Epi Student Stories

Epidemiology students are making an impact in all areas of public health. Here are a few profiles and some of the latest news about our students.

Sundermann: 2020 Delta Omega Initiate

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Alexander Sundermann is a clinical research coordinator and a DrPH student in epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. As a doctoral student and clinical research coordinator, Sundermann works in the Microbial Genomic Epidemiology Laboratory (MiGEL). He and the MiGEL team are working with experts at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)and Carnegie Mellon University to build an Enhanced Detection System for Healthcare Associated Transmis... 

COVID-19 & Health Disparities

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As part of the Conversations about COVID-19 seminar series, EPI doctoral candidate Chantele Mitchell Miland , and Pitt's director of health sciences diversity, equity, and inclusion, Mario Browne (BCHS '05), discuss COVID-19 and health disparities.  

Staying social can boost healthy ‘gray matter’ in aging brains

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US NEWS (HealthDay News) — Older adults who get together with friends, volunteer, or go to classes have healthier brains, which could help them ward off dementia, according to a new study led by postdoc Cynthia Fox of EPI. Being socially engaged—even moderately—with at least one relative or friend activates parts of the brain needed to recognize familiar faces and emotions, make decisions, and feel rewarded. "We need to do more research on the d... 

Masks and Much More: Public Health in the Time of COVID-19

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PITTSBURGH CURRENT—"Green is associated with 'go,' 'all clear,' 'nothing to worry about'—but during this pandemic, green could not be further from the truth." Doctoral candidate Chantele Mitchell-Miland (EPI '20) and advisor EPI's Dara Mendez explain why we all still need to be vigilant and practice infection prevention precautions. The authors discuss transmission, testing and tracing, disparate impacts, and the mental health toll, calling for ... 

Worthington interns with Hawaii Department of Health for COVID-19 project

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MPH student Ke’alohi Worthington (EPI ’21) has been performing data analyses for her internship with the Department of Health in Hawaii, which examines how COVID-19 has affected indigenous and other populations.   

Omowale awarded NIH research supplement

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Serwaa Omowale (BCHS ’22), a joint PhD Social Work/MPH student, is the recipient of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) diversity supplement, which will support her work with Dara Mendez of the Department of Epidemiology through 2021. Omowale’s work focuses on understanding, addressing, and improving maternal health and birth outcomes among Black women.  

EPI's commitment to anti-racism

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"We pledge not only to critically evaluate, investigate, and remove racism in our work and institution, but also advocate for Black students, staff, and faculty in a way that is accountable and sustainable."  

Samargandy and El Khoudary find that running can help aging women at increased risk of heart disease

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RUNNER’S WORLD – New research adds to growing evidence that the menopause transition is a critical stage for the acceleration of cardiovascular disease risk, according to lead author and epidemiology doctoral student Saad Samargandy. Senior author and associate epidemiology professor Samar El Khoudary says these shifts may be related to hormonal changes affecting arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the body, but exercise can be crucia... 

EPI's Meg Carr awarded Goldstein scholarship for work on Hepatitis C surveillance

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MPH student Margaret Carr (EPI ‘20) has been awarded the 2019 Bernard D. Goldstein Student Award in Environmental Health Disparities and Public Health Practice in recognition of her project, "Hepatitis C Surveillance at Allegheny County Health Department". In the award citation, CPHP Director Wendy Braund cites, “Your work with ACHD is an outstanding example of the actively involved Pitt Public Health student-taking your learning from the classr... 

Students present interdisciplinary content in community session on health justice

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On a wet Wednesday night, December 4, Pitt Public Health student advocates Sarah Sanders (BCHS ’22), Sarah Bigelow (BCHS ’20), Paris Ekeke (EPI ’20), and Amy Raslevich (HPM ’22) joined peers from the schools of law and nursing for a Health Justice Night at Pitt's Community Empowerment Center in Homewood. The evening was powered by PechaKucha, aimed to spark community level engagement and inter-professional collaboration by offering a unique look... 

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Epi Student Profiles

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Turning ideas into transformative action: Pitt Public Health students selected as Future Health Leaders 

Turning ideas into transformative action: Pitt Public Health students selected as Future Health Leaders

Complex health issues are easy to determine, but finding solutions can be challenging. Three Pitt Public Health students, ASHLEY SIMENSON (EPI ’19), JESSICA SALERNO (IDM ’20), and KAITLYN SAAL-RIDPATH (HPM ’20) were chosen as part of the inaugural class of Future Health Leaders to present their ide... (10/24/2018)
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Meet Alyson Harding (EPI '19) Dean's Scholar 

Meet Alyson Harding (EPI '19) Dean's Scholar

The opportunity to “blend hard science and research with service for the purpose of improving health and living conditions” is what finally drew Alyson Harding to public health. With degrees in anthropology and chemistry and experience working with Habitat for Humanity, she is interested in disaste... (09/04/2017)
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Meet Mikaela Kosich (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar 

Meet Mikaela Kosich (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar

Mikaela Kosich, graduate of Harvey Mudd College, discovered epidemiology was an option just two weeks before graduation, but it wasn’t until she returned home to Mays Landing, NJ, and observed first hand gaps in medical care and inequities in health outcomes that she decided to pursue a career in p... (09/02/2017)
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Meet Ashley Simenson (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar 

Meet Ashley Simenson (EPI '19), Dean's Scholar

Simeson's interest in public health was first sparked by the documentary The Weight of the Nation . Later she was exposed to a course on the AIDS epidemic and initial responses from public health organizations. She then applied to nine schools and found a home in Pitt's EPI program. “I want to be ... (09/01/2017)
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Andrews studies diabetes in Rwanda during global health field internship 

Andrews studies diabetes in Rwanda during global health field internship

Epidemiology master's student Haylee Andrews traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, over the summer to intern with Life for a Child (LFAC) under Professor Trevor Orchard.  (09/08/2016)
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Hemant Mahajan assesses Hepatitis C burden  

Hemant Mahajan assesses Hepatitis C burden

As a participant in the Allegheny County Health Department’s Pittsburgh Summer Institute (ACHD PSI), epidemiology student Hemant Mahajan assessed the burden of Hepatitis C in Allegheny County and the increased detection of acute hepatitis C cases and associated major risk factors. (09/08/2016)
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