Finding Balance

Danielle Culp, mother of three and recipient of the Osher Reentry Scholarship Endowment, juggles family life with education as she pursues a community health and prevention sciences degree.

Interview by Rachel Brumfield
Transcription by Christian Kiemele, Nelson Weller Intern

What brought you to the University of Montana?

I live in Missoula. I was a pharmacy technician first; I got my certificate degree from the College of Technology [now Missoula College]. After working as a pharmacy tech for a few years, I wanted more. I wanted more responsibility, more possibility to get in and change the health infrastructure. I wanted to create more societal change in public health. So I went back to school in order to do those things.

Danielle CulpHow do you fit school in with being a mom? Is it tough to find a balance?

It is. I basically read every spare minute I get. Since my kids are a little bit older, it is a little easier to get my studying in while they’re working on homework. It’s definitely a lot easier than if they were really young children.

What do you love about public health?

I really love the whole social justice aspect of it. If we can level out the socioeconomic playing field, then we can really make a difference in improving health overall. I love the idea of being able to educate people about their health and empower them to make healthy decisions for themselves.

Tell me a little about your scholarship. Why is it meaningful to you and what opportunities have become available to you through this support?

I was fortunate enough to receive the Osher scholarship this year and the previous year. It’s for students who had a lapse in their schooling of about five years. It’s really meaningful because it does give me a chance to return to school full time, and to be able to really focus on it and dedicate my study time to it. It’s meaningful that we are giving returning, non-traditional students a chance to go back and really immerse themselves in school. To have a scholarship fund like this as a safety net is huge.

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