Scholarships Help Dad Pursue Grad School at UWM

August 30, 2017

After 10 years of working at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Langston Verdin ’02 says he has seen immense health disparities within the Milwaukee community. Many of the hospital’s patients contend with limited access to fresh food, unsafe neighborhoods, and transportation inequities. “The wide array of preventable health concerns facing Wisconsin’s most economically poor communities is simply unacceptable,” says Verdin, “and that is why I’ve come back to UWM to pursue my graduate degree.”

Verdin, who earned his bachelor’s degree in history and Africology at UWM in 2002, currently works as a population health advisor at Children’s. His plan of returning to school was made a reality when he received the Vera Zilber Public Health Scholarship.

The Zilber Family Foundation established this scholarship in 2014 in order to recruit and retain students in the areas of biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health policy and administration. “Our community needs a school that will be a catalyst for healthier communities through the education of well-prepared public health leader-practitioners,” says Susan Lloyd, president of the Zilber Family Foundation. Since 2014, more than 40 students have received the Vera Zilber Public Health Scholarship.

Now Verdin is among the students’ fulfilling the vision of the Zilber Family Foundation. “I am so grateful for this scholarship,” he says. “I truly believe that a master’s degree from the Zilber School of Public Health will give me the tools I need to better understand the challenges facing Milwaukee’s poorest communities and help me build the skills I need to improve the health outlook for children and families in our city.”