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The Sparkman Fellows Program is a mentorship opportunity for highly motivated and engaged students seeking to enhance their understanding of global issues in a stimulating learning environment. Each Fellow is matched with a current Sparkman Scholar for a year of 1:1 mentorship.

  • What & how of Sparkman Fellows

    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.

    You do not have to be studying a specific area or in a specific degree program to apply for the program.

    The Sparkman Fellows program runs along with the academic year -- new Fellows are accepted in the spring to be matched with Scholar mentors and attend orientation over the summer, and then meet with their mentor across Fall and Spring semesters. If you are graduating in the Fall semester, you can still apply to be a Fellow; however, we will prioritize accepting students who can participate in the full-year of the program.

    Expectations

    • Meet with your Scholar mentor at least once per month across Fall and Spring semesters (8 meetings minimum over the academic year).
    • Attend 3 sessions with the Sparkman Center team and the entire Fellows cohort: (1) Orientation, typically in May or June; (2) Fellows kick-off meeting, typically in August; (3) Wrap-up meting, typically in late April or early May.
    • Engage with the rest of your cohort in the Sparkman Fellows Canvas course, and submit assignments to Sparkman Center (program goals, mid-point assessment, and final presentation) on time.
    • Communicate with your Mentor in a timely manner in order to schedule meetings and follow-up on any projects or tasks
    • Balance your global health interests & goals for mentorship with flexibility and openness to ideas for collaboration with your mentor

    How to Apply

    Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year are now open. Submissions will be accepted until April 1, 2023 at 11:59 PM CST. 

    If you have questions, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

    Read more

  • 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. Swipe through the slideshow below for examples of current and recent Scholar/Fellow mentor pairs:

     

    • Anveetha ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Carlo

      Anveetha ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Carlo

      2020 Fellow: Anveetha Matta, Undergraduate student in Neuroscience, College of Arts & Science, and MPH student in Health Behavior, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Wally Carlo, Heersink School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Neonatology

      More information to be added soon!
    • Haley ('21 Fellow) + Dr. Moak

      Haley ('21 Fellow) + Dr. Moak

      2021 Fellow: Haley Evans, MPH student in Health Behavior and graduate certificate in Global Health, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Stacy Moak, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Political Science & Public Administration

      As a Sparkman Fellow, Haley has been working on the literature review and IRB approval for Dr. Moak and Dr. Tina Reuter's ongoing intervention regarding women's menstruation education and empowerment in the Maasai Mara community in Kenya. Haley was awarded an SOPH travel scholarship in Spring 2022 to support her travel to the Nashulai Conservancy in the Maasai Mara alongside Dr. Moak in May.
    • Divya ('21 Fellow) + Dr. Saleh

      Divya ('21 Fellow) + Dr. Saleh

      2021 Fellow: Divya Annamalai, Undergraduate student in Neuroscience, College of Arts & Sciences, and graduate certificate in Global Health, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Monsoor Saleh, Heersink School of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology

      More information to be added soon!
    • Jessica ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Jepkemboi

      Jessica ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Jepkemboi

      2020 Fellow: Jessica Morgan, PhD student in Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Education
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Grace Jepkemboi, School of Education

      More information to be added soon!
    • EK ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Gartin

      EK ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Gartin

      2020 Fellow: Emma Kate Sellers, BSPH/MPH and grad certificate in Global Health student, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Meredith Gartin, School of Public Health, Dept of Health Policy & Organization

      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."
    • Shervonne ('19 Fellow) + Dr. Musa

      Shervonne ('19 Fellow) + Dr. Musa

      2019 Fellow: Shervonne Poleon, PhD student in Vision Sciences, School of Optometry
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Philip 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.
    • Madeline ('19 Fellow) + Dr. Matthews

      Madeline ('19 Fellow) + Dr. Matthews

      2019 Fellow: Madeline Pratt, BSPH/MPH student in Maternal & Child Health, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Lynn Matthews, Heersink School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

      Madeline joined the Fellows program hoping to gain real-world experience research, make connections that would last into her future career, and develop a deeper understanding of the impacts of HIV on maternal and child health. Dr. Matthews brought Madeline onto her research team for two projects: the Healthy Families Program in Uganda, which focused on safer conception use in serodiscordant couples, and a PrEP study in Alabama focused on young Black women.

