A&S Class of ’24: For Margaux Reppert, Connections Are Key to Community Health

Margaux Reppert

For the Class of ‘24’s Margaux Reppert, having the opportunity to pursue two majors, one in global public health and one in Chinese, has been an essential part of her undergraduate experience.

She feels called to a career as a neonatologist, working with babies in neonatal intensive care.

“They’re one of the most vulnerable populations,” Reppert said.  “I’ve always felt drawn to helping them and caring for their parents.”

But before continuing on to medical school, she’ll complete her masters in public health through UVA’s accelerated program that allows her to complete a two-year degree in just one year.

The COVID pandemic helped Reppert see the importance of the connection between an individual patient’s health and the health of their community, and that convinced her that an understanding of public health and having a public-health mindset is an integral part of medicine.

“You have to be able to see through two lenses at once, and choosing global public health as major is helping me develop that skill,” Reppert said.

Since middle school, she has also been a student of the Mandarin language, and early on, she began to see how the ability to speak another language would be useful to a medical professional.  As an undergraduate, she had a unique opportunity to visit China through a J-term course that took her to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing as part of a 50th anniversary celebration of a Nixon-era ping-pong diplomacy initiative.  The experience gave her the chance to practice both her language skills and her diplomatic skills as a representative of the University.

“It was a true tie between my two majors…getting to meet students and experience China in a different way,” Reppert said.  “That was like the capstone of my college experience.”

She has also filled her time outside of the classroom with a wide range of extracurricular pursuits.

Reppert has been a member of the Chi Alpha Christian fellowship at UVA, and she has been president of the Phi Eta Sigma honor society, which is focused on celebrating first-year academic achievement.  In that position, she’s been able to revitalize the program on Grounds, and she’s developed a partnership between the UVA chapter and the Gift of Life bone marrow registry, creating opportunities for over 70 students register as potential donors.

She’s also volunteered with the University’s Volunteers with International Students, Staff, & Scholars, or VISAS, program tutoring members of the international community at UVA, she served on the application reading board for Brown Residential College and she’s been a member of the pre-med fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon.

“Being pre-med at UVA can sometimes be overwhelming, but having a group of students who are committed being supportive and collaborative has been an important experience,” Reppert said.

She’s also an avid runner, a member of UVA Club Running and has taken several opportunities to join UVA President Jim Ryan in his morning group runs with students.

“I got to see how much Jim Ryan cares about his students and to see him make the effort to talk to every student on the run,” Reppert said.  “Waking up early is a challenge, but it’s a meaningful way to experience UVA and see how the University cares about its students.”

Her experiences at UVA and her accomplishments both in and out of the classroom have changed her, Reppert said.

“UVA has pushed me to grow into a more confident version of myself.”


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