The Sparkman Fellows Program is intended for highly motivated and engaged students seeking to enhance their understanding of global issues in a stimulating learning environment. Fellows will have the opportunity to engage with UAB faculty in a collaborative environment outside of the classroom as well as be mentored by faculty in the Sparkman Scholars program.


Eligibility

All graduate and professional students at UAB may apply to become a Sparkman Fellow. Undergraduates with junior or senior standing may also apply to become a Sparkman Fellow.

Commitments

-Attend Scholars & Fellows meeting/seminar 4 times a year

-Participate in 1 service activity each semester

How to Apply

Applications have closed for the 2021-2022 Fellows cohort. Applications for the 2022-2023 academic year will open in March 2022. If you have questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


  • Highlighting Scholar/Fellow Collaborations

    Sparkman Scholars are part of a recognized network of UAB faculty working in the areas of global health and development. This network aims to facilitate developing new collaborations with colleagues across campus, as well as making linkages with students interested in global health and development. Sparkman Fellows are highly motivated and engaged students seeking to enhance their understanding of global health. Fellows are paired with a faculty member in the Sparkman Scholars program for mentorship over the course of one academic year.

    Here we want to highlight some of the projects Scholar-Fellow pairs have worked on over the years.

     

    Aduke and Janet

    Aduke and Janet

    Aduke Toluhi (2020 Fellow, BSPH/MPH and grad certificate in Global Health student) and Dr. Janet Turan (School of Public Health, Dept of Health Care Organization & Policy)

    With guidance from Dr. Turan, Aduke is developing a Mixed Method study on Racial Disparities and Maternal Mortality in the Grant Writing Course this semester. Another project Aduke is working on is HIV Contextual Factors Research in Nigeria. Hopefully she will be able to travel to Nigeria for data collection, but if necessary Aduke will remotely support the Nigerian team to carry out data collection while she focuses on data analysis.

    Next steps for Aduke include completing the mixed method design for the Racial Disparities in Maternal Mortality study, and completing the ethical review process with partners in Nigeria in preparation for the HIV study. Dr. Turan's experience working on international global health research projects and qualitative and mixed methods research are an invaluable resource to Aduke at this stage.
    EK and Gartin

    EK and Gartin

    Emma Kate Sellers (2020 Fellow, BSPH/MPH and grad certificate in Global Health student) and Dr. Meredith Gartin (School of Public Health, Dept of Health Care Organization & Policy) research immigrants and asylum seekers in Birmingham, AL.

    From Emma Kate: "I will be presenting an ePoster at CUGH about filling the gaps for refugees and asylum seekers in Alabama. The poster and presentation primarily focus on the role the Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership (ALIRP), a 501c3 organization founded in 2019, plays in assisting refugees and asylum seekers through direct support, educational programming, and advocacy. To better inform the direction their advocacy should take, I conducted a content analysis on news articles between 2016 and 2020 to compare anti-resettlement and pro-resettlement rhetoric regarding refugees and asylees in Alabama using NVIVO. Dr. Gartin and I also plan on assessing the needs of ALIRP's partners by interviewing other organizations supporting immigrants in Alabama as well as the refugees and asylum seekers ALIRP directly serves.

    I have been interested in working with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in healthcare since I began my public health education in 2018, but working with ALIRP was never on my radar until I was matched with Dr. Gartin - a current board member and chair of the Advocacy Committee at ALIRP - through the Sparkman Fellows program. I now understand the value needs assessments can play in fledgling organizations such as ALIRP. Through the Sparkman Fellows program, I submitted my first abstract as the primary author, was selected as a Lancet Student Global Health Poster Award finalist, and will present for the first time at a global health conference. I am very grateful for this opportunity provided by the Sparkman Center for Global Health and for Dr. Gartin's mentorship."
    Amy and Jodie

    Amy and Jodie

    Amy Jasani (2019 Fellow, BS Neuroscience & MPH) and Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom (School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases) research behavioral and clinical characteristics of three sexually transmitted infections potentially associated with women in Cameroon experiencing secondary infertility compared to fertility.

    Amy started in the Fellows program with wide-ranging interests in infectious diseases, nutrition and pediatrics from her previous global health experiences. Once paired with her Scholar mentor, Amy focused on contributing to Dr. Dionne-Odom's ongoing research.

    As part of the project, Amy did a review of existing literature on the topic and wrote a proposal for Honors Program thesis. Some of the skills Amy said she gained were:
    • Understanding study designs and how to epidemiological concepts in exploring a research question
    • Thinking about how a setting and culture affects a research question investigated, especially given her unfamiliarity of the Sub-Saharan Africa region and Cameroon going into the project
    • Doing a thorough literature search, especially with research studies and documents from international sources
    Alanazi Ford

    Alanazi Ford

    Abdullah Alanazi (2019 Fellow, PhD Rehabilitation Science) and Dr. Eric Ford (School of Public Health, Dept of Healthcare Organization & Policy)

    Abdullah's global health interests focus on tobacco use and substance abuse in the Middle East and North Africa. These matched with work Dr. Ford was already doing, so they were paired together. Abdullah had abstracts from work he did under Dr. Ford's guidance accepted at two different conferenes: the 11th Annual Conortium or Universities for Global Health and the 2020 National Institute Drug Abuse International Forum.
    Poleon Musa

    Poleon Musa

    Shervonne Poleon (2019 Fellow, PhD Vision Science) and Dr. Phillip Musa (Collat School of Business, Department of Management Information Systems and Quantitative Methods)

    Shervonne is interested in eHealth and mHealth and their applications for lower & middle income countries. One of her goals in the Fellows program was to identify major health challenges and needs in small-island developing states, like St. Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean. A step she took toward this goal was to gather survey data from a sample of 100 St. Lucians between 18 and 800 years old. The survey instrument gauged readiness for eHealth adoption, anticipated challenges, and national health priorities.

