Cohort 15: SUMR 2014

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Ola Abou-khsaiwan
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015 
Major: Economics and International Studies
Minor: Mathematics


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Ola Abou-khsaiwan is a rising senior in the Huntsman Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Economics (with concentrations in Statistics & Finance) at the Wharton School and International Studies at the School of Arts & Sciences. Ola is also minoring in Mathematics.


During her time at Penn, Ola has pursued her passion for research through a variety of research assistantships in addition to working on her own research questions. Through the Wharton Social Impact Research Fellowship and the Wharton Research Scholars Program, she was able to conduct empirical research on rural Morocco. Her work, entitled Measuring the impact of income-generating projects on women’s empowerment outcomes: Evidence from Rural Morocco, has been published in the Wharton Research Scholars Journal. Ola plans on pursuing a graduate degree in Applied Economics after completing her undergraduate studies.


This summer, Ola is seeking to understand the relationship between economics and healthcare more deeply through her involvement in the SUMR program. She believes that the development of a nation is inseparable from the well-being of its citizens. She is interested in the application of econometric and statistical methods to big data in addressing open-ended healthcare questions. Ola will be working with Guy David, Associate Professor of Health Care Management, studying the economic foundations of retainer-based medicine and the impact that they have on utilization, expenditures, and patient outcomes relative to traditional models of care, which rely heavily on patient volume for revenues. She will also be working with Amanda Starc, Assistant Professor of Health Care Management, studying competition in direct-to-consumer-advertising (DTCA) among statin prescription drugs, such as Lipitor and Crestor.


Beyond Ola’s interest in research, she works with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) at Penn’s Law School and writes for Wharton International Business Review.

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Sarah Appeadu
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015
Major: Biology
Minor: French Studies


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Sarah Appeadu is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is pursuing a Biology major and a French Studies minor. She became interested in a career in pediatric medicine due to her penchant for taking care of young children. Inspired by her hard-working parents and Ghanaian-American heritage, Sarah seeks to build her career around improving health services for underserved American and African populations.


This summer, Sarah is working with Dr. Kristen Feemster, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at CHOP, on two projects. For the first project, Sarah will be analyzing and synthesizing data from international focus groups in order to examine the relationship between media exposure and vaccine acceptance in middle-income countries. For the second project, Sarah will be gathering information to assist with the development of measurement tools for the implementation of a study identifying the risk of acquiring a respiratory infection in pediatric outpatient settings.


At Penn, Sarah is the co-director of the New Spirit of Penn Gospel Choir, a member of Penn Hype, a hip-hop fusion dance team, and a member of Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society. She is also a part of Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society and Onyx Senior Honor Society. In addition to dancing and singing, Sarah loves watching game shows, reading articles on current issues in health and health care, and spending time with family and friends. After graduation, she plans to pursue an MD with a dual degree in Epidemiology.

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Hillary Bonuedie
Columbia University, Class of 2016
Major: Economics


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Hillary Bonuedie is a rising junior at Columbia University majoring in economics. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue an MD/MBA and use it to make a difference in the healthcare field helping individuals, achieving palpable results, and making a positive impact in local communities.


Hillary’s interest in health care is mainly tied to health economics. As part of SUMR, she hopes to gain further insight into many of the crucial questions posed by economics and their relation to the distribution of health care goods and services. As part of her role as Committee Director of the Founding Board of Partners in Health, a simulation committee for Columbia Model United Nations Conference and Exposition XIII, Hillary led a group of high school students through some of the difficult questions that are faced by health organizations and individuals by creating crises and topics of debate for the simulation.


To advance the delivery of health care and eliminate health care disparities, Hillary strives to not only look at medical and scientific data, but also the social determinants of health. During SUMR, Hillary will be working with Ian Bennett, Associate Professor of Family and Community Health, and the SPIRIT group to develop technology to help low-income women that are experiencing maternal depression learn about evidence-based treatment through the use of patient decision aids. Additionally, Hillary will be working with Dr. Kira Ryskina to survey physicians and ascertain the extent to which they consider costs when administering treatments.


In her free time, Hillary enjoys being part of the Columbia International Relations Council and Association (CIRCA), Columbia Stressbusters, and Health Leads. She also enjoys baking, sampling desserts, and playing bassoon.

