Author Archives: Malay Mody

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Muhammad Zia ul Haq

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

In this week’s #WeAreEmoryEPI spotlight, we are introducing Muhammad Zia ul Haq, who goes by Zia, a second-year Master’s student. A physician trained in Pakistan, his main interests are in chronic diseases and their biological etiology. We talked to him about his favorite parts of Rollins, his APE, and more!

 


 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I completed my MBBS (MD) from Nishtar Medical College Pakistan which is affiliated with the largest public hospital in the country welcoming a diverse patient population.

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

My passion lies in cancer research and Diabetes. In particular, understanding the genetic and molecular etiology of these diseases.

 

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

At the Morningside Center for Innovative and Affordable Medicine, our mission is to develop practice-changing treatments that are effective, affordable and non-toxic by adopting financial orphans (i.e. pursuing clinical development of scientifically promising ideas that are lying fallow due to lack of financial incentive). I am specifically helping build an extensive clinical trials database of literature related to alternative treatments for various cancers.

 

 

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

Collaborative potential and multidisciplinary faculty with rich research interests is my favorite part. I have collaborated with talented faculty at other departments at Rollins as well as the School of Medicine.

 

 

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

Do not hesitate to reach out to everyone you can find who is working in the area you see yourself in the future, especially beyond academic and cultural barriers. People at Rollins come from diverse backgrounds and I found value in every interaction I had. The same goes for reaching out to Professors and research coordinators both in and out of Rollins. As much as we are interested in gaining experience, they are looking for exact qualities we possess at Rollins students.

 

 

As first-year students start to look for their APE positions, do you have any tips for finding a practicum?

I would recommend looking with curiosity and flexibility. It is a learning experience rather than a professional one. Oftentimes exposure to an environment that challenges our grasp on concepts and skills even beyond our research interests fosters qualities that can take us way forward afterward. And quite possibly, we may grow passion in that particular discipline as we come to know new cool avenues.

 

 

When applying, what were you looking for in a public health school, and what factors drove you towards Rollins?

I chose Rollins because of its talented faculty which is involved in cutting-edge research with diverse interests and the wonderful Rollins family which is extremely friendly and cooperative. I love the passion, interest and personal experiences all instructors bring to the class as they stimulate analytical thinking.

 

 

Do you have any other tips for prospective public health students?

Public health has the potential of influencing the world way more than any field alone including medicine. So do not enter it half-heartedly. Bring your best passions, work, and heart while entering this field and be open to challenging the societal beliefs and biases every day as you traverse this revolutionary experience that prepares you to be the changing world needs today!

 

 

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

I have improved my schedule (both in terms of planning and following it). I set time for breaks every day after work as well as on the weekends when I learn new skills like cooking or go for nature runs. I take twice more effort to reach out to colleagues and group mates online to compensate for a lack of in-person interaction. And most importantly, try to practice kindness towards myself as well as team members for falling short.

 

 

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

1. The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life by Robin Sharma (Highly Recommended) through an enchanting-and often amusing-story about two struggling strangers who meet an eccentric tycoon who becomes their secret mentor, this book inspires the value of prioritizing, perseverance, and the importance of mental and physical health.

2. The Forty Rules of Love: Novel by Elif Shafak. This book emphasizes the value of kindness, love, compassion, and acceptance towards people and situations that are different than our usual experiences.

 

 

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

1. I once caught a fish with bare hands at Chattahoochee River

2. I lost car keys in the Atlantic Ocean and was stranded on Tybee Island with my friend for 3 days.

3. I make great Okra and Yakhni Pulao (chicken rice)

 


 

Thanks again to Zia for his time, check back next week for another #WeAreEmoryEPI feature!


#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Katy Krupinsky

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

In this week’s student spotlight, we are catching up with Katy Krupinsky, the department’s second RSGA representative for 2021 (we featured Sandra last week ICYMI). She is a first-year Master’s student working with mathematical modeling. Read on to learn more about her background, favorite parts about Rollins, and plans for her new role as EPI rep. 

 


 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I completed my undergrad at Colorado State University in Microbiology this past May!

 

 

What are you most looking forward to during your term as RSGA EPI student representative? 

