Student Profiles

Sunya Akhter

Sunya Akhter

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biological Sciences: Cell/Molecular/Genetics/Biochemistry, Drexel University, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered in Honduras as a part of Global Water Brigades and built water filtration systems in communities to allow for access to clean water
  • Led Global Public Health Brigades in both Honduras and Nicaragua and built sanitation units and cement floors in rural community homes

Global Health Interest:

  • Pediatric cancer
  • Healthcare accessibility in rural/developing areas in the US and abroad
  • Healthcare access and policy relating to vulnerable immigrant and refugee populations

Mana Anvar

Mana Anvar

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Neurobiology, UC Berkeley, 2018

Global Health Experience:

  • Studied the neuroanatomy and neurodevelopment of epilepsy mutants using zebrafish seizure and epilepsy models at the Baraban Lab, UCSF; analyzed the prevalence of childhood epilepsy rates in other countries
  • Partnered with The Water Project to fundraise and build a well for the Kitabo Catholic Church Primary School in Uganda
  • Worked with the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women to identify women’s needs and educate the community on Equal Pay and Human Trafficking

Global Health Interest:

  • Cancer epidemiology
  • Women’s health
  • Pediatric Medicine

Carina Ashkar

Carina Ashkar

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Global Disease Biology, UC Davis, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Fundraising for MED Life Club, conducting research

Global Health Interest:

  • Refugee health
  • Women’s health
  • Pediatric care

Alyssa Bercasio

Alyssa Bercasio

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Human Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Researched hematopoietic stem cell trafficking in the Robo4 model with the Forsberg Lab at UC Santa Cruz
  • Supported underrepresented students in the Academic Excellence Program (ACE) at UC Santa Cruz through supplemental learning and mentorship
  • Volunteer as a Health Coach Chair with the Mabuhay Health Center in San Francisco to support and empower patients in advancing their health literacy

Global Health Interest:

  • Neglected Tropical Diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Prevalence of electronic cigarettes and effects on the body

Diamond Coleman

Diamond Coleman

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Biology, Occidental College, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Learned about public health systems and the organization of healthcare in Gaborone, Botswana through shadowing clinics and talking with Ministry of Health officials
  • Identified vulnerable populations in Gaborone and addressed health disparities through discussions and developing an intervention over the course of five months that focused on prenatal care
  • Developed ethical and evidence-based policy opinions by looking at public health care through a Dutch lens in Amsterdam

Global Health Interest:

  • Access to health care
  • Maternal Morbidity
  • Mental Health

Brooklyn Dominguez

Brooklyn Dominguez

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biological Sciences, Double Major in Political Science, Minor in History, Notre Dame de Namur University, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Planned and hosted a Puerto Rico Relief Fundraiser after Hurricane Maria; collected donations of clothing, food, and toiletries that were distributed in Puerto Rico
  • Plan and host annual backpack drives to donate all proceeds to low-income public schools in South San Jose
  • Planned, collected, and created toiletry care packages, including feminine hygiene products, for homeless people in South San Jose

Global Health Interest:

  • Women’s reproductive health
  • Understanding of health for non-English-speaking patients

James Feng

James Feng

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Molecular Environmental Biology, UC Berkeley, 2017

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteer at an urban community farm in San Francisco to provide organic produce and agricultural education to underserved communities

Global Health Interest:

  • Food accessibility
  • Healthcare accessibility
  • Epidemiology

Maeve Forster

Maeve Forster

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biology, McGill University, 2011

Global Health Experience:

  • Taught Tobacco Education in high schools and middle schools along the SF Peninsula for Breathe CA Golden Gate

Global Health Interest:

  • Maternal/child health
  • Environmental impacts on health
  • Tobacco education

Emily Hotchkiss

Emily Hotchkiss

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biological Sciences, Notre Dame de Namur University, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered with the NGO Beyond Fistula in Kenya, to help women post-obstetric fistula to rebuild their lives through education and vocational skills training; worked in the gynocare hospital and helped the local team make home visits to care for program participants
  • Attended a transcultural health care class in Mexico for 2 summers, shadowing doctors from departments such as pediatrics, labor and delivery, and surgery; visited migrant camps and orphanages to provide basic health care, preventative care, and education on basic health care needs

Global Health Interest:

  • Women’s health, specifically cultural stigmas that surround postpartum depression and its impact on women’s overall physical and mental health
  • Empowering women through health education
  • Health and nutrition awareness, improving access to fresh foods and vegetables for vulnerable populations

Taryn Ibach

Taryn Ibach

Country of Origin: South Korea

BA, Journalism, University of Minnesota, 2015

Global Health Experience:

