What Is Dissertation Funding?
Dissertation research funding awards at the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) provide financial support to select Drexel University doctoral students who are conducting dissertation research.
Examples of activities that may be supported by a funding for dissertation research include (but are not limited to):
- Collecting quantitative or qualitative data
- Supporting a master’s level or undergraduate level research assistant
- Purchasing of software or software training
- Participating in focused training activities specific to the project
Doctoral Dissertation Research Funding Award
In order to promote urban health research and to train the next generation of urban health researchers, the Urban Health Collaborative is pleased to support dissertation projects with a focus on understanding and improving health in cities. Public health dissertation projects must align closely with the UHC’s mission. Learn more about the award process on the Dornsife student intranet.
2022-2023 Doctoral Dissertation Funding Awardees
Bengucan Gunen, BA, MSPH, of the Community Health and Prevention Program, has been awarded funding to support the proposal "Urban Health Disparities in Renal Diet Adherence: Social Support and Dietary Behaviors among End Stage Kidney Disease Patients with Obesity in Philadelphia"
Rachit Sharma, MBBS, MPH, of the Environmental and Occupational Health Program, has been awarded funding to support the proposal "Air Pollution, Temperature, and Psychosocial Stressors in Pediatric Seizure and Epilepsy Risk along the Urbanicity Gradient Across New York State"
Patrick Smith, BSN, RN, of the Community Health and Prevention Program, has been awarded funding to support the proposal "Understanding Neighborhood Effects of Eviction on Cardiovascular Health"
2020-2021 Doctoral Dissertation Funding Awardees
The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative is happy to announce the newest recipients of our Doctoral Dissertation Funding award mechanism.
Catalina Correa-Salazar, MS, PhDc, Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Dornsife School of Public Health has been awarded funding to support her proposal “Crossroads in Two Colombian Cities: Urban Health Disparities and Human Rights of Migrant and Refugee Women in the Midst of a Humanitarian Crisis.”
Valerie Razziano, MPH, PhDc, UHC Doctoral Research Fellow, Community Health and Prevention, Dornsife School of Public Health has been awarded funding to support her proposal “Maternal and Child Immunization Improvement: Assessments of Policy and Prenatal Care.”
2019-2020 Doctoral Dissertation Funding Awardees
The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative is happy to announce the first recipients of our new Doctoral Dissertation Funding award mechanism.
Samantha Joseph, MPH, PhDc, has been awarded funding to support her proposal “Development of a Community Trauma Index to Prevent Community Violence in Urban Neighborhoods.”
Rennie Joshi, MPH, PhDc, has been awarded funding to support her proposal “Evaluating effects of ambient air pollution on cardiovascular health outcomes in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.” We look forward to following the progress of both of these projects throughout the year.
Interested in Focusing Your Training on Health in Cities?
Join the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative as a Fellow! Prospective and incoming master's and doctoral students are welcome to consider a fellowship with Drexel's Urban Health Collaborative.
The program supports selected students in conducting urban health research. Fellows also benefit from a wealth of data and support resources available through the Urban Health Collaborative.
Doctoral Fellowship Program
Doctoral fellows are supported to conduct urban health research under the mentorship of a faculty research sponsor. Fellows will receive a stipend, full tuition remission and additional support for research and travel. Awards are renewable for a second year depending on progress.
Eligibility: Incoming students enrolling in a full-time doctoral program at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health who are interested in conducting research related to urban health are eligible for this fellowship.
Application Process: UHC Doctoral Fellows will be nominated by departmental admission committees based on academic excellence and interest in urban health research as expressed in their doctoral application.
2023-2024 Doctoral Fellows Awardees
Giancarlo Anfuso, MS, Biostatistics
Giancarlo Anfuso recently completed his MS in Biostatistics at Drexel and is now working towards his PhD. While completing his MS, he served as a Masters’ Fellow at the UHC, working on several projects with Usama Bilal and Alina Schnake-Mahl, both of whom he will continue working with as a Doctoral Fellow. Currently, he has been working on a project that uses Bayesian hierarchical modeling to produce reliable estimates of mortality rates and life expectancy by census tract in Philadelphia.
2022-2023 Doctoral Fellows Awardees
Allie Eastus, MS, Health Management and Policy
Advisor: Brent Langellier, PhD, MA
Allie Eastus, MS, is a PhD student in the Department of Health Management and Policy working with Brent Langellier, PhD. Allie earned her MS in Health Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington and a BS in Public Health at Drexel University. Previously, Allie has worked with the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation working on the Pandemics Team to investigate the role that non-pharmaceutical interventions play on COVID-19 outcomes at the national and local level. Allie is passionate about using implementation science and community based participatory research to address health disparities within urban communities. She is driven to understand how research can be used as a policy lever to strengthen evidence-based public health policy in urban communities.
Amber Palmer, MPH, Environmental and Occupational Health
Advisor: Anneclaire De Roos, PhD, MPH
Amber Palmer is a doctoral student in the department of Environmental and Occupational Health. She has an MPH from George Washington University and a BS in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University at Buffalo. Before starting her Ph.D., she worked as an Emerging Threats Consultant for two years. During this time, she worked on Hepatitis C surveillance for mothers and newborn infants and on COVID-19 safety measures. Her interests include risk assessment, environmental exposures, and water quality.
2021-2022 Doctoral Fellows Awardees
Francesca Mucciaccio, MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Advisor: Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH
Francesca Mucciaccio, MPH, is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, working with Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH. Francesca earned a MPH in health policy with coursework in behavioral science from Emory University and a BA in linguistics with focus on linguistic anthropology from Reed College. Previously, she worked as a public health analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working on federal policy and strategy development, science translation, and international field epidemiology. She worked on multiple subject matters, including chronic disease, emergency response, and sickle cell disease. Her interests include measurement approaches to better understand and help address structural and systemic influences on racial, ethnic, and spatial disparities in chronic disease. Additional interests include the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage, neighborhood-level factors and built environment on the development of chronic disease in urban contexts.
