Student Field Experience




Sneha Challa, MPH, is a PhD student in the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health, Global Health track.  She is working with Dr. Jay Silverman at the Center for Gender Equity and Health as a Predoctoral Fellow.  Her research interests include adolescent sexual and reproductive health, social norms, and gender equity. Sneha completed her undergraduate education at UCSD where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies. A minor in healthcare social issues and several trips working and volunteering abroad inspired her interest in the public health field.  She earned an MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education with a certificate in Global Health from the University of Michigan.  During this time she worked  on a project that sought to better understand stigma as it relates to adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Ghana.  Before beginning her doctoral studies, Sneha worked in the office of Population and Reproductive Health at USAID on a large-scale systematic review of gender integration into sexual and reproductive health interventions. For her summer practicum Sneha will travel to Niamey, Niger to work on the IMPACT au Niger: Reaching Married Adolescents project.  This project aims to evaluate the efficacy of the RMA intervention to engage married adolescent girls, ages 13-19, to increase the use of contraceptives and improve birth spacing.  While in Niger, her primary activity will be to engage in fieldwork with the local research team.  Sneha will be involved in observing data collection procedures and checking the quality of the data collected.  She will work alongside the local research team to resolve any challenges that may arise in order to ensure efficient collection of high quality data.  This opportunity will present a chance to further her knowledge in global adolescent sexual and reproductive health and intervention evaluation as well as to refine her research interests as she move towards the dissertation phase of her program.



Haley Ciborowski is finishing her second year as a PhD student in the UCSD/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Global Public Health.  Haley comes from more than a decade of experience working with indigenous and underserved populations in Central America and East Africa, among others. In addition to her fieldwork, she has also worked for a decade in NGO and nonprofit management and consulting, including with government agencies and the private sector on environmental issues; in Southeast Asia providing access to HIV and Hepatitis B DNA testing; building a school for the rural poor in Southern India; and helping young entrepreneurs launch their own organizations. Haley received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in Conservation and Resource Studies, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration specializing in Nonprofits from USF.  Her Master’s thesis focused on the role of global aid on development and health, and their influence on young entrepreneurs starting their own NGOs in underserved areas.  Her research interests include social determinants of health, access to primary care, and infectious disease testing and treatment access for rural indigenous populations, marginalized populations, people living in border and migration areas, and areas of conflict.  Thanks to the generosity of the Global Health Institute, Haley carried out a 2016 study in rural Guatemala to explore health outcomes, migration, and access to care with indigenous Mayans living in the western highlands.  The Global Health Institute is now funding a further study with this population to more deeply explore mental health and migration questions that arose in the 2016 study.



Ryann-Kai Corpuz is a first year Global Health major and Sociocultural Anthropology minor at UC San Diego and I will be attending the 2017 Global Seminar on Medical Anthropology and Global Health in South Asia. After she graduates from UC San Diego, her goal is to attend medical school and serve in the US military as a physician for troops overseas. Ultimately, she hopes that she will come back home from this study abroad experience with a better understanding of the complexity of this career she hopes to pursue. She looks forward to gaining a more global and holistic perspective of medicine outside of the United States and also experiencing a country with such rich history and culture. Ryann-Kai is very grateful to have this opportunity to experience such an incredible study abroad program this summer! This global seminal is a five week program taught by one of UC San Diego's Anthropology professors, Saiba Varma. The program has both an academic focus and opportunities to be involved in field experience and community service in local communities in India. As they travel throughout New Delhi and Dharamsala, Ryann-Kai and her peers will be studying Medicine and Healing in South Asia and Everyday life in South Asia. In these classes, they will analyze how religious, cultural, political and economic structures impact health and well-being, and how local systems of healing provide alternative ideas of illness and health, such as medical pluralism and Ayurveda. In addition to taking classes abroad, this trip incorporates fieldwork in concordance with Ayurvedic clinics to volunteer within local communities in the area, visiting NGOs in New Dheli, and participate in a conference with the Dalai Lama to discuss global health issues in India.





