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Dornsife International Research Fellows

The Dornsife International Research Fellows award is designed for outstanding international applicants whose career and research interests align with the Dornsife School of Public Health's focus on global, urban health. Award includes tuition scholarship and research assistantship.

Sandra Nannozi headshot

Sandra Nannozi, 2019 Fellow

Hometown: Kampala, Uganda
Undergraduate Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Undergraduate Major: Nursing & Economics with a concentration in Healthcare Management and Policy
MPH Major: Community Health and Prevention
Faculty Mentor: Allison Groves, PhD, MHS

Sandra is a first-year MPH student in the Community Health and Prevention Program. She has a passion for eliminating health disparities among underserved populations from growing up in Uganda, further reaffirmed by her undergraduate experiences as a nursing student. In addition to health disparities, she is interested in maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health and women's health. Prior to Drexel, Sandra worked as a registered nurse in upstate New York before returning to Uganda for nine months where she worked with the public health department at the oldest hospital in Uganda to assess prevalence of prostatitis in Uganda, as well as other data analysis work.

Sandra is currently working with Ali Groves, PhD, MHS, on assessing the qualitative data gathered from the MAMAS project, aimed at reducing HIV incidence among adolescent mothers. Additionally, Sandra will be assisting with running focus groups and qualitative interviews with the HIV positive population in Philadelphia to address issues with adherence to HIV treatment, in partnership with Philadelphia's Public Health Department. In the future, Sandra aspires to work with a global nonprofit organization partnering with communities to address the disparities affecting those communities.

Adams Ako

Adams Ako, 2018 Fellow

Hometown: Otukpa, Benue, Nigeria
Undergraduate Institution: Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
Undergraduate Major: Medicine
MPH Major: Epidemiology
Faculty Mentor: Yvonne Michael, PhD  

While working in a rural hospital in northern Nigeria, Adams came to appreciate the scope of health disparities across different populations and the potential to make a difference through public health. He is passionate about using evidence generated from scientific research to eliminate these disparities, improve population health and promote health as a fundamental human right. His interests include women’s health research, injury and trauma research, and data science. He aims to acquire proficiency in handling big data and employing systems thinking to solving problems in public health and medicine. He is currently working with Yvonne Michael to investigate the relationships between occupation and post-menopausal health using data from the Women’s Health Initiative– a long term national health study. They are also working the Urban Health Collaborative and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to investigate neighborhood risk factors associated with avoidable pediatric admissions. Adams looks forward to a research-oriented career in public health, where he shall apply the skills gained during this fellowship to develop evidence-based tools to improve the health of populations.

Claudia Zumeta Castillo

Claudia Zumaeta Castillo, 2018 Fellow

Hometown: Lima, Peru
Undergraduate Institution: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Undergraduate Major: Psychology
MPH Major: Community Health and Prevention 
Faculty Mentor: Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD

Claudia has always been interested in the inequality in living conditions, growing up in a developing country made her realize at a very young age about the gap in society. It was while studying psychology and working with oncology patients that she observed how social determinants directly affect health outcomes and quality of life. She is interested in addressing health disparities among underserved communities globally, promoting programs that empower communities to be sustainable in time. She is a Dornsife International Fellow from Peru, currently working in two projects led by Dr. Ana Martinez-Donate among Latino Populations; exploring the negative impact of deportation policies, and implementing a program to promote resilient opinion leaders.

Bede Nriagu

Bede Nriagu, 2017 Fellow

Hometown: Oraeri, Anambra, Nigeria
Undergraduate Institution: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria
Undergraduate Major: MBBS, Medicine & Surgery
MPH Major: Environmental & Occupational Health
Faculty Mentor at Dornsife: Yvonne Michael

Bede is particularly concerned about the effects of occupation and workplace environment on the health of individuals particularly on the development of cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Practicing as a physician in a developing country, he became increasingly aware of the diverse roles of occupation/work environment on the health of individuals. This has subsequently led to his strong belief in the words of Ramazzini that “occupational diseases should be studied in the work environment rather than in the hospital wards.” Currently, together with his mentor Dr. Yvonne Michael, he is studying cardiovascular health in women of various occupational categories using data from the women’s health initiative study. Bede is also interested in studying infectious diseases and its epidemiology. He hopes to acquire a graduate medical education in internal medicine or pursue a post-doctoral fellowship upon graduation.

Subecha Dahal

Subecha Dahal, 2017 Fellow

Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal
Undergraduate Institution: University of Pune
Undergraduate Major: MA, Sociology
MPH Major: Community Health and Prevention
Faculty Mentor at Dornsife: Suruchi Sood

Subecha Dahal is an MPH student with a concentration in Community Health and Prevention. From Nepal, she is a Dornsife International fellow and is currently supporting the project led by Dr. Suruchi Sood to develop a global framework to measure & evaluate social norms changes in FGM. Previous to this, Subecha was working as a Project Coordinator with VaxTrac, a global health non-profit in Washington D.C. At VaxTrac, Subecha supported the coordination of mHealth projects that were implemented in partnership with UNICEF, WHO and CDC. She is an Atlas Corps Alumni and part of a diverse group of Atlas Corps fellows from all over the world. Subecha completed her graduate degree in sociology from Pune University in India, where she also completed her undergraduate studies. Subecha is interested in maternal and child health, project monitoring and evaluation, and addressing health disparities.

Sharon Dei-Tumi

Sharon Dei-Tumi, 2017 Fellow

Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Undergraduate Institution: Greensboro College
Undergraduate Major: BS, Biology
MPH Major: Epidemiology
Faculty Mentor at Dornsife: Gina Lovasi

Sharon believes the double burden of malnutrition and obesity in developing nations is an issue of public health concern. She believes in health as a human right however, in order to achieve that utopia, social disparities need to be addressed. With her background as a medical assistant in a primary care clinic, she has insight and appreciation of the inseparable relationship between the healthcare system and public health. Sharon plans to apply her MPH in research aimed at policy creation and evaluation of programs to address non-communicable diseases, with a focus on cardiovascular risks in mothers and children.