Environmental and Occupational Health Students and Alumni in Action — Summer 2017

Summer is a time when many EOH students complete their practica, and we always love to tell students’ practica stories.  Summer can also be a great time to complete fellowships.

Two recent EOH MPH alumni, El'gin Avila (Environmental Health Science and Policy (EHSP) MPH ’17) and Brenda Trejo (Global Environmental Health (GEH) MPH ’17), completed prestigious research fellowships during the summer through a program called The Mt. Sinai International Exchange Program for Minority Students.  Brenda spent her summer based in Spain, and El’gin went to Ireland.  Learn more about where they went and what they did here

DrPH student Ashley Bieniek-Tobasco has been helping Associate Professor Sabrina McCormick on a project which evaluates how viewing a climate change documentary—like the Years of Living Dangerously, which McCormick helped to produce—influences audiences’ beliefs and attitudes about climate change.

GEH MPH/Physician’s Assistant Alumna Leeann Kuehn and Associate Professor Sabrina McCormick are the authors of “Heat Exposure and Maternal Health in the Face of Climate Change.”  Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the paper includes work that Kuehn did for her culminating experience and even served as the publication’s August cover image and story!   See “Environmental and Occupational Health In the News — Summer 2017” for media coverage of the study.  

EHSP Alumnus Mark Shimamoto and Associate Professor Sabrina McCormick are authors of a paper in Weather, Climate, and Society, which is published by the American Meteorological Society, “The Role of Health in Urban Climate Adaptation: An Analysis of Six U.S. Cities” (more)

A handful of alumni who worked in the laboratory of Interim Associate Dean for Research and Professor Melissa Perry over the years contributed to a publication in Cytometry Part A, “Semi-automated scoring of triple-probe FISH in human sperm using confocal microscopy.” Francesca Branch, DrPH; Linda Nguyen, MPH; Nicholas Porter, MPH; Sheena Martenies, MPH; and Nathan McCray, MPH are all coauthors on the paper.

Environmental Health Science & Policy MPH Alumna Tara Failey has been serving as a contractor for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and contributing to the institute’s Stories of Success webpage.

DrPH Student Deise Galan Leonel—who recently got married and changed her name—is now serving as a senior program analyst for Public Health Preparedness for the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). 

EHSP Alumnus Mark Shimamoto recently reported that “after nearly 4.5 incredible years, the time has come for me to depart U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).  I have had such an amazing experience and I am forever grateful to have been part of the USGCRP family as well as the broad community of stakeholders who have contributed to and supported many of USGCRP's climate and health activities over the past several years…. The good news is that I will not be going far. I am moving to the American Geophysical Union to further develop and manage their newly established GeoHealth program.” 

Moving on to Higher Education
El’gin Avila (EHSP MPH ’17) is now in Tucson at The University of Arizona, where he’s studying for his PhD in Environmental Health Sciences with Dr. Paloma Beamer as his principal investigator. There, he plans to focus on environmental issues that typically affect disadvantaged and disenfranchised communities in the Southwest, and possibly in other regions of the country and internationally. “I plan on learning skills and new methods that will allow me to tackle high-dimensional data or ‘big data’ to incorporate new interventions and push for new advocacy projects for these communities, while also taking on a very interdisciplinary approach utilizing environmental science, biostatistics, epidemiology, geographic information systems (GIS), law, policy analysis, and cultural studies courses to help me understand the full depth of the interconnectedness of public health and the issues communities face,” El’gin says.

Ans Irfan (EHSP MPH ’17) moved to Boston to begin work towards his DrPH in Public Health Practice at Tufts University School of Medicine this fall.  He says that he was attracted to the program because its focus on public health practice fit his interests, and the school sealed the deal by offering him a full scholarship. 

Moving from International Policy to EOH After Graduating
Rob Steiner received his MPH in International Health and Policy from GW in ’00.  Since then, like many students who have never heard of EOH before arriving at GW, he has drifted slowly but surely into global EOH.  Read more