  • Studied the challenges and opportunities of the health system and health technology industry in South Africa
  • Supported global patient and public communications and product launches for hepatitis C drugs

Global Health Interest:

  • Health system design
  • Patient access to treatment
  • Health tech

Shivali Joshi

Shivali Joshi

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Biology and Anthropology, Claremont McKenna College, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked with incarcerated students at a local prison facility to create educational resources regarding HIV/AIDS care, prevention, and support protocols for the facility
  • Conducted clinical research on the socio-cultural barriers to care for patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease using the Social-Ecological Model to determine the ways in which environment, SES, culture, language access, structural barriers, etc. impact disease outcomes
  • Created a 6-week peer-to-peer mentorship program that worked on childhood obesity and empowering young children to understand and define what “healthy choices” meant for them through education

Global Health Interest:

  • Reproductive justice advocacy through maternal, sexual, and reproductive resource, health/healthcare access, and body autonomy
  • Utilization of cultural- and community-based methods and understandings of healing as legitimate forms of community health care
  • Effects of policing and policy on immigrant, refugee, and oppressed communities’ health, specifically development of chronic diseases, lowered immunity, etc., due to trauma

Anika Kalra

Anika Kalra

Country of Origin: India

BA, Molecular and Cell Biology, Minor in Global Poverty and Practice, UC Berkeley, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Conducted maternal and child health education sessions with women and children in villages, schools, and sewing centers in Jaipur, India
  • Volunteered at a private health clinic in Jaipur, India with the NGO A Broader View Volunteers, with a focus on understanding and learning about the health care system of India and comparing it to the US
  • Worked as a patient scribe for three years at UCSF Medical Center with Patient Support Corps at UC Berkeley to help expand patient understanding, decision making, and communication with medical teams

Global Health Interest:

  • Improving access to family planning and reproductive health
  • Women’s health policy, advocacy, and education for empowerment
  • Infectious diseases

Wendy Kessman

Wendy Kessman

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Community Studies, Gender Sex & Sexuality, UC Santa Cruz, 2010

Global Health Experience:

  • 10 years’ experience in documentation and community organizing in LGBTI NGO/non-profit spaces
  • Produced published research on South Africa’s transgender and intersex policy for the European Union and qualitative research on LGBTI persons and families across five southern African countries for regional organizations/foundations
  • Coordinated research and health interventions for LGBTI persons and MARPs in eSwatini

Global Health Interest:

  • Strengthening research produced by NGO/non-profit community-based organizations to bridge gaps in accessibility
  • Economic exclusion and the impact on health access for LGBTI persons (in Southern Africa, but not limited to the region)
  • International policy in relation to legal gender recognition and the impact on stigma, health and economic access

Sneha Krish

Sneha Krish

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biology; BA, Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Taught dental hygiene for children in mobile clinics run by MEDLIFE in Lima, Peru
  • Assisted in a rural vaccination clinic and built toilets, compost pits, and irrigation systems in a Tamil Nadu village
  • Conducted independent research on how water quality and sanitation techniques affect the rate of vector-borne disease transmission in the Dominican Republic

Global Health Interest:

  • Healthcare access and quality of treatment in resource-poor regions
  • Maternal and neonatal health
  • Healthcare policy change: creating a system that best serves those who seek assistance

Harry Lin

Harry Lin

Country of Origin: Myanmar

BA, MCB, Molecular and Cellular Biology, UC Berkeley, 2017

Global Health Experience:

  • Witnessed how clinics function in Myanmar

Global Health Interest:

  • Cancer
  • Communicable diseases
  • Preventative medicine

Sunny Lin

Sunny Lin

Country of Origin: Taiwan

BS, Public Health, UC San Diego, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Conducted a qualitative study on the decision-making process of how mothers decide where to give birth and the factors determining the satisfaction rate of their birth experiences in Luweero, Uganda
  • Directed Public Health Brigades at UC San Diego as co-president for two years and aided Global Brigade’s efforts in improving health conditions in rural Honduras
  • Helped Mandarin-speaking and homeless clients at Jewish Family Service navigate through various services provided by the organization and other social services as a Food Pantry Intern

Global Health Interest:

  • Maternal and infant health in low-resource areas, such as increasing attendance rates and effectiveness of antenatal care and reducing preventable maternal mortality
  • Provider training and program quality improvement for patient care at health care facilities
  • Research ethics in global health

Sigal Maya

Sigal Maya

Country of Origin: Turkey

BS, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Koc University, 2018

Global Health Experience:

  • Built sanitary services for a rural village in Fiji

Global Health Interest:

