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Connect with Current Public Health Students

The Dornsife Ambassadors are student representatives from the Master of Public Health (MPH) and Master of Science programs at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health who volunteer to help at recruitment events and share their experiences with prospective students.

Throughout the application process, prospective students meet and interact with our ambassadors during class visits, open houses, virtual sessions, and accepted student days.

Dornsife Ambassadors are also available to talk individually to prospective students and provide guidance and advice about both on-campus and online programs.

If you would like to chat with a Dornsife Ambassador please contact our admissions team at

Follow us on Instagram @drexelpubhealth for more glimpses into student life at Dornsife.

Meet our Dornsife Ambassadors

Read more about our students below, including details of our second-year students' Applied Practical Experiences (APE) and Integrative Learning Experiences (ILE)‚Äč in their own words.

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Caleb Adeoye
Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
MPH, Health Management & Policy

About Caleb

Why I Chose Dornsife: This was the school that ticked all the boxes for me in terms of the program outline for the specific course I wanted to do, and it aligned best with the career goals.

Research Interests: Health Services Management and Administration, Community Health

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Ademola Akinkunmi
Pikesville, MD
MPH, Epidemiology (online 12-month program)

About Ademola

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because I want to be a part of the great things happening there.

Research Interests: Infectious Diseases, Maternal and Child Health, Health Services and Outcomes, and Collaborative Research

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Jalayna Antoine
Miami, FL
MPH, Environmental and Occupational Health

About Jalayna

Why I Chose Dornsife: I choose this school because of the location. I'm very into improving environmental health conditions and I know Philly is condensed with lots of concrete and environmental factors that may perpetuate negative health outcomes in communities and Dornsife works vey broadly and closely with these communities to better access and outcomes.

Research Interests: Water Toxicology, Climate Policy, and Green Infrastructure Initiatives

My APE: I worked with the Overbrook Environmental Education Center to address community concerns around environmental hazards like lead, bad air, vacant lots, and green infrastructure.

Other Activities: Research Assistant and Orientation Leader

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Edmond Appiah
Kumasi, Ghana
MPH, Epidemiology

About Edmond

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose to pursue graduate studies at Dornsife School of Public Health because of the practical learning and research experience that suits my career and academic goals. The research centers, resources, and programs at Dornsife demonstrate the school's strong research inclination. I am therefore confident that the highly intellectual and research-stimulating atmosphere at Drexel University will equip me with the skills to address health disparities and build more healthy communities.

Research Interests: Cancer Epidemiology

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Laxmisupriya Avadhanula
Bear, DE
MPH, Community Health and Prevention

About Laxmisupriya

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of their diverse research and work in the field of public health. Dornsife fights for health as a human right while empowering and equipping students with the tools they need to do the same.

Research Interests: Youth & Adolescence, Refugee & Immigrant Health, Behavioral Health, and Health Inequity

My APE: Health Intern at the Nationalities Service Center. Created digital infographics, created intake forms for the Women's Health Program, and wrote an evaluation report of the Women's Health Program.

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Marissa Bacon
Philadelphia, PA
MPH, Epidemiology (online program)

About Marissa

Why I Chose Dornsife: Of the many MPH programs I considered, Drexel was the only program that I felt would allow me to tailor my degree experience exactly how I wanted. Other programs were often too general, but at Drexel I have the opportunity to concentrate my degree in epidemiology while still taking classes that interest me and will help shape my development. Although I am an online student, I still feel connected to the Drexel community and have several opportunities to visit and interact with those on campus.

Research Interests: Social Determinants of Health, Health Literacy, Data Analysis and Research Methods

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Reshasri Varma Bolisetty
Hyderabad, Telangana, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Reshasri

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of its course structure that has various electives and research opportunities that provide me with acquiring skills in conducting public health research and succeed professionally in this field.

Research Interests: Infectious Diseases, Cancers, Cardiovascular Diseases, Clinical Trials

My APE: I worked with a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop connection, purpose and resilience among youth. I conducted literature research studies, developed curriculum and networked with other schools and communities to partner with the organization and fostered in developing online directory that focuses on improving social and emotional wellness among youth and families.

My ILE: My ILE project involves examining the association between physical activity and diabetes among the U.S adult population. I will be using National Health and Nutritional Health Survey (NHANES) for my analysis.