Nicholas Gash is currently a second year Eleanor Roosevelt College student here at UCSD majoring in Global Health. He is from Brentwood, California in the East Bay Area. Nicholas is on the UCSD Men’s Club Rugby team as well as a member of the Pre-Physician Assistant Student Organization. His hobbies and interests include, playing sports, reading, hiking, camping, surfing and traveling. While he studies abroad in South Africa, he hopes to either obtain an internship with a health clinic, providing medical care to those in need, or with SHAWCO, which stands for Student Health and Welfare Center Organization. This organization provides not only health care relief, but also economic and educational support to the poor communities of South Africa. Nicholas states, “I won’t know which internship I will have until I arrive in Cape Town but I know exactly the kind of research I want to perform. I hope to better understand the external forces that lead to illness in humans. Not only do I want to study the biological forces behind illnesses, but also as important the economical, social, and cultural forces that are likely tied to these health issues.  By probing these other potential influences, I want to be able to construct and apply a different kind of prescription that will not only cure them of their biological aliments but also the socioeconomic and cultural maladies that may contribute to life threatening illnesses.” Nicholas hopes this work will help support the notion that effective health care is more than just curing our biological health but also applying the remedies for preserving our societal health.



Lawrence Wang is a rising second year in the UC San Diego School of Medicine and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He graduated magna cum laude with High Honors in Chemistry from Haverford College in 2014, and was also inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. His senior thesis was focused on identifying a novel antibiotic secreted by a pathogenic strain of E. coli. Before attending medical school, Lawrence spent two years as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where he investigated the immune systems of HIV-infected patients who control the disease without taking antiviral drugs. His professional interests include infectious diseases, global health, and healthcare policy.Lawrence will be conducting dengue and malaria epidemiological research at a rural health center in Uganda, where he will be involved in two projects. The first project, entitled “Dengue as a Cause of Non-Malarial Febrile Illness in Southwestern Uganda,” aims to delineate the prevalence/burden of dengue virus in patients presenting with fever to the health center. The second project, entitled “Tracking Pharmacy Sales of Anti-Malarial Drugs in Southwestern Uganda,” aims to define the percentage of Uganda’s rural population that seeks care outside the public sector. Specifically, this project will involve visiting/geotagging drug shops that supply rural villages in southwestern Uganda, determining the identities/quantities of the anti-malarial drugs sold by the shops, and comparing those sales to the therapies provided free of charge by the health center.




Thi Phan is a third year double major in environmental policy and global health. This summer, she will be traveling to India with UCSD Global Seminars to study the mechanisms of climate change and possible mitigation policies. Thi will be using her study abroad experience to fulfill the field experience requirement for my global health major. The “Global Health and Climate Change” program will also be extremely beneficial during the winter quarter of my senior year when she has to enroll in my capstone courses to prepare her senior thesis.





Che Wankie is a fourth year student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Epidemiology), San Diego State University/University of California San Diego. Che is a native of Cameroon. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Computer Information Systems from Mansfield University, Pennsylvania. He further received Master’s degrees in Public Health and Applied Statistics from California State University Long Beach in 2008 and 2013, respectively. While pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Statistics, Che lectured for the Health Science Department where he taught courses in statistics and research methods for four years. Che is enthusiastic about his next research project which will examine motorcycle-related crash characteristics and injuries in Bamenda, Cameroon. Unintentional injuries are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. In sub-Saharan Africa, road traffic injuries constitute a major portion of unintentional injuries. In Cameroon, motorcycles are the most common means of transportation. Commercial motorcyclists commonly known in Cameroon as “Bend Skin” are habitually used as a mode of transportation in both urban and rural areas. Unfortunately, several of these motorcyclists tend to be unlicensed, not adequately trained to ride motorcycles, and/or disobey traffic rules. My proposed study will be the first population-based cross-sectional study designed to examine motorcycle-related crashes, injuries, and related risk factors in Bamenda, Cameroon.


Vijit Yadav is a second year undergraduate student majoring in Global Health and minoring in Political Science. This summer he will be participating in a five week-long Global Seminar program in India. They will be traveling from New Delhi to Kerala and concluding our studies in Dharamsala where they will have a private meeting with the Dalai Lama to discuss our excursions and what we learned throughout our time in India. Specifically, they will be working with experts who are working in the fields of global and public health, as well as with local medical systems that are often left out of the healthcare picture. Vijit will be involved in a service learning project in Kerala learning about what medicine and healing means for people living in local villages, as well as how they live their everyday lives. Possible field visits include going to local, Ayurvedic centers as well as visiting organizations such as Global Health Strategies which deals with the implementation of global health projects and issues in India. As they will be analyzing how many different structures including religion, culture, politics, and economics impact these people's health and well-being, they will also be looking at how other systems of healing offer alternative conceptions of what health and disease mean to them.