Student Profiles

Alyssa Aguilar

Alyssa Aguilar

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Animal Science, University of California, Davis, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered at a non-profit equine therapeutic riding center focused on improving riders’ fine motor skills, flexibility, and core strength
  • Worked on farms with various livestock including horses, sheep, and cattle
  • Volunteered at an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico

Global Health Interest:

  • Emerging zoonotic diseases
  • Agriculture and veterinary health in relation to One Health

Madison (Madi) Ahrens

Madison (Madi) Ahrens

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Medical Anthropology & Global Health, Minor in Disability Studies, University of Washington (UW) Seattle, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked as the Student Assistant for Harborview Medical Center’s Department of Lab Medicine and Anatomic Pathology
  • Volunteered as a representative on the Hiring Committee for the Director of the UW Seattle Disability Resources for Students Office
  • Assistant Instructed an introductory physiology lab for UW students in various pre-health tracks

Global Health Interest:

  • Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health
  • Sociocultural and Economic Determinants of Health
  • Accessible and Sustainable Healthcare System Development

Gizem Akildiz

Gizem Akildiz

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Human Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered in coordinating intake, vitals, and pharmacy in free mobile clinics in 5 villages around Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
  • Shadowed and assisted an occupational therapist at the California Children’s Services Duncan Holbert School Medical Therapy Unit

Global Health Interest:

  • Disparities in healthcare outcomes
  • Increasing access to healthcare for vulnerable populations
  • Neglected tropical diseases

Mai Baalbaki

Mai Baalbaki

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biology, University of San Francisco, 2010; MBChB (MD), Medicine, Keele University School of Medicine, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Researched the impact of vitamin D on immune modulation, and the correlation of vitamin D levels with TB disease progression and its reemergence from latency; University Hospital of North Midlands, UK
  • Evaluated hospital and community-based care outcomes for patients with bronchiectasis, and proposed formation of specialist community clinics to fulfill holistic hospital care within a community setting; University Hospital of North Midlands, UK
  • Volunteered at SF General Hospital-Methadone Clinic, and was a member of a research group observing and facilitating adherence to HIV medication in homeless SF populations through a methadone dosing system

Global Health Interest:

  • Pathology and treatment of infectious and communicable diseases
  • Promoting healthcare equality and preventative medicine in marginalized, homeless, and migrant/refugee populations
  • Understanding global barriers to maternal and child health

Kavenpreet (Kaven) Bal

Kavenpreet (Kaven) Bal

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biological Sciences, UC Davis, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Provided healthcare to the underserved South Asian population in the Davis-Sacramento Area.
  • Volunteered at NGOs in Punjab, India to alleviate healthcare disparities within rural and marginalized communities
  • Conducted community-based participatory research in the San Francisco-Bay Area to understand the relationship between culture and mental health outcomes in adolescents

Global Health Interest:

  • The role of culture and assimilation in mental health outcomes.
  • Alleviating the global healthcare burden of cardiovascular disease in high-risk racial and ethnic groups
  • Cost-effective analyses to influence policy

Laic Beugre

Laic Beugre

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Philosophy, UCSB, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered at a nonprofit that focused on financial inclusion

Global Health Interest:

  • Global Surgery
  • Sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health
  • Preoperative and postoperative surgical care

Valentina Cox

Valentina Cox

Country of Origin: Chile

MD, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2018; MPH, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Participated as a medical student in different volunteer organizations such as Youth without Frontiers and Techo para Chile, and researched immigration and the elderly
  • Worked as a general practitioner in a vulnerable urban area with the largest immigrant population in Chile
  • Participated in a public policy think tank

Global Health Interest:

  • Health promotion and gender, with a focus on social determinants of health and life course
  • Immigrant, women, and elderly populations, especially in Latin America
  • Promoting health equity with a global and creative perspective

Alana Elop

Alana Elop

Country of Origin: USA and Canada

BS, Biology; BS, Public Health Science, Santa Clara University, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Shadowed health professionals, assisted in vaccination clinics, and worked in nutrition centers for malnourished children in Ahmedabad, India
  • Designed a health promotion and prevention campaign surrounding binge drinking for adolescents in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Studied global health systems visiting different hospitals and public health organizations throughout the United States and Denmark, and institutions in Sweden and Estonia