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Joshua Bozym
Scranton, PA
Executive Master of Public Health (EMPH)

About Joshua

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife for its affiliation and connections to the Northeast and community it fosters in and outside Philadelphia. I am located in Scranton, PA, roughly 2 hours north of Philadelphia, and with my program, due to the hybrid component, I feel extremely well connected to the school and its teaching staff. My long-term goal is joining a hospital network's administration staff, in supporting value-based health strategies. Drexel is allowing me to align my academic research interests while furthering my own career.

Research Interests: Health Policy, Health Literacy and Communication, Biostatistics

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Khadijah Bundick
Roanoke, VA
MPH, Urban Health

About Khadijah

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of the distinctiveness of the program.

Research Interests: Maternal Reproductive Health (Research), Health Policy/Inequities

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Divya Chanda
Mathabhanga, West Bengal, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Divya

Why I Chose Dornsife: I made the deliberate choice of Dornsife, for it was here that my latent potential was discerned when I had yet to perceive it fully. Their unwavering belief in my capabilities resonated profoundly with me, compelling me to become part of a community that not only nurtures growth but also celebrates the journey of self-discovery and development.

Research Interests: Intellectual Disabilities Inclusive Clinical Trial Analysis, Immigration Epidemiology

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Bikiltu Dirbaba
Philadelphia, PA
MPH, Epidemiology

About Bikiltu

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because I was impressed with the variety of ongoing research and the quality of the public health program. The commitment of the school to address health disparities and ensure health for all is very impressive.

Research Interests: Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Infectious Disease Epidemiology

My APE: I was a FIRE fellow at the Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST) Center at Dornsife School of Public Health. I worked on workplace violence prevention project.

My ILE: My ILE project is on risk for heart failure in cancer survivor patients.

Other Activities: I am Dornsife International Research fellow and the treasurer for the Student Government Organization at Dornsife.

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Daniel (Dan) Epstein
Norfolk, MA
MPH, Epidemiology (minor in Global Health)

About Dan

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife for the wide variety of MPH concentrations Drexel has to offer. With Drexel University located in the heart of Philadelphia, I know I can help make a difference in the larger neighborhood of University City and beyond. Also founding dean, Jonathan Mann, had similar philosophical principles as my public health hero, Dr. Paul Farmer who both promoted the idea of health is a human right worldwide.

Research Interests: Global Health Equity, Climate Change, Health Care Quality, Maternal and Child Health & Nutrition

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Becca Hernandez
San Antonio, TX
MS, Infection Prevention & Control

About Becca

Why I Chose Dornsife: Small classes and great resources for online students.

Research Interests: Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Infection Prevention

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Ripon Hosain
Singapore/ Dhaka, Bangladesh
MS, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

About Ripon

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of the excellent research facilities available here.

Research Interests: Occupational Diseases, Biostatistics

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Tahiyya Khan
Orlando, FL
MPH, Community Health and Prevention

About Tahiyya

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of the numerous opportunities that were provided.

Research Interests: Maternal and Child Health, Global Health

My APE: I completed my APE with a program called Bridging The Gaps, where I attended seminar sessions while working at a community site as an intern. The site is called Heights Philadelphia, a non-profit organization that provides resources to minority students in obtaining college and career success. I assisted incoming high school students with math and led an elective class called Arts, Crafts, and Expressions that I created with two interns. The class focused on concepts similar to Home Economics such as nutrition, sewing, debate, environmental impact, and exercise through dance.

Other Activities: I am involved in Student Government Organization and Maternal Child Health Student Organization

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Fahamida Khanam
Brooklyn, NY
MPH, Epidemiology

About Fahamida

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because it embodies the notion that health is a human right and provides students opportunities that tackles the public health disparities both in and out of the classroom. Dornsife has outstanding faculty and mentors that support students throughout their academic journey.

Research Interests: Mental Health Epidemiology, Disease Prevention and Maternal and Child Health

My APE: Intern for Village Care Family Services, a nonprofit organization for services for special needs children/autistic children in Philadelphia.

Other Activities: Research Assistant, Social Media Coordinator for the Maternal and Child Health Student Organization (MCHSO)

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Leah Kleintop
Allentown, PA
MPH, Health Management and Policy (minor in Health Economics)

About Leah

Why I Chose Dornsife: I choose Dornsife to have the opportunity to study in Philadelphia and because of its commitment to fight for healthcare as a human right.

Research Interests: Health Equity, Quality Improvement

My APE: I completed my APE at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I was part of a social research team collecting pediatric caregiver data in the emergency department related to social resource utilization and access.

