#WeAreEmoryEPI: Outstanding APE Awards!

#WeAreEmoryEPI: Outstanding APE Awards!

Category : #WeAreEmoryEPI

This week, we’re highlighting two of the EPI finalists for the Outstanding APE Award: Ava Cox (EPI MPH) and Ketki Joshi (GLEPI MSPH)! Read more below to learn more about them and their APE experiences.

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

Ava: I graduated from Furman University in May 2022 with my Bachelors of Science in Public Health. I also double majored in History!

Ketki: I am an international student from India.


What are your primary research interests?

Ava: During my time at Rollins I have had the opportunity to work with Emory University School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease on a study looking at the association between HIV and the gut microbiome, driving my interest in HIV. Specifically, my research interests include HIV and aging, and the intersection between health equity and HIV infection.

Ketki: My primary interests are Global health, Oral health, Maternal and Child Health focusing on Field-based research.


Tell us about your APE project.

Ava: For my APE, I was a collaborative biostatistics intern with Emory University School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Disease, working on a project looking at the association of age and pregnancy history with the burden of non-AIDS comorbidities among women with and without HIV, using baseline data from the Study for Treatment and Reproductive Outcomes (STAR). In my role, I wrote SAS code for data cleaning and restructuring, and conducted analysis. Following my analysis I wrote abstracts and presented my findings to the Primary Investigators of STAR.

Ketki: The main objective of our APE project was to identify the gaps, barriers, and current practices in screening Tuberculosis (TB) in pregnant women receiving hospital and community-based antenatal care (ANC). The target population for this study was healthcare workers (HCWs) and pregnant women at a tertiary care facility and a Community Health Center in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.


How did you find your APE project?

Ava: While working as a graduate research assistant for the HIV and gut microbiome study, I asked my supervisor if she or one of her colleagues had any projects I might be able to work on. She provided me a list and I reached out to several before Dr. Collins, the primary investigator for my APE, responded and offered to talk more about a project she had available.

Ketki: I applied for the Emory Global Health Institute’s “Field Scholars Awards Program” in March 2023.


When did you start looking for an APE? When did you start working for your APE organization? 

Ava: I started looking pretty early, around February/March 2023, but I didn’t secure my APE until mid-April 2023; I started my APE in May 2023.

Ketki: I started looking for an APE around end of November, 2023. I received Award notification in May and started working in June, 2023.


Are you pursuing/interested in any certificates? If so, was it difficult to meet your APE requirements?

Ava: Yes, I am pursuing a certificate in infectious disease. I didn’t have any issue meeting my APE requirements, but my best advice is to ask advisors or supervisors if they know of any opportunities and it never hurts to ask!

Ketki: I am not pursuing any certificates.


What has the experience been like so far? (if you’ve started the experience)

Ava: I thoroughly enjoyed my position as a collaborative biostatistics intern! Working with my team members has been incredibly rewarding and I’ve learned a lot about data analysis and the processes after data from a study has been collected. My APE has given me more confidence in my abilities and I feel more prepared for my future career in public health.


Any advice for people looking for an APE?

Ava: Whatever existing connections you have, use them – don’t be intimidated! Asking around at my REAL job was incredibly helpful and I found that my supervisors and coworkers wanted me to find a position that was right for me.

Ketki: Anyone looking for an APE should reach out to the professors and learn about their projects. Start early and Network more!


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


  1. I am originally from North Carolina
  2. I have a cat named Raisin
  3. I love to bake


  1. I am a trained Bharatnatyam (one of the 9 Indian classical dance forms) dancer.
  2. This summer, I had a chance to visit two UNESCO world heritage sites: Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi and The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka during our APE filed visit in Madhya Pradesh, India. (APE field experiences can be fun!)
  3. I can speak three languages: Marathi, Hindi and English.


Do you have a Twitter/Instagram/both that you’d like us to plug?

Ketki: Instagram: ketkij_27

Many thanks to Ava and Ketki for sharing their APE experiences with us! Congratulations to the both of them for being selected as finalists for the Outstanding APE award. Stay tuned to see who we talk to on #WeAreEmoryEPI next!  

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