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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 speak with a Dornsife Ambassador please contact our admissions team at sphadmissions@drexel.edu.

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.

Adanna Aguta headshot

Adanna Aguta
Odenton, MD
MPH, Global Health (minor in Maternal and Child Health)

About Adanna

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose to attend Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health because of the diversity of opportunities. I was confident that I would receive the most forward-centered schooling in public health. In addition, the unique concentrations that the school of public health has to offer are what attracted me the most.

Research Interests: Maternal and Child Health, Global Health, Health Disparities, Reproductive Health, Policy, and Health Inequities.

My APE: I worked with the AIDS Care Group (ACG) alongside three other group members. The Sustainability of Community Food Program was designed to help decrease the lack of access to nutritious foods for vulnerable households. I was tasked to give a comprehensive plan on how to advertise the Thursday Community food program other than social media and word of mouth in a low or no-cost manner.

My ILE: My ILE project focuses around maternal mortality and maternal health care in Nigeria. This project aims to find the cause of high maternal mortality rates and why the health of these women are declining. Since communicable and infectious diseases are the major health problem in Nigeria, this project will draw more attention on ways to prevent these major problems.

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Octavio Alanis
Maywood, IL
MPH, Epidemiology

About Octavio

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of the research being done by the faculty. I was specifically interested in the SALURBAL project led by the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative and thankfully I have been able to join the team as a Graduate Research Project Assistant.

Research Interests: Clinical research, Urban Health, Data Analysis and Public Health Consulting

My APE: I worked with Healthshare Exchange (HSX), a non-profit Health Information Exchange in Philadelphia. I worked with HSX's population health team and analyzed patient electronic health records. For my projects, I conducted an analysis on the reporting of social determinants of health using ICD-10 codes collected by providers in HSX's repository. I also examined the accuracy of race being reported using the CDC's standard for race reporting using LOINC codes.

My ILE: My ILE project will use data housed at the Urban Health Collaborative with the SALURBAL project. The SALURBAL project harmonizes data across 11 Latin American countries in order to conduct research pertaining to urban health and policy. I will be analyzing the association between extensions in paid parental leave and infant mortality in 35 Colombian cities from 2000-2018.

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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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Meredith Cohen
Bensalem, PA
MPH, Health Management and Policy (minor in Social Justice Policy)

About Meredith

Why I Chose Dornsife: There are so many reasons I chose Dornsife. I knew this was the school for me because of the renowned faculty, the applied practical experience opportunity, and its top rank among Public Health programs across the country.

Research Interests: Health Law, Health Leadership, Maternal and Child Health

My APE: I worked with the AIDS Care Group to analyze participant surveys regarding the organization's food pantry.

My ILE: For my ILE, I will be reviewing print media coverage in the form of newspaper and blog articles about the opioid epidemic plaguing the nation. Specifically, I will be focusing on how media portrays this public health crisis differently in Democratic and Republican states.

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Ugonwa Ezeanyagu
Philadelphia, PA
MPH, Epidemiology

About Ugonwa

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife School of Public Health because it would be a great place to learn and grow my skills.

Research Interests: Clinical trials, Drug Discovery/Development, Population Health

My APE: I worked at Philadelphia FIGHT, a Pennsylvania non-profit organization and a Community Health Center which provides comprehensive primary care, dental care, consumer education, research and advocacy to low-income and underserved members of the community. My duties included promoting health care access among low-income population and the underserved living with or at risk for HIV, Hepatitis C and other health concerns.

My ILE: My ILE project involves examining the association between work patterns and mortality due to cognitive impairment among postmenopausal women in the United States. I will be using the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (WHI-OS) for my analysis.

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Bhavita Kalambekar
Philadelphia, PA
MPH, Epidemiology (minor in Global Health)

About Bhavita

Why I Chose Dornsife: Dornsife has well renowned faculties who engage in lot of conversation about the current Public Health topics and provide us with wonderful insights that shapes us in becoming the Public Health Experts that the world needs now. There is a vast range of flexible curriculum offered by the school which is an added advantage. There are lot of clubs actively holding meetings that provide a window for students to learn about current dynamics in their favorite field.

Research Interests: Cancer, AIDS, Opioid Abuse

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Nidhi Khadke
Nashik, Maharashtra, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Nidhi

Why I Chose Dornsife: Dornsife is one of the reputed Public Health schools and offers great research opportunities with a flexible curriculum. It has extensive community engagement which provides a perspective into real world Public Health challenges.

Research Interests: Cancer, Neurodevelopment and Neurologic Disorders, Infectious Disease, Urban Health

My APE: I worked as a Patient Advocate at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. I was able to do so as a Bridging the Gap Community Health Intern for the Summer. I was an integral part of the Prescription Assistance Program, where, as a Patient Advocate, I provided medications for the underinsured/ underserved populations. I did so by splitting my time between Health Centers 3 & 4. Also, I completed a Service Area zip code analysis based on poverty levels for two health centers.