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Tyler Chavez
New Mexico State University, Class of 2016
Major: Genetics and Biotechnology
Minor: Biology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology


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Tyler is a rising junior at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Biotechnology with minors in Biology, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology. Tyler’s interest in the health care field was sparked by his love for science and fascination with the human body and was enhanced by his experience working in the Emergency Department of a local hospital for the past year. Through this experience, his eyes were opened to many of the health disparities that exist in the United States and specifically in his home state of New Mexico.


Tyler’s interest in research began as a general interest in genetics. He spent his last semester assisting a senior researcher in a plant genetics laboratory, where he studied gene expression in alfalfa. He is extremely interested in, and hopes to one day make a contribution to, the integration of genetics into medical practice as well as the idea of personalized medicine.


During SUMR, Tyler is working alongside Dr. Angela Bradbury, a medical oncologist/hematologist, on an analysis of the delivery and dissemination of genetic testing in cancer prevention. He is also working alongside Dr. Meghan Lane-Fall, an anesthesiologist and critical care expert, on a project attempting to standardize OR to ICU handoffs at two Philadelphia hospitals.


Tyler hopes to gain a better understanding of the field of health services research while participating in the SUMR program. He also looks forward to the exposure of how policy and medical practice influence and work with one another to accomplish common goals. He plans to gather information and experience that will be critical to his future dream of being a clinician, teacher, and researcher who provides his home state of New Mexico with quality care.


Tyler is the Vice President of the Pre-Health Professions Club at New Mexico State University and in his free time, enjoys playing basketball, tennis, and guitar.

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Isabella Ciuffetelli
Johns Hopkins University, Class of 2015
Major: Public Health


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Isabella is a rising senior at the Johns Hopkins University, where she is pursuing a BA in Public Health with a concentration in the natural sciences. After her undergraduate education, she plans to obtain an MD and work in the field of global health.


Isabella was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Her personal experiences growing up in a developing country with great healthcare inequalities have sparked her desire to work in the strengthening of health services in low and middle-income countries. She is committed to finding solutions to the structural challenges that these countries face regarding the social determinants of health and the delivery of quality healthcare.


This summer Isabella is working with Dr. Scott Halpern, director of the Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science (FIELDS) Program, on a prospective observational trial of clinical prognostication in the intensive care unit. In addition, Isabella is also working with Dr. Barbara Riegel on a study identifying modifiable factors predicting hospital readmission in patients with heart failure.


At Johns Hopkins, Isabella enjoys volunteering at the pediatrics department, where she serves as a Health Leads advocate to help Latino families to access basic resources in underserved communities. Outside of her academic interests, Isabella enjoys photography, traveling and keeping up with current affairs.

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Moses Flash
Williams College, Class of 2015
Major: Chemistry
Minor: Public Health and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


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  • Using Active Choice and Expanded Choice Sets to Increase Advance Directive Completion Rates
  • Twitter and Health

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Moses is a rising senior at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he is pursuing a BA in Chemistry with concentrations in Public Health and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Moses’ interest in health and health care was sparked when one of his close relatives was unable to receive adequate cancer treatment. Having lived in a multitude of diverse communities, Moses has been exposed to many health inequalities, which he is determined to combat.


During SUMR, Moses will be working with Dr. Scott Halpern, Assistant Professor of Medicine, on two related projects examining the role of active choice in advance directive completion among hospital employees and the effects of expanded options on patients’ willingness to complete advance directives. He will also be working with Dr. Raina Merchant, Assistant Professor of Medicine, at the nexus of social media and health. His work will focus on using mobile media to encourage positive lifestyle habits and using crowdsourcing for health services research.


Moses stays very active in the Williams community. He sings in the Gospel Choir and has served as chaplain to the group. He is a peer tutor, chemistry research assistant, admissions ambassador, founder of the Williams College Gates Millennium Scholars, and a member of the Latin American dance group on campus. Outside of school and extracurricular activities, Moses enjoys catching-up with friends and playing basketball whenever he can. In the future, he intends to pursue professional and graduate degrees in order to become a physician researcher who advocates for policy that promotes equity in health.