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Madison Knight
Clayton, DE
MPH, Health Management and Policy

About Madison

Why I Chose Dornsife: I choose Dornsife because they have multiple great programs to choose from and when I was looking into joining Dornsife, I was told so many amazing things that became true and I knew it would be a great choice and now that I am here it feels like home!

Research Interests: Behavioral and sexual health policy, also very open to any and all opportunities

My APE: Working with The Collaborative Center for Legal Epidemiology, evaluating law as an intervention to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities related to HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and Tuberculosis. I worked on the Drexel team for this project supporting the identification of the types of laws that should be examined in the project. This includes laws that affect the social detriments of health and, in turn, affect the risks or outcomes of the target infections among specified populations. I also did literature research on questions related to these topics, which will serve as background to a Delphi Survey of experts who are advising the project.

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Oleksandr Kolesnikov
Philadelphia, PA
MPH, Global Health

About Oleksandr

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife for their well-respected program, established curriculum, diverse and supportive faculty, and public health initiative programs both in Philadelphia and beyond.

Research Interests: Cancer Epidemiology, Infectious Disease, Disease Prevention, Clinical Research, and Health Equity

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Parnika Lal
Delhi, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Parnika

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because I found the MPH Epidemiology curriculum fitting my interests and future goals. Also, there is a range of minors available for students to choose from in the program.

Research Interests: Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Maternal & Child Health

My APE: My APE project was with the DSPH Research Office where I worked as a Research Assistant to support faculty in their research activities.

Other Activities: Teaching Assistant for PBHL-510

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Alysha Melnyk
Mohnton, PA
MPH, Global Health

About Alysha

Why I Chose Dornsife: Dornsife offers the school and work balance I was searching for. Since completing my Bachelor of Science in Biology at Susquehanna University in 2014, I have worked with ECRI (an international medical nonprofit). I always knew I would go back to school, but I was so passionate about growing my career at ECRI that I needed to find a program that I could complete with a full-time work schedule. Additionally, I was searching for a program that could truly compliment the work I do. Dornsife provides me with that balance, and I am happy I can build my career and gain additional knowledge at school simultaneously. Despite already working in the public health field, I find Dornsife continually offers new resources, varied perspectives and additional knowledge that allows me to grow inside and outside the classroom.

Research Interests: Global Health, Health Policy & Health Care Delivery, Behavioral Science & Health Communication

My APE: I provided E-learning Technical Support for the PCORI Health Care Horizon Scanning System (HCHSS). I specifically worked on the PCORI Horizon Scanning Database which is a part of HCHSS, and was developed to make health care technology innovation information more easily accessible to the public. In my role providing E-learning Technical Support, I helped to create user-friendly and accessible resources to help individuals navigate the PCORI Horizon Scanning Database.

Other Activities: I am a member of the American Public Health Association (APHA) and have participated in the Dornsife Case Competition (2021 and 2022).

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Karlin Moore
Missoula, MT
MS, Biostatistics

About Karlin

Why I Chose Dornsife: Dornsife was the Goldilocks school for me: an 18 month program, a 2 hour train ride from my family in northern VA, a small-class size, renowned faculty whose research interests aligned with my own, and located in an exciting city. I'm very happy with my decision to attend Dornsife.

Research Interests: Environmental Exposures, Spatiotemporal Statistics, Spatial Statistics, Urban Health, Health Disparities

Other Activities: Research Assistant position

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Marie Owino
Nairobi, Kenya
MPH, Epidemiology (minor in Global Health)

About Marie

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of the school's foundation of healthcare as a human right, and the tangible efforts it makes to enforce this on both the local and global scales.

Research Interests: Global Health, Reproductive and Sexual Health, Maternal and Child Health

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Amruta Popatrao Patil
Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Amruta

Why I Chose Dornsife: The Dornsife School of Public Health has extensive research in diverse fields, has specific centers for these researches like Urban Health Collaborative, A. J. Drexel Autism Institute. It is one of the highest-ranking universities in public health in the USA.

Research Interests: Infectious Disease and Biostatistics

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Randy Persaud
Queens, NY
MPH, Environmental and Occupational Health (minor in Infectious Disease and Population Health)

About Randy

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose to attend Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health because of the different opportunities available and how well the program was a fit for me. While doing research on different programs, Dornsife stood out because of the community involvement and unique tracks of study and faculty research.