Ife Albert, MPH, Community Health and Prevention
Advisor: Alex Ezeh, PhD
Ife Albert, MPH, is a doctoral student in the department of Community Health and Prevention, working with Alex Ezeh, PhD. She has a MPH degree from Washington University in St Louis and a BA in Biology from Fisk University. Prior to enrolling at the Dornsife School of Public Health, she was working at the Brown School Evaluation Center where she evaluated numerous public health and social sector programs and initiatives. She plans to use community-based participatory research approaches to develop, implement and evaluate interventions that target structural determinants of health for slum residents in the global south.
2020-2021 Doctoral Fellows Awardees
Janelle Edwards, MPH, Environmental and Occupational Health
Advisor: Leah Schinasi, PhD
A recent MPH graduate of Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health, Janelle Edwards is a young professional with a passion to ensure that health is a human right of all people. Her interests include emergency preparedness, climate impacts on health, built environment, and environmental justice. Her Master’s project was based on creating a vulnerability assessment for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health that predicted hotspots of high risk areas for pandemic influenza. She now works as an enumerator for the United States Census Bureau making sure that Philadelphians are counted so that Federal funding and policies are distributed in an equitable manner.
Kathleen Ward, MSPH, CHES, Community Health and Prevention
Advisor: Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH
Kathleen Ward, MSPH, CHES, studied health education and communication at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she was trained as an HIV and Hepatitis C educator, tester, and counselor with the JHU Center for AIDS Research. She continued her work at Johns Hopkins University with the School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases coordinating NIH-funded research projects focused on improving health outcomes and understanding facilitators and barriers to care for persons living with HIV, HCV, and substance use disorders. Kathleen is a master presenter in the Maryland Department of Health’s ‘Regrounding Our Response’ initiative that aims to address the opioid crisis and reduce stigma surrounding substance use in Maryland. As an UHC fellow and doctoral student in the department of Community Health and Prevention, she will work with Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH and plans to use Community-Based Participatory Research methods to develop interventions focused on harm reduction while addressing the healthcare and social needs of marginalized populations in Philadelphia.
2018-2019 Doctoral Fellows Awardees
Catalina Correa Salazar, MS, Community Health and Prevention
Advisor: Stephen Lankenau, PhD
Catalina Correa Salazar, MS is a doctoral student in the Department of Community Health and Prevention, advised by Stephen Lankenau, PhD. Previously a resident of Bogota, Colombia, Catalina received a bachelors degree in literary studies from Pontificia Universidad Javerinana, a bachelors degree in psychology from the Universidad de los Andes and a masters degree in psychology from the University of los Andes. She has worked in public health and human rights in urban and rural areas as a community organizer, researcher and activist. She was the Director of Community Health and Harm Reduction for the nongovernmental organization PARCES in Bogota for five years, worked as a professor in Universidad de los Andes and directed the Psychology Department's research line in harm reduction and gender there. Her long-term goal is to apply mixed methods research towards identifying multi-level factors and social determinants of health that impact women's well-being and health in urban contexts. She aims to design, implement and evaluate community-based public health interventions that include community organizing and public health policies. As a doctoral student, her research will focus on a mobile phone app to reduce opioid overdose in Philadelphia.
Nishita"Nishi" Dsouza, MPH, Community Health and Prevention
Advisor: Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD
Nishita "Nishi" Dsouza, MPH is a doctoral student in the Department of Community Health and Prevention, advised by Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD. Dsouza received a bachelors degree in Human Science from Georgetown University and an MPH specialized in Urban Design from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in Saint Louis. Previously, she served as a Commissioner's Fellow in Public Health at the Tennessee Department of Health, where she managed the "Access to Health through Healthy Active Built Environment" grant program, designed to promote the planning and implementation of activity-promoting built environments. Dsouza has experience working on livability and Health in All Policy work at both the local and state level, and has worked on research projects in implementation science, obesity prevention, and urban green space. She aims to use mixed-methods research, advocacy, and community engagement processes to reduce health disparities in urban populations and promote healthy and inclusive built environments.
Dustin Fry, MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Advisor: Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH
Dustin Fry, MPH is a doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, advised by Gina Lovasi, PhD, MPH. He received a bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Texas, Austin and an MPH from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Fry previously worked at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health studying New York's Clean Air Taxi policies. He also served as field coordinator for a park observation research study, overseeing systematic neighborhood and park-based data collection in New York. Fry's interests include innovative data sources, physical activity determinants, and policy-relevant research including integration of StreetView based audit data for the measurement of physical disorder and pedestrian-supportive infrastructure.
In addition to the three UHC Doctoral Fellows, the Collaborative welcomes
Amie Devlin, MPH, MA, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Advisor: Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH
Amie Devlin is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, advised by Sharrelle Barber, ScD, MPH. She has a MPH from George Washington University and a MA in Urban Bioethics from Temple University. Prior to enrolling at the Dornsife School of Public Health, she was working in North Philadelphia on a community research project run though the Temple University School of Medicine. Devlin has also worked in clinical trials, regulatory affairs, and research ethics. Her research interests include stress, neighborhood factors influencing health and health disparities.
2017-2018 Doctoral Fellows Awardees
Rosie Mae Henson, MPH, Health Management and Policy
Advisor: Robert Field, PhD, JD, MPH
Rosie Mae Henson is an Urban Health Collaborative Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Health Management and Policy. Henson's research primarily focuses on the social, economic, and environmental policies and systems that impact health equity, and how to communicate and disseminate this research to inform decision-making and policy development. Henson is interested in and uses mixed methods, with a focus on econometric and policy analysis and outcomes approaches. They currently work on the Urban Equity Project, a mixed methods study of U.S. mayors, health departments, and health systems to identify and examine activities in U.S. cities to achieve health equity as well as the barriers and facilitators to these activities. They also work on the Salud Urbana en America Latina (SALURBAL) project with the Urban Redevelopment group at the UHC.