    Read more

  • 2021 Sparkman Fellows

    We are proud to announce the 2021 Sparkman Fellows! We have selected 13 outstanding applicants spanning 5 different schools within UAB. We look forward to having them expand their Global Health knowledge and grow as future practitioners over the course of this school year!

    Aboagye
    Anita Aboagye, MSW
    School of Education, Community Health & Human Services
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Carolyn Bolton Moore

    Anita Aboagye is a Doctoral Student in the School of Education, Department of Community Health & Human Services with a concentration in Health Education and Health Promotion. She is an international student from Ghana, and has worked as a Social worker both in Ghana and in the U.S. Her experience with the healthcare system in Ghana nurtured her desire in global health. Anita’s research interest focuses on addressing the social determinants of healthcare access and utilization in sub-Saharan Africa. She hopes to engage in research that explores and outlines the inadequacies, inefficiencies, and gaps in health systems with the aim of informing policy making; a step towards addressing the disparities in health. She also aspires to work for the World Health Organization to eliminate the social determinants of health especially in low-income countries.
    Annamalai
    Divya Annamalai
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Monsoor Saleh

    Divya is pursuing a BS in Neuroscience as well as the graduate certificate in Global Health. She's been active in many global health related activities on campus such as being President of Friends of MSF, the Global Health Case Competition, and taking part in the Sparkman internship with Aga Khan University in Kenya for Summer 2021. Her global health interests are focused on researching and reducing stigma surrounding health issues such as breast cancer and HIV/AIDS in resource constrained populations
    Bhadkamkar
    Tanvi Bhadkamkar
    School of Engineering
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Achala Gunasekara-Rockwell

    Tanvi is a fourth year undergraduate student studying Biomedical Engineering. She has participated in the Global Health Case Competition and is an activist for cardiovascular healthcare in rural and minority communities through the AHA. Tanvi is interested in the opioid epidemic and analyzing sustainable drug reduction strategies. She aspires to practice medicine and change the stigma surrounding care for substance abusers
    Dave
    Ami Dave
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Michael Vinikoor

    Ami Dave is a part of the Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program pursuing her undergraduate degree in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health studies as well as her Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Healthcare Organization and Policy. Her experience includes working to decrease stigma surrounding HIV through increased education of the condition as well as sexual health practices. She hopes to one day study the impact of infectious diseases on marginalized communities and how best to utilize policy and programs in promotion of equitable access to healthcare.
    Deutsch
    Jennifer Deutsch
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Ada Markaki

    Jennifer is currently a graduate student pursuing an MPH in Population Health with a Certificate in Global Health. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Anthropology and returned to her studies to become a registered nurse after living and traveling overseas for several years. She has worked as a Critical Care nurse for the last 13 years. Jennifer is interested in chronic disease management, health systems and policies, and immigrant/migrant/refugee health
    Evans
    Haley Evans
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Stacy Moak

    Haley Evans is currently an MPH student with a concentration in health behavior and a graduate certificate in global health. Haley has previously worked in Rwanda during her undergraduate career with the University of Central Arkansas. During summer 2021, Haley had the opportunity to intern with the Sunrise Center in Uganda in the field of maternal and child health. She plan to attend physician's assistant school and go into the field of obstetrics and women's health both in the United States and abroad.
    Khanna
    Soumya Khanna
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Sadeep Shrestha

    Soumya is pursuing an undergraduate neuroscience degree alongside a Fast-Track Masters of Public Health with a concentration in health behavior. She has participated in global health case competitions and has devoted time as a tutor to enhance English fluency for refugees in the Middle East. Her global health interests include improving the quality of life for migrants along with researching the intersections between neuroscience and public health. In the future, Soumya aspires to create a platform in which she can yield direct influence on upstream and downstream aspects of health issues as a public health practitioner and physician
    McCulloch
    Kerry McCulloch
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Paul Erwin

    Kerry is a graduate student pursing an MPH in Epidemiology and the Graduate Certificate in Global Health. Her interest in global health started while she was living in Mexico and teaching a mindfulness practice at a K-12 bilingual school. She is interested in health issues that affect migrant and refugee populations.
    Mittal
    Vani Mittall
    School of Public Health; College of Arts & Sciences
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Simon Manga

    Vani is an undergraduate student double majoring in Public Health and Biology. Her interests include mental health awareness and stigma, especially among minority populations, health disparities and equity, and the overall intersection of social justice and global health. Vani has been involved with the Friends of MSF student chapter and the Sparkman Global Health Case Competition at UAB for the last two years. In the future, Vani plans to work in clinical practice, using skills like cultural competency that stem from a strong global health foundation.
    Owuor
    Kevin Owuor
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Janet Turan

    Kevin Owuor is a doctoral student in Biostatistics. He is an international student from Kenya. He has ten years of experience as a Biostatistician in a number of HIV/AIDS care and treatment projects, and Maternal and Child Health implementation science research studies in Kenya. He is interested in learning from the mentors and also contributing his biostatistical skills to global health initiatives related to HIV/AIDS, Maternal and Child Health, and Cervical Cancer among others.
    Patel
    Sachi Patel
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Henna Budhwani

