Author Archives: Jazib Gohar

1st Year MPH: Brad Frueh

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Brad Frueh!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I was born and raised in Ohio, where I attended THE Ohio State University. I studied Health and Wellness in my undergraduate degree and became more interested in public health after doing research with an pharmacoepidemiologist.

What are your primary research interests?

I am mainly interested in Cancer Epidemiology, specifically investigating risk factors for colorectal cancer. I am interested in using novel research methods like metabolomics and genome sequencing to answer relevant and interesting questions in cancer epidemiology.

How have you been navigating the work from home experience during the COVID-19 outbreak?

I was a little nervous about online classes when they first announced the transition to remote learning. As an introvert, I can personally say that classes have been more enjoyable so far. I will say I do miss seeing all of my friends in person!

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on?

I recently was offered an NCI Fellowship to work at MD Anderson for 10 weeks this summer in the MD Anderson Cancer Prevention Research Training Program. I will be working on a project with Dr. Carrie Daniel- a Nutritional Epidemiologist at MD Anderson- working on several of her studies. I’ll be working on a variety of projects on nutrition, metabolomics, and the microbiome. It’s a great opportunity to learn from an experienced researcher!

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Rollins?

My favorite part about studying at Emory is the high quality of our education and the instant brand recognition that Emory provides. I’ve spoken to mentors that have had Rollins students. and they are always excited to take on more because of the great track record Rollins students have had! 

What advice do you have for people who may be interested in getting their MPH?

I would say that an MPH is a multidisciplinary field that can be applied to a broad range of problems. No matter what you studied in undergrad, if you want to make an impact in people’s lives, an MPH is a great way to do that.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

I’m currently reading Applied Regression Analysis 5th edition, Modern Epi, and Advanced Cancer Epidemiology 3rd edition. But seriously I don’t usually find the time to read for fun during the semester. I am currently listening to Joe Rogan, The Adam & Dr. Drew Show, and NPR’s Up First on the regular.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I have a twin brother. Yes I am older. No we do not look identical.
  2. I am a big Guinness Beer enthusiast, and spent 2 weeks in Ireland last summer drinking it from the source
  3. I come from a musical family. All of my family members play instruments. I play guitar, cello, trumpet, and bass guitar, all proficiently, though I am out of practice!

1st Year MPH: Nellie Garlow

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Nellie Garlow!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I was the second class to graduate with a public health degree from Franklin & Marshall College, which meant I got to help shape the major and take a lot of experimental public health classes. In one of my favorite courses, I learned the ins and outs of the local Drug Courts program by sitting in on hearings, talking with graduates, and attending lectures taught by the judge.

What are your primary research interests?

I am primarily interested in applied epidemiology and the intersection of epidemiology and activism. Topically, I have focused a lot on maternal/child health and substance use disorder, and am hoping to expand my portfolio to include STIs and reproductive health.

How have you been navigating the work from home experience during the COVID-19 outbreak?

I consider myself a very social person, so when we changed to an all-remote environment, I knew it’d be important for me to join virtual communities. I have felt very energized being part of the Epi COVID Journal Club that I help run as well as a student group that advocates for local politicians to follow the evidence when making decisions about reopening businesses. Staying at home all day is challenging, but feeling like I can make a difference in my community is why I get out of bed in the morning.

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on?

I just started working with Dr. Allison Chamberlain and the Fulton County Board of Health to analyze survey data from the 2019 Atlanta Pride Festival. I believe it is critical to understand how local public health departments operate and am excited to pitch in with their surveillance efforts.

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Rollins?

The diversity of learning opportunities available both inside and outside of the classroom. For instance, I am learning core programming skills through my classes and am going to apply them when I intern this summer with the Georgia Department of Public Health’s MCH Epi team.

What advice do you have for people who may be interested in getting their MPH?

Don’t be afraid to take your time when deciding which master’s degree to pursue! I took off 5 years after undergrad because I wanted to be sure the degree I picked was going to help me build a strong future and new skills.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

I am currently reading “Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn: A Saga of Race and Family” by Gary M. Pomerantz. Before moving here, I asked a colleague who was from Atlanta what books I should read to help me understand the history of the city. She said that this book was a must read.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I used to host concerts in my living room when I lived in Washington, DC
  2. I have lost my car so many times in the Michael Street lot that I now only park on the roof
  3. I have listened to every episode of the “Modern Love” podcast by the New York Times

2nd Year MPH: Sydney Brady

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Sydney Brady!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I completed my Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at Clemson University in 2017 (go tigers!)

What are your primary research interests?

My primary research interests are in infectious disease epidemiology, as well as methodology studies within epidemiology.

What are you looking forward to as we approach the end of Spring Semester?

