Author Archives: Oluwatosin Olojo

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Erin LaFon

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Meet Erin LaFon! Erin is one of the epidemiology department’s two student representatives. Erin is a rising second year Epidemiology MPH Candidate with interests in zoonotic and emerging infectious disease. Erin’s role as a student representative gives students the chance to voice their feedback on student life and their experienes at RSPH. We took the opportunity to get to know her, her interests and what she’s doing this summer.

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

I completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University in 2018, and then I completed a Master of Science in Veterinary Medicine with a concentration in Veterinary Forensics from the University of Florida in 2021.

What are your primary research interests?

My primary research interests are zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases.

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

I’m looking at the phylogenetics of Powassan Virus for my thesis. I’m also working with Emory’s School of Medicine on a database that looks at “long-hauler” neurologic symptoms as a result of COVID-19 and another project dealing with Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

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

It has definitely been the connections that I’ve made with other students across all the departments.

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

One of the biggest factors for me was the proximity to Florida. My family is there, and being in Georgia allows for me to travel home for holidays easily.

What has been your favorite class at Rollins thus far, and why?

EPI 544 (Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases) was great! It was super interesting to listen to guest lectures and learn about all the different diseases. The course is taught by two CDC employees, and it was really great to hear about their careers.


What advice do you have for 1st years?

Get involved in something. It makes grad school more fun, and it lets you meet more people in other departments.


How have you been spending your free time?

I’ve been spending it reading, hiking and travelling.

What is one place that you would recommend people to visit?

I definitely recommend making the drive to Tallulah Gorge if you like hiking! It was a great experience!

What are three fun facts that you’d like people to know about you?
  1. I have two dogs, two snakes, a leopard gecko, and a bunny that all live in Georgia with me.
  2. I lived in St. Kitts and Nevis for a few months.
  3. I used to breed ball pythons, leopard geckos, and crested geckos.


Thanks for talking with us, Erin! Tune in next time to meet the next student that we introduce!

#WeAreEmoryEpi: Meet the 2022-23 Communications Team

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

This week on #WeAreEmoryEpi, we’re introducing the new communications team for the Epidemiology Department! Erica Schipper is an incoming student in charge of The Confounder. Chisom Okereke will be running our @rollinsepilife on Instagram, and the Twitter account, @EmoryEpi, is run by myself, Tosin Olojo.

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

Erica: I graduated from the College of William & Mary in Virginia this spring! I majored in Kinesiology & Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health and a minor in math.

Chisom: I went to Johns Hopkins University where I majored in Public Health Studies. I graduated in 2019.

Tosin: I graduated in 2018 from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor. I majored in Microbiology and had a minor in Science, Technology & Society.


What are your primary research interests?

Erica: I am most interested in studying chronic disease and social determinants of health at Rollins. 

Chisom: I am interested in infectious disease, primarily in youth populations as well as correctoinal healthcare epidemiology. Juvenile Correctional Healthcare is a major interest of mine as it combines both of my major interests.

Tosin: My primary research interests include infectious disease, specifically in disease surveillance. Surveillance allows us to get a true understanding of a disease and its trends, and it helps to monitor the control, elimination and potential eradication of disease. It can also help to prevent outbreaks.


What is your role on the communications team? What is something new you are looking forward to in regard to your new communications position?

Erica: I will be the Communications Associate, and my role will mostly be to update the Confounder. I am really excited to get started and to start connecting with people within our department.

Chisom: I will be taking on the role of the Social Media Associate. More specifically, I will be running the Instagram page for the Epidemiology Department.

Tosin: I will be a Social Media Associate, working primarily with Twitter. I am excited to help share all the great things people at Rollins are doing.


What are you most excited about for this coming fall semester?

Erica: It will be my first year at Emory, so I’m most excited to get to know the area and become part of the Rollins community.

Chisom: I am excited to continue working on my thesis and to further engage with work that I am deeply passionate about.

Tosin: I’m excited to learn more about topics that I love and to see more of Atlanta!


How have you been spending your summer?

Erica: I’ve been spending the summer living and working in my hometown of Alexandria, Virginia.

Chisom: I went abroad to Jamaica for my APE as a Health through Walls volunteer. I worked, in person, at various correctional facilities across the island to provide healthcare that would strengthen the already-present disease prevention and control protocols. Upon returning to the states, I also have been working remotely to establish a peer-education program within one of the adult facilities.

Tosin: I’m participating in a project with the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health to investigate the burden of antibiotic resistance among Atlanta residents through wastewater surveillance. I’m also helping to conduct a meta-analysis on gastroenteritis associated with adenovirus, which has been recently associated with severe pediatric hepatitis. I will also be doing some things in my home state of Michigan and doing some travelling over the summer.