  • Health promotion
  • Maternal and child health

Chelsea Nash

Chelsea Nash

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biology, Minor in Spanish, Virginia State University, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Conducted quantitative research on the prevalence and distribution of type two diabetes and its risk factors among residents in St. Kitts and Nevis, West Indies
  • Volunteered at low income health clinic in Oakland, California

Global Health Interest:

  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Sexual health
  • Socioeconomic health disparities

Jacqueline Odiase

Jacqueline Odiase

Country of Origin: Nigeria

BA, Psychology, UCLA, 2017

Global Health Experience:

  • Worked with community-based organization CYSRA in Uganda to implement interventions to lower rates of sexually transmitted infections amongst adolescents
  • Volunteered for the United Nations to combat female genital mutilation (FGM) of adolescent girls in rural areas of Tanzania by mapping hazardous roads where girls were especially vulnerable to becoming victims of FGM
  • Worked as a project policy analyst for the National Growth and Health Study at UC Berkeley School of Public Health to conduct research on the relationship between stress and health, biopsychosocial factors that predict weight, and how stress is passed on to the next generation

Global Health Interest:

  • Infectious diseases in relation to mitigating the determinants and drivers of global disease burdens
  • Innovative and effective use of technology to both advocate for and improve sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Policy and advocacy for preventative medicine in regards to maternal and child health

Guntas Padda

Guntas Padda

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Psychobiology, UCLA, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Provided free medical clinics and services, including health and sanitation presentations, to rural communities in the Dominican Republic
  • Assisted nurses and physicians in patient care as a volunteer at UCLA Medical Center’s ICU, emergency department, and medical-surgical department
  • Educated the community about the history, transmission, and prevention of HIV/AIDS as a member of UCLA’s Pediatric AIDS Coalition

Global Health Interest:

  • Medical practice
  • Epidemiology of communicable and non-communicable diseases
  • Maternal and women’s health

Caihla Petiprin

Caihla Petiprin

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Public Health, UC Berkeley, 2018

Global Health Experience:

  • Lead trips to Mexico for student-athlete volunteers to establish a culture of community service and cultural sensitivity within Cal Athletics by partnering with Steps of Love non-profit to provide long-term mentoring, house and other infrastructure building, and volunteering at orphanages and homework clubs
  • Served on a medical brigade with MEDLIFE - Medicine, Education, Development for Low Income Families Everywhere - to Lima, Peru to host clinics in marginalized areas of the city and work on community development projects such as water accessibility and ecological bathrooms
  • Went to El Salvador with a group of health professionals to host a clinic, activities, and health talks at a local school and orphanage

Global Health Interest:

  • Finding the most effective way to minimize the effects of extreme urban poverty
  • Social justice
  • Implementation science/effective altruism

Izzy Polese

Izzy Polese

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Public Health, UC Berkeley, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Interned for the HEAL (Health Equity Action Leadership) team to help organize intensive training sessions for frontline health professionals from a broad range of countries and cultures, centered on values of health equity and social medicine
  • Worked as an assistant director for a free health and social services clinic for Berkeley’s unhoused population
  • Assisted in the startup of a screen-printing business through an economic development organization on the Yakama Indian Reservation and helped create a more culturally relevant financial literacy training for employees

Global Health Interest:

  • Childhood trauma and the impact of adverse experiences on health
  • Health among indigenous communities and their barriers to quality care
  • Impacts of social determinants of health in resource-denied community settings

Meera Rao

Meera Rao

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Physiological Sciences, UCLA, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Served as a translator and assisted physicians in clinical tasks during their annual medical trip to Honduras
  • Volunteer and member of India Friends Association (IFA), a Southern California non-profit focused on grassroots development projects across rural India, for over a decade
  • Worked as a medical scribe for DaVita Dialysis units in Southern California

Global Health Interest:

  • Women’s health in developing countries, with a particular focus on basic hygiene and addressing cultural stigmas preventing appropriate healthcare and health education
  • Mental health, specifically treatment and barriers in differing cultural contexts
  • Healthcare policies, particularly examining those pertinent to reproduction and stem cell research in the US

Mica Reyna

Mica Reyna

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Human Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2017

Global Health Experience:

  • Interned at Virgin de la Luz hospital in Spain for 5 weeks
  • Volunteer at Mobile Clinic in Vacaville since 2017

Global Health Interest:

  • Latin America
  • Immigrant health
  • Preventative medicine

Alina Romanel

Alina Romanel

Country of Origin: Ukraine

BS, Microbiology, UC Berkeley, 2015

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland in the Child Life Department and the Department of Hematology/Oncology
  • Volunteered at Eden Medical Center in the Auxiliary Department

Global Health Interest:

  • Pediatric epidemiology
  • Communicable and non-communicable diseases

Halemah Shuman

Halemah Shuman

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Biological Sciences, Notre Dame De Namur University, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered in the SCVMC Emergency Department, a county hospital dedicated to delivering accessible and quality healthcare to the entire community regardless of socioeconomic status
  • Served as the SCOPE hospital coordinator leader, managing the relationship between SCOPE and SCVMC and interns’ shifts and statuses in the SCVMC emergency department
  • Volunteered with AMCANI to help locate modern medical resources to donate to hospitals in developing countries and organized needed documents

Global Health Interest:

  • Mental health of refugees
  • Improving health care access for vulnerable populations
  • Relationship between trauma and health conditions

Cecily Sotomayor

Cecily Sotomayor

Country of Origin: India

MD, Florida International University, 2016; BS, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012

Global Health Experience:

  • Performed research at Centro Nacional Investigaciones Oncológicas in Madrid, Spain
  • Organized a youth workshop in Guanajuato, Mexico
  • Worked at a health relief clinic in Vieques, Puerto Rico
  • Volunteered at a hospital in Auckland, New Zealand

Global Health Interest:

  • Latin American health disparities
  • Primary care access to marginalized communities
  • Limited resource medicine

Mela Tekeste

Mela Tekeste

Country of Origin: Eritrea

BS, Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, UC Santa Cruz, 2017

Global Health Experience:

  • Serve as Street Outreach Worker for Social Advocates for Youth (SAY), helping youth ages 12-24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness by addressing their most immediate needs; helping youth obtain IDs, fill out employment applications, and complete forms for housing; and working to recruit/inform different age groups from the community who are in need of shelter/housing and other services

Global Health Interest:

  • Malaria in Africa
  • HIV/AIDS

Aya Thabet

Aya Thabet

Country of Origin: Egypt

BS, Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2012

Global Health Experience:

  • Work at the World Health Organization

Global Health Interest:

  • Health systems (service delivery, resilience and emergency response)
  • Health evidence, governance and financing

Hannah Thomas

Hannah Thomas

Country of Origin: Canada

BSc. (Hons), Medicine, University of St Andrews, 2017

Global Health Experience:

  • Chaired InciSioN UK, the national global surgery working group in the UK, and led the first national evaluation of global health curriculum within UK medical schools
  • Coordinated a large, multi-national analysis of the World Health Organization’s Surgical Safety Checklist in high-, middle- and low-resource settings to evaluate uptake and identify strategies for implementation
  • Worked with partners in Haiti and USA to organize a national meeting of neuroscience professionals in Port-au-Prince, to facilitate multi-disciplinary dialogue and advancement of neurosciences in the region

Global Health Interest:

  • Creating collaborative systems to widen access to safe, timely and affordable surgical care
  • Quantifying access to healthcare and surgery for rural women and girls worldwide
  • Implementing preventative strategies to reduce the burden of trauma-related disease in low-resource settings

Zayna Tommalieh

Zayna Tommalieh

Country of Origin: USA

BA, Anthropology, UC Berkeley, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Ethnographic research in Guatemala

Global Health Interest:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Biological citizenship
  • Refugee aid/policy

A.J. Tongson

A.J. Tongson

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Human Biology and Society, UCLA, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Coordinated planning and execution of long-term goals for Samahang Pilipino Advancing Community Empowerment (SPACE), a project focused on increasing access to higher education in predominantly Pilipinx communities around Los Angeles via holistic and academic wellbeing
  • Contributed to a capstone project that explores the advertising and effectiveness of helminth therapies for various health conditions

Global Health Interest:

  • Increasing healthcare access and equity
  • Understanding the intersection of mental health and chronic illness in populations of color

Brooke VanSickle

Brooke VanSickle

Country of Origin: USA

BS, Psychobiology, UCLA, 2019

Global Health Experience:

  • Volunteered with Assessing Resident CI-CARE (ARC) Medical Program, UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center
  • Researched the pathophysiology underlying pediatric epilepsy, UCLA Mathern Lab
  • Volunteered as a camp counselor for children with various disabilities

Global Health Interest:

  • Health disparities among people with disabilities in the global context
  • Pediatric medicine
  • Maternal and child health

Nan Wang

Nan Wang

Country of Origin: China

MA, Social Medicine and Health Management, Zhejiang University, 2018

Global Health Experience:

  • Conducted a study on violence against health workers in Zhejiang Province, China
  • Participated a study on Left-Behind children’s psychological and behavioral problems in rural areas of Zhejiang and Guizhou Province, China
  • Participated a baseline survey report on population health and health care delivery in Northern Wa Special Region 2 of the Shan State and Autonomous Special Region 4 in Eastern Shan State in Myanmar

Global Health Interest:

  • Antibiotic misuse
  • Workplace violence
  • Public health education