    Sachi Patel is an undergraduate student majoring in Neuroscience along with pursuing a Master's in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology through the Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program. Some of her interests in global health include addressing health care disparities and stigma in developing countries and preventing infectious diseases such as HIV that are a result of these disparities. Sachi hopes to go on to medical school to become a Physician where she will use her education and experiences to reduce health disparities and improve access to care.
    Raza
    Sikandar Raza
    School of Medicine
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Tina Reuter

    Sikandar is a rising fourth-year medical student from Birmingham, AL. He is currently planning to pursue an academic career in surgery that will emphasize global surgical outcomes and healthcare disparities research. His interests in improving health access stem from his upbringing in Pakistan and his work with the underserved population in Birmingham. Sikandar has led student groups at the medical school to provide educational opportunities for students about social determinants of health and racial disparities in both the local community and global setting.
    Soto
    Edgar Soto
    School of Medicine; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Jeff Wickliffe

    Edgar Soto is an MD/MSPH student at UAB. He is originally from Angao, Michoacan Mexico but grew up in Houston TX. He graduated from Trinity College in 2015 and previously worked as a 7th grade math teacher and a higher education consultant. He is interested in developing tangible policies and programs that improve healthcare outcomes in the Global South.

    Read more

  • 2020 Sparkman Fellows

    We are proud to announce the 2020 Sparkman Fellows! We have selected 17 outstanding applicants spanning 4 different schools within UAB. We look forward to having them expand their Global Health knowledge and grow as future practitioners over the course of this school year!

     
     
    Hassan Abu Nurah
    Hassan AbuNurah, MS
    School of Health Professions
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Eric Ford

    Hassan is currently a PhD candidate in the Rehabilitation Science program. He received his B.S. in Respiratory Therapy from Saudi Arabia and his M.S. in Health Sciences from Georgia State University. His research interests focus on critical care rehabilitation in and is currently investigating the impact of mechanical ventilation on respiratory muscles mechanics. He is also interested in advancing the globalization of respiratory care profession and critical care rehabilitation thorough international education
    Blake H
    Hassanatu Blake, MBA, MPH
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom

    Hassanatu is a Doctoral student in the SOPH, Department of Health Behavior with a concentration in Health Education and Promotion. She is a global health professional with 15 years working with international, national, and non-profit organizations in health program/project management, capacity building and systems strengthening, and HIV. Hassanatu’s experience as a EdTech entrepreneur working on online programming in Southern and West Africa, the Caribbean, and the US and the recent COVID-19 pandemic have influenced her research focus to include Telehealth and HIV.
    Boitano
    Teresa Boitano, MD
    School of Medicine
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Jayme Locke

    Teresa is currently a gynecologic oncology fellow in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UAB. Her experience includes working with women in Uganda decreasing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, fighting against human trafficking, and using advocacy to help increase women’s access to healthcare. She is currently studying cervical cancer prevention and treatment in Ethiopia along with helping develop access to gynecologic oncology education and training.
    Comstock
    Hannah Comstock
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Tina Kempin-Reuter

    Hannah is an undergraduate student majoring in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health and minoring in International Studies. Her experiences include interning with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition in Kingston, Jamaica, participating in the UAB Global Case Competition and studying public health in Khon Kaen. Thailand. Her interests include reducing stigma in vulnerable populations, refugee and migrant health and disaster relief.
    Madden Lunsford Headshot
    Norah Madden-Lunsford
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Chris Kyle

    Norah is in the process of getting her BS in Public Health and her MPH with a concentration in health behaviors. Her experience includes working with a rescue center and rural health clinic in Kenya as well as with primary and secondary schools in Kenya and in Jefferson County, Alabama. Coming from a family of artists, writers, and educators she is interested in the role that the arts and education play in public health and hopes to incorporate those interests with her future work in public health.
    Matta
    Anveetha Matta
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Wally Carlo

    Anveetha is in the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program, concurrently pursuing an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in health behavior. She has previously competed in global health conferences and will be working with the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health to promote healthy practices in the city of Birmingham. In regards to global health, Anveetha plans to work on health interventions as a researcher and physician in the fields of children with disabilities and maternal and child health in the hopes of reducing disparities found in the healthcare system.
    McWilliams
    Tim McWilliams
    School of Medicine; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Martin Rodriguez

    Tim is a rising second year M.D./MPH dual degree student from Huntsville, Alabama. Tim is interested in health behavior and how the medical and public health fields can best be blended together to improve health of the community.
    Molleti M
    Madhuri Molleti
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Lisa Sharlach

    Madhuri is currently an undergraduate student working toward obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Madhuri's global health interests include addressing healthcare disparities and access to quality education in developing countries. In the future, Madhuri would like to become a physician and work on public health issues both domestically and internationally.
    Morgan J
    Jessica Morgan, MPH
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Grace Jepkemboi

    Jessica received her MPH with a concentration in Health Behavior, in addition to a graduate certificate in Global Health, from UAB. She is currently a doctoral student in the Health Education and Health Promotion program in the School of Public Health. Her research interests focus on the prevention of infectious diseases in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, such as HIV and HIV related comorbidities; global health disparities due to food insecurity and environmental injustice; and stigma. She plans to pursue a career in research to develop innovative interventions addressing infectious diseases prevention among marginalized women and among the homeless population.
    Patterson
    Brianna Patterson, MPH
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Ria Hearld

