Makala is a first year DrPH student at the Colorado School of Public Health Community and Behavioral Health department. As a North Carolina native, Makala received her MPH from Gillings School of Global Public Health and her BSPH from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to joining Colorado School of Public Health, Makala accrued experience at the local and federal levels of government at institutions such as the Johns Hopkins University, the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Makala has been awarded a unique opportunity to assist leaders in the field of injury and violence prevention and work alongside stakeholders and gatekeepers to promote, prevent, and improve the quality of life for diverse populations. While serving as a United States Air Force Reserve Officer, she continues her research as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Injury and Violence Prevention Center Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative by focusing on firearm injury prevention among Airmen at Buckley Space Force Base and the United States Air Force Academy.