      By the end of their collaboration year in the Fellows program, Dr. Matthews hired Madeline to continue working with her team in the School of Medicine as a Clinical Research Coordinator. Since then, Madeline had a first-author paper published in Culture, Health & Sexuality, an international journal for research, intervention and care: "'I still desire to have a child': a qualitative analysis of intersectional HIV- and childlessness-related stigma in rural southwestern Uganda." See the full article here.
    • Mary Anne ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Erwin

      Mary Anne ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Erwin

      2020 Fellow: Mary Anne Powell, Undergraduate student in Foreign Languages/Spanish and Public Health, College of Arts & Science and School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Paul Erwin, School of Public Health, Dept of Health Policy & Organization

      Mary Anne was able to apply her studies in both Spanish and Public Health by working with Dr. Erwin to compare the responses to COVID-19 in the US and Cuba. Through this process, Mary Anne learned how to conduct a literature review.

      From this work, Mary Anne, Dr. Erwin and Dr. Bermejo of the Kourí Tropical Medicine Institute published the article "Comparing COVID-19 Responses in Cuba and the United States" in the American Journal of Public Health in late 2021. See the article here.
    • Amy ('19 Fellow) + Dr. Dionne-Odom

      Amy ('19 Fellow) + Dr. Dionne-Odom

      2019 Fellow: Amy Jasani, Undergraduate student in Neuroscience, College of Arts & Science, and MPH student in Health Behavior, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom, Heersink School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

      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 on behavioral and clinical characteristics of three sexually transmitted infections potentially associated with women in Cameroon experiencing secondary infertility compared to fertility.

      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
    • Abdullah ('19 Fellow) + Dr. Ford

      Abdullah ('19 Fellow) + Dr. Ford

      2019 Fellow: Abdullah Alanazi, PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Health Professions
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Eric Ford, School of Public Health, Dept of Health Policy & Organization

      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.
    • Madhuri ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Sharlach

      Madhuri ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Sharlach

      2020 Fellow: Madhuri Molleti, Undergraduate student in Public Health, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Lisa Sharlach, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Political Science & Public Administration

      Madhuri worked with Dr. Sharlach to learn how to conduct health policy research on interpersonal violence in Pakistan, South Africa, and Peru. The She is working with Dr. Sharlach on this research with the goal of updating a chapter of Dr. Sharlach's book on this topic
    • Mari ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Markaki

      Mari ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Markaki

      2020 Fellow: Mari Yukawa, MPH student in Health Behavior and graduate certificate in Global Health, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Ada Markaki, School of Nursing, Dept of Family, Community & Health Systems

      Mari's projects as a Sparkman Fellow supported Dr. Markaki's work as co-director of the PAHO-WHO Collaborating Center housed in the School of Nursing. Mari assisted in developing a 4-module asynchronous distance accessible course for healthcare professionals with topics like trauma-informed care and domestic violence against women.
    • Shefa ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Johnston

      Shefa ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Johnston

      2020 Fellow: Shefa Suhaila, MD student in Heersink School of Medicine
      Scholar mentor: Dr. James Johnston, Heersink School of Medicine, Dept of Surgery

      More information to be added soon!
    • Aduke ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Turan

      Aduke ('20 Fellow) + Dr. Turan

      2020 Fellow: Aduke Toluhi, DrPH student in Maternal & Child Health, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Janet Turan, School of Public Health, Dept of Health Policy & Organization

      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.
    • Anita ('21 Fellow) + Dr. Bolton Moore

      Anita ('21 Fellow) + Dr. Bolton Moore

      2021 Fellow: Anita Aboagye, PhD student in Health Education and Health Promotion, School of Education
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Carolyn Bolton Moore, Heersink School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