    Brianna is currently a Ph.D. student in Medical Sociology, along with graduate certificates in Global Health and Leadership & Professional Development. Brianna’s interest in global health stems from her service both in the US Marine Corps and as a firefighter/paramedic in the community. She hopes to use her education and experiences to work with marginalized gender-nonconforming communities to reduce health disparities, improve access to care, and advocate for equal rights.
    Powell
    Mary Anne Powell
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Paul Erwin

    Mary Anne Powell is an undergraduate senior double majoring in Public Health and Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish. Her global health interest is the prevention of noncommunicable diseases like diabetes through social policy making that facilitates healthy behaviors. Mary Anne is especially interested in the effect these efforts can have in Latin American countries and among Latinx immigrants in the United States. She hopes to complete a PhD and conduct research on the intersection between policy and the social determinants of health
    Reddy
    Sunya Reddy
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Lynn Matthews

    Sunya is a rising senior and public health major from Alpharetta, Georgia. She is inspired by the intersection of global health and medicine, and she aims to one day address health concerns on both a population level and an individual level. Her global health experience is concentrated in Northern Ireland, where she has researched the effects of ethnonationalist conflict and conflict resolution on women’s health. Sunya hopes to continue investigating the impact of cultural awareness and conflict mediation on health outcomes, and, in the future, she aspires to further examine the interactions between mental health and health behaviors
    Sellers
    Emma Kate Sellers
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Meredith Gartin

    Emma Kate is a student in the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s program pursuing a BS in public health, a Spanish for Specific Purposes Certificate, and an MPH focused on Health Care Organization and Policy. Emma Kate’s passion for global health stems from working with immigrant communities, and her interests include health disparities and stigma facing the LGBTQ, indigenous, and other marginalized communities around the globe. She aspires to understand how health disparities in their native countries could affect immigrants in the United States.
    Suhaila
    Khawla 'Shefa' Suhaila, MPH
    School of Medicine
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. James Johnston

    Shefa is a current medical student. Her global health interest is in comprehensive health care access in rural and low-income areas through health education and preventive medicine. Topics of interest include neglected tropical diseases, surgery, and nutrition. Her goal is to work through non-profit organizations like Doctors Without Borders and NGOs to help improve health care infrastructure through community run clinics, local personnel training, and appropriate technologies.
    Toluhi
    Angelina Aduke Toluhi, MPH
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Janet Turan

    Aduke is a Doctoral student in the SOPH, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. She is an international student from Nigeria, and a 2020-21 AAUW International Fellow. She is a medical doctor with over 16 years’ experience in different areas of public health including maternal & child health and nutrition, HIV, infectious diseases like Polio and health systems strengthening. Aduke’s work experience in Africa has influenced her research interests that will continue to focus on maternal & child health and HIV.
    White
    Pandora White, PhD
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Sadeep Shrestha

    Pandora White received her PhD in biochemistry from The University of Alabama in 2019, MS in chemistry from The University of Alabama, and BS in chemistry from Alcorn State University. She is currently an MPH student in epidemiology at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and is pursuing a graduate certificate in global health. She has research interests in infectious diseases, cancer and translational medicine. She has conducted research projects in Poland, Peru, Taiwan, and India.
    Yukawa
    Mari Yukawa
    School of Public Health
    Scholar Mentor: Dr. Ada Markaki

    Mari is currently a graduate student pursuing an MPH in Health Behavior along with the Certificate in Global Health. She is interested in the intersection of health disparities among minority and immigrant populations. She aspires to improve the quality of life of underserved populations by increasing access to high quality healthcare services. She feels the Sparkman Fellows Program will contribute to her future goals in global health and development by giving her experience in the field.

    Read more

  • 2019 Sparkman Fellows

    The 2019 class of Sparkman Fellows included 15 students spanning 4 different schools within UAB. Read more about them below. Return to the main Fellows page here. 

    Alanazi
    Abdullah Alanzi
    School of Health Professions

    Abdullah is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Rehabilitation Science program at the UAB School of Health Professions. His current studies examine the relationship between asthma and substance use (e.g. tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cannabis) among adolescents. He is passionate about tobacco control and smoking prevention in the Middle East and North Africa. His future global health goals are to prevent substance abuse and promote well-being in the Arab league countries.
    Alqahtani
    Mohammed Alqahtani
    School of Health Professions

    Mohammed is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Rehabilitation Science at UAB. He is interested in doing research relevant to global health studies and more specifically on tobacco smoking, pulmonary rehabilitation, and chronic lung diseases among adult populations. He also holds a teaching position at King Saud University for Health Science in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
    Durham
    Camryn Durham
    School of Public Health

    Camryn is currently a graduate student pursuing an MPH in Health Behavior along with the Certificate in Global Health. Camryn’s interest in global health stems from her love for travel and understanding other cultures, as well as time spent studying and working in a small South African community. She hopes to use her education and experiences to work with local communities in order to implement sustainable solutions to clean water issues as well as sexual and reproductive health problems in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Greene
    Haley Greene
    School of Public Health

    Haley received a B.S. in Community and Public Health with a minor in Global Studies from Middle Tennessee State University. She is currently a graduate student working on her Masters of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology in addition to the graduate certificate in Global Health. Her research interests focus on the epidemiology of infectious disease in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as HIV-associated Tuberculosis and hemorrhagic fevers. She aspires to improve infectious disease reporting and control efforts in developing countries.
    Jasani
    Amy Jasani
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health