As RSGA EPI student representative, I am most looking forwards to working with my peers to further build up our little EPI community and foster a learning environment that allows for every student to be successful.

 

 

What are some changes or cool ideas you are looking to bring to the department?

I hope to create spaces for students to meet up (for now virtually) and find peers that are in a similar situation as their own.  Additionally, I am a big fan of some friendly competition – so hopefully creating some events that follow that spirit.  I don’t want to reveal anything specific just yet, but let’s just say that we have some fun things in the works!

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

I am interested in using mathematical modeling techniques in order to answer questions relating to tuberculosis and infectious diseases more generally.

 

 

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

It has been quite the adjustment for sure! For me, the most important thing has been making sure to stick to a schedule and always having a list of tasks to accomplish each day so that I stay productive. There are days when it seems almost impossible and I just want to give up; however, in those moments, I try to remind myself of why I chose to follow this path with my education and root myself in that “why”.

 

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I am currently an RA in the EpiModel research lab and have had the opportunity to work on some of the lab’s projects. It has been really neat being able to get involved in the amazing research happening here at Rollins and I can’t wait to see what great opportunities the rest of my time here holds.

 

 

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

I think my favorite part about earning my MPH at Emory is the wide variety of opportunities, the amazing lectures, and the diverse community of peers that I get to work with on a daily basis. It is an environment that fosters critical thought, the tackling of pressing problems in our world, and personal growth — three things that make it the perfect place to receive the training needed in order to be a successful public health professional!

 

 

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

I think the biggest advice that I have for people who may be interested in getting their MPH is to really think about your “why” for choosing this field of study. To say the least, figuring out how to answer any of the questions which this field focuses on is filled with more uncertainty than certainty — something that is very frustrating at times. Any MPH program is going to ask a lot out of you and ask you to tackle many of these uncertain problems in your classes. You will get stuck and feel frustrated and get discouraged throughout your program. However, if you have a strong “why public health” and always remember it in your actions, then you will be able to move past any problems you may face and be ready to get everything you can out of this degree — and love (almost) every second of it!

 

 

When applying, what were you looking for in a public health school, and what factors drove you towards Rollins?

When I was applying, I was looking for a school that had not only a stellar reputation within the field but also for a school that offered a diverse set of opportunities for research and applied experience. Rollins was the school that I ultimately chose because of not only both of those qualities but also the warmth and problem-solving-centered learning environment which the Rollins EPI department fosters.

 

 

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

Nothing currently, but I recently finished “The Forgotten Plague” by Frank Ryan which tells the story of how some of the earliest drugs for tuberculosis were developed and where the field may need to go next with the current pattern of increasing drug-resistant disease. It’s told in a very reader-friendly/non-sciencey manner and sheds a light on what all goes into developing new drugs for major health threats such as TB — would highly recommend if anyone has ever wondered the story behind the treatment of tuberculosis!

 

 

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

(1) I was a professional skater with Disney on Ice prior to starting my undergrad and got to tour around the US, Canada and Mexico performing in different arenas each week. I won’t put in writing what character I was “friends” with, but let’s just say I got to wear some pretty cool pairs of ears!

(2) I am originally from Tempe, AZ, and once successfully baked cookies in my car when it was WAY too hot during the summer.

(3) My brother is a student at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Go Navy! Beat Army!

 


 

Thanks so much to Katy for her time! Check back next week for our next student spotlight on #WeAreEmoryEPI!


#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet First-Year Sandra Amouzou

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Sandra Amouzou is a first-year Global Epi Master’s student interested in social determinants of health and health outcomes in underrepresented communities. She also was elected an RSPH Student Government representative for the department! We talked to her more about her projects and her new role in this week’s #WeAreEmoryEPI.

 


 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I attended the University of Iowa where I obtained my BA in Health and Human Physiology, with minors in Global Health and French.

 

 

What are you most looking forward to during your term as RSGA EPI student representative?

What I am looking forward to the most is getting to know my cohort, as I felt like this quasi online format has limited the connections we’re building and the types of communities we’re forming with each other. I hope that we get to put on events that incorporate more relaxing activities for everyone to join in.