      Anita is a Doctoral Student in the School of Education, Department of Community Health & Human Services. Anita’s research interest focuses on addressing the social determinants of healthcare access and utilization in sub-Saharan Africa. Together, with Dr. Bolton-Moore, she is facilitating her international research project titled "Linkage to Care and Treatment Among Adolescents in the Era of Test and Start: A mixed methods evaluation in Lusaka, Zambia" this summer!
    • Soumya ('21 Fellow) + Dr. Shrestha

      Soumya ('21 Fellow) + Dr. Shrestha

      2021 Fellow: Soumya Khanna, Undergraduate student in Neuroscience, College of Arts & Sciences, and MPH student in Health Behavior, School of Public Health
      Scholar mentor: Dr. Sadeep Shrestha, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology

      More information to be added soon!

      Read more

    • 2023 Sparkman Fellows

      We are excited to announce our 2023 cohort of Sparkman Fellows! This group of students, our largest cohort yet, was selected from a competitve pool of applicants. We are looking forward to see how there knowledge and experience expands while working alongside their Scholar & the Sparkman Team over the course of the next academic year! 

       

      Alapati
      Gitanjali Alapati
      College of Arts and Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Katia Bruxvoort

      Gitanjali Alapati is an ABM student pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Behavior. She is passionate about working on infectious diseases in the context of transmission, prevention and cure specifically Malaria through a global health perspective. She has lived in India for almost 11 years and has had first hand exposure to the need for the availability of preventative equipment in rural areas to combat diseases such as Malaria and Dengue. Gitanjali aims to attend medical school after her undergraduate degree and continue to work on infectious diseases in the future.
      Angus
      Erik Angus
      School of Public Health; Collat School of Business
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Colleen Fisher

      Erik is in his final year of study as an MBA/MPH dual-degree student with a concentration in population health, where he has competed in the UAB Global Health Case Competition and completed a Healthy Policy Ambassadorship in partnership with the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy and the Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution.He has over five years of healthcare technology professional experience in engineering and consulting work at organizations like Oracle and currently at Unite Us. Erik’s global health interest is focused around the development of technology and systems that create environments where it is easy for people to live long and healthy lives.
      Bobba
      Sumedha Bobba
      College of Arts and Sciences; Collat School of Business
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Michael Vinikoor

      Sumedha Bobba is a senior majoring in Neuroscience and concurrently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration. During the Summer 2023 semester, Sumedha travelled to Kingston, Jamaica, where worked with the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition. Her work was primarily centered on advocating for individuals living with HIV and survivors of gender-based violence. Her overarching aspiration is to utilize her medical and global health background to champion the cause of cultural humility in healthcare practices, all the while addressing the social and structural barriers contributing to health disparities.
      Chambers
      Suneeti Chambers
      College of Arts and Sciences
      Scholar Mentor:

      Suneeti Chambers is an undergraduate senior and is currently pursuing a degree in neuroscience. Her global health interests encompass infectious diseases, sexual and reproductive health, and the impact of culture and environment on global health. Looking ahead, she aspires to integrate global health principles into her future role as a health professional and actively advocate for a broader spectrum of patient needs
      Davis
      Kenneth Davis
      Heersink School of Medicine; Collat School of Business
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Stacy Moak

      Kenneth Davis is currently in his fourth year of medical school, working towards an MD/MBA dual degree at UAB. His primary focus lies in enhancing health literacy and ensuring better access to healthcare services for rural populations within the United States. Kenneth has gained valuable experience in providing care during a weeklong mission trip to the Dominican Republic. His aspirations include furthering his engagement in global health initiatives and making a meaningful and positive difference in communities that require assistance.
      Etzel
      Allie Etzel
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Sarah MacCarthy