Global Health Interest:

  • HIV transmission among underserved populations, focusing on sexual and gender minorities—particularly those who identify with the transgender community
  • Mental health and mental disorders as related to the plausible over-prescription of antidepressants among women of child-bearing age
  • Understanding the life-course approach to health to improve prevention in clinical medicine

Emily Erhardt

Emily Erhardt

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Nursing, Mount Saint Mary College, 2010

Global Health Experience:

  • Helped establish the first bone marrow transplant program in Bangladesh, and acted as a clinical mentor and preceptor to the nursing staff at Dhaka Medical College Hospital for the care of immunocompromised patients
  • Developed curriculums and educated healthcare professionals in Bangladesh on an array of topics, including hematological malignancies, bone marrow transplants, solid tumor oncology, palliative care, critical care, and mostly recently the care of those diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Advocated for a higher level of recognition for the nurses of Bangladesh, to help advance and distinguish the profession as being a powerful force in transforming the health of the people of the country

Global Health Interest:

  • Establishing equitable access to quality health care, especially for women
  • Advocating for and advancing the nursing profession
  • Addressing gender-based violence in the global health care system

Yasameen Farahvash

Yasameen Farahvash

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, University of California, Davis 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Assisted in planning and hosting a virtual Q&A event about mental health within the SWANASA (South West Asian, North African, and South Asian) communities
  • Participated in a research project that sought to investigate structural racism within the scientific literature by examining the prevalence of the White race as the reference group in observational public health studies based in the United States
  • Volunteered at a UC Davis student-run clinic, striving to foster trust between community members and health care providers

Global Health Interest:

  • Health policy
  • Access to care
  • Communicable diseases

Leslie Gerstenfeld

Leslie Gerstenfeld

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Geology, Environmental Studies, Tufts University, 1991; MS, Hazardous Materials Management, Environmental Health, Tufts University, 1994

Global Health Experience:

  • Conducted studies of testicular cancer rates associated with pesticide use in the Central Valley
  • Evaluated the incidence of low birth weight with air quality distributions using GIS
  • Taught reading and math to students in underserved communities

Global Health Interest:

  • Climate Change and Health
  • Access to Health Care
  • Education 

Rachel Granovsky

Rachel Granovsky

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Public Policy, Princeton University, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked as a research assistant for the Innovations for Choice and Autonomy (ICAN) project: A four-year implementation research project funded by the Gates Foundation, exploring self-injection as a contraceptive method to increase informed family planning in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria, and Pakistan
  • Conducted focus groups in underserved areas of New York City as part of a Community Health Needs Assessment
  • Volunteered in the University of Puerto Rico Pediatric Hospital following Hurricane Maria

Global Health Interest:

  • Maternal health disparities
  • Reproductive rights
  • Expanding healthcare access

Anaï Gressier

Anaï Gressier

Country of Origin: USA

BA, International Studies - Political Science; BA, Global Health, Minor in Communications, University of California, San Diego, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered for three years as a peer mentor for individuals with developmental disabilities in San Diego, designing curricula that were accessible to various communication styles
  • Volunteered with San Diego County Mutual Aid, buying and delivering food to underserved communities in San Diego

Global Health Interest:

  • Immigrant and Refugee Health
  • Provision of healthcare services among individuals with disabilities
  • Comorbidities of mental health with infectious diseases among underserved communities

Siena Hasson

Siena Hasson

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Art Studio, UC Davis, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Assisted both English and Spanish-speaking patients at COVID-19 testing sites for scheduling and receiving vaccinations
  • Researcher for multiple spinal studies with the UC Davis Orthopedic Surgery department that help treat patients from all over California
  • Volunteered at UC Davis Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital and helped resident children and their parents process, cope with, and reduce fears regarding hospitalization

Global Health Interest:

  • Environmental Quality/Discrimination
  • Women's Sexual Health
  • Maternal and Child Health