 

 

What are some changes or cool ideas you are looking to bring to the department?

I really really enjoy fun presentation parties in which everyone tunes in to those who have prepared a presentation on some random fun (appropriate) subject, and just seeing their logic in explaining it, such as “why Friends is just an adult version of Arthur” or “what types of fruit would world leaders be”, just fun things like that. I believe that we have multitudes of academically informational sessions for students, but sometimes having some time to just laugh is really disregarded.  If anyone has any other ideas, let me know! 

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

My primary research interests lie in social determinants of health, but also the intersection of mental health and health outcomes for underrepresented communities.

 

 

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

It has been a challenge, realizing that a majority of my work will be online as well as my courses. I have taken time to get away from my study area in my room and sit outside here and there, as well as taken breaks to play with my cat. I think the best thing I’ve done is separate my work from my pleasure, by not doing homework in bed, for example.

 

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I’m working as a REAL student within the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, where I’m working on inputting and analyzing the Zika data they have collected over the years, but also looking at how COVID19 affects pregnant mothers.

 

 

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

My favorite part would have to be the environment, I believe that Emory is beautifully placed to be connected to many public health initiatives domestically and globally. I also really enjoy the weather.

 

 

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

I would advise those interested in getting their MPH to chat with someone who has their MPH to gauge interest, but also an understanding of how different everyone’s paths to an MPH would be. I am realizing that public health work does not just limit itself to one specific type of career, and that’s exciting!

 

 

When applying, what were you looking for in a public health school, and what factors drove you towards Rollins?

I was specifically looking for public health schools that would be proponents of active learning and application of the public health programs (which is why I love REAL) as well as programs that incorporate multiple types of certificate programs to enhance understandings of other public health subjects.

 

 

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

I just finished the book Saint X that gives a chronology of a sisters’ search for answers to her older sister’s disappearance, interweaving societal and individual factors that may have contributed to her death, and I am hoping to start Dune before the movie comes out! (I mainly enjoy thrillers/dramas/scifi/overall fiction novels). I am also reading the Vanishing Half as a part of the book club!

 

 

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

1. I absolutely love pistachio gelato (any recommendation are welcome)

2. I have visited 8 nations thus far

3. I have a very vocal gray cat named Wesley (Yes, like Wesley from the Princess Bride) (Or Wes, like Wes Anderson, for short)

 


 

Thanks to Sandra for her time, and we can’t wait to see what she does in her time as RSGA rep in 2021. Tune in next week for another student spotlight on #WeAreEmoryEPI!


#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Kyle Lester

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Kyle Lester is a second-year Epi student doing research on HIV prevention and treatment, along with working on the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Team with Dr. Jodie Guest. He told us more about his current projects, his experience at Rollins, and some fun facts about himself! 

 


 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I initially entered the workforce after my freshman year of college and put myself through my undergrad while working full-time. I graduated from Georgia Southern University while working in healthcare for five years.

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

My research interests are HIV prevention and treatment. I specifically want to focus on MSM prevention methods and interventions, including PrEP and new injectable, long-term PrEP trials.

 

 

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

During the COVID-19 outbreak, I’ve been navigating the working from home experience by making sure to establish a work-life balance. I’ve devoted specific days and hours towards my academic life while making sure to schedule in time for my personal life and going off the grid. I find that establishing a schedule has been extremely beneficial to keep up with my mental health and my progress on the right path. I think while there are always exceptions, maintaining a regimen and consistent schedule has proven to be extremely effective in getting me through these bizarre times.

 

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

The most exciting project I’m working on right now happens to be the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Team at Emory. It’s a team that consists of eight of my classmates and myself, led by Dr. Jodie Guest. We have worked all throughout the summer, and continue to work in providing COVID-19 testing, education, and community outreach to underserved communities in Georgia. We have provided over a thousand COVID-19 tests to members of our community, and continue building strong partnerships with the faces behind all those numbers we see on PowerPoint slides.

 

 

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

My favorite part about earning my MPH at Emory is the real world experience our professors bring to the classroom. We are so fortunate to have professors that have practiced exactly what they teach and can provide us with relevant, up-to-date information and experience that will shape our education and careers.