Katie Nelson, MPH, Health Management and Policy
Advisor: Jonathan Purtle, DrPH, MPH, MSc
Katie Nelson, MPH will study mental health policies and systems in urban areas using a cross-disciplinary approach. Specifically, she will study the relationship between mental health, policy, and social determinants of health with the potential to compare rural and urban areas. She will use innovative methods to understand dissemination and implementation of research findings in mental health policy.
Nelson is an MPH alumna of Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health and received bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. Her master’s project focused on understanding how older adults with clinically significant depressive symptoms perceive communication with their healthcare providers and how that might influence receipt of mental health treatment. While earning her MPH, she worked at Merck on global vaccine policy. Previously, she worked at Impaq International, a social science research firm, as an analyst conducting program evaluations for DOL, CMS, and ODEP.
Rennie Joshi, MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Advisor: Yvonne Michael, ScD, SM
Rennie Joshi will be studying the social and built environmental determinants of chronic diseases, particularly obesity and cardiovascular health. She is interested in utilizing novel research methods to better understand the combined effects of different neighborhood-level risk factors, such as food environments and safety on cardiovascular health.
Originally from Nepal, Joshi received her MPH from Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health, and received her bachelor of arts in health science from Gettysburg College. Her master’s thesis was a repeated cross-sectional study to examine the risk factors related to underage drinking in Louisiana. As an MPH student, Joshi also worked at the Urban Health Collaborative as a Research Assistant on various projects, including UHC Community Briefs and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Equity study. Before coming to Drexel in 2015, Joshi worked as a researcher for a consulting company focused on behavioral health and social services.
Irene Headen, PhD, MS, Postdoctoral Fellow
Irene Headen, PhD, MS is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative at the Dornsife School of Public Health. Her research interests center around the social and structural determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy outcomes. Dr. Headen’s work investigates how differences in exposure to neighborhoods and other urban environments across the life course impact inequities in adverse pregnancy outcomes and their risk factors. Her doctoral work examined associations between long-term trajectories of neighborhood deprivation and women’s risk of gaining too much or too little weight during pregnancy, both of which have adverse implications for maternal and infant health.
Previously a Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Centers of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Headen continued to study how neighborhood environments interact with individual-level interventions to modify their effectiveness on pregnancy-related weight status. Her current work studies associations between place-based, early education initiatives, including Promise Neighborhoods, and maternal, child, and family health outcomes in low-income communities. Dr. Headen earned her bachelor of science in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master of science and doctorate in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.
2016-2017 Doctoral Fellows Awardees
Samantha Rivera Joseph, MPH '12, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH
Samantha Joseph will study community resilience and the protective factors that support Philadelphia communities with high levels of violence and resulting chronic trauma. Joseph will examine neighborhood level data and community organizing efforts to understand the risk factors for community and domestic violence, create an inventory of community assets that can be used for addressing these factors, and organize partnerships to build supports. She will use Community Based Participatory Research to identify interventions to address disparities and build community capacity.
Joseph is an MPH alumna of Drexel's Dornsife School of Public Health, and received her BA in natural sciences from Fordham University. She previously worked at Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a Philadelphia-based organization, first as a Development and Quality Assurance Manager for health programs and then as the Director of Primary Care for their Federally Qualified Health Center. Before coming to Philadelphia, she worked in HIV prevention and community empowerment in Brooklyn, NY. Additionally, Joseph is on the steering committee and serves as a coach for the Latino Partnership Institute, which focuses on community organization/mobilization and leadership training in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Matthew Kearney, MPH, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Philip Massey, PhD, MPH
Matthew Kearney will develop evidence around sexual health education programs in Philadelphia in hopes of increasing their implementation. This has the potential to improve the sexual health outcomes of youth, which can impact disparities in overall physical and mental health and educational attainment. Kearney's research will incorporate mHealth and social media to evaluate school-based health programs. His research will include developing better tools to assess adolescents' health seeking behavior and health literacy and the programs that aim to influence them.
Kearney earned his MPH from the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in biology from Union College. His master's thesis was a qualitative study examining medical residents' engagement with the development and implementation of a health education program that he helped create at Henry C. Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia. He also led a health education program at Samuel B. Huey Elementary School in West Philadelphia, and was a research assistant at the Center for Public Health Initiatives, the Mixed-Methods Research Lab, and in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Before graduate school, Kearney taught high school biology, algebra, and environmental science in Connecticut and Missouri.
Erica Smith, MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Mentors: Esther Chernak, MD, MPH and Alison Evans, ScD
Erica Smith's research will focus on the social and environmental determinants of infectious disease rates in cities, with the potential to compare rural versus urban areas. She plans to study the relationship between food insecurity, food safety, and the determinants of health, examining disparities in foodborne illness and food safety. Smith will use multiple sources of data and both descriptive and analytic epidemiological methods to investigate these population health issues.
Smith earned her MPH from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BS in biology and anthropology from the College of William and Mary. While earning her MPH, she worked at the Virginia Department of Health and the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. Since completing graduate school, Smith worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Health for six years, first as a Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) Applied Epidemiology Fellow in Infectious Disease, and then as a general infectious disease epidemiologist, before becoming a statewide foodborne/enterics epidemiologist.
In addition to the three UHC Doctoral Fellows, the Collaborative is hosting two additional doctoral students and a new Postdoctoral Fellow this year.
Kim Daniels, MS, Epidemiology and Biostatitics
Mentor: Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH
Kim Daniels will be studying the social and environmental factors related to obesity and cardiovascular disease. She is particularly interested in child obesity and is collaborating with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in order to study this population. She is also hoping to compare the environmental factors related to cardiovascular disease and obesity between the city of Philadelphia and the greater state of Pennsylvania.
Daniels completed her MS in epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a BS in mathematics and biology from the University of Maryland (Baltimore). Daniels previously worked as a statistician at Boston Children's Hospital under Dr. John Meara MD, DMD, MBA and assisted the surgeons in the Plastic and Oral Surgery department in analyzing their data and running quality improvement projects. She also worked as an epidemiologist in Boston Children's Program in Global Surgery and Social Change, where she helped the fellows in the program design research projects and analyze data, in addition to running her own modeling projects.