    Amy is pursuing an undergraduate neuroscience major and Fast-Track Masters of Public Health with a concentration in health behavior. She has participated and competed frequently in global health conferences while working with public health organizations on promoting physical activity/nutrition in youth and mental health resources. In global health, Amy plans to one day work on health interventions as a physician and researcher potentially in the fields of infectious diseases, physical health, or children with disabilities.
    Kavita
    Pauline Kavita
    School of Public Health

    Pauline is a graduate student in the MPH program with a focus on Environmental Health. Pauline is an international student from Kenya where she worked in non-profit organizations focused on women, children, and youth along with community education. Her career interests lie in environmental and occupational health & justice as well as toxicology due to her experience in Kenya’s horticultural industry, and she plans to pursue a PhD in toxicology and environmental medicine. She is also interested in reduction of HIV in infants and women in Kenya through education as well as including men who have been widely left out by the system.
    Khan
    Tayyaba Khan
    College of Arts & Sciences

    Tayyaba is an undergraduate student majoring in International Health and Human Rights. She is interested in the intersection of health disparities with human rights, particularly in stigmatized issues within developing countries and among marginalized communities. She aspires to work for the UN regarding global health policy and human rights advocacy.
    Kimbo
    Liza Kimbo
    School of Public Health

    Liza Kimbo is a Doctoral student in the SOPH, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. She is an international student from Kenya, and has worked for over 20 years in primary care and reproductive health policy. Liza’s work experience in Africa has influenced her research interests that will now focus on adolescent sexual reproductive health and HIV.
    Kwak
    Grace Kwak
    College of Arts & Sciecnces; School of Public Health

    Grace is a current undergraduate double majoring in Public Health and Medical Sociology. She is interested in studying maternal mortality in South Sudan and working through the South Sudan Health Care Organization. Her career interests include becoming a global health interventionist and hope to reduce maternal mortality in low to middle income countries and working with refugees.
    Poleon
    Shervonne Poleon
    School of Optometry

    Shervonne Poleon is a doctoral student in the School of Optometry studying Vision Science. Her current research focuses on elucidating socio-behavioral barriers to glaucoma management and developing strategies for improving adherence to prescribed therapy. She aims to expand this research into other chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease—particularly in developing countries and low-resource environments.
    Pratt
    Madeline Pratt
    School of Public Health

    Madeline Pratt is a current undergraduate senior studying Public Health with a concentration in Global Health. She plans to pursue an MPH in Maternal and Child Health and work in developing nations on reproductive health issues, especially maternal mortality. Eventually, she plans to work on a global scale combating the stigma and disparities that surround women’s health issues
    Rozek
    Morgan Rozek
    School of Public Health

    Morgan Rozek is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public health with a concentration in global health studies. Her experience includes working with primary and secondary schools in Ghana and Kenya as well as with children’s homes, rescue centers, and rural health clinics. Her interests include the burden of infectious diseases among children in sub-Saharan Africa, universal access to education, and global child welfare.
    Simons
    Leahgrace Simons
    School of Public Health

    Leahgrace Simons is currently a graduate student in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. She is interested in the intersection of identity and the social determinants of health with healthcare utilization and injury. She is also interested in the use of technology to serve rural areas as well as gene-environment interaction as a risk factor for cancer and other chronic diseases. She aspires to improve the quality of life and aging process for marginalized populations both domestically and internationally.
    Tobias
    Joshua Tobias
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health

    Joshua Tobias is an MPH/PhD Health Behavior and Medical Sociology graduate student with degrees from Saint Louis University and the University of Guam. His research broadly examines health care utilization & disparities through the intersection of medical sociology, urban sociology, public health, and demography. He hopes to use his advanced training to improve health care utilization and outcomes among immigrant and underrepresented minority groups in the United States.
    Wild
    Madelyn Wild
    School of Public Health

    Madelyn Wild is currently a second-year undergraduate public health major. My interests include maternal and child health, reproductive health, community health, and international emergency medical relief. My global health experiences includes serving as the event chair for the Global Health Interest Group, participating in the Sparkman Center’s Global Case Competition and I will intern in Panama City, Panama this summer with a focus in maternal and child health. In the future I hope to work to reduce the disparities in medical care for expecting mothers and infants across the globe.

     

    Read more

  • 2018 Sparkman Fellows

    The 2018 class of Sparkman Fellows included 16 students spanning 6 different schools within UAB. Read more about them below. Return to the main Fellows page here. 

     
     
    Agan
    Kane Agan
    School of Public Health

    Kane is an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public health. His interests include the effects of environment, agency and social norms on health in the global perspective as well as the capacity of cultural factors, such as art and collective memory, to effect health. His research is in peace system attributes and is held in the Department of Anthropology.
    Anderson
    Jami Anderson
    School of Health Professions

    Jami is a rising second year PhD student and Blazer Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Health Services Administration. She has graduate degrees in International Health and Biomedical Sciences with a post-graduate certificate in Global Mental Health in post-conflict areas. Jami’s research and travel experiences have inspired her to pursue globally-based efforts to transform health care through evidence-based practice. She aspires to improve maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, and mental health in low-income countries.
    Chang
    Bright Chang
    School of Dentisty