Graduation!!

Are there any exciting projects or experiences you are involved in right now?

I currently serve as an intern for the Georgia Department of Public Health on their foodborne disease surveillance team. I help to collect data on reports of common foodborne diseases in the state of Georgia, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter. Working at the state level has been an amazing opportunity to combine classroom knowledge with real-life epidemiology experience..

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Rollins?

I enjoy learning from my peers who come from different backgrounds and cultures all over the world. With Atlanta being a major public health hub, it has been a really awesome experience being able to work with people who bring different points of view to the table in order to address current public health topics and issues.

What advice do you have for 1st year MPH students?

My advice would be to take a class outside of your comfort zone or interests. Although two years in the MPH program seems like a long time, it goes by quick! It’s a rewarding experience to learn and develop new skillsets in a topic that you were previously unfamiliar with.

My other piece of advice would be to not forget to spend time on self-care! Find something you enjoy doing outside of the classroom that can help you to refocus and recharge.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

My favorite author is Stephen King, and I am currently reading Salem’s Lot. I also enjoy listening to the Sword and Scale podcast (I am a true crime junkie).

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. My favorite place to vacation to is the beach.
  2. I’m a self proclaimed crazy cat lady.
  3. I have attended over 10 Kenny Chesney concerts (and counting).

Class of 2020: #WeAreEmoryEPI

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

Last stop: Epidemiologist.

 

*Attention: this train will terminate at the next station.* Please gather all your belongings, memories, research projects, thrilling achievements, failures-turned-lessons, sampling methods, p-values, friends, mentors, and dreams. The time has come to step out into a new world (maintaining at least 6 ft distance from one another at all times…), one in which your training will be more important than ever before. Commencement may be a thing of the past, but you are that vanguard – the first cohort to bravely persevere despite arriving at a 21st century full of unknowns. Nonetheless, a celebration is still in order! Let’s take this opportunity to commemorate your incredible achievements over the past 2 years and remember why #WeAreEmoryEPI.

 

This week, we want to share your journey on Twitter! Use the link below to tell us about your favorite memories of Rollins, what the journey has meant for you, defining characteristics of the Class of 2020, or really anything you want to share about what it means to say #WeAreEmoryEPI. For bonus points, send us a picture of you fighting that good (public health) fight – deep in some code, in a dataset, or in your thesis manuscript. We’ll be tweeting your responses from @EmoryEPI all week long!

 

Link to the form: https://forms.gle/hheJkvwnMuVBYEBg8


PhD Student: Chrystelle Kiang

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Chrystelle Kiang!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I graduated with a BS in Biology from MIT in 2013, worked for 4 years, then came got my MPH in Epidemiology here at Emory in 2019.

What are your primary research interests?

I am interested in genetic and molecular epidemiology in the context of cancer epi and ‘non-communicable’ diseases and pharmacoepidemiology. My advisor is Tim Lash.

How have you been navigating the work from home experience during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Before this, I would avoid doing work at home, so it has helped me to set up and keep a workspace that is separate from hang out space. I am quite busy this semester, so I have had to adapt. I have a screened-in patio and being able to spend time outside has made this experience easier. It also helps me to keep things in perspective- it’s a privilege to be working and doing so from home.

Are there any exciting projects or experiences you are involved in right now?

I am working on a project related to gender authorship in academic publishing and was excited to share those results in an oral presentation at this year’s SER Meeting, but that has been postponed. I am also working on a project involving melanoma (skin cancer) recurrence, which I look forward to spending more time on post-qualifying exam. For now, I am focusing on coursework and preparing for the QE in June.

What is your favorite part about earning your PhD at Emory?

This sounds cheesy, but the community! I am surrounded by smart and supportive people with whom I can talk about interesting research and hard problems, but also make epi jokes and discuss bad reality television.

What advice do you have for MPH students?

Stop worrying about your grades. If you are learning and completing your assignments on time, you are doing great. Make friends. Take advantages of the resources Emory has to offer to explore your interests and broaden your knowledge: classes, seminars/ talks, professors, APE, REAL, etc.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

These days, I have been listening to Planet Money and The Indicator, both podcasts by NPR, because they’re interesting and pandemic-adjacent, but not as overwhelming as my usual news and politics podcasts.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. Before coming to Emory, I worked in surgical pathology at MGH where my job included performing eviscerations for autopsies.
  2. I love to rock climb and hope to do some sport climbing outdoors this summer, if national parks are open.
  3. After several years of not running followed by many weeks of training, I ran the Publix half marathon this year!

1st Year MPH: Sagarika Das

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Sagarika Das!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I’m from Silver Spring, Maryland, and I went to college at the University of Michigan, Class of 2017, where I received my BS in International Studies: Global Health and the Environment.