Ana Ortigoza, MD, MS '16, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Mentor: Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH
Ana Ortigoza will study the impact that violence among young people in Latin American cities has on mortality and morbidity, at citywide levels. As part of the Urban Health Network for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ortigoza is part of a large interdisciplinary team that is combining multilevel and longitudinal data analysis approaches with systems thinking and simulation modeling to 1) understand relationships and processes involved and 2) gain insights into plausible effects of city level factors.
Ortigoza is a 2016 graduate of the MS in Epidemiology program at the Dornsife School of Public Health. Originally from Argentina, she completed her MD at the National University of Rosario, Argentina, and became licensed in pediatrics in 2008. She also earned a Master in Epidemiology, Health Policies and Management from University of Lanus in Bueno Aires. She joined the Urban Health Collaborative in 2014 and has been working on the Urban Health Network for Latin America and the Caribbean since its inception. Her research interests focus on childhood, youth violence and health disparities. Before coming to Drexel, Ortigoza worked as chief resident in pediatrics, clinical instructor and assistant professor of pediatrics at the Hospital Provincial de Rosario, and previously as project manager of a clinical trial related to RSV infection in preterm babies in Chaco, Argentina.
Ivana Stankov, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Mentor: Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH
Ivana Stankov's research focuses on understanding the social and environmental determinants of health and disease using soft and hard systems methods. Her current research employs participatory methods to identify and understand built environments implicated in the development of cardiometabolic risk. She is actively involved in research that employs simulation-based methods, including spatial agent-based modelling, to understand place-health relations and explore the effectiveness of policy-relevant interventions on health-related behavior and chronic disease outcomes. She is also involved in research examining the role of peer and romantic partner influences on adolescent marijuana use.
Stankov completed her PhD in Social Epidemiology at the Centre for Population Health Research at the University of South Australia. Her thesis is titled, "The built environment and cardiometabolic disease: Framing place health relations from a complex systems perspective." During her doctoral studies, Stankov completed an International Residency at the Brookings Institution Center on Social Dynamics & Policy with Director Ross Hammond, PhD and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with Pamela Matson, PhD, MPH, which was funded by a Maurice de Rohan Scholarship. Stankov also completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honors from the University of South Australia and a BS in Biology, Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry from the University of Adelaide in Australia. Stankov has previous work experience as a physiotherapist.
Master's Fellowship Program
The Drexel Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) supports master's students interested in urban health research each academic year. UHC Master's Fellows are also eligible to receive Dornsife School of Public Health's Dean's Scholarships.
Eligibility: Prospective UHC Master's Fellows will be considered for these positions based on exceptional academic promise and their interest in urban health as evidenced in their application.
Application Process: Applicants should indicate their interest in urban health and fit with the UHC Master's Fellowship in their personal statement. Applicants interested in being considered are encouraged to apply for admission no later than January 15th.
2023-2024 Master’s Fellows Awardees
Andrea Jaffe, MPH ’24, Epidemiology
Andrea Jaffe is an MPH student concentrating in Epidemiology. Andrea graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Science this past May. She previously worked in the Public Health Outcomes and Effects of the Built Environment (PHOEBE) Lab under Dr. Jennifer D. Roberts DrPH, MPH, studying the effects of the built environment on social determinants of health and health outcomes. Andrea is excited to attend the Dana and David Dornsife School of Public Health and is honored to be a fellow of the Urban Health Collaborative.
2022-2023 Master’s Fellows Awardees
Karlin Moore, MS '24, Biostatistics
Mentors: Jane Clougherty, MSc, ScD & Sheila Tripathy, PhD
Karlin Moore is an MS student concentrating in Biostatistics. She attended George Mason University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry. She is excited to begin her studies at Drexel and research with the UHC, where she will be working with Sheila Tripathy, PhD, and Jane Clougherty, MSc, ScD, to monitor and model air quality in the South/Southwest Philadelphia area.
2021-2022 Master’s Fellows Awardees
Giancarlo Anfuso, MS '23, Biostatistics
Mentor: Usama Bilal, MD, PhD, MPH
Giancarlo Anfuso is an MS student concentrating in Biostatistics. Before pursuing his MS, Giancarlo worked as a Consultant at PFM Solutions in Philadelphia. He attended the University of Pennsylvania where he received a bachelor of science in mathematics. He is excited to begin his studies at Drexel and research with the UHC, where he will be working with Usama Bilal, MD, PhD, MPH, in using congressional districts as boundaries for epidemiological analysis.
Siani Anderson, MPH '23, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MS, MPH
Siani Anderson is a MPH student concentrating in Community Health and Prevention. Before pursuing her MPH Siani attended University of Miami, where she received her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology. Siani currently is a Volunteer Coordinator of The Shop Docs - a nationwide program that provides health screenings for predominantly minority men as they wait to get their hair cut in the barbershop. She previously conducted research for The Fox Chase Cancer Center to bring awareness to clinical trials excluding minority populations due to underlying health issues prevalent in minority communities. She looks forward to working with Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MS, MPH, to further her knowledge of public health and prevention.
2020-2021 Master’s Fellows Awardees
Sarah Boise, MPH ’22, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Gina Lovasi, PhD
Sarah Boise is a MPH student concentrating in Community Health and Prevention. Before pursuing her MPH Sarah attended Elon University where she received a bachelor of arts in public health, with a focus on social and cultural determinants of health. She has previously interned for the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability services for the City of Philadelphia and worked on a food equity pilot study with the Health Department. Additionally, she volunteered for two years as a crisis intervention counselor for a sexual assault response center in Burlington, North Carolina. She looks forward to fostering her passion for public health at Drexel as she works with Gina Lovasi, PhD, and the UHC.
Shelby Spohn, MPH ’22, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Loni Tabb, PhD
Shelby Spohn is a MPH student concentrating on Community Health and Prevention and is an Urban Health Collaborative Masters Research Fellow. While pursuing her bachelor's degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Clark University, Shelby spent her summers exploring her passion for public health through internships with STEMcityPHL, Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology. Her research interests center around health inequities and empowering communities in the fight against racial and socioeconomic disparities. She plans to center her public health training and research experiences as she pursues her MD in the future.
