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Student Scholars Support Global Health Research and Programs

Seven students will work internationally with public health programs this summer as part of the Global Health Institute Scholars program, a unique educational experience that prepares students to deliver and evaluate health programs in different countries and cultures.

Through the Global Health Institute (GHI) Scholars program at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH), students receive funding to work on public health research and projects in other countries, an experience that expands their abilities, knowledge, and perspective. A unique educational experience, the program guides students to become more effective public health professionals, whether they work in the United States or abroad.

The first cohort of seven Global Health Institute Scholars has embarked to work abroad on projects in Colombia, Guatemala, India, Ireland, and Mexico this summer. Each of them brings their own background and interests to their GHI Scholars experience.

Preparing Students to Lead in Global Health

The GHI Scholars program prepares students for an increasingly interconnected world by providing opportunities to develop skills in key areas including service learning, cultural competence, program implementation, and global health strategies. Scholars travel abroad to participate in collaborative research and community engaged programs with different academic institutions and organizations worldwide. The experience builds students’ ability to analyze and solve health problems in a range of healthcare systems and settings, and by adapting to different cultural circumstances.

The GHI Scholars program provides funding for an annual cohort of students to work internationally. We are grateful to the generosity of so many supporters who make this program possible! Students who participate in the Global Health Institute Scholars program today will become the global health leaders of tomorrow.

2022 Global Health Institute Scholars

Megan Bounds

Megan Bounds

MPH Global Health Student, MEZCOPH

Site: University of Limerick, Ireland – Ageing Research Centre 
Research Title:  Adverse Outcomes in Older Adults Attending the Emergency Department: Investigating the Potential for Identification of Risk Factors in the Pre-hospital Setting using Clinical Trial and Observational Data 
Funding: Global Health Institute Scholars Fund

Megan is a second-year student in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program at the University of Arizona, in the Global Health concentration. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology and Medical Sciences from the University of Arizona in 2021. Megan is passionate about incorporating public health into medical practice and hopes to attend medical school to become a pediatrician.  During her undergraduate and first year of graduate school, Megan competed for the University of Arizona’s Cross Country and Track and Field Teams. 

“I am looking forward to embracing a new culture while having the opportunity to challenge myself in a different research environment. I have always wanted to study abroad and am very thankful for the opportunity to do that while working towards my academic and professional goals.”

Preet Gandhi

Preet Gandhi, MSc

MD Candidate, The University of British Colombia

Site: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Lago Atitlán, Guatemala 
Research Title: Exposure to persistent pesticides and toxic metals via breastmilk in neonates living in the Lake Atitlan watershed
Funding: Evan and Louise Kligman One Health Scholars Award

Preet is a 1st year medical student who started his MD in 2021 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. 

Prior to beginning his medical degree, Preet worked in several different areas of public and global health, with a primary focus on reproductive, maternal and child health (RMNCH) and health systems development. He completed a Master of Science (MSc) in Global Health in 2020 at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario with a specialization in Business Management. His graduate work focused on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) development in post-conflict settings.

“I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to engage with local global health researchers in Guatemala that have cultivated a positive and genuine relationship with the communities they work with. It’s a unique opportunity to build new technical skills while learning from community members and colleagues from around the world who will be joining us this summer.”

Kaitlyn Johnke

Kaitlyn Johnke

MPH Global Health Student, MEZCOPH

Site: Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México
Research Title: Healthcare access for migrant populations
Funding: Global Health Institute Scholars Fund

Kaitlyn is a full-time dual degree Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Latin American Studies student at the University of Arizona with a concentration in Family and Global Health and is expected to graduate in Fall of 2023. She is passionate about maternal and children’s health issues, especially in populations which have been made to be under-resourced and marginalized. She is a Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo alum and is originally from California. She has worked and lived abroad in Senegal, Spain, Sierra Leone, and Ecuador. Her internship will be with the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica (INSP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico. While there, she will be working on collecting information about healthcare access for migrant populations.

“I am so excited to experience Mexico for the first time and interact with experts in migrant health.” 

Riley Nelson

Riley Nelson

MPH Public Health Policy and Management Student, MEZCOPH

Site: UNIMINUTO, Colombia
Research Title: Increasing Access to Mental Health Services 
Funding: Tinker Field Research Grant

Riley is a full-time MPH Public Health Policy and Management student.  After earning his BS, Riley worked in Bogotá, Colombia as an English and Mathematics teacher. Although he currently calls Phoenix home, his heart is in Colombia where he looks forward to doing public health work and making a positive impact in the city he loves.