What are your primary research interests?

My primary research interests are sexual minority health, reproductive healthcare, and medical devices for LMICs. I’m really fortunate to be currently involved in a project in each of these topic areas.

How have you been navigating the work from home experience during the COVID-19 outbreak?

I got lucky my classes and REAL position translated well to WFH. I also took some extra cash flow in the Fall and had invested in a dual-monitor system for my home, which was such a wise decision.

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on?

Through the Global Health Innovation Experience partnership between Georgia Tech and Emory, I’ve been putting together a pilot study on a novel neonatal warming device for use in Ethiopia. Things are on hold right now with COVID craziness, but hopefully this study can takeoff someday. I’m also a GRA for the some super rad studies with PRISM that are looking at the uptake and use of at-home HIV and STI testing kits for MSM.

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Rollins?

My favorite part about earning my MPH at Emory has been my classmates, particularly the really inspiring people of color. Everyone’s passionate and committed to their topic areas and super willing to help others on their own journeys.

What advice do you have for people who may be interested in getting their MPH?

Do your research! Make sure you have an idea of what the MPH is for you and what it will enable you to do in the future. The MPH is not an end, but a start for much more to come!

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

My Favorite Murder is always on my podcast docket. I can’t get enough of true crime podcasts. I’ve been reading A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee, inspired by my recent winter break trip to India.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I hold 2.5 citizenships: by birth in Canada, by naturalization to the U.S., and as an Overseas Citizen of India.
  2. I am a pregnancy and abortion doula.
  3. A baboon stole cookies from my hands in Mole National Park, Ghana.

2nd Year MPH: Meredith Dixon

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Meredith Dixon!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I obtained my BA degree in biology (with a psychology minor) from Texas A&M University in 2003 and worked in academic scientific research labs after graduation.

What are your primary research interests?

My primary research interests include epidemiologic methods, maternal/child health, and social determinants of health.

What are you looking forward to this Spring Semester?

I am really looking forward to finishing my thesis and to graduation! I am also excited about moving into the city to shorten my commute.

Are there any exciting projects or experiences you are involved in right now?

I am working with some thoracic surgeons through Emory’s Health Services Research Center. We are analyzing patient reported outcomes in clinical practice, and I am implementing new skills as I learn them in my longitudinal data analysis class. For my thesis, I am looking at postpartum maternal mental health outcomes in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Rollins?

My favorite part about earning my MPH at Emory has been the welcoming, collaborative environment, both among the faculty and among the students.

What advice do you have for 1st year MPH students?

Get to know as many faculty members as possible; they are all wonderful! Also, don’t forget to download and save all of your class slides and notes before they disappear off of Canvas.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

I recently finished reading ‘Just Mercy’ by Bryan Stevenson and ‘Talking to Strangers’ by Malcolm Gladwell, both of which I really enjoyed. I am now reading ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ by David Grann. I also like the ‘Wait Wait ….Don’t Tell Me!’ podcast.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I have lived in Switzerland (for 3 years) and in France (for 10 months).
  2. I am a mother to three school-aged children – 2 girls and a boy.
  3. I love snow skiing and wish Atlanta were closer to the mountains.

1st Year MSPH: Mitch Lee

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Mitch Lee!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I earned my BS in Biology in 2017 from Duke University, where I studied genetic toggling and oscillations in E.coli. I then worked at the NIH for two years as a postbac fellow studying Legionella virulence mechanisms and pathogenesis before coming to Emory to earn my MSPH in epidemiology.

What are your primary research interests?

My primary research interest is applying molecular epidemiology toward improving technologies that use genetic data and/or biomarkers to diagnose or predict diseases earlier, faster, and more accurately. I especially want to learn how to incorporate (caution: buzzwords incoming!) ~machine learning~ and big data science into that pursuit.

What are you looking forward to this Spring Semester?

Thinking of big-picture goals, I’m most looking forward to finalizing plans for a summer APE and finding a thesis project and advisor related to my interests. Thinking of day-to-day endeavors, I’m most looking forward to steadily (if slowly) improving my data science and programming skills, particularly with R. Beyond schooling and career-building, I’m looking forward to exploring Atlanta more with my friends!

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on?

I’ve been working lately to help prepare a manuscript I contributed to at the NIH—seeing the final product take form has been so rewarding!

What is your favorite part about earning your MSPH at Rollins?

My favorite aspect of earning my MSPH at Emory is the uniquely open access it provides to so many public health entities—local, national, and international— that turn to Rollins as a source of expertise, eager students, and skilled workers. On top of that, I get to study and work with bright, talented, and motivated students who elevate my performance.