Yosselin Turcios, MPH ’22, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD
Yosselin Turcios is an MPH student concentrating in Community Health & Prevention. As an Urban Health Collaborative Masters Research Fellow, she is working with Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD, on initiatives primarily focused on Latino immigrants and other marginalized communities. Yosselin received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Health Sciences concentrating in Public Health from the College of William & Mary and has extensive community engagement experience with Latino-serving organizations. She is interested in working with marginalized populations to address health disparities and promote access to quality preventive and healthcare services.
2019-2020 Master’s Fellows Awardees
Rachel Brown, MPH ’21, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH, and Jennifer Kolker, MPH
Rachel Brown is an Urban Health Collaborative Masters Research Fellow and a MPH student concentrating in Community Health and Prevention. Before beginning her graduate studies, Brown held numerous nonprofit communications and community engagement roles in Philadelphia at organizations including the Coalition Against Hunger, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and SteegeThomson Communications. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Media & Communications from Ursinus College. As a UHC Fellow, Brown will work with Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH and Jennifer Kolker, MPH on projects in the Policy and Community Engagement Core, including the Big Cities Health Coalition. Brown’s work in the UHC brings together her interests in urban health inequities and developing community partnerships.
Jay Budd, MPH ’21, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Felice Le-Scherban, PhD, MPH, and Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH
Jay Budd is a MPH student concentrating in Community Health & Prevention, and an Urban Health Collaborative Masters Research Fellow. Jay has a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from American University. He spent 5 years in education teaching 3rd and 4th grade in San Jose, CA as well as middle school Special Education in Washington, DC. Most recently, Jay worked on school and community outreach for an education technology company. As a UHC Fellow, Jay will be combining his interest in education and community outreach as a member of the team working on the West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhoods grant, with Felice Le-Scherban, PhD, MPH and Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH. This project intends to create a cradle-to-career continuum of support for children who live or attend school in the Promise Zone while creating a system of service linkages focused on educational, health, and behavioral health services and programs.
Michelle Goodwin, MPH ’21, Health Management and Policy
Mentor: Joan Bloch, PhD, CRNP, FAAN
Michelle Goodwin is a MPH student concentrating in Health Management and Policy, and an Urban Health Collaborative Master Research Fellow. Goodwin interned with Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Organizational Effectiveness Department in Allentown, PA as well as the West London Mental Health Trust NHS in London, ENG while earning a bachelors degree in Psychology from Penn State. She recently completed a service year with City Year San Jose AmeriCorps where she interpreted test data to create academic interventions for eight fourth graders and ran a combination afterschool program for 1st and 2nd graders. Her research interests pertain to comorbid diseases and mental health, and the impact education level and income level have on the quality of care provided to underserved populations. As a UHC Fellow, she is working with Joan Bloch PhD, CRNP, FAAN addressing Philadelphia’s high infant mortality rates through a city-wide collective impact initiative. In particular, attempting to highlight system inequities in health care access and services for mothers and their children.
Chahita Kanungo, MPH ’21, Environment and Occupational Health
Mentor: Leah Schinasi, PhD, MPH
Chahita Kanungo is a MPH student concentrating in Environment and Occupational Health, and an Urban Health Collaborative Master Research Fellow. As a UHC fellow, she is working with Leah Schinasi, PhD, MPH on project that aims to characterize the urban landscape for an analysis of heat and mortality by using google street view. Chahita has an undergraduate degree in dentistry. Her experience in pharmacovigilance, and as a medical research fellow at a cancer research center and hospital helped her gain deeper understanding in importance of preventive measures and awareness in addressing public health issues. She is passionate about volunteering and had been actively involved in various community projects at the American Red Cross and working with underprivileged children at Yuva unstoppable. Her research interests include understanding the impact of various environmental factors and awareness mechanisms on public health.
Kerry Miley, MPH ’21, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH
Kerry Miley is a MPH student concentrating in Community Health and Prevention. As a UHC Masters Research Fellow, she is working with Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH, on two studies focused on preventing HIV transmission and overdose among people who inject drugs. Before pursuing her MPH, Miley coordinated an environmental exposure study for the state of Utah as a CDC Public Health Associate. Miley received her B.S. in Public and Community Health from Ithaca College, and has worked at several harm reduction centers in the northeast. She is passionate about the overlapping issues of drug overdose, housing instability, infectious disease, and incarceration.
Duong (Tina) Nguyen, MPH ’21, Health Management and Policy
Mentor: Jane Clougherty, MSc, ScD
Duong (Tina) Nguyen is a MPH student concentrating in Health Management and Policy, and an Urban Health Collaborative Masters Research Fellow. Tina immigrated from Vietnam to Philadelphia five years ago and has a bachelors degree in Biochemistry from Temple University. She previously interned at Temple Hospital Guest Relations and worked as a research assistant at Nicholson Lab Biochemistry and Nanotechnology. She is also a cofounder of Health Without Boundaries, a community project which aims to bridge the gap between non-English speaking immigrant communities in Philadelphia and our healthcare system. As a UHC Fellow, she is working with Jane Clougherty, MSc, ScD, on an air monitoring network campaign to inventory and map available data on air pollution emissions across the City of Philadelphia for epidemiological and policy purposes.
2018-2019 Master’s Fellows Awardees
Leah Lombardi, MPH ’20, Epidemiology
Mentor: Felice Le-Scherban, PhD, MPH and Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH
Leah Lombardi is a MPH student concentrating in Epidemiology, and an Urban Health Collaborative Masters Research Fellow. Lombardi has a bachelors degree in Biology from Boston College. She previously interned at the Penn State Cancer Institute's Community Sciences and Health Outcomes Core, which aims to reduce cancer disparities in Pennsylvania, and with the Eradicate Childhood Obesity Foundation in Massachusetts. As a UHC Fellow, she is working with Felice Le-Scherban, PhD, MPH and Amy Carroll-Scott, PhD, MPH on the West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhoods grant, based at the UHC. This project intends to create a cradle-to-career continuum of support for children who live or attend school in the Promise Zone, while creating a system of service linkages focused on educational, health, and behavioral health services and programs. Lombardi's work with the UHC combines her interests in epidemiology and social justice.