    Bright is currently a third year DMD candidate at the UAB School of Dentistry and hopes to pursue a career in Prosthodontics after graduation in 2019. His passion for helping the community has led him to serve on the Junior Board for the Cahaba Valley Health Care. His future goals are to promote global oral health, sharing guidelines and recommendations for using dental materials, giving hope back to the community by recreating masticatory function and smiles, and becoming a photographer to capture peoples’ special moments. He also hopes to inspire future generation of world leaders in healthcare.
    Gawlowicz
    Kennan Gawlowicz
    School of Public Health

    Kennan is currently an undergraduate global studies student in the School of Public Health (SOPH). Her experience in global health includes interning with Shoreland, Inc., participating in the Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference at UAB and participating in the Sparkman Center’s 2018 UAB Global Health Case Competition. Her career interests include emergency services, disaster relief, health care systems and policy and law. Mrs. Gawlowicz feels the Sparkman Fellows Program will contribute to her future goals in global health and development by giving her experience in the field.
    Ghanbari
    Rozhan Ghanbari
    School of Public Health

    When Rozhan Ghanbari was five years old, she moved from the Middle East to the United States. Throughout the years she developed a perspective that formed from two completely different cultures — Iranian and American. Ms. Ghanbari wanted to gain an even broader perspective and that is why she worked with different organizations such as the Food Bank, YMCA, an HIV access support network and a local Free Clinic. She started working on a positive deviant study with a professor here at UAB. The research focuses on HIV in African Americans in the Birmingham community. Additionally, Ms. Ghanbari is hoping to volunteer abroad this upcoming summer. Her career interests includes biostatistics, global health and epidemiology.
    Gilmour
    Laura Gilmour
    School of Business

    Laura Gilmour is a graduate student in the UAB Collat School of Business. Her experience in global health includes various humanitarian projects in developing countries. She assisted with a pediatric clinic at an orphanage outside of Johannesburg, South Africa and at several pediatric clinics within three South Sudanese refugee camps in Uganda. While in Uganda, she screened for PTSD and depression among adults in the camps. Her long-term career goal includes global health humanitarian work, specifically by helping to reduce childhood mortality, and working with refugee populations.
    Jiang
    Wenyun Jiang
    School of Public Health

    Wenyun Jiang is currently a Fast Track Master of Public Health student. Her career interests include global health ethics, specifically the ethics of infectious diseases. Ms. Jiang is also interested in reducing the stigma of HIV/AIDS, mental illness or other related diseases. Ms. Jiang seeks to understand the social, political and behavioral aspects of health and desires to bridge the gap between sciences and humanities, generating a multidisiciplinary perspective to solve the questions of global health.
    Martinez
    Macarena Martinez
    School of Public Health

    Macarena Martinez is an international student from Santiago, Chile with 7 years of experience in the Chilean public health system as a clinical midwife. Her career specialty includes infant and maternal mortality interventions and women's health rights. Ms. Martinez has worked with immigrants from Peru, Haiti, Venezuela and Colombia on the secondary and tertiary level of care. Ms. Martinez desires to establish a relationship between the Sparkman Center for Global Health and Chile for future researchers. Her long-term career goal is to improve the health outcomes of immigrant women and children in Chile.
    Richard
    Megan Richard
    School of Public Health

    Megan Richard is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in public health. Ms. Richard's experience in global health includes serving as the president of the Global Health Interest Group (GHIG) in the School of Public Health, partnering with Dr. Debby Bowers (MedHope Africa) to make reusable menstrual pads for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, and addressing female genital mutilation (FGM) and early forced marriage (EFM) in the Masaai tribe in Kenya. Her interests within global health include the environment (specifically sustainability and energy) and/or girls' education. It is Ms. Richard's desire to further her research and fieldwork within the global health spectrum through the Sparkman Fellows Program.
    Robinson
    Lyndsey Robinson
    School of Nursing

    Lyndsey Robinson is a graduate student in the UAB School of Nursing. Ms. Robinson is majoring in the Family Nurse Practitioner program, with the long-term career goal of working as a Family Nurse Practitioner and health educator in countries like Haiti and Nepal. Ms. Robinson's passion is in Maternal-Fetal medicine (reduction in MMR/IMR) and childhood disease prevention through nutrition and vaccination.
    Samuel
    Shekwonya Evelyn Samuel
    School of Public Health

    Shekwonya is currently a graduate student in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health. While completing her undergraduate studies at Nasarawa State University, Ms. Samuel was exposed to patterns of diseases such as malaria, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis and hepatitis through the module “Principles of Epidemiology and Public Health.” Ms. Samuel’s experience in epidemiology, interning with the 347 Nigerian Airforce Hospital Laboratory and being a citizen of Nigeria (where these diseases are prevalent) have fueled her interest in being able to use her gained knowledge to reduce infection rates and improve health care for those already infected in underdeveloped and developing countries.
    Saxena
    Shreya Saxena
    School of Public Health

    Shreya is currently pursuing a MPH degree in Health Behavior and also preparing for her medical boards and licensing exams. Since completing medical school, she has been actively involved in working with various non-profit and government organizations. She has been a part of various medical teams in different parts of SE-Asia. She has also served with the government of Delhi as a medical doctor (Junior Consultant) for more than 1.5 years. Her keen interests lie in mental health, substance abuse, and various other health disparity-related outcomes. She loves her clinical experience and feels that it has helped her serve rural and underserved populations, which are in greatest need of medical help and aid.
    Schusterman
    Jennifer Schusterman
    School of Public Health