 

 

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

My advice for first-year MPH students is simple: relax, take a deep breath, and pursue your passions. Public Health is one of the greatest fields to work in, and whatever your passion is, you need to pursue it, because there will always be people in need of your help. Don’t worry as much about your degree, and focus more on what you are going to do with it once you graduate. The relationships and partnerships you build now are going to impact you greatly in your future.

 

 

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

The newest book I just started is The Ghost Map, which is about the cholera outbreak in Victorian London. It focuses on the 1854 cholera outbreak, which involved the work of John Snow, one of our founders of epidemiology. The book to me is interesting because it involves good old fashioned disease detectives and the origin of modern epidemiology as we know it.

 

 

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

Three fun facts that I want people to know about me would be, I’m going to go to Tokyo for the Summer Olympics next year, I’ve almost been to every state, and I love sour beers!

 


 

Thanks again to Kyle for chatting with us this week! Tune in next week for another #WeAreEmoryEPI spotlight!


#WeAreEmoryEpi: Meet Paige Harton

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Paige is a second-year Master’s student interested in emerging infectious diseases and public health preparedness, and during the pandemic she has been working with Dr. Allison Chamberlain. We chatted with her about her project with Dr. Chamberlain and more!

 


 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I graduated from Kansas State University in December 2015 with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Spanish. I currently am second year EPI MPH student planning to graduate this coming May.

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

I am primarily interested in emerging infectious diseases and public health preparedness.

 

 

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

Having a designated study space in my apartment has really helped adjust to the primarily remote working and learning environment. I also make a concerted effort to talk a walk in the park near our apartment as many days as possible.

 

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I am currently working with Dr. Allison Chamberlain on a survey of Georgians regarding their perceptions of masks, testing, and a potential COVID-19 vaccine. I am excited to analyze this data for my thesis project!

 

 

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

From the faculty and staff to the fellow students I have gotten to know, the people have truly been the best part of my experience at Emory. The collaborative environment has allowed me to grow both personally and professionally.

 

 

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

Try everything! If you think you may be interested in something, try it out! You won’t know until you do, and it could lead you to pursue a career in a focus area you hadn’t previously considered.

 

 

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

I have just started “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens, and I am usually catching up on the “Crime Junkie” podcast.

 

 

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

1) My husband, Gordon, and I adopted an Australian Shepherd puppy named Duke at the beginning of the pandemic!

2) I love to bake, especially when I’m stressed. So if you’re in the market for baked goods, I’m your girl.

3) I’m left-handed, and in my immediate family 3/6 of us are left-handed.

 


 

Thanks again to Paige for introducing herself! Check back next week for another #WeAreEmoryEPI feature!


#WeAreEmoryEpi: Meet Paul Elish

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Paul Elish is a second-year MPH student interested in chronic disease and spatial epi. He told us more about the research projects is involved in both stateside and internationally, along with his favorite parts about studying at Rollins and his hobbies during the pandemic months!

 


 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I did my undergrad degree at Yale with a double major in Latin American Studies and biology.

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

I’m interested in chronic disease epidemiology, spatial epi, and implementation science. I really enjoy exploring the intersection between public health and sociology.

 

 

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

I’ve been finding new ways to stay connected with friends. Some favs: doing New Yorker crosswords on partner mode and doing a workout challenge that a friend and I turned into a virtual board game. Also, shoutout to my amazing, unstoppable Rollins Biketober team 😀

 

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I’m excited about my thesis with my faculty mentor, Julie Gazmararian, that’s exploring associations between physical activity and academic achievement among elementary schoolers in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Gwinnett is extremely interesting because of its incredible diversity and importance as a political swing county. I’ve also had the opportunity to conduct interesting analyses for the spatial epi and bias analysis courses I’m currently taking, including a spatial analysis on COVID dynamics in Peru.

 

 

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

The Epi Department has done a great job creating an integrated epi/biostats sequence; it has been rewarding to watch our epi courses build off of each other. Also, I’ve loved getting to know amazing people across all of Rollins’ departments.