Carlos Hernandez

Carlos Hernandez

Country of Origin: USA/Mexico

BA, Chemistry, Pomona College, 2018

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at City of Hope National Medical Center investigating health disparities and novel diagnostic markers for diabetes and prostate and breast cancer
  • Volunteered for a community-based intervention study aimed at improving psychosocial health among low-income, immigrant Latino families

Global Health Interest:

  • Health disparities in chronic disease management
  • Access to preventative care
  • Community-based clinical research and health promotion

Afia Joarder

Afia Joarder

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Psychology, Minors in Chemistry & Neuroscience, Pre-medicine track, University of San Francisco, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Helped find mental health resources and provide peer counseling for victims of cyber and/or sexual crimes in Bangladesh
  • Shadowed neurosurgeon in Bangladesh and observed prevalence of different types of neuropathology

Global Health Interest:

  • Access to mental health care
  • Sociocultural determinants of health

Rebekah Kaufman

Rebekah Kaufman

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Health Promotion, Minors in Psychology and Dance, American University, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered with The Grassroot Project to teach nutrition education games in DC public and charter schools
  • Researched intergenerational trauma’s relation to chronic disease, clean water access and the prevalence of cholera, and nonbinary inclusive care in mental health services

Global Health Interest:

  • LGBTQ+ healthcare
  • Redlining and environmental pollutants
  • Presentation of psychiatric diseases across different cultures

Nabia Kheshtchin-Kamel

Nabia Kheshtchin-Kamel

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biological Sciences, Barrett Honors College, Arizona State University, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Provided free healthcare and education to vulnerable populations in Maricopa County as a committee member in S.H.O.W. (Student Health Outreach for Wellness)
  • Mentored children and families without housing on schoolwork, health, and dental hygiene through A New Leaf Foundation (La Mesita) and a local Tempe dental office

Global Health Interest:

  • Immigrant and children of immigrants’ healthcare
  • Indigenous peoples’ healthcare
  • Maternal and child healthcare

Frances Kincaid

Frances Kincaid

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biology, Indiana University, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered with university student team scribing for large regional COVID-19 vaccination site
  • Researched chemotherapy resistance in ovarian cancer and a novel drug combination to treat triple-negative breast cancer

Global Health Interest:

  • Health care inequities
  • Social determinants of health
  • Improving access to health care

Sonam Kumari

Sonam Kumari

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, Minor in Education, UC Davis, 2018

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered for India Rural Health, an organization that provides free telemedicine and counseling services to impoverished Dalit and indigenous communities in rural India
  • Provided free medical care, health education, and material/social support to unhoused individuals and families in Sacramento, CA and Berkeley, CA through the Willow Clinic and the Women’s Daytime Drop-In Center
  • Conducted a mixed-methods research study to investigate the intersections between poverty, primary care provider experience, and available enabling services for low-income patients in California’s Central Valley

Global Health Interest:

  • Broadening access to quality medical care in underserved areas
  • Diabetes management in low-income populations
  • Increasing awareness and implementing sustainable changes to combat structural violence in impoverished areas

Hsin Yueh (Kelsey) Lee

Hsin Yueh (Kelsey) Lee

Country of Origin: Taiwan

BSN, Nursing, National Cheng Kung University, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at National Taiwan University Hospital in the Division of Cardiology
  • Worked with OMRON healthcare to apply their healthcare devices to patients with cardiovascular diseases in Taiwan
  • Worked as a Registered Nurse in Cardiac Intensive Care unit during the COVID pandemic

Global Health Interest:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Sociocultural and behavioral determinants of health
  • Sexually transmitted diseases.