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Sergio Gonzales
University of New Mexico, Class of 2015
Major: Health, Medicine & Human Values 
Minor: Chicana & Chicano Studies and Navajo Language & Linguistics 

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Sergio Gonzales is a rising senior at the University of New Mexico studying Health, Medicine & Human Values with minors in Chicana & Chicano Studies and Navajo Language & Linguistics. Originally from rural northern New Mexico, Sergio has deep roots in the indo-hispano community that predates colonization of the area by the United States and Spanish empires. Firsthand experience with geographic and racial disparities in health care motivated him to become a physician and health services researcher. He hopes to one day create and lead novel programs as well as implement sound health policy that is adaptive and applicable to a variety of demographic situations with unique needs like those of northern New Mexico. He is currently in a combined BA/MD Program but is considering completing a master’s degree before matriculating into medical school. He plans to pursue an MD/PhD in health economics or a related field.


This summer, Sergio will be working with Dr. Allison Willis, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, investigating disparities between rural and urban communities in the treatment of stroke patients with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and developing potential policy recommendations to improve treatment rates with tPA and mitigate geographic disparities.


Sergio spends most of his free time engaged in community organizing efforts and was, at one point, a full-time staff organizer for a labor union. He is also a research intern with New Mexico Department of Health: Occupational Health Surveillance Project and was named one of the University of New Mexico nominees for this year’s Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship competitions. He is currently a member of the Bernalillo County Place Matters Team and is helping create communications media for a faith and mentorship based transition-home for formerly incarcerated women. Sergio enjoys running, swimming, biking, and reading engaging non-fiction.

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Alyssa Hester
University of Virginia, Class of 2014
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Minor: Engineering Business


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Alyssa received her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering with an Engineering Business minor from the University of Virginia this spring. During her time at UVA, Alyssa served as Finance Chair for the UVA chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. She was also a member of the Rodman Scholars engineering honors program and served on the Rodman Council. Alyssa also participated in a study abroad program at the Technische Universität Dortumund, where she researched optical methods to determine film thickness in liquid/liquid two-phase flow. She completed her thesis on the inclusion of respiratory motion in liver radiation therapy and social group responses to racial and ethnic based cancer disparities in the United States.


While her main academic pursuits have been in the field of engineering, Alyssa’s experience studying abroad opened her eyes to the ways in which her passion can be used to improve people’s health. As a first year, Alyssa served as consultant to Freedom in Creation (FIC), a non-profit organization based in Uganda, to develop a method of remotely detecting when borehole maintenance is necessary. Inspired by her involvement in this project, Alyssa is also interested in how design thinking approaches can improve health care and health care disparities.


This summer, Alyssa is working with Dr. Neil Sheth to develop a financial model for building an orthopedic center in Moshi, Tanzania. The orthopedic center will address the lack of available trauma, joint replacement, pediatric, and post-operative care as well as train local medical workers. Additionally, Alyssa will be working with Ashley Swanson, Assistant Professor of Health Care Management, on a project studying long term care (LTC) markets by analyzing LTC demand, LTC insurance demand, and lapsation patterns.


In her free time, Alyssa enjoys both playing soccer and coaching youth soccer. She also enjoys reading, writing short stories and essays, cooking, and spending time with friends. Following the SUMR program, Alyssa will begin working as an Associate Consultant at Counterpoint Consulting, where she hopes to employ BPM solutions for health care organizations.

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Marshall Johnston
Juniata College, Class of 2015
Major: Politics, Economics, and Philosophy


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Marshall is a rising senior at Juniata College, and a University City native. Initially, Marshall was studying philosophy, but his interests in public policy have lead him to study politics and economics in addition to philosophy. Marshall wishes to eventually be able to affect public policy by conducting evidence-based research which evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of a given policy.


This summer, Marshall will be working with Dr. Dennis Culhane, Director of Research for the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans at the US Department of Veteran Affairs. Marshall will be analyzing how factors such as homelessness, drug abuse, and PTSD influence criminal behavioral patterns in veterans. These analytics will contribute to the VA's efforts to eliminate homelessness among veterans, and improve their quality of post-war life.


Outside of school, Marshall's long-standing neighborly relationship with Dr. Culhane has allowed him to work under other researchers from the Department of Veteran Affairs. Having had previous work experience with the Center on Homelessness, the SUMR program is providing Marshall with an opportunity to make a larger contribution to the VA's efforts. SUMR is helping Marshall take the first steps toward accomplishing his career goal of having a positive impact on public policies.