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


  1. I really like crafting hobbies like cross stitching and sewing.
  2. I love cooking and baking, and always love trying new recipes from the Food Network. 
  3. I’ve lived in the DC area for my whole life, and I am a big Washington Nationals fan.


  1. I was born on Christmas.
  2. I have a chaotic little dog named Obi. His name actually means “heart” in my native language (Igbo), and it’s not at all Star Wars related.
  3. I was a teacher before coming to Rollins.


  1. I am a huge sports fan. I actively root for the Yankees, but I genuinely love sports. I will do work with sports as background noise.
  2. I love watching movies and TV, but I’ve never seen Harry Potter, Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. I haven’t even watched the Star Wars shows on Disney+, probably won’t watch the Lord of the Rings show, and have only seen one of the Fantastic Beasts movie.
  3. I was born at midnight. The nurse asked my mom whether she wanted me to be born January 11th or January 12th. She chose the latter.


Thanks for checking out the latest #WeAreEmoryEpi! We can’t wait to return in the fall, and we can’t wait to share with you our next guest for #WeAreEmoryEpi.

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Meet Daryn Ellison

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

Meet Daryn Ellison! Daryn is a rising second-year epidemiology MPH candidate with research interests in reproductive health and justice. Specifically, she desires to focus on how social and environmental factors contrribute to health disparities in the health outcomes of underserved women and children.

Read more below!



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

I graduated from the University of Chicago in Spring of 2022 with an Honors B.A. in Psychology and minor in Biological Sciences.


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

I currently work as a graduate researcher in the CDC Emergency Response and Recovery Branch, where I work to create tools for health facilities in low and middle income countries that aim to monitor and improve maternal and neonatal outcomes. I also currently serve as Vice President and Communications chair for Emory’s Reproductive Health Association (ERHA). I am excited to start my new position as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Community Engagement Co-chair in the fall.


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

I love that everyone here, both faculty and students, are very passionate about their work as public health professionals. Everyone here is so incredibly approachable, kind, and humble, and it has been a truly inspiring experience.


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

When applying for Rollins, I was looking for a community that allowed me to explore and learn about the many realms of public health while also helping me expand on my incoming interests and experience. In the short time that I have been here, I have been introduced to so many opportunities in and outside of the classroom and RSPH has exposed me to areas of public health that I am now interested in that I previously had no knowledge of.


What are three fun facts that you want people to know about you?
  1. I love to cook and bake! I’m starting a cookbook collection.
  2. I’m currently learning how to make resin art.
  3. I played varsity tennis in college.


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

My advice is don’t let the fear of having limited public health experience or knowledge of certain public health fields hold you back from exploring what Rollins has to offer. Rollins has so many great and unique opportunities to learn and get involved on campus and in Georgia, so really take advantage of that. Also, take the time to get to know people that have similar and different public health interests!


Thanks for sharing your story, Daryn! Stay tuned to The Confounder for our next feature with Diego!

Upcoming Events

  • Emory CFAR IS Hub Workshop - The Nuts and Bolts of Using AIDSVu in HIV Research May 29, 2024 at 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm… Online Location: Aaron Sielger, PhD and Stephanie DuBose, MPHContact Name: Olivia SadlerContact Email: osadler@emory.eduJoin the Emory CFAR IS Hub for a specialized methods workshop on utilizing AIDSVu mapping and graphics, upcoming site improvements, and case demonstrations with Aaron Sielger, PhD and Stephanie DuBose, MPH.
  • EGDRC Presents: Punith Kempegowda, MD, PhD June 17, 2024 at 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Seminar Series Event Type: Seminar SeriesSeries: EGDRC Seminar SeriesSpeaker: Punith Kempegowda, MD, PhDContact Name: Wendy GillContact Email: wggill@emory.eduRoom Location: RRR_R809Link: Punith Kempegowda, Assistant Professor at the University of Birmingham and consultant at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, founded SIMBA and CoMICs, leads DEKODE and PCOS SEva, and chairs Diabetes UK's Diabetes Research Strategy Group, focusing on guidelines…
  • EDGRC 2024 Distonguished Lecture June 20, 2024 at 11:00 am – 12:00 pm Guest Lecture Event Type: Guest LectureSpeaker: V. Mohan, MD, PhD, DSc, FRCP, FACE, FACP, FNA, FRSEContact Name: Wendy GillContact Email: wggill@emory.eduRoom Location: CNR_8030 Lawrence P. &Ann Estes Klamon roomLink: us at the EGDRC 2024 Distinguished Lecture on June 20th to commemorate two decades of Emory-MDRF research and honor this year’s Kelly West awardee, Dr. V. Mohan,…

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