Meet HGHI’s Fellows

2021 HGHI Summer Undergraduate Fellows

HGHI 2021 Summer Fellows

During the summer of 2021, HGHI supported 70 exceptional students to work with 50 different organizations around the world. We are pleased to introduce them here! Please click on the images below to learn more about each of their experiences.

Mohammed Abuelem, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle, USA
Hilary Adeleke, Joint Committee on Public Health, Boston, USA
Yishak Ali, New York State Health Foundation, New York, USA
Hayat Alkadir, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), New York, USA
Kenji Aoki, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco, USA
Simar Bajaj, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC, USA
Niara Botchwey, Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), Soweto, South Africa
  • Mohammed Abuelem, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle, USA
  • Hilary Adeleke, Joint Committee on Public Health, Boston, USA
  • Yishak Ali, New York State Health Foundation, New York, USA
  • Hayat Alkadir, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), New York, USA
  • Kenji Aoki, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco, USA
  • Simar Bajaj, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC, USA
  • Niara Botchwey, Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), Soweto, South Africa
  • Mohammed Abuelem, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle, USA

    This summer, I am interning at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent research center that analyzes global population health problems using quantitative epidemiologic methods, along with data modeling and visualization techniques. Within IHME, the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study quantifies health loss from various diseases and injuries across the world, along with their risk factors, and helps inform health policy decisions that reduce disease burden. As part of the GBD, my project investigates Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E prevalence that may be attributable to certain risk factors such as access to unsafe water and sanitation. I am specifically conducting a systematic review and extracting relevant data that will be used to model the risk-exposure relationship between Hepatitis A and E and access to unsafe water and sanitation in different regions of the world.
  • Hilary Adeleke, Joint Committee on Public Health, Boston, USA

    My experience with interning for the Joint Committee on Public Health at the Massachusetts State House has been great. As an intern, I prepare memos covering different public health topics, track news coverage about COVID-19, assist in summarizing bills, research constituents' concerns, and more! From attending various events covering COVID-19 regulations, environmental health, maternal health, racial inequity in probation, and more, my perspective on public health has expanded. My supervisor encourages my involvement in topics that interest me. I initially mentioned an interest in maternal health inequity. Now, I attend and document the meetings of the Commission of Racial Inequity in Maternal Health. During this internship, I see people from different walks of life passionately engage in the legislative process to make effective change for millions of people, and it is inspiring.
  • Yishak Ali, New York State Health Foundation, New York, USA

    This summer, I have the pleasure of working with the New York State Health Foundation as an intern on the Policy and Research team. The Foundation is committed to improving the health of New Yorkers through grants in addition to internal research that informs health policy. The hope is to promote programs that are similarly working to advance health care in NY. My main project this summer is working on an upcoming update report on veteran's health that seeks to highlight the veteran population and its needs. I am also assisting in data analysis and visualization for a project looking at the mental health impact of the pandemic on New Yorkers. Overall, I have enjoyed my time at the Foundation, learning a lot about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into guiding health policy.
  • Hayat Alkadir, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), New York, USA

    This summer, I am interning with the Maternal and Newborn Health Thematic Fund (MHTF) at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). I am supporting the development of the 2020 MHTF Annual Report that is delivered to member states and donors summarizing the MHTF-supported work done by headquarters and the dozens of UNFPA country offices and affiliates across the globe on advancing midwifery, emergency obstetric and newborn care, maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response, and the path to ending obstetric fistula. I have been consolidating case studies from dozens of country-level annual reports, selecting pictures, writing paragraphs, and editing the entire draft of the report for clarity and coherence as several UNFPA colleagues contribute to its development. I am deeply inspired by the work and collaborations supported by UNFPA as I read about the challenges faced and resilience demonstrated by midwives and health workers in already fragile health systems to care for mothers and newborns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
  • Kenji Aoki, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco, USA

    SFAF is currently working on finding ways to transition to a transformative justice and harm reduction model that destigmatizes substance use and challenges punitive forms of discipline in the workplace. Given that SFAF serves many individuals with lived experiences with substance use, maintaining archaic policies that reinforce substance stigmatization is counter-productive and hurts the retention of both staff and clients. Thus, our work is centered on creating anti-bias training, employee resource groups, and revising employee handbook policies to reflect the missions of SFAF on an internal level.
  • Simar Bajaj, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC, USA

    CMS Office of Minority Health is an incredible place to engage in impactful health equity work, especially with the current Administration's focus on combating health disparities. The work you do is anything but busy work and is intrinsically connected to the priorities of the Office, as well as your personal interests. I have done everything from developing a framework for CMS components to self-evaluate their health equity focus to working on data highlights focused on expanding access to treatment for opioid use disorder to writing a research report on expanding coverage for intensive behavioral therapy for obesity. The other members of the Office are incredibly supportive, and being in CMS is just an incredible opportunity (and excuse) to meet Harvard alumni across the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Niara Botchwey, Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), Soweto, South Africa

    This summer, I have the pleasure of working within one of Africa's leading research centers, the Perinatal HIV Research Unit in South Africa. PHRU engages in research, policy-formulation, and advocacy concerning HIV-positive and negative people. In my role, I work with our Roads to Health Immunization App, which helps parents and caregivers monitor the health of their children, establish an accurate digital health record of child development, and interact with healthcare professionals while empowering caregivers with childcare information and best practices. I enjoy working with my colleagues across the Atlantic in conducting literature-reviews, coding in NVivo, and bettering the application!
  • Mohammed Abuelem, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle, USA
  • Hilary Adeleke, Joint Committee on Public Health, Boston, USA
  • Yishak Ali, New York State Health Foundation, New York, USA
  • Hayat Alkadir, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), New York, USA
  • Kenji Aoki, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco, USA
  • Simar Bajaj, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC, USA
  • Niara Botchwey, Perinatal HIV Research Unit (PHRU), Soweto, South Africa

2020 HGHI Summer Undergraduate Fellows

HGHI 2020 Summer Fellows

During the summer of 2020, HGHI funded 56 exceptional students to work virtually with 39 different organizations. We are pleased to introduce them here! Please click on the images below to learn about each of their experiences.

Maya Almoussa, Multi Aid Programs (MAPs) and AUB Global Health Institute, Lebanon
  • Maya Almoussa, Multi Aid Programs (MAPs) and AUB Global Health Institute, Lebanon
  • Maya Almoussa, Multi Aid Programs (MAPs) and AUB Global Health Institute, Lebanon

    This summer, I was fortunate to be able to intern at both the American University of Beirut Global Health institute and the Multi-Aid Programs nonprofit, both of which are Lebanon-based. With MAPS, I am developing a Needs Assessment report for Syrian refugees in a southeasten Turkish city that will help in creating a clearer picture of what humanitarian aid services are needed most. With AUB, I helped expand the first COVID timeline and one of the first NGO-empowerment platforms in the MENA region, along with other research-based projects.
  • Maya Almoussa, Multi Aid Programs (MAPs) and AUB Global Health Institute, Lebanon