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Health, Behavior and Society

HBS Newsletter - Fall 2018

Welcome, New Students!

MHS in Social Factors in Health

Erin BurmanErin Burman

Hi, I’m Erin Burman! I’m from Knoxville, Tennessee, and I graduated this May with my Bachelor of Science in Biology from Rhodes College in Memphis. My research interests include housing and health, race-related health disparities, and environmental health. In my free time, I like to read, draw, and go bird watching. I’m so excited to be at JHSPH! 


Jessie ChienJessie Chien

I was born and raised in Los Angeles and earned my undergraduate degree in neurobiology at the University of California, Berkeley. Though initially on a pre-medical track, I soon found my passion for public health after taking classes in the public health department and teaching health to Bay Area teens. For the past two years, I worked for Innovating Education in Reproductive Health at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco. I helped create evidence-based digital curricula and learning tools about sexual and reproductive health for health professions education and helped conduct educational research studies. Having been spoiled by the California coastal climate, you will most likely find me struggling to adjust to Baltimore weather while eating a grilled cheese. 

Lena JewlerLena Jewler

Lena Jewler is originally from Saratoga, CA, and graduated recently from Centre College with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Finance. While there, she was a member of the college's NCAA Division 3 field hockey and lacrosse teams, played french horn in the orchestra, and was actively involved in Greek Life. Lena's research interests center around using behavioral economics principles to create policies that reduce cost and improve quality of life in holistic approaches to end-of-life care that may more closely reflect patient's goals.

Deandre KempDeandre Kemp

I am a U.S. born citizen of Bahamian descent. Having first lived in the Bahamas and moving to the United States at age ten, I was drawn to speculate about cultural differences among nations and  communities, and about how these social differences might impact health. In hindsight, it is clear that these experiences influenced the course of my life tremendously. In 2014, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. Since graduating, I completed a 10-month service project with AmeriCorps Public Allies and I worked for two years for Florida Hospital where I addressed the social determinants of health that impacted the residents of the historic town of Eatonville, which is the oldest town incorporated by African Americans in the U.S. I hope that the Bloomberg School of Public Health will help me to design health interventions, promote health equity, prevent chronic diseases and improve my ability to understand the intersections between cultural and health.

Karl ShiehKarl Sheih

I am a Texan Tarheel, born in Dallas but raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I am an avid fan of fantasy, science fiction, all kinds of films, and classical piano music. Never have I ever met a person about whom I have not found at least one thing interesting, which is why I love to discover new things about people. That sentiment goes for places too. I believe in living life holistically, and I hope I never lose my sense of wonderment.


MSPH in Health Education and Health Communication

Hanaa AhsanHanaa Ahsan

I was born and raised in Kuwait, and I moved to Canada six years ago (it was an adjustment moving from a desert to the Arctic!). I’m one of six siblings and an aunt to a beautiful niece and nephew who I love spoiling! When I’m not working, you will find me at the gym, in the kitchen or watching The Daily Show! I completed my undergraduate studies in Global Health and Health Studies at the University  of Toronto, and I’m so excited to be at JHSPH!


Claire CooperClaire Cooper

I studied Anthropology as an undergraduate at UC Davis, where, after reading Mountains Beyond Mountains (Dr. Paul Farmer's story), I became interested in the social factors that influence health. I have spent my time since then working and volunteering in health organizations in the US and Peru, with the goal of getting a Masters degree (and maybe beyond) to further my career. I am beyond excited to be at the Bloomberg school! In my spare time, I like to read, spend time outside, and explore new restaurants. 

Leticia De los RiosLeticia De Los Rios

Born and raised in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, Leticia De los Rios is a first-year candidate for the MSPH degree in Health Education and Health Communication. In the last three years, she has worked for the Department of State’s Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships and the Office of International Religious Freedom. Before graduating from George Mason University with her B.A. in International Relations in 2015, she interned for both the Open Society Foundation and the Central European University’s Human Rights Initiative in Budapest, Hungary, during her semester abroad, and for the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. Her research interests include international reproductive rights, minority rights, globalization, stigmatization, health and criminal justice reform, and health education among vulnerable communities. 

Xuefan GuanXuefan Guan

My name is Xuefan Guan, and I am an international student from Beijing, China. Last year in June, I completed my undergraduate study in public health at the University of Washington in Seattle and did my internship at the WHO China Office, mainly working with the Tobacco Control Initiatives and Communication Team. I like to spend time with friends in my spare time, watching movies, hiking, and trying out different kinds of foods! I’m very excited to join this big family in HBS, and I'm looking foward to meeting and working with you all!

Megumi Ichimiya Megumi Ichimiya

I am Megumi Ichimiya. I am originally from Japan, and this is my first time to study abroad. Prior to this program, I worked as a business strategy consultant and developed healthcare strategies for governments and companies. During my free time, I enjoy traveling, music, cooking and reading. 


