Nine named 2010 Adel Mahmoud Global Health Scholars
The Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW) at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs has selected nine undergraduates as the 2010 Adel Mahmoud Global Health Scholars. The scholars, all juniors, will receive financial support for travel and research to pursue global health-related internships and senior thesis research.
Funded by a grant from The Merck Company Foundation, the Mahmoud Global Health Scholars program is based at CHW and was established in 2007 to foster new opportunities to engage Princeton undergraduates in global health policy. It was created in honor of Adel Mahmoud M.D., Ph.D. for his pioneering work in global health. Mahmoud has appointments in the Wilson School and Princeton’s Department of Molecular Biology.
The nine 2010 Adel Mahmoud Global Health Scholars are:
Christine Blauvelt ’12 is an Anthropology major pursuing a Global Health and Health Policy certificate. Based on her experience last summer evaluating HIV testing in underserved neighborhoods of the city, she plans to investigate the barriers to HIV prevention and treatment for Arab women. After constructing a context for implementing health policies to combat HIV/AIDS in Arab countries, Blauvelt will explore a proposed intervention strategy to normalize the HIV testing process.
Lauren Brachman ’12 is a Sociology major enrolled in two certificate programs: Global Health and Health Policy, and the Study of Women and Gender. For her junior and senior independent work she will study the extent to which gender variance affects the shared decision-making process between doctors and their patients in primary health care settings and clinics. She will focus on investigating what brings transgender patients to clinics designed specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations. Brachman will volunteer at a local clinic while conducting her research, which will consist of both participant observation and in-depth interviews.
Brittany Cesarini ’12 is a Woodrow Wilson School major pursuing certificates in African Studies and in the Study of Women and Gender. She intends to continue her research from the previous summer on sexual and reproductive health in Tanzania, focusing on novel approaches to address health information and access problems. Recognizing how a lack of resources afflicts the government and non-profit sectors, Cesarini will investigate opportunities for cost-effective interventions that can significantly improve the health of Tanzanian women.
Allison Daminger ’12 is an Anthropology major enrolled in the Global Health and Health Policy certificate program. Her thesis research will explore the conceptualization and integration of mental health care into HIV/AIDS treatment in Latin America. Daminger will undertake a comparative study of the mental health care currently provided to people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) across a range of healthcare contexts in an Argentinean city, investigating the attention given to mental health issues in public and private AIDS treatment facilities as well as the treatment of PLWHA in psychiatric hospitals.
Marlise Jean-Pierre ’12 is an English major pursuing certificates in Spanish, African-American Studies and American Studies. She will study mental illness and its relation to natural disasters, researching the most effective way for mental illness patients to obtain the treatment they need. Jean-Pierre plans to utilize and assay the writings the oral histories of New Orleans residents to study how their stories can be used in structuring a viable means of providing mental health assistance.
Megan Orlando ’12 is an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major pursuing a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy. For her independent work she plans to employ a dually focused approach that explores policy components and underlying biological factors of antibiotic resistance and disease management. She will begin her summer research at Resources for the Future, examining comparisons of antibiotic resistance problems across countries, what the reasons are for differences, how important social norms might be, and what might be done to improve practice in the US.
Nilan Schnure ’12 is Molecular Biology major enrolled in the Global Health and Health Policy certificate program. He intends to study Sri Lanka’s health care policy, beginning with a library investigation of the major actors in the national policy’s formation, and exploring whether the policy’s reach is as universal as it claims to be. Schnure’s fieldwork will assess what cultural values the national policy reflects and to what extent patients feel that their own needs are met. He may also draw comparisons between patient care in Sri Lanka’s National Cancer Institute and a cancer research center in the U.S.
Shivani Sud ’12 is a Molecular Biology major pursuing certificates in Neuroscience and in Global Health and Health Policy. She is currently working on developing a portable cervical cancer detection and lesion ablation technology. Sud hopes to see whether such technologies can help reduce barriers to diagnoses, and whether they can help reduce cervical cancer mortality when properly integrated with education and empowerment movements. If the device matures properly, she will investigate the application of policy research with actual utilization, clinics’ acceptance of the device, and how mobile campaigns can be established.
Sojung Yi ’12 is an Anthropology major pursuing a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy. She intends to expand her current research on the mobilization and interaction of health-related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) within South Africa and Brazil. By examining the trajectories of these two countries’ health care systems, she will compare the roles NGOs adopt in each context, and how their expectations, whether those they have created for themselves or those that have been imposed upon them by foreign aid or local governance, translate into action.
“Generous support from the Merck Company Foundation enables nine talented Princeton students to engage in diverse aspects of global health research,” said Christina Paxson, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School. “This program gives them hands-on experience in the investigation of health and health policy issues, which will enrich and inform their academic and professional pathways.”
As part of the program, up to nine juniors are selected each fall by a faculty selection committee for the scholars program, which will run until 2011. The rigorous application and selection process focuses on both academic performance and interest in global health issues.
This past summer the 2009 Scholars researched breast cancer in Kenya, health and food security in South Africa, health care access in Peru, malaria in Sierra Leone, access to healthcare technology and the right to health in Brazil, the H1N1 influenza vaccine in Australia and Canada, reproductive and sexual health in Kenya, and the contraceptive attitudes, perceptions and behaviors of HIV-positive clients in Guatemala. These students are currently integrating their summer research into their senior theses.
The Mahmoud Global Health Scholars program also features a lecture series, which brings a leading researcher and/or practitioner in global health policy to Princeton annually.
The Center for Health and Wellbeing is an interdisciplinary center within the Woodrow Wilson School, which seeks to foster research and teaching on the multiple aspects of health and wellbeing in both developed and developing countries.
About The Merck Company Foundation
The Merck Company Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck, a global healthcare leader, the Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is Merck's chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit, charitable organizations. Since its inception, The Merck Company Foundation has contributed more than $600 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck's overall mission to help the world be well. For more information, visit www.merckcompanyfoundation.org.