Eliza Ziegler, MPH'20, Health Management and Policy
Mentor: Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH
Eliza Ziegler is a MPH student concentrating in Health Management and Policy, and an Urban Health Collaborative Masters Research Fellow. As a UHC Fellow, she is working with Alexis Roth, PhD, MPH on a project studying the factors that affect PrEP uptake and adherence in women who inject drugs. Ziegler received her bachelors degree in Economics and Community Health from Tufts University. Since moving to Philadelphia, she has worked at Pathways to Housing PA coordinating benefits for adults experiencing chronic homelessness. Ziegler's interests include improving access to healthcare for vulnerable populations, specifically mental health and drug and alcohol treatment, and how public health research can help promote interventions such as safe consumption sites.
2017-2018 Master’s Fellows Awardee
Kristin Giordano, MPH ’19, Community Health and Prevention
Mentor: Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD
Kristin Giordano is an Urban Health Collaborative Research Fellow and a MPH student, concentrating in Community Health and Prevention. Before moving to Philadelphia, Giordano worked as a research analyst with the Colorado Springs Fire Department’s Community & Public Health Division’s mental health crisis response and 9-1-1/ED super-utilizer programs. She brings to Drexel an interest in finding cross-sector solutions to community-identified health issues. During her fellowship, Giordano will work with Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD on a pilot project working to address community resilience in Latino communities in Philadelphia: Creating Strong and Resilient Opinion Leaders (CRiSOL) Program.
Student Funding for Applied Practical Experience
The UHC provides student funding to support select Applied Practical Experience placements for students wishing to focus on urban health as part of the practical experience required of all first-year MPH students at the Dornsife School of Public Health.
Students complete the Applied Practical Experience placement process to select a supervised, hands-on, approximately 120-hour public health experience within public health practice settings. Applications are accepted in early May.
2023 Applied Practical Experience Awards Offered
The UHC is offering two APE funding awards in 2023:
The Community Engagement Core (CE Core) at the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) announces funding for one Applied Practical Experience placement for Dornsife School of Public Health master’s student. Students interested in focusing their Applied Practical Experience on urban health issues with implications for policy, practice, and community impact are encouraged to apply. The APE can be completed anywhere, but to receive funding ($3500) from the Drexel UHC CE Core, it should be focused on urban health and the APE should be in partnership with a community group (ex. civic associations, local faith based organizations, community based organizations, or other groups composed of residents) to help meet a community need. This could include evaluating a community program, conducting a needs assessment, assisting a CBO in grant writing, etc. Research projects may be eligible if they are aligned with UHC goals, have a clear practical application that will impact community health, and the student can demonstrate how they will acquire professional skills. To apply for the position, students must have identified an unpaid opportunity for their APE. Interested students should submit a 250–350-word write-up detailing the duties of their APE and how it aligns with the goals of the UHC, along with their resume to Tariem Burroughs (email@example.com). Funding opportunities are available to DSPH students in good academic standing. Applications will be accepted until May 10th.
The Policy Core at the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) announces funding for one Applied Practical Experience placement for Dornsife School of Public Health master’s students. Students interested in focusing their Applied Practical Experience on urban health issues with implications for policy and practice are encouraged to apply. The APE can be completed anywhere, but to receive funding ($3500) from the Drexel UHC Policy Core, it should be focused on urban health. Research projects may be eligible if they are aligned with UHC goals, have a clear practical application, and the student can demonstrate how they will acquire professional skills.
To apply for the position, students must have identified an unpaid opportunity for their APE. Interested students should submit a 250–350-word write-up detailing the duties of their APE and how it aligns with the goals of the UHC, along with their resume to Tariem Burroughs (firstname.lastname@example.org). Funding opportunities are available to DSPH students in good academic standing. Applications will be accepted until May 10th.
2022 Applied Practical Experience
Ariana Hall, MPH '23, will work with Planned Parenthood-Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center. Planned Parenthood is working on several studies to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. The Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center provides sexual and reproductive healthcare to a wide variety of individuals, especially those most affected by sexual or reproductive health concerns. Arianna's role as a research assistant will be to engage potential participants about ongoing studies and to help recruit participants via the Elizabeth Blackwell clinic, and the collection of data from participants. The work from these studies will hopefully transform the way sexually transmitted infections are prevented and treated among those most affected.
Cara DePiano, MPH/MBA '24, will serve in Vivé Peru’s Dual Clinical Medicine/Public Health Volunteer Program. Vivé Peru is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering better understanding of Latin American culture and providing much-needed aid to Peruvian communities. In Trujillo, Cara will participate in clinical rotations at local hospitals and community health centers. She will also assist promotoras de salud with home visits and the operation of health education workshops. As an independent project, Cara will prepare a policy brief about HPV vaccination in the hopes of informing future health campaigns. Additionally, Cara will participate in the collection and analysis of data for Vivé Peru’s Anemia and Parasitic Infection Prevention Programs. She hopes to investigate disparities in anemia and parasitic infection amongst Venezuelan immigrants, as many people have relocated to Trujillo to flee the political and socioeconomic instability plaguing their country.
2021 Applied Practical Experience (formerly Depth Experience Awardees)
Katie Singley, MPH '22, will work with Philadelphia Overdose Prevention Network (POPN). POPN is a diverse, non-partisan coalition of organizations and individuals committed to preventing overdose deaths and unifying supporters of safe consumption sites. Katie’s role in POPN involves engaging with key stakeholders such as Kensington residents, community-based organizations, and the city government. One of the main projects Katie will be working on involves collaborating with Worker’s Revolutionary Collective (WRC) to implement a mobile safe consumption site. Once this is implemented, POPN will evaluate the mobile site and hopefully provide evidence that can be used to improve drug laws and harm reduction strategies. This is part of an ongoing effort by community organizers and activists to reimagine the public policies that have perpetuated the criminalization of substance use.
