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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. 

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.