      Allie Etzel is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology and a graduate certificate in global health. Her interests began while studying abroad in a global health nursing program in Costa Rica where she learned about health equity, common global health diseases, and international health systems. Her main focus is in HIV/AIDS, including prevention of concurrent infections, addressing barriers in the HIV care continuum, and preventing perinatal transmission. Allie received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at The University of Texas prior to attending UAB.
      Fatima
      Zuha Fatima
      School of Health Professions
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Anna Helova & Dr. Monsoor Saleh

      Zuha Fatima is an undergraduate student studying Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences at the School of Health Professions on a Pre-Med track. She was introduced to the field of Global Health through her participation in Sparkman’s Global Health Case Competition, where she enjoyed applying her knowledge to real-world global health challenges. Her particular interest in global health is healthcare accessibility in underserved communities. As someone new to this, Zuha is eagerly looking forward to further exploration in the field!
      Hossain
      Monir Hossain
      College of Arts & Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Bhekumusa Lukhele

      Monir Hossain, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, specializes in Medical Sociology. His primary research interests encompass Stressors and Health, Race/Ethnicity, Social Determinants of Health, Climate Change and Health, and The Life Course. Monir aims to strengthen his research skills through collaborative efforts and utilize his expertise as a medical sociologist to mitigate health disparities.
      Hossain
      Ismail Hossain
      College of Arts and Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Ragib Hasan

      Ismail Hossain is pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science, primarily focusing on smart city technologies. His research interests lie in exploring the potential of the Internet of Things and sensing-enabled bricks to create efficient and secure smart cities. He is developing a diverse range of safety systems using smart bricks, aiming to contribute to building cities that prioritize the well-being and security of individuals. He aspires to leverage his expertise in global health initiatives, utilizing his knowledge of smart city technologies to improve urban safety and enhance the overall quality of life in cities across the globe.
      Iheke
      James Iheke
      Collat School of Business
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Brandon Rocque

      James Iheke is a 4th-year MD/MBA student with a strong interest in pediatric and abdominal radiology. He is currently intrigued by the intersection of radiology, access to care, and global health. Following medical school, James intends to embark on a radiology residency with hopes of pursuing a career in academic medicine, working to bridge gaps in healthcare both locally in rural and urban areas and abroad.
      Imafidon
      Joycelina Imafidon
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Janet Turan

      Joycelina Imafidon is currently pursuing a DrPH with a concentration in Maternal & Child Health Policy. Her global health experiences include teaching and working as a monitoring & evaluation coordinator and program strategist in West Africa. She has studied, researched, and worked in 10 countries in Africa. Her interest in global health includes sexual & reproductive health, mental health, infectious disease prevention, health & infrastructure development, and human health resources. She is interested in a public-global health practice and management focused career.
      Jaichandar
      Kaavya Jaichandar
      School of Health Professions
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Eric Ford

      Kaavya is a junior undergraduate student in the School of Health Professions studying Biomedical Sciences. She is interested in studying healthcare access and equity within vulnerable populations as a byproduct of their environment. Her goal is to apply to medical school after undergrad and become a doctor who can provide medical care in these underserved areas.
      Joseph
      Kevin Joseph
      College of Arts and Sciences; School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Carolyn Bolton Moore

      Kevin Joseph is an ABM student pursuing a BS in Medical Sociology and MPH in Health Policy and Organization. He is interested in the health of people living with HIV and LGBTQ+ people and specifically how healthcare is effectively organized/delivered to their populations in order to combat health issues, particularly in resource-limited settings and with existing stigma. He aims to become a physician, with a focus in preventive medicine and health equity via systems-thinking approaches to health care organization and policy.
      Klasen
      Lillian Klasen
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Lynn Matthews

      Lillian Klasen is currently pursuing an MPH with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership and a certificate in Global Health. She has a Bachelors in Public Health from Temple University and for the past 7 years worked in a variety of roles, including software engineer, at a social services agency in Philadelphia, PA that makes the process of applying for public benefits more efficient and dignified. Her interests in global health include breastfeeding, nutrition, climate change, and health disparities.
      Kore
      Tarun Kore
      Heersink School of Medicine
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Coleen Fisher

