that kind of experience at other places."

Though he still has a semester left, Ty has already secured a full-time job after graduation with Deloitte Consulting, a position Ty credits Rollins’ Office of Career Services for helping him find. "Last spring, I felt kind of lost with what I wanted to do. I could see my career going in a couple of different directions." Roger Presswood from the Office of Career Services connected Ty with the firm, and Ty became really impressed with their accomplishments to date at CDC. He applied, interviewed, and received a job offer.

"Ultimately, for someone who doesn’t want to go into research, I knew the work experience would be really valuable," says Ty. "I didn’t want to go to a different school and be a research assistant in a professor’s lab. I wanted to be on the front lines doing the work itself."