Harvard Chan C-CHANGE taps into the collective knowledge of student leaders at the Harvard Chan School, through our C-CHANGE Student Ambassador Program.
Tapping into the collective knowledge of brilliant student leaders at Harvard Chan, the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment’s (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE) Student Ambassador Program equips students with critical skills to become climate and health leaders. The Student Ambassador program is a one-year-long appointment for both master and doctoral students.
This program equips students with the critical tools and language skills to make a compelling case for climate action. This year’s focus will be on institutional racism, environmental justice, and the role of public health in creating a more just and sustainable world. The goals of the program are to (1) cultivate a community of students at Harvard Chan who are interested in climate change, (2) strengthen the connection between Harvard Chan C-CHANGE and the various departments at HSPH, and (3) support HSPH students to think critically about the potential impacts of climate change on their respective fields of study.
For more information, contact Skye Flanigan.
Class of 2020-2021
Department of Environmental Health
Jessica Schiff is a second year Master of Science student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Boston University in 2017. Jessica is interested in the intersection between climate and health and is excited to learn more about the direct, and indirect, impacts of global climate change on human health. She is looking forward to being exposed to climate related research being carried out in her department and at C-CHANGE, as well as across the T.H. Chan school. Her current interests include the impacts of natural disasters/weather on disease transmission, ecosystem transformation and health, and forced migration and conflict related to climate change. In her free time, Jessica enjoys baking, traveling, and reading.
Doctoral Student of Public Health
Adele Houghton is a first year Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. A registered architect and green building professional, Adele works at the intersection of public health, climate change, and the built environment. Her research investigates the gap between the goals of climate change and chronic disease policies, on the one hand, and the priorities of individual building project teams on the other.
PhD Student in Biological Studies
Lissah Johnson is a first year PhD student in the Biological Sciences in Public Health program. Prior to starting graduate school, she received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Redlands and then worked as a chemist in an environmental health laboratory at the California Department of Public Health for four years. At Harvard, she would like to explore the molecular mechanisms by which factors in our built, natural, and social environments contribute to adverse health outcomes and manifest in health disparities. She is eager to learn more about how climate change is exacerbating these environmental health burdens, particularly for the most vulnerable in our society. In her free time she enjoys Latin dancing, spending time outdoors, and discovering the art, culture, history, and cuisine of new places.
Department of Environmental Health
Mahaa Ahmed is an M.S. student in Environmental Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She graduated from Rowan University with degrees in biology and philosophy and religion studies. Her research experiences have revolved around global environmental health, focusing on children’s health in Bangladesh. Her interests include the presence of heavy metals, such as arsenic and lead, in drinking water as well as WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) interventions for prevention of enteric infections. She is interested in exploring how the many human health impacts associated with climate change can be integrated into medical education and is an aspiring infectious disease specialist.
Department of Biostatistics
Jenny Lee is a fourth year PhD student in Biostatistics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is currently working on a dissertation thesis with Dr. Francesca Dominici, Dr. Rachel Nethery, and Dr. Brent Coull to assess health effects of air pollution on epigenetic and respiratory outcomes in vulnerable populations such as pregnant women, their newborn child, and low-income populations. Her current projects involve (1) the development of statistical methods to assess association between prenatal exposure to environmental mixtures and epigenetic modification such as DNA methylation and (2) the development of causal inference methods to assess impact of childhood exposure to air pollution on respiratory outcome in low-income children population. She is looking forward to being exposed to climate change related research projects at HSPH and at C-CHANGE and to learn more about potential impacts of climate change problems. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis and painting with acrylic.
Department of Health Policy and Management
Ellen Chappelka is a first year MPH student in the Health Policy and Management Department. Her interests include the intersection between cities, health, and climate change. As an undergraduate student she was able to explore this interest by developing emergency plans for Tulane Hospital. Prior to her time at HSPH, Ellen worked as an EMT for New Orleans EMS. She also spent two years in Germany working for the United States Air Force on public health interventions to optimize medical readiness for Airmen. Ellen holds a B.S. in Public Health from Tulane University. In her free time she enjoys hiking and exploring new cities.
Department of Global Health and Population
Kaela Connors is a second year Master of Science Student in the Global Health and Population Department at the Harvard T.H. Chan school. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Economics and Policy. In between, she spent a year as a Princeton in Latin America fellow at the UN World Food Programme in Panama and two years working at the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico City, Mexico. She is interested in the intersection of climate change and health and looking specifically at how climate change affects food systems and security.
Population Health Sciences
Heather Kelahan is in the Population Health Sciences Phd program in Public Health Nutrition. She was born and raised in Alaska. She completed her Masters in Development Practice at Columbia University in 2017 and has since worked with the World Food Programme and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition. Her work focuses on planetary health, nutrition, and the global food system. Outside of work, Heather enjoys exploring the outdoors and New York City where she has lived for the last five years.
Department of Nutrition
Regan J. Plekenpol is currently an MPH candidate in Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and works at the Harvard Law School Food Law & Policy Clinic. She graduated from Dartmouth with degrees in both Public Policy and Human Centered Design, where she became passionate about the intersection of food systems and the environment, with a focused interest on improving access to nutritious and sustainable food sources. Prior to grad school, Regan worked with clients as a board certified holistic health and wellness coach and volunteered at an urban hydroponics farming start-up in TriBeCa. She is an environmental activist and loves researching and experimenting with zero waste living and cooking new plant-based recipes.
Department of Nutrition
Kate Adams is a first year MPH-65 student in the Nutrition Department and is thrilled to be joining the C-CHANGE Student Ambassador program. After completing undergrad at Connecticut College where she studied policy, human development, and Hispanic studies, she worked with families facing homelessness in the Boston area around childcare and food access. At Harvard, is currently involved with the Walker Study Group where she works on a program that connects local farmers with low-income consumers in Puerto Rico through the distribution of fresh produce boxes at community health clinics. Kate is interested in further exploring the intersection of sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and environmental health.