      Tarun Kore is a second year MD student at UAB Heersink School of Medicine. He completed his BS in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Spanish at Auburn University, where he became enthralled with the intersection between engineering, medicine, and global health. His interests include health literacy, global developmental health programs, and maternal healthcare. In the future, Tarun intends to pursue a career in academic surgery with a strong emphasis on global disparities and hopes to work closely with global aid programs like Doctors Without Borders
      McGuire
      Josie McGuire
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Simon Manga

      Josie McGuire is an ABM student who is currently working toward both a BS in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health Studies and an MPH with a focus on Maternal and Child Health Policy and Leadership. Her mentorship journey has an emphasis on gaining in-depth knowledge about women's health, reproductive medicine, and maternal-fetal medicine, particularly in underserved rural regions across the world. Following the completion of her studies, Josie aspires to practice medicine and dedicating her efforts to enhancing the quality of care for women and children.
      Mekki
      Wajiha Mekki
      School of Public Health & College of Arts and Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Andrzej Kulczycki

      Wajiha Mekki is a third-year student studying Cancer Biology and Political Science while concurrently pursuing her Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. Though she has had many unique experiences within global health, the most impactful was when she worked with the U.S. House of Representatives, leveraging her experiences to learn about the nuances global health policy, contributing to domestic and international efforts to improve the healthcare outcomes for all. Her interdisciplinary coursework and diverse experiences has motivated her to seek out avenues to contribute to ongoing global health efforts, helping uplift diverse communities with meaningful multilateral interventions.
      Mikhail
      Karim Mikhail
      College of Arts and Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Lori Bateman

      Karim Mikhail is an undergraduate pursuing a double major in neuroscience and philosophy. As a first-generation Egyptian immigrant, he is passionate about improving health delivery and education for Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) communities, specifically refugee populations. He hopes to pursue a medical career dedicated to providing accessible care, training future healthcare professionals, and fostering health research in MENA communities.
      Naveed
      Nabaa Naveed
      College of Arts and Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Paul Erwin

      Nabaa Naveed is an undergraduate senior studying Biology. Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, Nabaa is an international student with an interest in Public Health leadership and improving access to healthcare systems in South-East Asia. In 2023, she participated in the Global Health Case Competition where they collaborated to devise effective and innovative interventions to solve complex public health issues across the globe. She aspires to extend this work to countries where access to basic healthcare is a necessity and difficult.
      Roychowdhury
      Ayona Roychowdhury
      College of Arts and Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Ryan

      Ayona is currently a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying an interdisciplinary degree combining immunology, neuroscience, and linguistics. Through working in direct care at UAB Hospital, clinical research, and life experiences, she has developed an interest in studying the link between environmental stress and chronic health conditions. She hopes to hold a career that allows her to promote sustainable aid and respectful patient/provider interactions in global health. 
      Sayed
      Aniqa Sayed
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Tina Reuter

      Aniqa Syed is an MPH student with a concentration in Health Policy & Organization. Her first exposure to global health was through Sparkman's Global Health Case Competition, which started her interest in the field. Her global health interests include refugee and migrant health, climate change, and maternal and child health.
      Smith
      Anastasia Smith
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Wally Carlo

      Anastasia Smith is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Policy and Organization, SOPH, with concentration in Outcomes Research. Ms. Smith’s main area of global health interest is prevention of spina bifida and other neural tube defects through mandatory folic acid food fortification programs. Specifically, her dissertation work is focused on identifying new vehicles for fortification such as salt. Ms. Smith experience in global health is rooted in working with World Health Organization and their member state of Colombia to develop a resolution “Accelerating efforts for preventing micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects, through safe and effective food fortification” that was successfully adopted at the World Health Assembly in May 2023. Ms. Smith hopes to shape her public health career focused on advocacy and implementation of folic acid fortification prevention programs worldwide.
      Tapasya
      Katta Tapasya
      College of Arts and Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Sadeep Shrestha

