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Meet Our STAR Interns

Our STAR Interns receive support to grow professionally and gain valuable skills and real work experience through placements in a variety of settings. Meet our STAR Interns who are our future leaders in global health!

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Name: Ajara Sompo Ceesay

Title: Maternal and Infant HIV Treatment Intern
Location: United States

Ajara Sompo Ceesay is a public health researcher with a focus on Maternal and Child Health and HIV/AIDS prevention. Ajara Sompo Ceesay is a dedicated public health educator with experience in both domestic and international settings working cross-culturally with diverse teams. Ajara Sompo Ceesay is a public health enthusiast with experience in both field and applied research settings in sexual and reproductive health programs and strong skill sets in interpersonal communication, program facilitation and implementation and team leading. Ajara Sompo Ceesay is passionate about debunking social stigmatization surrounding sexual and reproductive health and eliminating health disparities.

Name: Angela Chen

Title: Strategic Information Intern
Location: United States

Angela recently obtained her master’s in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where her area of concentration was in Health Economics, focusing on developing and evaluating cost-effective public health interventions for marginalized and vulnerable populations. Her undergraduate studies were in International Affairs, concentrating in Global Public Health, and Spanish. For the last five years, Angela has been living abroad in Chile, Spain, and the United Kingdom, where she has been studying Spanish literature, implementing a bilingual English program in schools, and analyzing data to track the international COVID-19 response in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

Name: Annie Preaux

Title: High Impact Practices in Family Planning Research Intern
Location: United States

Annie Preaux is a doctoral candidate in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She also received her MPH from Tulane and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. She has experience with program evaluation, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and community-based health programs, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. Annie’s research interests include maternal health, adolescent pregnancy, and violence against women. Since joining Tulane, she has worked on projects related to healthcare providers’ beliefs about obstetric violence in public maternity hospitals in the Dominican Republic, COVID-19 and child marriage, and the impact of COVID-19 on health services for women, children, and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Name: Clare Killian

Title: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Intern
Location: United States

Clare is an MPH student at Boston University School of Public Health focused on Global Health Program Design, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Maternal and Child Health. Prior to pursuing her MPH, she studied International Studies and Spanish at Loyola University Chicago. While in Chicago, she was a Programs Intern for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, working closely with the Programs team on various global development issues and foreign policy objectives. She has worked with three public health-focused NGOs in Uganda. In Uganda, she was part of a cross-cultural team conducting baseline interviews relating to health practices including HIV/AIDS, malaria, obstetric fistula, family planning, and water and sanitation.


Title: HIV Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Intern
Location: United States

Daria grew up in Moscow, Russia where she graduated with a Master's in Communications. Upon her graduation, she was invited to work with the World Bank on the Russian Education Aid for Development to assess information literacy among children in low-income countries. This opportunity made Daria interested in working in international development. However, she had yet to define the path she was truly connected with. Once she moved to the U.S. in 2011, she faced a number of disturbing health-related issues such as an opioid crisis, obesity, and low health literacy. Daria became interested in work aimed at improving population health.

Name: Farid Abarca Realegeno

Title: Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Treatment Intern
Location: United States

Farid J. Abarca is a graduate student with academic background in biomedicine, public health research, and extensive service experience in domestic and international initiatives in Latin America, South and East Asia. He received a BS in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University. Therein, he currently pursues an MPH in Health Policy & Management along with an MIA in International Development & Economic Policy. In his position as Chief Data Manager for the Texas A&M COVID-19 Operations Center, he was responsible for the collection of case investigation and other public health data at the local and university system level in accordance with sound epidemiological methods and disease surveillance procedures.

Name: Hanna Amanuel

Title: OVC/Pediatric-Adolescent Intern
Location: United States

Hanna Amanuel, is an MPH candidate at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. She is pursuing a concentration in HIV/AIDs among vulnerable populations within Sub-Saharan Africa. She aspires to work within this cultural context to help ensure safe, equitable, and dignified access to HIV prevention and treatment for all women and children. Hanna has experience working in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (where she is originally from) and Mombasa, Kenya, where she completed an MCH internship. .

Name: Kossana Young

Title: Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Communications Intern
Location: United States

Kossana has a bachelor's degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication from James Madison University, and is currently a candidate for an MPH from UNC Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health concentrating on health inequities and nutrition. Prior to joining USAID, Kossana was a communications assistant in the Office of the Chief Communications Officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in the division on earth and life studies. Her communication interests at the Academies were centered on cross-cutting initiatives among environmental health, life sciences, human health, resources, and health equity.

Name: Laura Marie Peeples

Title: Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Program Assessment Intern
Location: United States

Laura-Marie is a Master of Science in Public Health Candidate, concentrating in Social and Behavioral Interventions, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also received a BA and BS in Sociology and Human Performance from the illustrious Howard University. Laura-Marie's diverse work experiences include program evaluations, literature reviews, and working on research projects for NGOs. She is deeply familiar with multiple research methodologies including, qualitative, quantitative, and community-based participatory research. Her public health interests include health communication, community-based health, maternal and child health, and health equity.

Name: Madiera Dennison

Title: Gender and Sexual Diversity Intern*
Location: United States

Madiera Dennison is currently completing her graduate degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her current studies focus on gender and health policy, health systems strengthening, and sexual and reproductive health service provision. Prior to her graduate studies, Madiera served 3 years in the Peace Corps in Malawi, where she learned the importance of positively engaging with difference, fostering community, and transforming health systems to be accountable and inclusive to any population served. For the first two years of service, Madiera worked as a Secondary School English teacher, where she helped create literacy tools and spaces for students, community leaders, and youth groups to make informed decisions on effective contraception use, consent, and menstrual hygiene.

Name: Sena Woldetensay

Title: Key Populations Intern
Location: United States

Sena is a recent graduate of the Heller School of Social Policy, with a Master’s Degree in Global Health Policy and Management and a concentration in Health Economics and Analytics. Prior to starting her Master’s education, Sena worked with non-profit organizations and served in U.S. Peace Corps as a Community Health Improvement Project volunteer in Zambia. Sena’s two years of service in Zambia along with successfully integrating into her community has allowed her to connect with the hearts of the people and improve rural health care standards through the promotion of systems and empowerment of local communities.

Name: Sergine Cindy Zeufack

Title: Structural and Behavioral Interventions Intern
Location: United States

Sergine Cindy is a recent graduate of the University of Oxford, with a Master of Science in Global Health Science and Epidemiology. Prior to this, she received a BA in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology with a minor in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. She is Cameroonian-American and is passionate about health communication and health equity. She has previously worked at Médecins Sans Frontières, the World Health Organization in Geneva, the Global Health Collaborative in Uganda, and Health Leads in Boston. Her work at these organizations encompassed eHealth, Patient Safety and Risk Management, WASH, health-seeking behaviors, and patient advocacy.

Sustaining Technical and Analytic Resources (STAR) is a project of the Public Health Institute Implemented in partnership with University of California, San Francisco and Aspen Management Partnership for Health (AMP Health).

This website is made possible by the generous support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the Public Health Institute and do not necessarily represent the views of USAID or the U.S. Government. © Copyright 2021 Public Health Institute. All rights reserved.