Alyssa JarockiAlyssa Jarocki

Aly Jarocki graduated in 2014 with her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with minors in Gender and Women's Studies and Global Health from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She brings with her seven years of experience in primary prevention of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, including three years as the Prevention and Education Specialist at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services in Madison, Wisconsin. She is passionate about working with young people to build positive healthy relationship skills, and to develop an intersectional, anti-oppressive lens.

Delaney McGuireDelaney McGuire

Delaney McGuire grew up in Lafayette, California, a small town where she developed a love for swimming and performing jazz. In 2013, she moved to New Orleans to get away from California and attend Tulane University, where her passion for jazz strengthened and dedication for public health was ignited. Over the past two years, Ms. McGuire has lived in Atlanta, working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is looking forward to exploring Baltimore’s neighborhoods, food and music scenes, and meeting new public health nerds.

Katie MurrayKatie Murray

Katie Murray is passionate about improving the health of women, and more specifically women in minority communities. With experience in non-profit organizations and LGTBTQ health, she is looking to transition into a career to further assist underserved communities in obtaining the optimal health and healthcare they deserve. After receiving her Master of Science in Health Communication from Northwestern University, she decided to pursue Health Education at Hopkins to provide a public health perspective to her communication theory background. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Amy NguyenAmy Nguyen

My name is Amy Nguyen. I was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where my family settled when seeking refuge in the United States following the Vietnam War. This is why I am passionate about researching how to improve the health of immigrants and refugees all over the world. I received my bachelors degree in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State University last spring. Beyond my public health interests, I started my own portrait photography business, which I plan to continue to utilize in my future in public health. 

Blake ReillyBlake Reilly

Blake Reilly received his undergraduate degree from Connecticut College in American Chemical Society Certified Chemistry and Biochemistry. Most recently, Blake worked at Bates College for four years, culminating his time at Bates as Director of Residence Life in the Office of Residence Life & Health Education and Project Manager in the Department of Athletics. While at Bates, Blake researched, launched, and implemented the college's bystander intervention strategy (Green Dot) with the primary purpose of preventing dating/domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault on campus; he also trained over 800 students in 5-hour trainings, 400 faculty/staff in 2-hour trainings, and 1500 students in 75-minute trainings. Blake also served as the project lead for Bates College when collaborating with Middlebury College for the Mental Health Pathways Project, which explores the rise of mental health burdens (depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness) among college students. The study focuses on the role of connection/belongingness, particularly as it relates to mediating the effects of mental health burdens. In addition to bystander intervention and student mental health, Blake is also interested in masculinity work with young men and topics pertaining to exercise/nutrition.

Stephanie ThamStephanie Tham

I am Stephanie, an international graduate student from Singapore, and I come from a background of biological sciences. My passion for public health stems from my work experience at one of Singapore's largest hospitals. It was there that I discovered my interest in unfolding the current challenges of public health education and communication within my society. Being an avid traveler as well, I enjoy learning about new cultures and cuisines and meeting new people. 


Caitlin ViccoraCaitlin Viccora

Caitlin Viccora is a public health professional with three years' experience in international public health at John Snow, Inc. At JSI, she worked on a variety of nutrition and maternal and child health projects, providing technical assistance on mobile tool development and implementation. In the future, she is interested in exploring the use of technology to improve the health of marginalized populations, particularly with regards to sexual health. Her research interests include harm reduction, reproductive health, HIV, and community health education.

Xiaolei WangXiaolei Wang

I am Xiaolei Wang, and I also go by Leslie. I am originally from Beijing, the capital of China, and then I lived for two years in Hong Kong and three years in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during my undergraduate study. I double majored in Communication Studies and Statistics at the University of Michigan, and my interest is in tackling stigma against people with mental illness to improve the mental health of the people of China. During my spare time, I enjoy exercising, watching movies and cooking a lot.

Wei WeiWei Wei

Hi everyone, I'm Wei from Shanghai, China. I have an undergraduate degree in engineering from Shanghai Jiaotong University. I have experience working in a pharmaceutical company on HIV projects, in a health non-governmental organization working on TB projects, and supporting teaching in rural areas in China. My professional goal is to work in an international organization on projects to alleviate global health problems.


Chao XuChao Xu

I earned a bachelors degree in Public Health Management, and for the past two years, I worked as a public health officer focused on interpreting health data and promoting community-based health programs. I am interested in the social and behavioral factors affecting health, as well as health promotion and health policy. My immediate goal after graduate school is to land a full-time job in community health, strengthening health education and conducting health programs.