Oladoyin (Ola) Onawole, MPH '22, will work with Every Murder is Real Healing Center (EMIR) to develop an improved evaluation strategy. EMIR is a community-based organization that partners with the Community Violence Working Group to inform gun violence interventions in Philadelphia. EMIR is intentional about delivering support that empowers the Philadelphia community and seeks to evaluate their efforts using an empowerment framework. Ola is passionate about supporting EMIR's goal to provide gun violence survivors with concrete, practical, and compassionate steps towards healing. She will conduct an inventory of EMIR’s current data collection methods, collaborate with staff to reframe EMIR’s evaluation approach to an empowerment evaluation model, harmonize data across different programs, services, and funder requirements, and deliver training materials on implementation of the evaluation plan.
2020 Depth Experience Awardees
Reem Shair, MPH ’21, will work with the Jefferson University EPIC@Jeff program on testing and training related data analysis of the Electronic Health Records system being implemented in new locations across Pennsylvania. EPIC is a system being implemented in hospitals and healthcare facilities for the shared goal of making patient care better. Reem will be analyzing the mobility of this program into new healthcare facilities. Furthermore, he will be conducting testing to determine ease of program use among staff at different healthcare facilities that are new to EPIC. He will also be assisting with content creation, organization and delivery for key meetings/events, team training/tasks, and areas of focus.
Celina Koh, MPH’ 21, will work with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 3 Office of Communities, Tribes, and Environmental Assessment to assess key pollution exposures and social characteristic indicators in Philadelphia. Celina is developing a modified preliminary health risk index to quantify the cumulative score weighing pollution exposure, environmental exposure, socioeconomic factors, and sensitive population indicators. Celina is creating, cleaning, and rescaling a dataset mined from publicly accessible databases to test the health risk index. Her role will include: conducting a literature review, consulting with EnviroAtlas, CalEPA, and EJScreen scientists, designed spatial distribution maps, compiling a final report, and orally presenting findings to the EPA’s Region 3 Office.
Maureen Klopp, MPH ’21, will work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where she will be focusing on Opportunity Zones to help better characterize community health status and environmental-health risks. The project she is working on will utilize the EPA’s EnvironAtlas and EJScreen ArcGIS tools and CDC’s 500 Cities Study to develop a plan for a predictive statistical model to provide estimates of health metrics at the census tract scale. The model will help identify and rank prevalence of environment-related disease in at-risk populations. Additionally, Maureen will be developing health status and environmental health risks reports.
Tobechukwu Ezeh, MPH ’21, will work with the Diaper Bank of the Belmont Alliance Civic Association (BACA) to improve the way it collects, analyzes and presents data. Diapers are an essential commodity that cannot be purchased with Food Stamps or WIC. Infrequent diaper change is associated with health problems like diaper rash, Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), and poor sleep. Inadequate supply of diapers has also been shown to be a barrier to enrollment of infants in daycare. The diaper bank currently conducts a paper survey which it uses to characterize its clients as well as assess their level of satisfaction with the service. Tobechukwu will work with the program to improve the survey. Tobechukwu will also train the staff and volunteers of the program on how to utilize the new data management system.
2019 Depth Experience Awardees
Maura Boughter-Dornfeld, MPH’20, will work with the St. Christopher’s Foundation Farm to Families program on a community needs assessment. The Farm to Families Initiative is a collaborative community-based effort to improve the diets and health children and families by address access to nutritious food and access to information nutrition and food preparation. The program sources, packages, and delivers fresh food to community food hubs. Boughter-Dornfeld will be assessing whether this program is serving the community’s needs or whether a change is needed. She will engage with families who participate in the program and non-participating families, identify local resources, and contribute to drawing conclusions from this needs assessment to determine next steps for the program. Maura hopes to use her MPH to work to ameliorate perpetual disparities and inequalities within all communities, specifically within those that are underserved and underrepresented. She is interested in food insecurity, food justice, and food policy.
Hannah Conner, MPH’20, will work with UC Green, a community greening organization that is driven by the goal to make West and Southwest Philadelphia neighborhoods stronger and healthier through collaboration with community members to increase tree canopy. Conner is creating partnerships and directly communicating with local community leaders and other health- and nature-centered organizations (e.g. Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Penn Park Orchard) to green neighborhoods and promote healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship. She will assess the perception of street trees in the neighborhoods of West and Southwest Philadelphia and use original questionnaires and marketing pamphlets to disseminate information to community members. Besides facilitating direct communication with local residents and neighbors, she will manage social media accounts to extend the reach of UC Green and promote community greening to a wider audience. She will also provide opportunities for residents to engage with UC Green to become more aware of the health benefits—both physical and mental—of trees by organizing events such as walking tours and weekly pruning clubs.
Amanda Hazen, MPH’20, will work with the Opioid Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Prevention Program within the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Hazen will be supporting epidemiology and data analytics projects related to substance use in Philadelphia through data management, analysis, and interpretation. Hazen's role will include: creating reports presenting data in graphical and tabular forms; orally presenting findings to Opioid Program staff; and supporting the work of the Harm Reduction coordinator at overdose prevention training.
Rebecca Hosey, MPH’20, will work with the Health Federation of Philadelphia (HFP) on the Opioid Program to support Philadelphia clinicians in providing treatment to patients suffering from opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. The Opioid Program at HFP reaches seven FQHC sites within the city through the Preceptor Training Program, which provides clinicians with mentorship and peer support in caring for patients with OUD and SUD. Hosey will assist with planning future programs, creating survey tools to assess needs of clinicians and performing an analysis of results, as well as utilizing the resources of HFP to support the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in creating policy to reduce the number of opioid related overdoses and deaths.
Madison Sehn, MPH’20, is working with University of Pennsylvania's Breast Health Initiative, where she will be creating events to provide free mammogram screening for under- and un-insured women in the Philadelphia area. She will be working to create additional partnerships with free Philadelphia clinics and community centers to increase access for women who may need preventive screening, but cannot afford it. Further, Sehn will be writing a literature review on the barriers that women in the Philadelphia area face in receiving proper preventive care, and how that may affect their diagnoses.