      Katta is currently pursuing her studies in Medical Sociology at UAB. Her specific focus lies in burn care within low-income countries, and she is driven to conduct research aimed at enhancing health outcomes for patients dealing with burns.
      Thiri
      Aye Myat Thiri
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Anna Helova

      Aye Myat Thiri is an international student from Myanmar, and is currently pursuing MPH/MBA dual degrees as well as the Global Health Certificate in the Sparkman Center. Her global health experiences include working as a community dentist in rural towns and villages in Myanmar via mobile clinics – administering palliative treatments and adequate referrals as well as delivering oral health education for children and adults. Making use of her MPH-MBA background, Aye is currently working as a cost-effectiveness intern for the Jamii Bora study in Kenya, and also working in the field of international student recruitment at INTO UAB. Aye aspires to work in global health policy making with the focus on maternal and child health in LMICs after she graduates.
      Tiwari
      Shashank Tiwari
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Jeff Wickliffe

      Shashank Tiwari, Ph.D., is currently pursuing an MPH degree with a concentration in Epidemiology, focusing on investigating the health impacts of e-waste in the Global South, particularly on vulnerable communities like women and children. His research also involves exploring the global circulation of e-waste and identifying the barriers to harmonizing local and global regulations for its management. Shashank aims to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the health outcomes associated with e-waste and promote effective policies to address this global public health concern.
      Vusqa
      Urva Tul Vusqa
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. German Henostroza

      Urva Tul Vusqa is a graduate student currently enrolled in two programs - an MPH with a concentration in Health Policy and Organization and a Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI). She works as a Clinical Data Specialist at UAB Medicine’s Department of Infectious Diseases. With a background in healthcare, Urva aspires to gain a comprehensive understanding of the variations in health systems and health outcomes worldwide. Her global health interests encompass topics such as the global burden of disease, collaborative healthcare services, and global data sharing aimed at enhancing the comprehension and management of diseases.

      Read more

    • 2022 Sparkman Fellows

      We are excited to announce our 2022 cohort of Sparkman Fellows! This group of students was selected from a vast and competitve pool of applicants, and represents four different colleges across campus. We are looking forward to see how their knowledge and experience expands, while working alongside their Scholar Mentor, over the course of the next academic year! 

      Brossman
      Alex Brossman
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Matthew Gribble

      Alex Brossman is an MPH student in Environmental & Occupational Health. He currently serves as an Environmental Health Practitioner at a local health department. He is interested in water security projects including ground water, surface water, and storm water management. He hopes to continue his work in the regulation of Environmental Health Policy or doing additional global health projects involving water security or toxicology.
      Chrapah
      Sandra Chrapah
      School of Health Professions, Admisnistration, Health Services
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Janet Turan

      Sandra Chrapah is currently a doctoral student in the School of Health Professions, Department of Administration, Health Services with a concentration in Health Services Research. Sandra is passionate about the well-being of children and actively works with organizations in Ghana to support the maternal and child health population. She established a children’s foundation,YenMa Foundation, to promote the wellbeing of mothers and children, and hopes to develop partnerships around the world to support and serve the global maternal and child health population. 
      Diaz
      Jonathan Diaz
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Meredith Gartin

      Jonathan is currently a Senior in the UAB School of Public Health with a Concentration in Global Health Sciences. His experience working at UAB Hospital as a Patient Care Tech in a COVID- 19 unit sparked his interest in pandemic preparedness /disaster relief. He wants to attend graduate school for Physician Associate Studies to help improve the quality of care for minority populations and refugees in the south by understanding their social determinants of health and respective health policy. 
      Dore
      Megan Dore
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Bhekumusa Lukhele

      Megan Dore is a graduate student pursuing a MPH in Population health, with a certificate in Global Health. For the past 13 years, after graduating with her BS in Nursing, she has worked as an emergency room nurse in the US, Africa, and Antarctica. Her interest in global health includes working with culturally diverse populations, WASH, and sustainable global development health programs.
      Frey
      Kayla Frey
      Heersink School of Medicine; School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Sadeep Shrestha

