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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: Aditi Arunmozhi

Title: Key Populations Data Analysis Intern
Location: United States

Aditi Arunmozhi is a current Master of Public Health candidate with a concentration in Biostatistics at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. She also received her BS in Literature, Media, and Communication with a minor in Health and Medical Sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has robust hands-on public health experience involving combatting COVID-19 through contact tracing and case investigation focusing on aiding the Hispanic community in Atlanta with the Georgia Department of Public Health and COVID-19 vaccine promotion specifically in low-income communities in the Northern Virginia area while working at Neighborhood Health.

Name: Courtney Eker

Title: Capacity Building and Partnerships Communications Intern
Location: United States

Courtney Eker is a third-year, dual-degree Master of Global Policy Studies and Master of Public Health candidate at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and UTHealth in Austin, Texas. In 2018-2020, Courtney completed two years of Peace Corps service in Panama as a Teaching English, Leadership, and Life Skills Volunteer. In that role, Courtney grew her passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights through sexual health curriculum building alongside her Panamanian counterparts. After returning to the United States to pursue her graduate education, Courtney served as a policy aide with the Texas House Women's Health Caucus during the 2021 legislative session at the Texas Capitol.


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: Diana Poindexter

Title: HIV Testing Services Intern
Location: United States

Diana is a Master of Public Health candidate specializing in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, Berkeley. While at UC Berkeley, Diana contributed to a COVID-19 case-control study that investigated vaccine and mask effectiveness in California. She also received a Master’s in Irish Writing from Trinity College, Dublin and a teaching credential from San Francisco State University. With interests in global health and infectious disease, Diana is passionate about contributing to public health programming that improves maternal health and quality of life for women.

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: Hana Berhe

Title: HIV/AIDS Microbicide Research Intern
Location: United States

Hana is currently a Master’s of Public Health student with a concentration in Epidemiology at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. Prior to starting her Master’s education, Hana worked with North Texas Infectious Disease Consultants as a Clinical Research Data Entry Coordinator. She worked primarily in HIV and COVID19 vaccine research. Her clinical research work allowed her to witness the progress that has been made with HIV treatment as well as expanding her education in vaccine trials. Hana strives to address the barriers in policy and public health education so she can be an advocate for communities impacted by health disparities.

Name: Kevin Li

Title: HIV/AIDS Microbicide Research Intern-*
Location: United States

Kevin is a 2nd year MSPH student in Social and Behavioral Interventions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a BSc. in Honors Cell Biology in 2021. Kevin has a passion for HIV prevention and LGBTQ health research, and currently works as a graduate research assistant for the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights’ Key Populations Program. There, he assisted with the evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on PEPFAR KPIF-funded HIV prevention programming among female sex workers and transgender women in South Africa and Southeast Asia.

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: Kristina Caparrelli

Title: Adolescent & Young Adult HIV Treatment Intern
Location: United States

Kristina Caparrelli is a current graduate student at The George Washington University pursuing her master’s degree in Public Health. She has spent time working with Health Resources and Services Administration in the Division of Practitioner Data Bank, Policy and Disputes Branch. Kristina received her bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Tech. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho as an HIV/AIDS and Adolescent Health Volunteer. She is originally from the Richmond, Virginia area and she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and exploring the outdoors with her dog.

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: Nicholas Hayes

Title: Strategic Information Program Management Intern
Location: United States

Nicholas Hayes is a public health professional with interests in infectious diseases, global health, and the effects of systems planning on health outcomes. As a first-year graduate student pursuing an MPH in Health Care Management at the Yale School of Public Health, he hopes to actuate systems-level thinking in the leadership of global HIV/AIDS efforts. Through various work opportunities, Nicholas has pursued a specific interest in HIV/AIDS outreach and sexual & reproductive health. Most recently, Nicholas worked as a Health Educator in the HIV Prevention Department of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Name: Sabreena Robinson

Title: Strategic Partnerships Engagement Intern
Location: United States

Sabreena Robinson is currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, pursuing a Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in International Health Systems. Prior to her graduate studies, she worked for non-profit organizations such as Malaria No More and The Migration Solidarity and Exchanges of Development Association in Strasbourg, France where she synthesized data involving the integration of refugees into France, illuminating commonalities in their assimilative experiences for the E.U. funded MigrEmpower eLearning Project. More recently, Sabreena worked as an Account Executive for Gartner Inc.

Name: Sarah Robinson

Title: Program Quality Visualization and Communication Intern
Location: United States

Sarah Robinson is public health professional currently pursuing her Master of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her studies and research focus at the intersection of health policy and primary health care system strengthening. Outside of class, she works at the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care and consults for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Before returning to school, she worked at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine where she collaborated with a committee of more than 20 leading experts to produce a report written for policymakers and practitioners on achieving high-quality primary care in the United States.

Name: Sheridan Coomer

Title: Capacity Building and Partnerships Communications Intern*B
Location: United States

Sheridan is a current MPH candidate at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine with a concentration in global health. Her interests include sexual and reproductive health rights, gender-based violence prevention, and the healing power of community. Prior to her MPH candidacy, Sheridan received her B.S. in Global Health from the University of Southern California where she worked with the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health. During her time at IIGH, she aided in the development of the Open Society Foundation’s Oral History Project; the world’s first dedicated library of recorded testimonies from key figures in the modern health and human rights movement.

Name: Sonia Rao

Title: Survey, Research and Evaluation Intern
Location: United States

Sonia Rao is a current Master of Public Health candidate with a concentration in Global Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, where she also received her BS in Public Health and BA in Medical Anthropology. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana focusing on HIV/AIDS prevention, support, and supply chain management, followed by a role with the Key Populations and Human Rights team in USAID’s Office of HIV/AIDS supporting over 30 country programs. Sonia has experience in project management, community-centered programming, and monitoring and evaluation in both domestic and international settings.

Name: Tina Gant

Title: Adult Clinical Branch Intern for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support
Location: United States

Tina Gant is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration in community health at Baylor University. While pursuing a Master’s in Public Health, she has broadened her knowledge of public health practices, infectious diseases, disease control, and epidemiologic methods. She received her Bachelor's degree in Health Promotions with a concentration in health education. As she furthers her education, she continues to expand her knowledge and advance her understanding of healthcare. Throughout past experiences, she gained hands-on healthcare experience while building personal relationships with patients as a Nationally Certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

Name: Zoe Henderson

Title: Family Planning and Reproductive Health Strategic Communications and Outreach Intern
Location: United States

Zoe Henderson is a master's candidate in International Human Rights from the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies. Her current studies focus on the gendered aspects of immigration, access to public services, and social structures. Zoe received a BA in English Literature and Theory from Western Colorado University. Prior to joining USAID, Zoe was a communications and marketing assistant at the Marsico Institute for Early Learning.  .

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.