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Mounika Kanneganti
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017
Major: Health and Societies


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Mounika is a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She is pursuing a BA in Health and Societies, with a concentration in public health. Her goal is to be a physician scientist conducting research in health services. Mounika was initially drawn to health services research by taking Intro to Healthcare Management with Dr. Dan Polsky, and started to work with him as a Research Assistant. She has been involved in data management for an audit study on primary care access across 10 states.


During SUMR, Mounika is working with Dr. Dan Polsky on analyzing healthcare reform implementation with state variation using data from the Health Insurance Exchanges. Additionally, Mounika is working with Dr. Chyke Doubeni to help establish a pilot program to deliver mailed colorectal cancer screening kits to people in the community and will work with participating centers to set up an information exchange for the program. She will also participate in analyzing the screening history of patients who have died from colorectal cancer. She is looking forward to working in both health economics and community-based research in the future.


Aside from an interest in academic research, Mounika is also involved in healthcare-focused campus organizations. She organizes luncheons with healthcare professionals as a board member of the Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club and is on the Student Health Advisory Board at Penn. Mounika volunteers at Service Link, which is an organization that links patients at clinics in West Philadelphia to social services, incorporating the social determinants with the medical determinants of health. Mounika is also a public speaking advisor for the CwiC program and is a Daily Pennsylvanian Staff Photographer; she enjoys photography and watching films.

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Nehanda Khemet
Hampton University, Class of 2015
Major: Psychology


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Nehanda Khemet is a rising senior at Hampton University in Virginia. She is pursuing a BA in psychology. Inspired by the inequalities described by her mother, a midwife, Nehanda is especially interested in health and health care disparities and how they affect particular marginalized groups. When her mother pursued an MPH degree that allowed her to do research to help improve access to and quality of care, Nehanda realized that research is a salient mechanism of bettering health care.


This summer, she will be working with Therese Richmond, Andrea B. Laporte Endowed Term Professor of Nursing, on a project that focuses on injury as a flashpoint from which interventions can be introduced to improve health and reduce disparity in urban black men. The goal of this work is to elucidate the psychological consequences of injury in order to reduce the rates of injury recidivism. She will also be working with Karen Glanz, George A. Weiss University Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Sarah Green on a pilot study empirically testing the impact of the new FDA sunscreen regulations on packaging, consumer perceptions, knowledge, and behavior.


At Hampton, Nehanda is a member of the Flag Corp in the marching band. Last summer, she worked with Dr. Charles Branas and Dr. Tara Jackson at the University of Pennsylvania on the Urban Health Study. Before her freshman year of college she was a summer breakthrough math teacher for 7th grade students.

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Siyabonga Ndwandwe
Macalester College, Class of 2015
Major: Economics
Minor: Statistics and Geography


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Siyabonga (Siya) is a rising senior at Macalester College, MN, where he is pursuing a BA in Economics with double minors in Statistics and Geography and double concentrations in Community and Global Health and also International Development. Throughout his childhood in Swaziland, Siya wanted to be a doctor but things took a different turn when he took his first economics class at Pearson United World College (UWC) of the Pacific. His primary interests are in health systems measurement and evaluation, health finance, and the role of healthcare in spurring economic development in developing countries.


Siya is interested in a career that builds on his passion for economics, public health, and international development. He plans to pursue a PhD in Applied Economics with focus in Health Economics and contribute to the healthcare field as a researcher and educator. Siya is inspired by the concept of performance based health financing as a way to increase health service providers’ accountability to the public. He also realized the need to design health systems that prevent the catastrophic effects of out-of-pocket user fees/ co-pay on low-income household wealth. His Behavioral and Experimental Economics class has stimulated his new interest in using principles from the behavioral sciences to encourage health seeking behaviors and pro-health decision making. This summer Siya is working with Peter Groeneveld, MD, MS, Andrew Epstein, PhD, MPP and Sakhena Hin on the translation of genomics into improvements in cancer prevention and treatment. His second project is with Ari Friedman and will be looking at health insurance and the coverage of preventative health care.


At Macalester College, Siya is a member of the Highland Camerata Choir and African Chorus--he is very passionate about singing and listening to music, especially Opera and Gospel music. If not singing or in class, Siya is most likely biking, cooking or catching-up with friends.