      Kayla Frey is a third-year medical student obtaining her Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) dual degrees. Kayla has lived in four countries, is a Fulbright Program alumni, and currently serves as Associate Research Coordinator for the Association of Women Surgeons National Medical Student Committee. She is passionate about research, having completed a T35 grant evaluating noninvasive test ability to predict liver viability for transplant, served as Equal Access Birmingham Clinic Research Officer where she designed a project which evaluated patient accessibility to in person versus telehealth care, and has just completed her CCTS TL1 research year evaluating for health disparities in surgical outcomes of head and neck cancer patients. In the future, Kayla intends to pursue a career in academic surgery with a strong emphasis on global disparities and health equity advocacy.
      Gunawan
      Emily Gunawan
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Wally Carlo

      Emily Gunawan is currently pursuing an MSPH with a concentration in Applied Epidemiology. Her global health experiences include working as a medical doctor in rural villages in Indonesia as well as exploring healthcare systems in several other countries in Asia. She aspires to engage in global health research which focuses on improving neonatal and childhood outcomes while maximizing available resources.
      Harsono
      Adrian Harsono
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Alan Tita

      Adrian Harsono is a graduate student pursuing MSPH with a concentration in Epidemiology. His interest in global health grew after encountering health disparities through his work as a medical doctor in Indonesia and his experiences in Portugal, Japan, The Philippines, and Singapore. In the future, he hopes to continue his training as an OB/GYN and form multinational collaborations to tackle global health challenges surrounding women’s reproductive health in both clinical practice and research.
      Hasan
      Raiful Hasan
      College of Arts & Sciences
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Ragib Hasan

      Raiful Hasan is pursuing a Ph.D. in computer science. His interests lie broadly at the intersection of mobile and wearable computing, human-computer interaction, the Internet of Things, and the smart city, with a focus on pedestrian safety in the smart city, specifically distracted pedestrians' safety, which is an emerging public health challenge. He is currently working to develop a holistic multi-modal safety system for pedestrians using urban sensing.
      Henostroza
      Sebastian Henostroza
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Amanda Willig

      Sebastian Henostroza is an ABM student pursuing a BS in Immunology and a MPH with Epidemiology concentration. In regards to global health, he is particularly interested in studying the impact many communicable diseases have on developing communities, and the efficacy of various preventative measures on reducing their burden. He participated in a Sparkman Global Health Internship summer 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey, looking at stigma as it relates to refugee health outcomes.
      Herron
      Elliott Herron
      Heersink School of Medicine
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Nabiha Yusuf

      Ellie Herron is a MD candidate at UAB Heersink School of Medicine. She completed her BS in Anthropology with a minor in Biology at Sewanee: The University of the South, where she became enthralled with the ways in which cultural nuances are integrated into body management customs during her hospital internships in Ghana, Greece, and rural Tennessee. Her interests include advocacy for cultural humility practices in the field of healthcare, the effects of globalization on chronic illnesses, infectious disease, and pediatric immunology.
      Kellampalli
      Suhas Kellampalli
      College of Arts & Sciences; School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Tina Kempin Reuter

      Suhas is an accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s of Public Health Student from Hyderabad, India. Being an individual with a communication disability, he is passionate about reducing health disparities experienced by people with disabilities from low-income and resource-poor backgrounds and advocating for their independence. Suhas has previously interned for the Institute of Human Rights at UAB where he wrote blog articles focused on international disability rights issues, and he has also been involved in the disability community in Birmingham and currently works at Disability Rights and Resources.
      Mullis
      Lauren Mullis
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Paul Erwin

      Lauren is currently pursuing her MPH in Epidemiology at the UAB School of Public Health. She received her Bachelor's in Biology and Master's in Biomedical Sciences from NC Central University prior to attending UAB. Lauren is interested in infectious diseases and health equity throughout South America as well as refugee and immigrant health throughout the world.
      Ogunesan
      Oludesola Ogunesan
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Jeffrey Wickliffe