    Jennifer Schusterman is a graduate student in UAB School of Public Health, with a concentration in maternal and child health. Her interest in global health began while researching women’s health in North Africa, specifically the practice of female genital mutilation. She has become more vested in learning about health disparities in women and how to advocate for women’s health while respecting cultural beliefs.
    Sims
    Wynton Sims
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health

    Wynton Sims is an undergraduate student, majoring in chemistry and he is a Fast Track MPH student, with a concentration in health behavior.Mr. Sims global health experience includes volunteering in a rural clinic in Guatemala. The experience opened his eyes to the disparities that exist in clinical care and availability of medical supplies to developing countries. Mr. Sims is career interest includes chronic disease disparities within developing countries, specifically how heart disease prevalence differs between urban and rural Guatemalan communities.
    Toms
    Catherine Toms
    School of Public Health

    Dr. Catherine Toms is a graduate student in the School of Public Health. She is majoring in maternal and child health policy and leadership. Dr. Toms studied medicine in Munich, Germany and practiced medicine in Norway. She also completed her medical clerkship in Uster, Switzerland, and Cork, Ireland. Dr. Toms would like to use her skills to improve health outcomes in maternal and child health in developing countries. She is currently working on a behavioral intervention in Birmingham to reduce maternal infection and the resulting vertical transmission of CMV to unborn babies.
    Vashi
    Bijal Vashi
    School of Public Health; School of Health Professions

    Bijal is currently finishing her B.S. in Public Health, and is now working towards her M.S. in Biomedical and Health Sciences. She aspires to improve community health through both public health and medicinal practices. Her interest lies in communicable disease, such as HIV/AIDS and diarrheal diseases. Bijal currently works on projects in the Department of Surgery regarding gastrointestinal diseases.

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  • 2017 Sparkman Fellows

    The 2017 class of Sparkman Fellows included 15 students spanning 5 different schools within UAB. Read more about them below. Return to the main Fellows page here.

     
     
    Arrage
    Joshua Arrage
    School of Health Professions; Collat School of Business

    Josh is a currently pursuing an MSHA and MBA as well as the Global Health Certificate. Josh strives to make a difference in the lives of others. This coupled with his personal healthcare experiences, created his desire to work in healthcare. More specifically, Josh has an interest in exploring the world of international healthcare management and leadership; working to improve delivery systems, population health, and care coordination. He has spent time in China working for a non-profit organization focusing on Leprosy care.
    Biligowda
    Niranjan Biligowda
    School of Public Health

    Niranjan is a dentist from India pursuing a Master's of Public Health in Epidemiology. He is interested in studying the changing trends of chronic diseases worldwide and increasing preventative measures for sexually transmitted diseases, specifically HIV and AIDS. Niranjan currently works on projects in the Department of Biomaterials at the UAB School of Dentistry regarding research of new products which are more compatible for oral health.
    Dosunmu
    Tolu Dosunmu
    School of Public Health

    Tolu is an MPH student in Health Behavior. His interest lies in organizing community health outreaches, education, and campaigns on simple disease prevention techniques like proper hand washing, use of condoms, and breast feeding techniques in rural Western Africa communities. He hopes to create behavioral interventions to tackle the challenges faced in many rural West African communities.
    Dasigi
    Jay Dasigi
    School of Medicine

    Jay grew up in Atlanta, GA, and attended the University of Georgia where he developed an interest in emerging global diseases while pursuing a B.S. in Microbiology and a B.A. in Economics. He is currently enrolled in the MD program at the UAB School of Medicine and intends to conduct a scholarly research project in infectious diseases. He also plans on pursuing further studies in public health and epidemiology in the future.
    Huynh
    Trinh Huynh
    School of Public Health

    Trinh is an MPH Student in Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership. She earned her B.S. and M.S. in Biotechnology from the International University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her interest in Maternal and Child Health has grown since she started to work for Trinh Foundation Australia, a non-profit organization providing support for children with Autism and other disabilities in Vietnam. After graduating from MPH program, she hope to continue working with children with Autism and practicing to improve women and child health in global scenario.
    Jackson S
    Sherna Jackson
    School of Public Health; Collat School of Business

    Sherna is a dual degree MPH in Epidemiology/MBA student. Sherna earned a bachelor's degree in Health Education from the University of Florida. Her desire is to work with marginalized communities and creating interventions to improve their health outcomes.
    Jackson Sarah
    Sarah Jackson
    School of Medicine

    Sarah is currently a third year medical student at UAB. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and completed her MPH in international health and development from Tulane University. She previously worked for the Maasai American Organization in Kenya as a graduate student, and served in the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa, where she managed an acute malnutrition project for the United Nations World Food Program. Her interests include maternal and child health, tropical medicine and refugee issues.
    Khatri
    Khushbu Khatri
    School of Public Health; Collat School of Business

    Khushbu is pursuing a MPH degree in the Health Care Organization and Policy Department as well as a MBA at the Collat School of Business. She aspires to improve the quality of life of underserved populations by increasing access to high quality healthcare services through systems reform.
    Krishna
    Sandhya Krishna
    College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health

    Sandhya is a rising senior at UAB majoring in biology and on the 5 year Public Health Masters program. Her interest in menstrual hygiene management began with her involvement in Period, a new campus organization, and continues to mold her focus around global health. Her passion for animals has drawn her towards wildlife conservation and bridging the gap between health maintenance of human and wildlife populations.
    Liu
    Chang Liu
    School of Public Health