2018 Depth Experience Awardees
Anne Golden, MPH ‘19, will work with the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health to coordinate the Food Equity Pilot Study. The Food Equity Pilot Study will assess food access and availability within the city of Philadelphia. This study test a linear measurement tool, measuring the linear feet of "healthy" and "unhealthy" food items stocked in Philadelphia corner stores. This is the Department’s largest pilot study yet, measuring over 100 stores. Locations will be randomly sampled and represent both high-income and low-income communities. Golden’s role will include: creating training materials and coordinating with volunteers; completing store measurements; compiling and analyzing data under the supervision of members of the data and evaluation team; summarizing data; and presenting findings to the data and evaluation team.
Paola Maysonet, MPH ‘19, will work with Philadelphia Prevention Partnership, a coalition of organizations that advocates building relationships to understand local systemic issues. Maysonet is creating a culturally-tailored interview guide that inquiries upon organizations’ protocol for serving Puerto Rican evacuees displaced by Hurricanes Maria and Irma, perceptions of the challenges, successes and further needs. Interviews will be conducted amongst grassroots, non-profit and city government sectors of Philadelphia. Project findings will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders to understand the city’s approach in reaching and serving this population.
Vaibhavi Mone, MPH ‘19, will working with Management and Environmental Technologies Inc. (MET) on their METWorks Summer Program, a part of the Philadelphia Youth Network’s WorkReady program. Mone has a dual role in this program. First, she will refine and teach public health-related contextual learning experience curriculum to about 100 West Philadelphia youth, ages 14 to 18. Second, she will evaluate the overall impact of the program on youth participants. Mone will work closely with METWorks staff to incorporate evidence-based improvements and develop an evaluation toolkit for MET to be able to independently collect and summarize data in future summers. This curriculum and training is a way to empower youth to understand and improve health in their own neighborhoods.
Ornella Pitah, MPH ‘19, will work at the Department of Advocacy and Policy of the People Emergency Center, a nonprofit community development agency providing comprehensive homeless services. Pitah is developing research as part of the advocacy strategy for the Yay Babies Campaign to raise awareness of infants and toddlers experiencing homelessness among city, state and federal policymakers. Part of the advocacy strategy is to develop a literature review and policy briefs called “Brain Gain.” The briefs will inform policymakers on decisions concerning services to homeless children ages 0-3 and the adverse health outcomes of experiencing homelessness. Additionally, Pitah will engaging diverse stakeholder to build consensus in Children’s Work Group and FSPN on needed services for children ages 0-3 who are residing in emergency/transitional housing.
2017 Depth Experience (formerly Practicum) Awardees
The Urban Health Collaborative has awarded funding to four first-year Master of Public Health students completing their practicum experience with a focus on urban health. These projects cover a range of topics and incorporate a variety of activities poised to have significant impact on the health of Philadelphians. In addition to the standard practicum requirements, these students will be integrated into the Urban Health Collaborative, participating in UHC opportunities and receiving support from UHC staff and faculty.
Louisa Boison is working on two projects with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, Division of Chronic Disease Prevention, also known, as Get Healthy Philly. The first project involves surveying school principals and physical education staff in the Philadelphia School District about the physical activity practices in elementary schools, analyzing the data, and assessing the effectiveness of a specific campaign. The second project is focused on determining the effectiveness of a Stairwell Toolkit to promote physical activity among health department employees and will include research design, data collection, and data analysis.
Victoria Kontor is working at the Women's Law Project, a public interest law center devoted to the rights of women and girls. She is creating an aggregate data set that summarizes the demographics of girls aged 10-17 in Philadelphia with an emphasis on those in the juvenile justice system. The data set will be used in projects to work toward improved quality of life for girls in Philadelphia, especially those in the juvenile justice system, which include writing a policy agenda and briefing for the Health Commissioner and updating a previous publication called "Through the Lens of Equality: Eliminating Sex Bias to Improve the Health of Pennsylvania's Women" to include girls, and attempting to reorganize a Girls Coalition in Philadelphia.
Maitri Shah is working in the Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in North Philadelphia to integrate oral health services into this primary care setting. Interested and eligible patients, will receive dental care either the same day (during or after their primary care visit), or will be assisted in making a future appointment. Researchers will evaluate if the co-location of services improves the patient's compliance with dental health recommendations in children, and if there is perceived utility among participating caregivers and medical providers.
Kevin Smith is working at Mercy Hospital in West Philadelphia on a project to decrease the incidence of infectious disease within the hospital, specifically Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff). This project includes data collection to determine trends - tracking patients with a C. Diff diagnosis, tracking the amount of antibiotics prescribed to patients, analyzing how well patient rooms are cleaned between discharge and a new admittance, and tracking healthcare provider compliance with proper hand hygiene and personal protective equipment guidelines. This hospital is an important resource in the community, including nearby residents who feel a lack of access to primary care facilities and depend on the hospital for a wide variety of needs.
2016 Depth Experience (formerly Practicum) Awardees
Giselle Babiarz is working with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)'s Office of Communications and Engagement, assisting with multiple projects around the effects of built environment on health, advocating for healthy food environments, and partnership building between public health and urban planning.
Alexandra Skula is working with the Air Quality Division of the Environmental Protection Agency and Air Management Services to make data about air toxins more accessible and understandable to community members affected by them, particularly in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Vaishnavi Vaidya is working with the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity focusing on early childhood learning. She will research best practices and grant opportunities, and conduct outreach and program evaluations to support the A Running Start Philadelphia program.
Samantha Weckesser is working with the Health Federation of Philadelphia's Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities program to enhance the application of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) science, language, and data in 14 participating communities. She will assess the communities' policy related activities to inform technical assistance for their efforts.
If you have questions about scholarships, funding, or a specific public health program, reach out to the Drexel Dornsife admissions team or take the next step:
Request More Information
Scholarships & Fellowships