Q: Please tell us about yourself – where did you live before Seattle and what were you doing?
A: Before living in Seattle, I was working in Nicaragua as a Program Associate for a health and development nonprofit called Global Brigades. I also spent time in Puerto Rico where I assisted on a research project focused on antenatal stress and anxiety. When I’m not abroad, I tend to gravitate back to the Northwest (Oregon in particular) where I grew up.
Q: What’s your academic focus and what research are you doing as a Research Assistant (RA)?
A: Internationally, my academic focus is in health systems strengthening and how we can both improve upon, and work within, existing structures. As a sub-discipline of this overarching topic, I am exploring climate change adaptation and disaster relief. Domestically, I am interested in homelessness and mental health, especially as relates to substance abuse. As an RA I am working with Brad Wagenaar and Health Alliance International on a number of projects aimed at addressing mental health in the global context. Specifically, I am working on a project in Mozambique concerning screening for depression in low-resource contexts, and integration of treatment for depression and suicidal thoughts into primary care.
Q: What’s been the most valuable part of your Research Assistantship thus far?
A: The opportunity to apply the skills I am learning in class to real-life research questions is unrivaled. Also, this experience has provided me with a phenomenal mentor, whose perspective and advice and has had a large role in shaping my graduate experience.
Courtney Jackson is a recipient of the Department of Global Health Endowed Fellowship for Global Health Excellence, Equity and Impact.