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Alejandra Alvarez

My name is Alejandra and I’m a first-year Epidemiology MPH student at Rollins. I grew up in San Francisco, CA, and left the Bay Area for Philadelphia where I completed my undergraduate degree at Haverford College in Spanish and Health Studies. After college I completed an internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina where I worked with immigrant and refugee women from South America. After that, I returned to San Francisco and worked as a kidney transplant clinical research coordinator for a year and a half before coming to Rollins. In the beginning of the semester my main research interests were infectious diseases like HIV, but now I am more interested in water-borne diseases. Part of why I enjoy being a Rollins student is because of the resources Rollins has to offer its students, including lots of lunch lectures on topics like water-borne diseases that got me so interested in water-borne diseases in the first place. Another resource I have been able to take advantage of is REAL, which allows me to work in a public health and epi focused job. I currently work with RZHRG (Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group) where I am learning so much about HIV prevention initiatives in Rwanda and Zambia. Not only have I been taking advantage of everything Rollins has to offer, but I have also been taking time to explore Atlanta and I’m excited to discover even more (still looking for good Mexican food that reminds me of home, I’ll let everyone know when I find THE spot).


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Erin Anderson

Hi everyone!  My name is Erin and I’m a first-year Epidemiology MSPH student here at Rollins. I’m originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Maryland (Go Terps!) in 2016 with a degree in Community Health.  After graduation, I spent two years in Los Angeles, California working at the Los Angeles County Tuberculosis Control Program as part of the CDC’s Public Health Associate Program. My experiences working with the homeless population in Los Angeles really solidified my interests in infectious disease surveillance and outbreak response, and Rollins was definitely the right choice for me!  I currently work as an Epidemiology Assistant with the Surveillance, Epidemiology and Outbreak Investigations Branch in the Division of TB Elimination at the CDC, and I’m also a member of the Student Outbreak Response Team (SORT) here at Emory. So far, I’m loving everything that Rollins and Atlanta have to offer, and I can’t wait to share my experience with you!


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Lisa Emerson

My name is Lisa and I’m a MSPH Global Epidemiology candidate. I grew up in Western North Carolina and attended Clemson University for my undergraduate degree (Go Tigers!). After graduating Clemson I worked for a year for a Maternal-Fetal Medicine office then chose to come to RSPH to work with faculty who match my interests. My main research interests include infectious disease, WASH, and neglected tropical diseases. After my MSPH degree I hope to continue on to my PhD and work towards eliminating neglected tropical diseases. In my time at RSPH I’ve come to love the community of students, the many opportunities we have, and the local brunch scene! I can’t wait to meet you and tell you all about why I love Rollins!


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Eric Evans

Hello! My name is Eric. I am currently a first year Epidemiology MPH student from Lawrenceville, VA. I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry with a minor in Japanese from Brigham Young University. During that time I worked with cell cultures and mass spectrometry to find innovative cancer-promoting proteins and dietary influences on neurodegenerative disease precursor proteins. I decided to come to Rollins because I knew it would be the best way for me to move my career into a field where I could make a difference. There are so many opportunities here to work with professors and professionals to find your passion in Public Health. I have found every teacher to be interested in what I want to do with my career and extremely helpful in providing me with the tools to move forward. I am currently volunteering with the Viral Vector Vaccines Study Group in conjunction with the CDC, working with Typhoid Fever with the Center for Global Safe WASH, and doing data analysis with the Division of Digestive Diseases at the Emory Clinic. I look forward to hearing any questions for you about what kind of opportunities await you here at Rollins!


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Pauline Harrington

Hello! My name is Pauline and I am a second year Epidemiology MPH student at Rollins. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) in 2016 with a degree in Women’s Studies. After I graduated from U of M, I spent a year doing an AmeriCorps program where I was teaching math to 7th graders in Newark, New Jersey. I decided to come to Rollins to pursue my MPH because since the first time I visited there was no question that it was the place for me. I’ve met so many amazing faculty, staff, and fellow students who inspire me each and every day. There are endless opportunities here and so many connections to be made in any area of interest. My interests are focused on infectious diseases, specifically TB and HIV, and women’s health issues. Additionally, though I’m not a Global Epidemiology student, I have been able to gain global experience during my time at Rollins. I spent my summer working on a drug-resistant TB research study in South Africa, which was considered a GFE project and counted as my practicum. Since I moved to Atlanta, I have fallen in love with this city (and its weather). There is so much to do and countless places to explore. I enjoy riding my bike through neighborhoods, finding new coffee shops to study at, and trying new restaurants around the city. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions about my experience at Rollins!