My ILE: My ILE project is using data from the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute and is aiming to find an association between prenatal immune marker levels and child autism-related traits in an autism family cohort study.

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Lorena Melendez-Chavez
Colima, Mexico
MPH, Community Health and Prevention (minor in Maternal and Child Health)

About Lorena

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife School of Public Health because of their multidisciplinary research and work in the field of public health and diverse faculty and staff. Also, for their commitment in fighting for health as a human right for everyone. Dornsife is the perfect place to grow as a student and as a professional in public health.

Research Interests: Maternal and Child Health, Community Nutrition, Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases and Latino and Immigrant Health

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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 for over six years with international medical nonprofit ECRI. 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: In my APE project, 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 Involvement at DSPH: Member of the American Public Health Association (APHA)

Ifunanya Nwabueze headshot

Ifunanya Nwabueze
Lagos, Nigeria
MPH, Health Management and Policy (minor in Health Economics)

About Ifunanya

Why I Chose Dornsife: I was instantly drawn to Dornsife because of the wide array of minors offered, particularly health economics and the emphasis on practical skills. The Dornsife's commitment to health as a human right was quite inspiring, it felt like a community I would love to be a part of. Also, its location in the vibrant city of Philadelphia, while ranking as the number #1 school of public health in Philadelphia made it the right choice for me.

Research Interests: Cardiovascular Diseases, Health Economics, Health Policy, Global Health

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Parth Patel
Ahmedabad, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Parth

Why I Chose Dornsife: At Dornsife, the course curriculum is set in a manner that it allows students to take care of their physical and mental well-being. Its location in the urban area and proximity to the biggest hospitals and research organizations of Philadelphia give students an opportunity to gain rich practical experience.

Research Interests: Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management, Oral Cancer, Dental Public Health

My APE: I worked at Penn Dental Medicine for the project aimed to assess racial and genetic disparities in Ameloblastoma (jaw tumor).

My ILE: I am working with AJ Drexel Autism institute for the project aimed to assess how sociodemographic factors can affect number of dental visits and their perception of provider skill level.

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Vishwa Patel
Maple Grove, MN
MPH, Epidemiology (minor in Global Health)

About Vishwa

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of its core mission to fight for health as a human right locally and globally which is one that strongly resonates with me. Along with the school's distinguished faculty, research opportunities and strong emphasis on community engagement, I knew that Dornsife would provide me with all the tools necessary to succeed.

Research Interests: Global Health, Health Disparities, Health Equity, Infectious Diseases, Mental Health

My APE: I was a research assistant for UNC's Center for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. I worked alongside researchers of the University of North Carolina's Children's Healthy Weight Research Group to develop a pilot study for the collection and interpretation of evidence-based best practices of nutritional intake and physical activity of families with children with Down Syndrome and Autism.

My ILE: I will be looking at mental health trends and barriers to the young adult/adolescent population in Philadelphia. The study data will comprise information from annual physicals and questionnaires of young adults seen at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children between the ages of 12-21 years old.

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Vidya Patil
Pune, Maharashtra, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Vidya

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because it was my Dream University. I was really fascinated by the Faculty and their Research Interests. The University also has extreme high-quality flexibility and perfect course study for MPH program.

Research Interests: Oral Cancers and Infectious Diseases

My APE: I worked as a Health Disparity Research Intern at Temple University. My work focused mainly on implementation of a Sexual Health Education Program in High-Risk Youth Communities in Philadelphia. It included developing various strategies to engage youth, parents, and partners with a series of Systems Thinking training sessions to identify structural factors contributing to teen pregnancy and high STI in Philadelphia.

My ILE: For my ILE, I am going to work on the research hypothesis that explores the association of being an Asian American and the prevalence of Oral Cancer Screening in the US population using the NHANES dataset.

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Whitney Roach
Sterling, KS
MPH, Urban Health

About Whitney

Why I Chose Dornsife: I live in Philadelphia and know of the great reputation Dornsife has as a public health leader!

Research Interests: Environmental Health, Healthcare Access, Maternal/Child, Nutrition

My APE: I am completing my APE project with Vot-ER, a national nonprofit working to integrate civic engagement into healthcare by developing nonpartisan civic engagement tools and education for use in healthcare delivery. I am working on their Community Civic Engagement Program, which provides funding, resources, and training to help community health centers across the country offer nonpartisan voter registration and civic education to their patients. Vot-ER's vision: healthy communities powered by inclusive democracy!

Jensy Rodriguez-Silva headshot

Jensy Rodriguez-Silva
Fajardo, Puerto Rico
MS, Epidemiology

About Jensy

Why I Chose Dornsife: The accessibility to resources and opportunities brought me to the Dornsife School of Public Health. I have felt so welcomed since I arrived that I've been able to share the basis of my ideas in epidemiology. The diversity of specializations in the epidemiological branch at the school help the students grow professionally and gain the ability to work together and combine projects from different backgrounds. Furthermore, I admire the school interest on community and global issues.