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Ruchita Pendse
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2016
Major: General Biology and Health and Societies 
Minor: Bioethics

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Ruchita Pendse is a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in General Biology and Health and Societies, concentrating in Health Policy and Law, as well as a minor in Bioethics. She hopes her undergraduate education will provide her with a broad understanding of the healthcare field and prepare her for a career as a physician. In addition to practicing medicine, Ruchita aspires to be involved in shaping health policy, specifically addressing disparities in access to and quality of care.


Ruchita grew up in Los Altos, California in the heart of the Silicon Valley. After discovering her love for the biological sciences in high school, she volunteered her summers at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, which cemented her desire to become a physician. Her interest in health policy was born in the summer after her freshman year at Penn when Ruchita traveled to Pune, India to volunteer with a small organization that was the primary provider of health care to an urban slum population of over 40,000. That same summer, she also volunteered in a community health clinic back home in California, whose patients were primarily uninsured or Medicare beneficiaries. Speaking to the patients and understanding the types of challenges they face made her realize that the disparities she saw in India also exist in our backyard and left her with a passion to do something about them. This passion is driven by her background in bioethics, which has left her with a strong sense of duty toward combating injustices. Ruchita believes that reforming health policy is the most powerful way to bring about health equality.


This summer, Ruchita will work with Dr. Scott Harrington and Dr. Peter Reese. Under the guidance of Dr. Harrington, she will study the characteristics of insurance companies offering specific types of plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act. With Dr. Reese, Ruchita will assist with a qualitative study on the effects of being turned down as a live kidney donor. She is excited to learn a lot about each of these two types of health services research and to develop skills she hopes to apply more directly to addressing health disparities in the future.


At Penn, Ruchita is involved in a number of healthcare-related organizations on campus. She is a board member of the Penn Undergraduate Health Coalition and director of its Global Health Initiative, which seeks to expand awareness of global health issues among the Penn community. She is also one of two student representatives to the Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee, which is responsible for determining the health insurance requirements for students. Ruchita is also a Managing Editor of the Penn Bioethics Journal and a member of the Bioethics Undergraduate Advisory board, which both shape the undergraduate bioethics community on campus. Outside of her interest in healthcare, Ruchita is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Philadelphia. She also has an interest in martial arts and holds a black belt in taekwondo and a second degree black belt in karate.

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Isaiah Selkridge
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015 
Major: Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology
Minor: BBB/Health Care & Health Management


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Isaiah Selkridge is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology and minoring in the Biological Basis of Behavior/Health Care & Health Management. Upon graduation, Isaiah hopes to pursue an MD with an end goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.


This summer Isaiah is working with Dr. Daniel Holena, a trauma surgeon at HUP. He is working on FAVIR (Family Virtual ICU Rounds), which seeks to lower the costs of ICU patients’ family members attending their rounds through telemedicine and promote decision-making. He will also be shadowing trauma surgeons during rounds and other shifts. In addition, Isaiah is working with Dr. Linda Fleisher and Katherine Halyard, researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Prevention, on a project that seeks to use technology to prevent unintended injuries in children and young adults. For this study, Isaiah will be writing and conducting interviews with pediatric patients about digital health.


Through the SUMR program, Isaiah hopes to develop new skills in health services research, including writing interview guidelines, composing IRB protocols, conducting literature reviews, and interacting with patients. He also plans to gain clinical experience through shadowing physicians and surgeons.


At Penn, Isaiah serves as the president of Alpha Omega, where he leads weekly discussions about college life. He has worked in an oncology lab at Penn as well as Dr. David Dinges’ Sleep & Chronobiology Lab at the Hospital of Pennsylvania. He plays intramural basketball and flag football. He also gives to the community through Saturday Academy, a project aimed at teaching both academics and athletics to inner city youth. Isaiah is also a member of the Undergraduate Sports Business Club, the Race Dialogue Project, Penn Pals, and the Neuroscience Society. In his free time Isaiah enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, watching movies, keeping up with the latest fashion, and reading.

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Karena Taylor
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2016
Major: Nursing
Minor: Hispanic Studies


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Karena Taylor is a rising junior at the University of Pennsylvania where she is pursuing a BSN in Nursing Science and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Her goal is to pursue a career as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and obtain a PhD in Psychology so that she can perform clinical and behavioral science research while teaching at a university. Karena’s passion for healthcare was born when she realized that she not only was fascinated by anatomy and physiology, but that she wanted to be a direct positive impact on an individual’s life when they are most vulnerable: during illness.