Research Interests: Infectious Diseases, Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Prison Health

My APE: I worked with a non-profit organization, Women for a Healthy Environment, within their Healthy Early Learning Centers division. My APE project was to provide support and enhance the Healthy Childcare Champion program, which promotes and educates childcare providers in environmental justice neighborhoods about chemical, physical, and toxic exposures such as lead, radon, poor indoor air quality, and more. During this time, I was involved in exposure education, water testing, and air quality assessments. Other responsibilities included establishing a data collection system, assisting/hosting webinars, attending community education events, staying updated on scientific research related to environmental health, and networking with childcare providers and staff.

My ILE: For my ILE project, I am working with the organization Women for a Healthy Environment as an Assistant Project Manager for a pilot project. The project will explore the impact of shade structures on child playtime in childcare centers in Environmental Justice neighborhoods.

Other Activities: Orientation Leader, This Is Public Health (TIPH) Ambassador, Student Representative for the Drexel's Amplifying Health Equity/Transforming Academia for Equity

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Jackie Pham
Camden, NJ
MS, Epidemiology

About Jackie

Why I Chose Dornsife: I grew up in the Greater Philadelphia area and in the last couple of years worked for the city connecting with the community about public health practices during the pandemic. In educating my community, I've also learned the impact public health can have in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Dornsife's School of Public Health offered a program where I can continue deepen my passion in infectious disease and health sciences as well as gain new skills for an emerging career sector.

Research Interests: Infectious Diseases, Data Science, and Disease Prevention

My MS Data Project: My data analysis project will investigate whether administering antibiotics to children to treat tuberculosis will prevent drug resistance tuberculosis later in life. I am interested in analyzing the relationship between treating an infectious disease and preventing drug resistance.

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Abdallah Sayyid
Beirut, Lebanon
MPH, Community Health and Prevention

About Abdallah

Why I Chose Dornsife: The school develops education and skills while fostering a culture of equity and justice.

Research Interests: Mental Health

My APE: My APE project was conducting a literature review in the medical cannabis department at Drexel regarding the association between medical cannabis and anxiety. I was also analyzing qualitative interviews in this study that delves deep into how cannabis alleviates anxiety in medical cannabis patients.

Other Activities: RA

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Elizabeth Shaffer
Lansdale, PA
MS, Epidemiology

About Elizabeth

Why I Chose Dornsife: They are a great school that is local to my home so I commute in by Regional Rail. The faculty and staff are wonderful and committed to the success and intellectual development of their students!

Research Interests: Epidemiology, Social and Behavioral Intersection of Public Health

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Prayag Shah
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Prayag

Why I Chose Dornsife: Dornsife is recognised as a R1 institute with different research activities. There is also diversity in different researches that are going on, like for urban health research there is a specific center called the Urban Health Collaborative. There is center for autism, too. Also my major is Epidemiology but as the Biostatistics department is interconnected with it, students get to know both of the subjects and gain different skills in those aspects. Flexibility in the minors, other electives is also great part of the school. Also there is much diversity and equity in different cultures.

Research Interests: Epidemiology of Cancer, Cardiovascular Diseases, Infectious Disease and Biotatistics

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Fnu Shweta
Philadelphia, PA
MPH, Epidemiology

About Fnu

Why I Chose Dornsife: Because of its reputation, graduation rate, and of course for being a top research school in the USA

Research Interests: Epidemiology and Cardiovascular Disease

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Dilawer Siddiqi
Los Angeles, CA
MPH, Health Management & Policy

About Dilawer

Why I Chose Dornsife: I felt a strong connection with the commitment towards the Human Right to Health, it encompassed everything that I want to work towards as a Healthcare Professional.

Research Interests: Health Management, Global Health, Cancer Prevention and Etiology

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Gelila Solomon
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
MPH, Health Management and Policy

About Gelila

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because it is a private research university in Philadelphia. I was attracted by the multitude of research areas covered by faculty. In addition, Dornsife is unique in that it is well respected and known within the community through the numerous community collaborations it undertakes. This unique blend of community and academia gravitated me towards choosing Dornsife.

Research Interests: Health Services Research, Non-Communicable Diseases Research, Policy Analysis, Health Systems Development, Health Disparities and Intersection of Clinical Medicine and Public health

My APE: Policy intern at the Urban Health Collaborative. Worked on a CDC health equity grant as part of an external evaluator for Big Cities Health Coalition.