What advice do you have for people who may be interested in getting their MSPH?

Presentation skills are so important to hone, so find someone who’s known for giving great presentations and study how they manage to be clear, compelling, and efficient. Then, learn to do what they do. Along the way, find people who will constructively tell you how to improve your presentation skills. Their input will help you get better, faster, and more confident.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

I enjoy science fiction—it’s a great escape that (mostly) doesn’t allow for lazy thinking. So I’ve been burning through a few novels recently. I finally managed to finish Frank Herbert’s Dune and Andy Weir’s The Martian through some far-too-late-at-night binges. Next up is finishing Rebecca’s Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for Rollins’s new Epicurious book club sponsored by Dr. Guest!

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I’m a certified open-water scuba diver with 35+ dives on record.
  2. I’ve lived in 7 cities across 5 states.
  3. I shook Mark Cuban’s hand once

2nd Year MPH: Abigail Ruths

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Abigail Ruths!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I graduated in 2017 from Penn State University with a B.S. in Biobehavioral Health

What are your primary research interests?

My primary interests are in Immigrant and Refugee Health, Humanitarian Emergencies/Disaster Response, Field Epidemiology, and Social Epidemiology

What are you looking forward to this Spring Semester?

I am looking forward to continuing to work at CDC in the Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch. I am also looking forward to staying involved with community events through SORT.

Are there any exciting projects or experiences you are involved in right now?

Yeah– my thesis!!

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Rollins?

I have appreciated the opportunity to take a variety of elective classes that have reinforced my interests and given me awesome hands-on/interactive experiences. I also love Atlanta and think it is a very underrated city!

What advice do you have for 1st year MPH students?

Some progress is better than no progress. Imposter syndrome is real, and you deserve to be here. Send the email. Sleep!!

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

I am very slowly reading about six books but I’ll mention two: “This Land Is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto” by Suketu Mehta, and rereading “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by… well, you know.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I was on the powerlifting team in undergrad.
  2. I have an avocado intolerance 🙁
  3. I can (and have) spent several hours on Google Maps/Earth dropping myself on the map and looking around .

1st Year MPH: Clayton Carmon

Category : #IamEmoryEPI

For this week’s #IamEmoryEpi spotlight, we met up with Clayton Carmon!

Tell us a little bit about your academic history:

I completed my Bachelor’s Degree at Texas A&M University in Public Health and graduated in May of 2019. I started at A&M in 2008 but left in 2009 to figure out what I really wanted to do and returned to school in 2015 after spending time working for a nonprofit in Haiti.

What are your primary research interests?

I am primarily interested in emerging infectious diseases; specifically, antimicrobial resistance and hospital-acquired infections. But I am an infectious disease nerd and would enjoy research in just about any avenue therein. It’s so hard to choose only one thing to focus on!

What are you looking forward to this Spring Semester?

I am really looking forward to finding a thesis topic and continuing my REAL job at CDC. I am definitely someone who enjoys school and learning, so I am also looking forward to my courses and growing my knowledge of public health and epidemiology. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my relationships with my incredible peers and professors here at Rollins.

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on?

I am currently in the beginning stages of a project at my REAL job to analyze the trends over time of antimicrobial susceptibility for a specific pathogen of concern in healthcare settings. Since antimicrobial resistance is a significant public health challenge and concern, I am excited to see what trends exist in surveillance data and hopefully find out what changes, if any, are occurring in antimicrobial susceptibility for this pathogen.

What is your favorite part about earning your MPH at Rollins?

The incredibly diverse group of people that I get to walk this journey with. The incredibly wide-ranging backgrounds of my fellow students are inspiring and motivating. The education I receive from my peers is just as important and valuable as the education I receive in my classes.

What advice do you have for people who may be interested in getting their MPH?

I would say that it is essential to know where you want to end up in life and what you can gain and learn by getting an MPH. I took several years to really learn about myself and my goals. That time away from school, experiencing the real world, was invaluable in shaping the path I eventually decided to take. Don’t ever feel like you have to follow a predetermined or societally acceptable path to achieve your goals, take some time to get to know yourself before committing to something.

What books are you currently reading, or what podcasts are you currently listening to?

At the moment, I am not reading anything. Still, the last book I did read was called “The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History,” and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves history and infectious diseases.

What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?

  1. I am a huge history nerd, especially WWII history; in fact, I almost pursued a degree in history.
  2. I am a first-generation Graduate student, but I am a second-generation Aggie (what we who went to A&M are called), needless to say to anyone who has seen me on campus, I am a diehard A&M fan.
  3. I am a huge country music fan, play me some George Jones, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, George Strait, Reba (the list goes on), and I’m a happy camper, really any classic country is my jam.