Sofia Keolian Lochner

Sofia Keolian Lochner

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Molecular Cellular Biology, emphasis in Neurobiology, UC Berkeley, 2018

Global Health Experience:

  • Advocated for global health funding in 2017 federal budget
  • Conducted field research in rural Costa Rica
  • Mentored Latinx teen girls in topics like reproductive health and nutrition

Global Health Interest:

  • Refugee mental healthcare
  • Family planning and women’s reproductive healthcare
  • Implementation science

Sahra Mohamed

Sahra Mohamed

Country of Origin: USA/Somalia

BA, Human Physiology, University of Minnesota, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Researched financial, social, and institutional barriers associated with dialysis access in Kampala, Uganda
  • Worked with limited English proficiency diabetes patients to understand how perceived treatment burden influenced diabetes self-management

Global Health Interest:

  • Noncommunicable diseases
  • Women's health

Avani Narayan

Avani Narayan

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Neuroscience, Minor in Chemistry, UC Santa Cruz, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Participated in a student internship for clinical rotations at the Port Moresby General Hospital in Papua New Guinea in the departments of surgery, trauma, anesthesiology, and neurology; traveled to villages on the outskirts of Port Moresby with medical students from the University of Papua New Guinea, School of Medicine to distribute first aid supplies
  • Completed international service work in Leon, Nicaragua and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Global Health Interest:

  • Infectious and Neglected Tropical Diseases Research
  • Epidemiology
  • Healthcare Accessibility

Stephanie (Vananh) Nguyen

Stephanie (Vananh) Nguyen

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Public Health Sciences, UC Irvine, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in South Africa utilizing Participatory Analysis for Community Action (PACA) assessment paired with the health framework of Peace Corps to provide information that filled gaps of knowledge among students at the local school
  • Developed a research proposal and design which aims to look at factors that motivate Vietnamese former smokers to quit and to identify if current cessation programs within Orange County are providing relevant programs to this subset of immigrants
  • Conducted educational outreach as a Planetary Health Student Ambassador to educate undergraduate students on the direct and indirect impacts of fast fashion on climate change, water scarcity, pollution, and health outcomes of manufacture workers 

Global Health Interest:

  • Influences of climate change on displacement and communicable diseases within at-risk populations
  • Development of a political ecology framework for health systems
  • Equitable health systems to support marginalized communities

Olamide (Lammy) Sanuth

Olamide (Lammy) Sanuth

Country of Origin: Nigeria

MA, International Development, University of Denver, 2020; BA, Natural Science/Mathematics, Thomas Edison State University, 2012

Global Health Experience:

  • Analyzed maternal and neonatal clinical health information from clinics in Petit Trou Haiti to find correlations between antenatal visits and mode of delivery, delivery location, neonatal birth weight, medication, and pre-natal supplements
  • Supported the identification, extraction, and analysis of literature for the Evidence to Action (E2A) project which informs later the IRC’s global Maternal and Neonatal Health, and the Best Use of Resources Teams

Global Health Interest:

  • Maternal/Neonatal health
  • Communicable disease epidemiology
  • Health Disparities

Kie Shidara

Kie Shidara

Country of Origin: Japan

BS, Exercise Biology, UC Davis, 2014

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked with families in underserved communities

Global Health Interest:

  • Health Economics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Outcomes

Megan Shih

Megan Shih

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biotechnology, UC Davis, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Provided pro-bono environmental health, food access, clean energy, and grant consulting for environmental justice and food desert communities across the United States on behalf of a non-profit
  • Managed grant-funded projects to improve student health in underserved K-12 school districts (e.g. HVAC updates for improved indoor air quality, policies for clean water sources, funding for better nutrition, school grounds cleanup, etc.)
  • Conducted market and technology research on global accessibility, affordability, attitudes, usage, and quality control of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for a biotechnology company

Global Health Interest:

  • Increasing market access and equitable distribution of treatments and healthcare through private-public partnerships
  • Improving patient and provider education on treatment options and medical technologies
  • Reducing barriers to female sexual, reproductive, and maternal healthcare access

Noam Shimon

Noam Shimon

Country of Origin: USA/Israel

BA, Geography, San Francisco State University, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered at COVID-19 relief events for underserved populations in San Francisco and Oakland, California
  • Administered HIV testing at Berkeley Free Clinic
  • Conducted environmental assessments including soil analyses and surveying measurements

Global Health Interest:

  • Climate, health, and equity
  • Communicable diseases – waterborne, vector-borne, and other infectious diseases
  • Climate-induced displacement with focus on drought, food insecurity, heat, fires, and trauma