Karena ‘s interest in health services research began when she took a class led by Dr. Lisa Lewis entitled Psychological and Social Diversity in Health and Wellness. During this class, the numerous health disparities in the community of West Philadelphia along racial, geographically, and economic lines were illuminated, and Karena wanted to find a way to further investigate these disparities so that these gaps in health and wellness can narrow. She previously served as a research assistant on the Neptune project, which evaluated which populations in the greater Philadelphia area were affected by chronic kidney disease and nephritis.


During SUMR, Karena is working with Dr. Michael Blank on a study proposing increased HIV testing in psychiatric units using persons triply diagnosed with HIV, mental illness, and substance abuse. Also, she is working with Dr. Gretchen Seuss on the Young Quakers project that partners Philadelphia elementary schools with Penn Athletics to increase the health outcomes of the elementary school students.


At the University of Pennsylvania, Karena is a member of the Student Nurses at Penn organization, involved in Mayer House Council, African American Arts Alliance, and spent time teaching middle school girls at the Lea School about contraception and intimate partner violence. She enjoys reading, watching movies, hanging out with friends, and playing the piano.

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Jason Tran
University of California, Riverside, Class of 2015
Major: Public Policy
Minor: Entomology


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Jason Tran is a rising senior at the University of California, Riverside. He majors in Public Policy with a focus in Health and Social Policies and minors in Entomology. Born and raised in Vietnam, Jason immigrated to America at a young age and grew up in Santa Ana, California. His interests in healthcare developed throughout his life as he experienced and saw disparities that affected his community locally and abroad.


For example, he has noticed that low-income people of color face substantial barriers towards accessing healthcare, which can ignite cascades of health complications (e.g., worsened rates of chronic diseases). In the future, Jason plans to pursue a career in research and medicine, in which he will work in the nexus of public health, policy, and education. He is determined to improve the healthcare access of low-income communities, ethnic/racial minorities, and LGBTQIA individuals.


With his interests in mind, he chose to pursue two projects that relate to minority health as part of the SUMR program. For his first project, he will work Dr. Monica Ferguson, an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, on a project evaluating the efficacy of newsletter inventions among African American patients. These newsletters aim to increase recommended cancer screening and the adoption of specific health behaviors. Jason’s second project, under the mentorship of Dr. Carmen Guerra, an Associate Professor of Medicine, seeks to elucidate the barriers to lung cancer clinical trial enrollment and test solutions to help increase the enrollment among minority patients.


At UC Riverside, Jason engages in community work that benefits the underserved population. As a continuing board member of the Student Run Health Clinic, a free clinic for the disadvantaged community, he works improving clinic efficiency, managing student volunteers, and organizing an annual, large-scale fundraiser. Additionally, Jason co-founded an organization called Riverside Health Connect, which helps connect patients at free clinics with information about local, state, and national resources that aim to improve their health and well-being. Lastly, he is also the Director of Research for Mini Medical School, an organization that provides health education for the underserved communities of the Inland Empire. On his free time, Jason enjoys writing music, crafting poetries, watching animal documentaries, building his insect collection, working out, and laughing with his friends.

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Shamarlon Yates
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017
Major: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


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Shamarlon Yates is a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania where he is majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences. Shamarlon is very interested in exploring academic research and his main interests include the affordability of healthcare and how behavioral economic interventions can influence health outcomes. He is also interested in the ways in which health policy can influence access to and quality of care in developing countries.


This summer, Shamarlon is working with Dana Gatto and Dr. Kevin Volpp at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) on a study exploring how behavioral economic interventions impact statin adherence in patients with high low-density proteins. In addition, Shamarlon is working with Dr. Lorraine Dean at The Schmitz Lab looking at the relationship between diet and exercise and cancer survivorship and prevention.


At Penn, Shamarlon prides himself on being active member of the West Philadelphia community as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. He is also a member of the Penn Undergraduate Economics Society and a copy editor for Impact Magazine. In his free time, Shamarlon enjoys watching soccer, reading, running, and spending time with friends. He hopes to one day pursue a graduate degree in Public Health or Health Economics.

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