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Meghan Herring

Hey everyone! My name is Meghan Herring and I am a first-year global epidemiology MPH student. I am also in the humanitarian emergencies certificate program. I am originally from Minnesota, then moved out to the northeast for undergrad at Boston College. I studied biology and medical humanities at BC and loved exploring Boston! After graduation I moved to Honduras where I volunteered at a home for children through an organization called Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos. While in Honduras, I worked as a patient coordinator at a free ambulatory surgery center and fell in love with public health. When looking at MPH programs, I was blown away by all of the opportunities and connections offered at Rollins both domestic and international. I was excited about exploring a new part of the country and haven’t been disappointed. I am currently working at the Georgia Department of Public Health, am a member of Rollins’ Student Outbreak and Response team, and regular attendee of the Vaccine Dinner Club. When I am not studying or trying to solve the worlds many problems, I love exploring Atlanta, playing tennis, cooking and reading romance novels! I am quite chatty and would be happy to talk more about Rollins, so feel free to email me with any questions!


Jennifer Imaa

Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer and I am a second year MPH student in the Epidemiology department. I graduated from the University of Southern California (the real USC!) with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies and a minor in Natural Sciences. After graduation I worked for a year and a half as an Admin Specialist for the Biomedical Informatics Program at UCLA and then went abroad and taught English and Science in Thailand and Colombia. I found my way back stateside and began working as a medical scribe in the emergency room of a hospital in an underserved area of Los Angeles and finally made my way down to Atlanta to pursue my MPH. My varied experiences shaped my interest in public health, especially on a global scale. The great thing about Rollins is the vast amount of opportunities available to do research and gain work experience with renowned faculty or with nearby organizations like the CDC in virtually any public health topic that interests you. My interests lie in WASH and infectious diseases and I am confident my time at Rollins will set me up for success in this sector. When not focusing on trying to get As and finding ways to go on vacays, I like to hunt for the best brunch places in Atlanta and concerts around the city. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about Rollins or the city of Atlanta in general!


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Cassie Kersten

Hi everyone! My name is Cassie and I am a first-year Global Epidemiology MPH student from Minnesota. While completing my undergrad at the University of Minnesota Rochester, I worked for three years as a teaching assistant and contributed to research projects in both virology and educational biochemistry.  I was exposed to public health through a collaboration with the local public health department where UMR students helped with the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment– and I fell in love! After graduating, I spent two years working in cancer research and volunteering in the cancer ward at Mayo Clinic. I also got married, and adopted two adorable cats! At Rollins, I am interested in studying infectious disease preparedness and response. I am currently working in influenza pandemic preparedness in the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the CDC for a REAL job and I am 2019 Co-President of the Student Outbreak and Response Team (SORT) at Rollins. I love Rollins, and would be more than happy to answer any questions that you have!


Zara Khan

Hello! My name is Zara, and I am a second-year Epidemiology MPH student in the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology certificate program. Originally from Houston, Texas, I came to Rollins directly after graduating from Rice University, where I majored in Cognitive Sciences and minored in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities. In undergrad, I worked on research projects ranging from neural stem cell delivery to patients with traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, to adverse childbirth outcomes in rural Malawi, to the influence of internet and social media use on young women’s sexual schema and attitudes toward sexual risk behavior. Rollins was my first choice for public health training because of the diverse research strengths of the faculty and the countless opportunities for professional development, both in Emory and Atlanta. My REAL position at the CDC and my work as a Rollins lab assistant have helped sharpen my interests in reproductive epidemiology, neurodevelopment, and epigenetics. When I’m not actively worrying about how environmental compounds affect developmental outcomes, I enjoy reading, crafting, and telling everyone I know to eat at Desta Kitchen. Feel free to ask me anything you’ve been wondering about Rollins, research, or Atlanta!


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Tori Konrad

Hi y’all! I’m Tori Konrad, and I am a second year GLEPI (Global Epidemiology) MPH student here at Rollins. Originally I’m from West Virginia, but I moved to Georgia for undergrad at Mercer University (Go Bears!) where I first discovered my passion for global, public health. I graduated in May of 2016 with a degree in Global Health and Spanish. In the year between undergrad and Rollins, I worked as a public health research assistant for West Virginia University, and there realized I wanted to focus my future work/research on maternal health and chronic diseases. Attending Rollins was the clear choice for me after learning about all the opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, as well as the engaging community environment. I’m currently working at the CDC in the Birth Defects Branch and even in my first semester, I’ve learned so much from my mentors and applying what I’ve learned in my classes. I’ve made great friends at Rollins who inspire me everyday with their passion for public health, but we also make sure we have time to explore the ATL while trying our hands at adulting. Feel free to email me–I’d love to tell you more about why I love Rollins!