“I hope to gain the skills necessary to work efficiently with a team from a different culture.”

Sandra Rodriguez Quintana

Sandra Rodriguez Quintana, MD

MPH Family and Child Health Student, MEZCOPH

Site: Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Lago Atitlán, Guatemala
Research Title: Exposure to persistent pesticides and toxic metals via breastmilk in neonates living in the Lake Atitlan watershed 
Funding: ZFF Scholarship Fund

Sandra has a doctorate degree in Medicine from the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara and is currently completing her Master’s in Public Health in Family and Child Health at the MEZCOPH. During her training, she has had the opportunity to serve in rural and minority communities, experiencing the health disparities within the health system. Sandra is a woman passionate about child development and breastfeeding promotion and hopes to learn more about the complexity that affects vulnerable communities of mothers and children from an interdisciplinary perspective. She is very excited for the opportunity to collaborate in this research that will provide meaningful knowledge and skills, in addition to valuable information for future preventive interventions.

“Access to quality health and an optimal development should be a right for all babies and children. Global efforts must continue to assist in developing better health practices that encourage equity and social justice in this population. I look forward to creating partnerships with researchers and international entities that are committed to promoting a positive impact in the lives of mothers and children, maintaining respect and awareness of the cultural diversity.”

Priyanka Ravi

Priyanka Ravi, BDS, MDS

PhD Health Behavior Health Promotion Student, MEZCOPH

Site: Public Health Research Institute of India, Mysore, India
Research Title: Acceptance of breast cancer screening among rural women
Funding: Global Health Institute Scholars Fund

Priyanka is a Public Health Dentist by training from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India. She worked with the ICMR-National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), Noida, India as a Scientist (2016 – 2018) by involving in community level oral cancer screening, diagnosis in the urban slums of New Delhi and providing community level health education on tobacco cessation. She has trained doctors, dentists, nurses, public health professionals, and primary health workers in oral cancer screening and tobacco cessation. At NICPR, she also worked with the WHO FCTC Global Knowledge Hub on Smokeless Tobacco on Global smokeless tobacco control policies which focus on the Article 13 of WHO FCTC “Tobacco Advertisement, Promotion and Sponsorship” on smokeless tobacco products with special focus on Internet sale and flavors that are added to the smokeless tobacco products to attract young adults.

Priyanka was awarded the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) Travel Grant to attend the World Cancer Congress at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She later worked as a Senior Resident in the Department of Public Health Dentistry, Centre for Dental Education and Research (CDER), All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi (2018 – 2021). At CDER she was involved in the National Oral Health Program provided scientific inputs for developing eDantSeva a national oral health promotion website and she was a resource person in conducting national training for oral health promotion for schoolteachers, nurses, and Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) medical practitioners in oral health promotion. She also provided preventive and curative dental services including examination, restoration, scaling, and dental extraction services to the rural population in the state of Haryana, India. 

“I am very excited about this wonderful Global Health Institute Scholars Program opportunity. I look forward to working with women tobacco farmers and learning about the reproductive health challenges through focus group discussions. This will be an exciting experience to interact with tobacco farming community and understand ground level problems impacting women’s health.”

Dasy Jazmin Resendiz

Dasy Jazmin Resendiz

MPH Health Behavior Health Promotion Student, MEZCOPH

Site: Clinica Integral Almas, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico
Research Title: Binational Care and the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic at the Clinica Integral Almas: Intended Outcomes and Unintended consequences between Patients and Health Care workers from the U.S. and Mexico 
Funding: Tinker Field Research Grant

Dasy is a third-year graduate student completing a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior Health Promotion and a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies.  Dasy was born in the rural community of Rioverde, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and grew up in a small town in Ringwood, Oklahoma. She completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Kansas in 2018. Her educational and personal experiences motivate her to continue to learn more about rural and underserved communities. Dasy’s interests in learning more stems from her passion for addressing the importance of engaging with communities through quality community-based research approaches. 

“My public health education and personal background have taught me that to be an effective public health professional, one should learn how trust and respect are earned among underserved communities. This global health experience with the Clinica Integral Almas will provide me with the necessary skills to garner trust and respect among Indigenous communities. In the future, I hope to work alongside underserved and rural indigenous communities in the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala. I firmly believe that this internship and global experience will prepare me for the work I intend to do after graduation.”

Congratulations to our GHI Scholars, we look forward to hearing about your projects!

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