 

 

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

One of the great things about Emory is how it has so many different rigorous academic offerings, so I recommend that first-year MPH students consider exploring Emory’s other schools. I honed my French in an undergrad French class during my first semester, and it was a great way to strengthen a skill while connecting with a completely different part of Emory.

 

 

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

I’m about halfway through “The Old Drift,” a novel set in Zambia from the early 20th century to the present. It’s especially interesting to read because I spent a year working at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia before coming to Rollins. It’s long, but the author does a great job weaving together characters from Zambia’s many ethnic groups.

 

 

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

(1) I developed a love of backpacking over the summer and really enjoyed exploring trails in Georgia and North Carolina.

(2) History has always been one of my favorite subjects, so a great way to distract me is to talk to me about something like the French Revolution, old Japanese novels, or the history of Atlanta.

(3) Last night I got chased by a wild turkey while biking near my house in Atlanta. A great, mildly-scary-but-mostly-funny reminder that Atlanta really is a city in the forest!

 


 

Thanks to Paul for taking the time to give us a peek at his background and interests! Tune back in next week for another #WeAreEmoryEPI student spotlight!


#WeAreEmoryEpi: Meet Claire Rowan

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Claire is a first-year Master’s student with an interest in emergency preparedness. We talked to her about her background, reasons for getting her MPH, and advice for future students!

 


 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I did my undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University and majored in public health.

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

My main interest is in emergency preparedness but I’m also taking classes in infectious diseases 

 

 

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

The work-from-home environment has been tricky for me, especially moving to a new city/state. The main thing for me is making sure I only do school work at my desk, and can move to a different room in the evenings so that I have a distinct end to the day. I also adopted a cat from the Atlanta Humane Society this semester, and she’s significantly improving the work from home experience.

 


Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I’m working for the Atlanta Opera as the Assistant Risk Management Coordinator – we’re having in-person rehearsals and performances and I’m helping make sure all protocols are safe and being followed. It’s been a really fun experience that I didn’t expect to have during my time at Emory.

 

 

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

I’ve really enjoyed my classes in the fall semester. I’ve had really great professors who have been focused on not only teaching the material that I need to know, but helping their students to learn more about public health opportunities. My EH581 class, public health consequences of disasters has been a really helpful experience so far!

 

 

 What made you apply to Rollins, and what was the deciding factor?

I decided to apply to Rollins because of all of the connections, experienced faculty in my research interest and opportunities that would be available to me here. In addition, the REAL program and possible opportunities through that was finally what made the decision for me!

 

 

What tips or advice do you have for prospective students when applying and deciding on which school to attend?

My advice for prospective MPH students would be to speak to as many people as you can before applying. I’ve done as many informational interviews with public health professionals to figure out what areas of public health I might be most interested in. When I figured out that emergency preparedness was my end goal, Emory’s faculty was a major factor in my decision. 

 

 

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

My advice after a semester of pandemic classes would be to expect a lot of work, but make sure to take care of your mental health at the same time.

 

 

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

I’ve been reading The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett and listen to EM Weekly (I have a difficult time putting work down at the end of the day)

 

 

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

1. I knit so that I stay busy even when I’m sitting still.

2. I have never had a sense of smell.

3. I’m from Austin, TX and miss breakfast tacos since I’ve moved to Atlanta.

 


 

Thanks to Claire for taking the time to introduce herself! We hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!


#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Catherine Bennett

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Catherine Bennett is a MD/MPH student involved in mental health and chronic disease research at Rollins and Emory’s School of Medicine. She was kind enough to tell us more about her current projects and other interests! 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I graduated from Davidson College in 2015 with a B.S. in Biology and minored in French. I am currently in the dual MD/MPH program here at Emory and will graduate next May.

What are your primary research interests?

I am primarily interested in the intersection of chronic disease, serious mental illness, and the social determinants of health.

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

I have found that setting both a weekly and daily schedule helps me see the big picture of what I need to accomplish as well as all of the details I need to focus on for the week. I also try to get outside and take a walk as often as I can to clear my head and to step away from my computer screen.

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I am currently working on my APE project with Dr. David Goldsmith, a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine. We are examining medical comorbidities among patients with psychotic disorders who are taking different antipsychotic medications. For my thesis, I worked with Dr. Michael Goodman in the epidemiology department and Dr. Benjamin Druss in the health policy and management department to examine the association between electronic cigarette use and psychological distress.