Gwynn Spielman

Gwynn Spielman

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Health Studies, Minor in Biology, Boise State University, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Provided assistance to the surgical team and medical staff in the operating room and community clinic at a rural Kenyan hospital
  • Taught and mentored girls and young women about menstrual and reproductive health, self-confidence, and self-defense
  • Worked to develop a wrap-around program to connect rural Kenya with sustainable menstrual solutions, knowledge of women’s health and access to services, support for girls to remain in school, connection to social support, and the promotion of women’s economic development

Global Health Interest:

  • Improving healthcare access to underserved communities
  • Women's and children's health
  • Global surgery

Elena Stuart

Elena Stuart

Country of Origin: Transnistria

Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, University of San Francisco, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked as a social rehabilitation and crisis residential counselor at an acute diversion unit; responded to psychiatric and medical emergencies
  • Worked with children on the autistic spectrum as a Registered Behavior Technician using Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • Co-authored an article on the health and nutrition of the Agta in the Philippines; currently researching the decolonization of the health and wellness of indigenous peoples

Global Health Interest:

  • Decolonizing health and health care
  • Mental and physical health as one holistic entity
  • Health care administrations’ exploitation of healthcare workers, especially in mental health, and its long-term repercussions

Ellen Thovmasyan

Ellen Thovmasyan

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Public Health, California State University, Northridge, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Collaborated as a board member of Armenian International Medical Fund for the Cochlear Implant Project to provide the gift of hearing to children. Worked closely with Cochlear Europe and local hospitals gaining experience in health administration, as well as translated and provided patient education before and after surgeries.
  • Spearheaded efforts to obtain, distribute, and transport emergency medical equipment and supplies for displaced families and injured soldiers overseas.
  • Performed biostatistical research for soldiers experiencing hearing loss after war conflicts.

Global Health Interest:

  • Congenital disorders
  • Emergency and trauma medicine and aid
  • Women’s health

Evelyn Tran

Evelyn Tran

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Human Biology; BA, Narrative Studies, USC, 2021

Global Health Experience:

  • Operated fundraising for project between Dr. Sahai, USC Keck clinical professor of neurology, and Dr. Sambath, Cambodian pediatrician, in attempt to establish first pediatric neurology clinic in Cambodia
  • Created own lesson plans and worked 1:1 with students from inner-city community to bring their reading and writing comprehension skills to state grade level standard
  • Assisted residents at assisted living facility with activities of daily living including bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, transferring from activities and meals amidst isolation protocol of COVID-19

Global Health Interest:

  • LGBTQ and refugee health
  • Community health clinics
  • Intersectionality of healthcare

Marisa Woo

Marisa Woo

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Physiological Science, Minor in Global Health, UCLA, 2020

Global Health Experience:

  • Mentored, tutored, and presented health education modules to engage at-risk elementary school students as an intern for Together Educating and Advocating for Community Health (TEACH at UCLA)
  • Developed digital health education and financial resources for underserved, historically Asian and Pacific Islander neighborhoods as an intern for the Asian Pacific Islander Forward Movement (APIFM) during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Promoted the importance of pediatric cancer patient advocacy and child developmental care as a board member of the student-led organization Bruins Fighting Pediatric Cancer

Global Health Interest:

  • Children’s health
  • Access to primary care and preventive health services
  • Health disparities

Nicole Zamignani

Nicole Zamignani

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biology, San Francisco State University, 2017

Global Health Experience:

  • Managed internal communications and organization of volunteers, projects, and fundraising events as Secretary and Leadership Advisor for ABC’s for Global Health
  • Lead pre-med student volunteers on medical immersion internship in the Philippines working alongside providers in free healthcare clinics
  • Participated in Global Brigades: Medical and Public Health, recruiting medical professionals and fundraising to provide free healthcare and public health education to rural and resource-poor communities in Panama

Global Health Interest:

  • Health education and advocacy for pediatric patients in underserved communities
  • Improving access to healthcare in marginalized communities
  • Nutrition and dietary habits of underserved populations