Research Interests: Substance Use and Abuse, Pharmacoepidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health, Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health

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Jhumna Sarkar
Gurgaon, Haryana, India
MPH, Global Health (minor in Maternal and Child Health)

About Jhumna

Why I Chose Dornsife: Living in South Jersey, I was always aware that Drexel University is one of the most reputable Universities in the region. Also the fact that it is the best in Philadelphia in MPH and ranked 24th in the country were very important reasons why I chose Drexel. Also the fee structure fits my requirements.

Research Interests: Global Health and Maternal and Child Health

My APE: I worked at Nationalities Service Center as a Refugee Health Intern. I worked in the Health access team and the Women's Health Team. It was a great experience working and learning various aspects of Refugee Health Challenges, helping them with care coordination based on the requirements they have to fulfill from the state, such as initial health screening, blood work, and vaccinations, and also based on their upcoming health needs. It was essential to be culturally and linguistically congruent while working with this population as it is one of the most significant barriers to access they have when they come to this country.

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Ashni Shah
Mumbai, India
MPH, Epidemiology

About Ashni

Why I Chose Dornsife: A curriculum with electives that make you proficient in your field of interest is every student’s dream and Drexel has exactly that to offer. There are amazing networking opportunities and the university is centrally located which makes this a great place to start your career.

Research Interests: Infectious Disease Control and Chronic Health Disease Control

Gelila Solomon headshot

Gelila Solomon
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
MPH, Health Management and Policy (minor in Health Economics)

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

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Varsha Sriram
Singapore
MPH, Epidemiology

About Varsha

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Drexel's Dornsife School of Public Health because of the plethora of opportunities. Taking up public health allows me to look into a broad range of possible and interesting career options, through the structured didactics, ongoing research and practicum here at Dornsife. The renowned faculty and staff are very supportive and share a great camaraderie with the students. Our class has rich diversity where we celebrate our varied views & cultures amidst the classrooms and beyond.

Research Interests: Community Health and Prevention, Urban Health, Non-communicable Diseases specifically Heart Disease and Diabetes, HIV Medicine & Clinical Research

My APE: My APE project was a data analysis project examining the hospital and ED utilization of patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) at Main Line Health. From this data, I produced a statistical data analysis report and an infographic on the common reasons to visit the ED for patients with PAD and the differences in outcomes among patients of different races.

My ILE: My ILE project is an extension of my summer APE project. I will be examining the association between glycemic index (HbA1c levels) and the rate of hospitalization among patients with PAD.

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Josiane Tsobgny
Harrisburg , PA
MPH, Epidemiology

About Josiane

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because it is the perfect combination of academics, research, and first-hand exposure to truly understanding and solving public health issues. With Dornsife's connections to public health research and programs in the city of Philadelphia, l knew that attending this program would challenge me to think outside the box.

Research Interests: Global health, Mental Health , Behavioral Science & Health Communication, Infectious Disease, and Reproductive Health

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Hope Vega
Bronx, NY
MPH, Community Health and Prevention (minor in Maternal and Child Health)

About Hope

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of its perfect location in a diverse and vibrant city, commitment to health as a human right, and the endless opportunities for hands-on experiences!

Research Interests: Minority Health and Health Disparities

My APE: I shadowed a variety of providers at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and participated in distributing meals for the Summer Meals program. For my primary project, I administered surveys to caregivers of pediatric patients from the WIC, Newborn, and Grow clinics to understand their perceptions on St. Christopher's Hospital for Children's method of screening and providing resources to address the non-medical stressors families face. I analyzed the data using SPSS and made recommendations for improving the way providers identify and address non-medical stressors. I enjoyed working with a pediatric population and now know that I would like to pursue a career in maternal and child health!

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Anusha Vishnubhotla
Daly City, CA
MPH, Epidemiology (online program)

About Anusha

Why I Chose Dornsife: I have always been interested in Public Health and Dornsife seems to be the best place to gain that knowledge!

Research Interests: Infectious Disease, focusing on viruses and cancer

My APE: My project focused on developing a therapeutic for Type 1 Diabetes which primary works for children at earlier stages of diagnosis. It also focused on the limitations and struggles with developing a therapeutic. The project was off-site at Parvus Therapeutics.

My ILE: My ILE project would focus more on how eating habits affect glycemic control of those with Type 1 diabetes. I hope to focus on different eating habits and glycemic control.

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Shufang Wang
Nanjing, Jiang Su, China
MS, Epidemiology

About Shufang

Why I Chose Dornsife: I chose Dornsife because of the excellent location, the top rank in the US, and the amazing faculty of Dornsife.

Research Interests: Disease Prevention, Chronic Disease, Mental Health

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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, Epidemiology (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

This is Public Health (TIPH) Ambassadors

This is Public Health Ambassador ProgramDornsife students Ifunanya Anita Nwabueze and Vishwa Patel were named to the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)’s TIPH Ambassador Cohort for 2022-23.

TIPH Ambassadors help to raise awareness 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 speak with a Dornsife Ambassador

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