Student Stories

Every summer, the Summer Program in Epidemiology hosts undergraduate students from all over the U.S. to provide them with an understanding of the skills and processes necessary to pursue a career in public health.

Learn more about the students who are participating this summer!

Alejandro Medrano

Alejandro Medrano is a 3rd year student studying public health education at the California State University, San Bernardino.  He aims to one day become commissioned within the United States Public Health Service to help advance the health of the Nation.  In his free time, he enjoys writing poems, listening to music, and lifting weights.


Amanda Windsor
Amanda Windsor

Amanda Windsor is a rising senior at Mount Holyoke College where she majors in psychology and environmental studies. She serves as the President of her college’s First-Generation & Low Income Partnership: a student-run organization seeking to increase advocacy, allyship, and institutional resources for First-Gen & Low Income students. She is currently conducting independent research on the impact which the COVID-19 pandemic has had on LGBTQ+ undergraduate students. Through her time in the Summer Epidemiology Program, she hopes to build on this research experience while exploring meaningful advocacy work and future career opportunities within the field of public health.

Destiny Jackson

Destiny Jackson is a rising senior at Emory University pursuing a BA in Sociology and Global Health. As an Oxford Research Scholar and Research in Sociology (RISE) student at Emory, she has employed a joint sociological and public health lens to her research projects. The scope of her prior research experiences was studying intraracial health outcomes in the Black American population and educational attainment as a determinant of COVID-19 hospitalization in Metro Atlanta, respectively. Outside of academics, a few of Destiny’s most meaningful on-campus involvements have been serving as Black Student Alliance President, a Chemistry Tutor, and the Community Service and Advocacy Chair of her hall council. In her free time, she loves to play volleyball and avidly listen to the Hamilton soundtrack.

After completion of her undergraduate studies, she plans to continue her education in an area that is at the intersection of policy, healthcare, and public health. Her primary academic interests are the social determinants of health, health disparities, intraracial health outcomes, epidemiology, and health policy.

Emnet Sisay
Emnet Sisay

Emnet Sisay is a rising senior at Hamilton College double majoring in Biology and Public Policy. She is particularly interested in the biological and social underpinnings of healthcare disparities. Previously, she has worked at the Massachusetts General Hospital Disparities Research Unit researching adolescent health. Emnet is also the co-host of a podcast that explores the relationship between Indigeneity and food, and the co-chair of the Hamilton Feminists of Color Collective.

Fowota Mortoo
Fowota Mortoo

Fowota Mortoo is a junior at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill majoring in Global Studies with minors in Chemistry and Geography. In 2018, she graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, North Carolina. She is a Light on the Hill Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill and was a Genomics and Society Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Institute of Bioethics. She loves engaging with decolonial thought and praxis, learning about African history, and questioning things that we have been conditioned not to. She plans to pursue a career exploring the relationship between place and health and is committed to a conception of health that has both history and the built environment (and how we might build differently) as its starting point. When not working, she can often be found gardening, reading, or writing.

Kenny Chen

Kenny Chen is a first generation student from Eastern Washington. He is currently a rising senior at Amherst College, double majoring in Mathematics and Statistics. Coming from an underserved community, he recognizes the inequities in health and aspires to pursue a career that will allow him to advocate for disadvantaged and marginalized populations. After graduation, he plans to pursue further studies in Epidemiology or a career that enables him to use statistics for the public good. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and watching movies.

Jessica Broach

Jessica Broach is a rising senior at Central Michigan University where she double majors in Public Health Education and Environmental Health & Safety. She is highly involved in her schools’ chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma, which is a National Professional Health Education Honorary. This past year, she held the executive board position of secretary and participated in many events around campus that help to educate students about current public health issues. After undergrad, her goals include attending graduate school and conducting research in relation to infectious diseases and/or environmental health.

Jessica Romero

Jessica Romero is a public health major and about to graduate from California State University, San Bernardino. She has worked in research that focuses on maternal and infant health outcomes. Her long-term goals include earning her PhD in epidemiology and becoming involved in community outreach. When she is not working in public health, she coaches boys and girls tennis for Elsinore high school.

Serina Cabrera

Serina Cabrera is a rising senior at Sonoma State University (SSU) in Rohnert Park, CA where she majors in Applied Statistics and minors in Biology. Serina is a first-generation high school graduate and college student. She is a member of the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) where she serves as a peer mentor and recipient of MESA honors distinction. She was also a co-founder of the SACNAS Seawolves Club which is a student chapter of the national organization SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) and has served two academic terms (2018-19 and 2020-21) as the chapter President. Serina has also been chosen as a Faces of SSU, President of Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics Honor Society), Statistics Tutor, School of Science and Technology Representative for Student Government and executive board member of the Upsilon Chapter of Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc.

As a McNair Scholar, she has conducted research in different disciplines such as Epidemiology and Mathematical Education to better support the Sonoma State Math/Statistics Department and the SSU Community. After completion of her Undergraduate studies, she plans to obtain a dual degree of DO/MPH to better serve the low-income and underrepresented communities involving health disparities.

Titus Abraham

Titus Abraham graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Social Behavior. His research focuses on identifying and understanding the individual difference factors and interpersonal processes which influence the experience of psychological and physiological distress. He primarily studies the use and development of facial expressions, pain tolerance, attachment style, decision-making, and interpersonal relationships in the context of stress throughout the lifespan. Titus believes that the Identification of these factors will allow for clinical practitioners to better assess and diagnose pain in marginalized populations. He plans to apply to a Clinical Psychology or Public Health Ph.D. program that addresses the disparities in identifying stress and treating pain in marginalized populations.

Varvara Rousseau

Varvara Rousseau is a junior at New York University in Manhattan, NY, where she majors in Global Public Health with Sociology. Varvara’s research interests include infectious diseases, clinical research, and genetics.  She is a member of the Opportunity Program, OP, specifically in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program, which provides academic support to minority undergraduate students who wish to pursue a degree and career in STEM. She is also an OP ambassador where she advocates for more funding for this program and recruits future students who wish to study in STEM at NYU. Varvara is a graduate of the NYU Diversity Undergraduate Research Incubator (DURI), where she conducted a study that looked at the GPC3 gene that is related to the brain disease, macrocephaly, which is an enlargement of the brain. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in epidemiology and infectious diseases.