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

The people! I love being surrounded by faculty members and colleagues who are kind, compassionate, humble, and brilliant, who want to use their public health knowledge for the greater good.

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

Go to lectures, lunchtime meetings, chairs’ chats, and grand rounds. The faculty at Emory have so much to offer, and you never know what might pique your research and future career interests.

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

My next book is going to be A Lab of One’s Own, a memoir about women in science. Early in the pandemic, I reread Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain.

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

1. I love to cook and bake; working through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is my current pastime.

2. I lived in Luxembourg for a year in between college and my graduate studies and worked at the Luxembourg Institute of Health on a Fulbright Grant.

3. I love musical theater!

 


 

Thanks to Catherine for chatting with us this week! See you all next week for another edition of #WeAreEmoryEPI!


#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Izzy Kates

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Izzy Kates is a second-year student in the Global Epidemiology program interested in infectious disease epidemiology. This week we caught up with him to learn more about his background, how he’s spent time during the pandemic, and more!

 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I majored in Behavioral and Community Health at University of Maryland, College Park, and minored in International Development and Conflict Management.

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

I am interested in infectious disease epidemiology, One Health, and immuno-epidemiology.

 

 

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

It’s been difficult, not going to lie. But it helps to have my dog and a constant supply of chocolate!

 

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I work with a team out of UC-Berkeley screening pre-prints related to COVID-19 for rapid review by subject matter and methodological experts. It’s been a great way to learn about new research and get involved! 

 

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

Definitely my favorite part of earning my MPH at Emory is the student community, which is so strong and supportive.

 

 

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

My first piece of advice is to make relationships with faculty. Email them and ask about their projects.

 

 

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

I’m currently reading 1491 by Charles Mann, which is all about the Americas before Columbus. I’m also reading Truman Capote’s true-crime classic In Cold Blood. My favorite podcasts right now are all sports-related, but I also love epi podcasts, like Casual Inference and Free Associations!

 

 

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

1. I was highly allergic to milk until I was ~20, so the first bite of pizza I had was in my 20s

2. I grew up Orthodox Jewish (no phones on Saturdays!)

3. My father started a new career in his 60s and now teaches English to high school and college students in Ukraine.

 


 

Thanks to Izzy for taking the time to share about himself! We’ll be back next week with another #WeAreEmoryEpi Spotlight.


#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Lauren Chase

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Lauren Chase is a second-year Epi MPH student interested in public health preparedness. She has been directly involved in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic by contact tracing for the Georgia Department of Public Health!

 

 

Tell us a little bit about your academic history/where you went to school.

I graduated in 2019 with my B.S. in Public and Community Health from Ithaca College.

 

 

What are your primary research interests?

I am primarily interested in emergency preparedness and disaster response.

 

 

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

I have definitely made sure to give myself free time and time away from my computer throughout the day whether I am taking a walk or getting a snack. I think going for walks and getting out of my apartment is great way for me to reset and spend time outside.

 

 

Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

I am currently a contract tracer and case investigator for the Georgia Department of Public Health and I am a research assistant at the Birth Defects Branch of the CDC. Both are amazing opportunities that I have learned so much from.

 

 

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

My favorite part of getting my MPH here is the connections that Emory has and the quality of the professors. It is amazing to get taught by experts in their fields who have real-life experiences that they share with us.

 

 

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

My advice for first year students is to remember grad school is hard and doing it in a pandemic is harder. Don’t underestimate yourself. You got this!

 

 

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

I am currently reading “Where the Crawdad Sings” by Delia Owens but I just finished the book “Tear Me Apart” by J.T. Ellison and thought it was great.

 

 

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

1. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I have decorated my whole apartment and am very excited to show off my Halloween costume this year (even if just virtually).

2. One quarantine skill that I have mastered is finding discounts to Hello Fresh.

3. A few months ago I spontaneously bought an Xbox and I have no regrets.

 


 

Thanks to Lauren for catching up with us and stay tuned for more #WeAreEmoryEPI next week!