Other Activities: Graduate Research Assistant at AJ Drexel Autism Institute

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Eudes Soussa
Brazzaville, The Republic of Congo
MPH, Epidemiology

About Eudes

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because it is one of top best schools of research and Epidemiology in the United States of America. Dornsife has a wide variety in research and work when it comes to public health; this aspect of the school made me want to be part of this community which aims to improve the health of the population living in this world.

Research Interests: Cardiovascular and Renal Diseases, Hypertension, Disease Prevention, Epidemiology

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Tameka Stephenson Harris
MPH, Epidemiology

About Tameka

Why I Chose Dornsife: The programme shared was quite comprehensive and gives you the level of exposure needed to work efficiently as a medical epidemiologist. The electives were very interesting.

Research Interests: Any medical research

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Tamar Tertulien
Philadelphia, PA
MPH, Epidemiology

About Tamar

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because I heard it has one of the best epidemiology programs in Philadelphia. I was also drawn to the fact that Drexel is connected to many outside organizations. Moreover, I love how Dornsife allows their students to complete an internship and a major project while being a student. It also provides students with many research opportunities. Furthermore, I wanted to network with many faculty and students. I wanted a new change in this new chapter of mine and I thought Dornsife would be the best place to start my new chapter as an aspiring maternal and childhood health epidemiologist.

Research Interests: Black mothers and Health Disparities Regarding Pregnancy-Related Deaths

My APE: Research Assistant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Currently working with them on an ongoing research study regarding teenage distracted driving.

My ILE: To examine if parental behaviors while driving (e.g., seatbelt usage, speeding, and alcohol usage) is associated with the usage of child restraint system (i.e., booster seats, car seats, etc).

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Meghan Waldron
Macungie, PA
MPH, Community Health and Prevention (minor in Global Health)

About Meghan

Why I Chose Dornsife: Drexel stood out to me over other public health programs. The intensity was a bit intimidating, but seeing the results and success stories from graduated students made my decision extremely easy. The connection Drexel has with not only the local community, but internationally as well, showed me how this school can introduce me to new topics, colleagues, and avenues of public health I never experienced or considered before. As a current student, I have mingled with public health leaders, extraordinary professors, and doctors willing to aid in the student's academic and professional success. From only these few experiences at Dornsife, I would recommend it to everyone interested in public health.

Research Interests: Community Health, Global Health, LGBTQIA+ Health, Racial Equity

My APE: I traveled to Peru to work with a small community regarding water storage, parasitic infections from unclean water, and increasing the vaccine rate.

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Tessa Witkowsky
Park Ridge, IL
MPH, Epidemiology (minor in Global Health)

About Tessa

Why I Chose Dornsife: I have always wanted to live on the east coast and had a lot of friends that went to Drexel and always spoke highly of its professors and programs.

Research Interests: Health Inequalities, Access to health promoting resources and its impacts on overall health

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Aletha Wolo
Liberia, West Africa (Currently live in Maryland)
MPH, Global Health (online program) (minor in Infectious Disease and Population Health)

About Aletha

Why I Chose Dornsife: Dornsife provided me with the opportunity of scholarships, resources and also professional development.

Research Interests: Infectious Disease Epidemiology

My APE: My project was completed this summer with Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy and Practice (CTIPP) which was focused on engaging individuals from different backgrounds via social about the importance of understanding trauma, resources that are available within the community, and how to help someone heal without being judgmental.

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Gloria Zacharias
Broomall, PA
MPH, Global Health (12-month program)

About Gloria

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because the program offers so many opportunities to connect with the community and grow as a professional. I was also excited to learn from and work with faculty and students who are passionate about public health. I was a Drexel student for my undergraduate years, so I am very happy to continue to be a Drexel Dragon in Philadelphia!

Research Interests: Global Health, Urban Health, Health Policy/Inequities

This is Public Health (TIPH) Ambassadors

This is Public Health Ambassador ProgramDornsife Ambassadors Madison Knight and Randy Persaud were named to the nationwide Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)’s TIPH Ambassador Cohort for 2023-24.

TIPH Ambassadors help to raise awareness nationally about public health education and careers through virtual events, social media, and special projects. Learn more about the ASPPH student program.

If you are interested in Drexel Dornsife’s public health degree programs:

Ask to talk to a Dornsife Ambassador

Apply to Dornsife

Become a Dornsife Ambassador