    Chang is currently an MPH student in the Department of Health Care Organizatin and Policy. He is from Beijing, China. His interests lie in health care management, health economic, finance in health care field and policy analysis. With the international experience, he desires to improve the efficiency of local hospitals in rural places and promote local health care regulations in developing countries.
    Moore
    Matthew Moore
    School of Public Health

    Matthew is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health. During his undergraduate years pursuing degree in nutrition, Matthew traveled to several countries in Asia and Central America, including Thailand, India, and Belize. His experiences abroad led him to realize the importance of nutrition and wellness in Maternal and Child Health, especially during the first 1,000 days. He hopes to move abroad after graduation to pursue these interests, learning from and impacting the lives of communities in other nations.
    Moss
    Samuel Moss
    School of Public Health

    Samuel is an undergraduate student pursuing his B.S. in Public Health, with a concentration in global health. His passion lies in improving the health status of minority and immigrant populations as well as easing the burden of health disparities in low-income populations. His past research includes work with maternal and neonatal health outcomes relating to sepsis in India as well as the health of American Muslim women.
    Nappoe
    Steve Nappoe
    School of Public Health

    Stevie is an MPH student in Health Care Organization and Policy and Fulbright Scholar from Indonesia. He was working as a research assistant in developing quality health care for maternal and child health in the rural area in his country. His research interests include maternal and child health, health care reform, quality of health care, health system and management, health policy, and health disparities.
    Russell
    Judson Russell
    School of Public Health

    Judson is currently working on an MPH at the School of Public Health, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Global Health Studies with UAB's Sparkman Center for Global Health. Judson’s prior research experiences include access to care, health care infrastructure, and chronic disease epidemiology in rural Alabama. Building on prior service work in rural Central America, Judson hopes to provide sustainable, innovative solutions to underserved populations experiencing health disparities both domestic and abroad.
    Sherwood
    Nicholas Sherwood
    College of Arts & Sciences

    Nick is earning his MA in the Anthropology of Peace and Human Rights while serving as a graduate assistant at UAB’s Institute for Human Rights. He has undergraduate degrees in Psychology & Political Science from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. His primary research interests are assessing trauma & resilience in post-conflict societies and synthesizing Sterling & Eyer’s concept of Allostasis with cultural trauma theory. He is currently researching the biopsychosocial antecedents and outcomes of traumatized Israelis and Palestinians. Nick is also a consultant to RooChute, a global mental health initiative focused on US music festivals, including Bonnaroo, Coachella, and Lollapalooza.

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  • 2016 & prior, Sparkman Fellows

    2016 Sparkman Fellows

    Name UAB School
    Aarin Palomares School of Public Health
    Chapelle Ayres College of Arts and Sciences/School of Public Health
    Russ Timothy School of Public Health
    Katherine Hymel School of Public Health
    Katherin Zimmerman School of Medicine
    Leonardo Carrubba School of Public Health
    Marissa Swanson College of Arts and Sciences
    Mary Orr School of Public Health
    Megan Collins School of Medicine/School of Public Health
    Myrline Gillot School of Public Health
    Nuzhat Fabiha Majid School of Public Health
    Reshmi Mukerji School of Public Health
    Seth Borgstede School of Public Health

     


    2015 Sparkman Fellows

    Name UAB School
    Abegboyega Timothy Adewale School of Public Health
    Anna Carr Faurot School of Public Health
    Anne Caroline Coicou Durena School of Public Health
    Aowen Zhu College of Arts and Sciences
    Elaine McGlaughlin School of Public Health
    Fiona DeSimone School of Education
    Jessie Kate Barton School of Public Health
    Meghan Hofto School of Public Health
    Pamela Leah Nakabugo Musoke School of Public Health
    Raghu Kasa School of Public Health
    Sara Johnson School of Nursing
    Sarah Myers School of Nursing
    Seth Graves School of Public Health
    Will Rutland School of Medicine & Public Health

    2014 Sparkman Fellows

    Name UAB School
    Anna Helova School of Public Health
    Antonika Souder School of Public Health
    Bliss Chang College of Arts and Sciences
    Charles A. Leath School of Public Health
    Courtney Rutherford College of Arts and Sciences
    David Kim School of Medicine
    Gisella Mancarella School of Public Health
    Haley Kendrick College of Arts and Sciences
    Josh Muhammad School of Health Professions
    Jumoke Ladapo School of Public Health
    Nathan Bayou Jemison School of Engineering
    Stephanie Tison School of Public Health
    Victoria Allen College of Arts and Sciences
    Yamini Bhat College of Arts and Sciences
    Yoonhee Charity Ryder College of Arts and Sciences

    2013 Sparkman Fellows

    Name UAB School
    Amber Beg School of Medicine
    Anna Joy Graves School of Medicine
    Chenoia Bryant College of Arts and Sciences
    Emmanuel Osinuga School of Public Health
    Evelyn Interis School of Public Health
    Fan Xiong School of Engineering
    Hannah Bowers College of Arts and Sciences
    Harsh Shah College of Arts and Sciences
    Jiabin Shen College of Arts and Sciences
    Kathryn Doornbos School of Medicine
    Meghan McClain School of Public Health
    Michael Thornsberry School of Public Health
    Michelle Williams School of Public Health
    Modupeoluwa Durojaiye School of Public Health
    Nathaniel Rogers School of Medicine
    Nikhita Jain College of Arts and Sciences
    Rebecca Graber College of Arts and Sciences
    Rebecca Honaker School of Public Health
    Rebecca Williams School of Medicine
    Travis Porter School of Public Health

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