MSPH students not pictured: 

Kenjin Chang
Elizabeth Pinyan

ScM in Genetic Counseling

Elizabeth BroadbridgeElizabeth Broadbridge
Liesl graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a minor in Graphic Design. Following graduation, Liesl moved to Washington, D.C., to begin a research fellowship through the National Human Genome Research Institute in Dr. Paul Liu’s lab studying the genetic components of hematopoietic malignancies. In addition to lab work at the NIH, Liesl spent time shadowing genetic counselors, attending conferences, and generally learning as much as possible about the Genetic Counseling profession! Since moving to D.C., Liesl has found community connections by volunteering as a grief counselor for a family support group in Prince George’s County. Outside of school and work, Liesl has taught competitive dance in both Wisconsin and D.C. for the last 7 years and continues to take classes as often as possible!

Amelia MulfordAmelia Mulford
Amelia Mulford is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Hispanic Studies after studying abroad for a semester in Valparaíso, Chile. As a senior in college, she interned with a pediatric genetic counselor at Oregon Health & Science University and developed an interest in late-onset genetic diseases. Amelia previously worked in a behavioral neuroscience lab, examining the effects of apoE genotype and environmental factors on brain structure and function in a mouse model. She was most recently a program coordinator at the health advocacy non-profit Genetic Alliance in Washington, D.C., where she concentrated on maternal-child health and newborn screening educational initiatives. Amelia has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House and with PRS CrisisLink’s CareRing program, providing social support and referral services to at-risk adults. Amelia enjoys cooking, hiking, swimming, and singing in local choirs.

Stephanie RileyStephanie Riley
Stephanie is absolutely thrilled to join the JHU/NHGRI GC Training Program! She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2016 with a double major in Psychology and Child Development and a minor in Biological Sciences. At Vanderbilt, she worked with Dr. Bruce Compas doing research on stress, coping, and communication in families with kids with cancer. She was particularly interested in whether mothers with prior cancer experience (i.e. a relative or close friend with cancer) used better coping mechanisms than mothers without prior cancer experience. Since graduating, Stephanie has spent the past two years volunteering and working at GeneDx as a genetic counseling assistant on their Clinical Genomics team. She had the opportunity to work on the Xome Xpress (rapid WES) team and was a co-author on a paper presented at the 2018 ACMG meeting that summarized the outcome of the first 500 Xpress cases. Stephanie is excited to start her journey at JHU and work with everyone there!

Caralynn WilczewskiCaralynn Wilczewski
Caralynn Wilczewski received her Bachelor of Science with Honors in Biology from Loyola University Chicago in 2013. During college, she worked in patient care at a hospital and participated in undergraduate research. She continued her education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received a PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology in 2018. Her research in Frank Conlon’s lab uncovered a novel role for a chromatin remodeling complex regulating skeletal and smooth muscle type genes in the developing heart. Caralynn received numerous fellowships and awards in support of her research. While in Chapel Hill, Caralynn volunteered with the Adapted Recreation and Inclusion program, teaching swimming lessons and facilitating social interactions for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. She also worked as a hotline advocate providing crisis counseling for a domestic violence agency. In her spare time, Caralynn engages in public science outreach, using 3D-printed models of congenital heart disease to share her passion for science and genetics.

PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Fernanda AlonsoFernanda Alonso
I was born and raised in Mexico City, where the majority of my family still lives. After completing my law degree and working for a few years in Mexico, I moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue my Master of Laws in Global Health Law at Georgetown University. I have been living in D.C. for the past five years, working at the intersection between law and public health policy. My main professional interests include the regulation of risk factors for non-communicable disease and drug policy. I am also a die-hard soccer fan, a master scuba diver and I love to travel.

Carmen CroninCarmen Cronin
Carmen has five years of experience designing, implementing, and evaluating health communication programs covering a wide range of topics, populations, and contexts. Her research embraces a socio-ecological approach and leverages participatory and mixed methods to empower marginalized groups. Recently, Carmen’s work has focused on measuring social norms relating to female genital mutilation, menstrual hygiene, and discrimination toward children with disabilities. Her international experience includes projects based in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. In 2015, Carmen received a Fulbright Research Grant to Uganda, where she carried out research with adolescent girls and women in urban, rural, and refugee contexts to understand their experiences with menstruation.

Joelle RobinsonJoelle Robinson
Joelle Robinson is the founder and principle of Rodia, a consulting collaborative comprised of individuals, businesses, and organizations working to improve health and create an equitable society. As a public health professional for the past ten years, Joelle has worked in local and federal government, implementing and evaluating programs and conducting research to inform programs and policies, while simultaneously working directly in communities on food sovereignty and food justice issues within the District of Columbia. Joelle currently serves on the D.C. Food Policy Council and is a Fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders program. She is active in her neighborhood civic organization and belongs to several collectives of black farmers and organizers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Joelle is inspired by a passion for promoting community service and social and systemic equity. She is working to facilitate community participatory action research that directly informs the development and transformation of government and institutional policies. Joelle is a first year PhD student in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, a Brown Scholar, and is looking to enhance her practical experiences with advance theoretical and methodological grounding to inform her continued work.

PhD students not pictured:
Chenery Lowe
Osamudiame Uzzi