      Oludesola is a Doctoral Student in the School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Science with a concentration in Environment Epidemiology. Her work experience as a Nurse in Nigeria nurtured her research interest and desire in global health and influenced her focus on environmental exposures to pollutants, especially in developing countries, maternal and child health and neurodevelopmental health outcomes in children due to environmental factors and health disparities (neighbourhood and physical environment). She is interested in learning from scholars, improving her knowledge about other factors (social, political, and economic factors) that influence global health problems, and learning the analytical and practical skills necessary to achieve sustainable development in our environment and world.
      Olisakwe
      Sandra Olisakwe
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Phillip Musa

      Sandra Chibuzor Olisakwe is currently an MSPH student with a concentration in Applied Epidemiology and a focus on infectious disease or hospital epidemiology research. Her global health experience ranges from having an undergrad research experiences working with her supervisor on parasitic infectious diseases affecting children living in orphanages across the south-eastern part of Nigeria to working with the World Health Organization for mass drug administrations on schistosomiasis and helminthiasis prevention on the south-western part of Nigeria, Lagos state to be precise which is one of the major cities in Nigeria. She is very much interested in gearing her global health research towards the Neglected Tropical Diseases (Schistosomiasis, Lymphatic Filariasis and Trachoma), and would like to learn as much as she can from the professors here at UAB in order to be able to join and conquer the fight against NTDs in the African Continent. She is open to collaboration from researchers across the world on this feat and dreams of working full time with the WHO as a full time global health epidemiologist. 
      Sangadji
      Ritti Sangadji
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Coleen Fisher

      Ritti is currently an international MPH student from Indonesia concentrating on Health Behavior. Her biggest interest in global health interest is community engagement in order to create better health quality, especially for those with low socioeconomic status and to increase access to healthy resources, such as food and drugs. Within this fellowship, Ritti wants to learn from her mentor about how they engage the population and deliver material, so she can become a better health educator once she returns to her country.
      Spensley
      Allison Spensley
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Carolyn Bolton Moore

      Allison Spensley is a doctoral student in the SOPH, Department of Health Policy and Organization.  Her main areas of interest include public health leadership; maternal and child health; health/social services policy, planning, and advocacy; and HIV care, treatment and prevention.  Ms. Spensley has lived and worked in Zambia, Peru, Nicaragua, and Malawi, with work experience in over 18 countries focusing primarily in east and southern Africa over the past 20 years.  Ms. Spensley has worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), UNICEF, Family Health International, Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  Ms. Spensley has a Master’s degree of Public Health from UAB and a Master’s degree of Social Work from UA.
      Stone
      Rebecca Stone
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Lily Gutnik

      Rebecca is currently a graduate student pursing an MPH with a concentration in population health and a graduate certificate in global health.  She became fascinated with different cultures during a trip to India.  Rebecca aspires to combine her education background, current public health experience, and passion for equity to advance global health initiatives resulting in sustainable impact. Her interests include implementation science, maternal and child health, healthcare innovation, and program planning.
      Vines
      Jane Vines
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor:Dr. Katia Bruxvoort

      Jane Vines is currently in the Master of Public Health (MPH) program with a concentration in Population Health and certificate in Global Health. Her main areas of interest include immigrant, asylum seeker, and refugee health including climate change refugees, resource utilization and infrastructure building in low-to middle income countries, and neglected tropical diseases. Upon graduation, she would like to pursue a position with a local or global NGO or the CDC.
      Wadsworth
      Megan Wadsworth
      School of Public Health
      Scholar Mentor: Dr. Anna Helova

      Megan is an MPH Epidemiology student pursuing the Global Health certificate. She is most interested in studying maternal and child health as it pertains to refugee women and children around the world. She has volunteered with World Relief in Memphis, Tennessee, helping refugee and asylum-seeking women access healthcare and navigate the US healthcare system. She is eager to continue this work on a larger, more global scale once she has completed her studies. Her dream is to eventually support this population by working on projects for the UN or the WHO.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

       

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    • 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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