Valentine Wanga, PhD student, Department of Epidemiology interns at the UNAIDS
Valentine Wanga, PhD student, Department of Epidemiology interns at the UNAIDS
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Welcome back, students! This summer our global health community both had fun and were very productive. Check out summer highlights of activities and accomplishments of global health students. From Nepal to Botswana to Geneva and more - enjoy these student photos and read about their summer experiences!



Kelsey Bilek
MPH student, DGH
Method Choice Intern, USAID

Kelsey spent the summer interning at USAID in Washington DC through Global Health Fellows Program-II/PHI in the Office of Population and Reproductive Health. As the Method Choice Intern, she assisted with support and scale-up of the contraceptive method DMPA-SC, more commonly known as "Sayana Press” (an easy-to-use hormonal birth control option for women). Much of the work she did is also informing her thesis research, namely exploring associations between use of contraceptive methods and HIV-status. Throughout her time at USAID, Kelsey enjoyed the opportunity to work on her thesis, meet advisers, and connect academic experiences with day-to-day work in the office. 

Mark Fernandez 
PhD student, Pathobiology, DGH

Mark and his girlfriend went backpacking in Utah, visiting Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. They started their trip with an 18-mile hike through "The Narrows," an aptly named trek through the Virgin River in Zion. Another Zion hike they enjoyed was the "Subway," a winding river path leading to a cavernous enclosure popular among canyoneers. The couple’s main journey at Bryce Canyon was the "Under-the-Rim Trail," a 20-mile hike through woodlands and picturesque hoodoos.



Zhibing (Cara) Zhou
Medical student, School of Medicine​
Global Health Immersion Program Student Intern, Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship

Zhibing spent the summer in Nepal working on a project centered around female reproductive health. This project aimed to assist DCP in improving the quality and measuring the effectiveness of introductory teaching materials on female reproductive health for 7th- to 10th-grade students in rural communities served by Dhulikhel Hospital. The project provided a concrete and concise basis for educators at Department of Community Programs to prepare for and teach lessons in the new curriculum, which could be a building block for related materials in the future. 

Katherine Shulock 
MPH student, DGH
Peace Corps Botswana

Katherine has been volunteering with the Peace Corps in Ramotswa, Botswana for the past three years. She worked as a Clinic and Health Team  Peace Corps volunteer to the Ramotswa Youth Friendly Services. The aim of the Ramotswa YFS Clinic is to provide young people (ages 10-24) with sexual and reproductive health services and information, in a friendly, safe, and confidential manner. In October Katherine is moving to the capitol city to complete an extension position with the Ministry of Health Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) Office. Read her blog



Camille Puronen
MPH student, DGH
Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala 

Camille spent the summer working on projects for the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala - a clinical trial protocol, and development of the brand new adult hematology/oncology fellowship at the UCI. Pictured is Camille and other new fellows gathering for their orientation.



Sarah Maze 
Medical student, School of Medicine​
Global Health Immersion Program Student, Global Opportunities (GO) Health Fellowship

Sarah had the opportunity to work on a project focused on Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Dhulikhel, Nepal. Throughout her experience with DH, Sarah collaborated with the Community Programs, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Nutrition, and Diabetes Education Departments to create educational materials and curriculum for a weekly GDM education session. Among many other projects, she designed a patient-specific brochure and diet infographic to be distributed to patients upon diagnosis, after the education session, or, in future, to be part of a diabetes education display corner at the hospital. Sarah hopes to be involved in the project moving forward. 



Brenda Kharono 
MPH student, DGH
African Empowerment Hub Uganda

Brenda traveled to Uganda (her home country) to work with the African Empowerment Hub Uganda, an NGO that provided academic counseling and financial support to children. The AEHU team visited various schools to promote menstrual health and hygiene among school going children and special needs children with minimal access to sanitary care, as well as promote sexual reproductive health and rights. Brenda helped raise funds for menstrual hygiene management kits containing reusable sanitary pads, underwear, and basic menstrual education. Currently AEHU has extended its work to providing tuition support and parent mentorship to create a platform for parental involvement in the children’s upbringing. 

Roshan Khatri
MPH student, DGH
Strengthening Care Opportunities Through Partnership in Ethiopia (SCOPE) Fellowship

Roshan worked on projects in Nepal, Ethiopia and Liberia this summer! He started the summer collaborating on the study ‘Effectiveness of Nonprofit Health System in Nepal’, and visited non-profit and public health facilities to conduct surveys and interviews. Roshan also worked with the SCOPE team in the Faith Leaders Advocating for Maternal Empowerment (FLAME) study in Ethiopia. He ended the summer in Liberia, working with a non-profit where the team was able to register a girls shelter home that also provided children with education and health care. He also helped establish a blood bank there and devise protocol and training. 

Zhaixing Gao
MPH student, DGH
Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship

Zhaixing worked in the Dhulikel Hospital and helped the local team develop the study proposal of a health care system study as well as conducted the pilot interviews. She loved the new experiences she gained while traveling (sometimes driving through muddy landslides) in Nepal with her colleagues. Zhaixing was able to visit the district office, outreach centers, and governmental primary health care center and discuss quality, accessibility, efficiency of health care service. She learned to be flexible and push herself to communicate with people despite language barriers. 


Valentine Wanga  
PhD student, Department of Epidemiology 
Global Opportunities (GO) Health Fellowship

Valentine had an internship with the executive office (EXO) at UNAIDS, Geneva. Among many other things, she participated and supported the EXO follow-up from two expert meetings bringing together expert researchers and policy-makers to specify the main themes of the discussions including pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention, political engagement, HIV testing, and investment. Valentine ended her internship by presenting at the AIDS conference in Amsterdam. She gained a better understanding of the advocacy work that UNAIDS does through the different departments that the organization has, including prioritizing inclusion of key populations as well as promoting a human rights-approach to the fight against HIV.

Katarina Ost
MPH student, Department of Health Services
Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship

Katarina worked at Priestly Center for International Climate at the University of Leeds in England. The center is commited to studying climate change and its impact on society and ecological systems. She had the opportunity to work with one of their newer members and research chair, Dr. Lea Berrang Ford. During her time there, Katarina spent time studying literature on weather variability and malaria and doing a series of data analyses. She gained an appreciation of understanding data and setting up for success rather than rushing into the process of data analysis.