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2016 Dornsife Public Health Fellows

Meet our 2nd year cohort of Dornsife Public Health Fellows.

Benjamin Borchers

Benjamin Borchers

Hometown: North Wales, PA
Undergraduate Institution: West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate Major: BS, Health and Physical Education
Year of Graduation: 2011
MPH Concentration: Health Management and Policy 
Faculty Mentor: Jonathan Purtle 

Ben is interested in exploring and helping to bridge the gap of health disparities that occur within the urban environment of the city that he calls home, Philadelphia. He is most interested in working with underserved populations, with a specific interest in mental health and substance abuse disparities that occur within the homeless and veteran population. He is currently working on research focused on comprehensive state mental health parity legislation with his faculty mentor, Jonathan Purtle. After graduating from the Dornsife School of Public Health MPH program, Ben would like to take the skills and principles that he learned and work in the field of health policy analytics.

Kathryn Boyle-Steed

Kathryn Boyle-Steed

Hometown: Salem, NH
Undergraduate Institution: University of New Hampshire
Undergraduate Major: BA, Psychology
Year of Graduation: 2012
MPH Concentration: Epidemiology
Faculty Mentor: Félice Lê-Scherban

Kate believes that health is a human right and that healthy lives are necessary to social equity. Kate’s interests in health disparities began by observing patterns of social determinants of health while working for a dating violence organization, a psychiatric hospital, an underfunded school, and adolescent health clinics. Kate is particularly interested in working at the local level due to its focus on community involvement, need for accountability, and potential for observable impact. Kate aspires to work as an epidemiologist for a city health department using data and community input to help strengthen community health, justify funding for needed programs, and encourage proactive health behaviors. Kate is most interested in urban health, sexual health, and maternal and child health.

Kelli Kostizak

Kelli Kostizak

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona
Undergraduate Institution: The University of Arizona
Undergraduate Major: Double Major: BA, Communication and English
Year of Graduation: 2015
MPH Concentration: Community Health and Prevention
Faculty Mentor: Augusta Villanueva

Kelli is interested in studying the effects of socio-cultural and socio-behavioral influences on health status. Particularly, Kelli's research interests focus on how health education and increased self-efficacy combat health disparities, specifically in populations with transgenerational trauma. The health disparities Kelli hopes to address include mental health, such as depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as substance abuse and violence. In the future, Kelli hopes to pursue her PhD and continue research on health disparities and historical trauma theory. With this knowledge Kelli hopes to contribute to academia through research and possibly develop health education programs to build self-efficacy of vulnerable populations. As a public health practitioner, Kelli plans to apply social, behavioral, and educational theory to reduce the impact of health disparities with an emphasis on the humanist perspective.

Abigail Mudd

Abigail Mudd

Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Undergraduate Institution: Drexel University
Undergraduate Major: BA, Chemistry
Year of Graduation: 2016 
MPH Concentration: Epidemiology 
Faculty Mentor: Yvonne Michael

Abby Mudd has a love of research. She works with Dr. Yvonne Michael at the Urban Health Collaborative on a Big Data Project with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Her project investigates spatial accessibility to pediatric primary care in Philadelphia. Continuing the work from her practicum, she is completing a descriptive epidemiology analysis of a database she built consisting of multidrug resistant organism (MDRO) screens at St. Christopher's Children's Hospital. As there is no agreed upon best practice for screening for MDROs, such as VRE and MRSA, she hopes her work will add to this field. For her Masters Project, she is working at the Philadelphia Public Health Department in Tuberculosis Control with Dr. Jane Gould. She is investigating how country of origin and time since arrival to the United States relates to pediatric tuberculosis. She is also a TA for the core Methods class and president of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Club.