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Krystyn Malveaux

Hey y’all! My name is Krystyn and I am a first-year MPH student in the Epidemiology Department. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and came to Rollins straight from my undergraduate program at the University of Texas San Antonio. I graduated with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in Management of Technology. During my undergraduate program, I had the opportunity to be in the CDC Undergraduate Public Health Scholars program, which reinforced my interest in public health work. After graduating, coming to Rollins was an easy decision for me considering the welcoming environment, amazing faculty and staff, and the ability to improve my research skills and build networks simultaneously. My main interests in public health fall within the maternal and child health field, and the combination of the courses offered and the certificate program training assured me that I will gain valuable skills and knowledge allowing me to excel within the field. When I am not at Emory, you can find me exploring Atlanta with my friends because you can always find something fun to do here. Feel free to ask me any questions about Emory or Atlanta, and I hope you enjoy your experience at Rollins!



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Amber Moore

Hi everyone! My name is Amber and I’m a first-year Epidemiology MPH student in the Mental Health certificate program. I was born and raised in Ohio, and I attended The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!!) for my undergraduate career. Directly after I graduated with a degree Environmental Public Health, I started here at Rollins. A few of the reasons why I chose Rollins were to be challenged and interested in my classes, to pursue research, and to experience the city of Atlanta. After I graduate from Rollins, I hope to pursue a PhD in Mental Health and become a Behavioral Epidemiologist studying suicide and injury prevention. Currently, I’m working as a Research Assistant at the CDC in the Chronic Viral Diseases Branch studying Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Outside of Rollins, I volunteer in the Arts in Health program at Winship Cancer Institute, and I love exploring the city with my friends. Feel free to reach out to me if you ever have any questions about Rollins, research, or Atlanta!


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Mike Mortillo

Hello! My name is Mike and I am a second year Epidemiology student here at Rollins, also
pursuing a certificate in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology. I was born and raised in New Jersey, and completed my undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA (Go Hokies!) At Virginia Tech, I majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry, and worked in a laboratory studying host immune interactions with C. perfringens. I was also a tour guide at Virginia Tech, which was one of the main reasons why I decided to become a Rollins Ambassador. I decided to attend Rollins because of the challenging curriculum, vast amounts of research associated with the school, supportive environment fostered by both students and faculty, and of course, the amazing opportunity to live in Atlanta! I have loved attending Rollins and living in Atlanta so far – it is an incredible school and city, filled with amazing people. Upon graduation, I hope to work for the CDC or other government agency, before eventually returning to school to complete my PhD in a related field. When I am not in school or at work, you can often find me outside running around the streets of Atlanta with classmates. Feel free to chat with me if you ever see me around Rollins, I would love to get to know you! Hope you enjoy your Emory experience!


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Leah Moubadder

Hi everyone! My name is Leah and I’m a first-year MPH Epidemiology candidate and am also in the Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology certificate. I was born and raised in Plymouth-Canton, Michigan and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2016. During my senior year I was employed in the lab of a community-based eye-bank that is dedicated to the restoration of sight. After graduation, I spent about two years in a cancer biology lab at the University of Michigan, in the department of Radiation Oncology, where I helped characterize kinases involved in DNA-repair pathways. These experiences helped shape my interests and guide me towards population-health, where I knew I would be able to explore the marriage of science and community engagement. I chose Rollins because of the clear dedication to their students, the open, welcoming and diverse student body and the endless resources that the School of Public Health provides. Not to mention, I fell in love with all that Atlanta has to offer! My research interests lie in the intersection of chronic diseases, environmental exposures and epigenetics. So far, I have been able to work with faculty whose interest align well with mine, where I have gained valuable skills and mentorship. When I’m not studying on campus, I spend my time on the trails in Atlanta with my dog and trying all of the great food! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have about Rollins or Atlanta!


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Sierra Patterson

Hi! My name is Sierra Patterson and I am a second year Epidemiology student. I graduated from North Carolina State University with a major in Biological Sciences (Human Biology Concentration). While in undergrad, I conducted psychology research that required a lot of interaction with the public. After graduating, I performed research centered around finding a biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease, which mainly required bench work. Throughout my research experiences, I’ve found that I enjoy being behind the scenes of research, while also having some interaction with the public. Therefore, I chose to pursue Epidemiology. I decided to come to Rollins because of its vast resources, proximity to the CDC, and the fact that it’s located in Atlanta. So far, I’ve really enjoyed my time at Rollins. I’ve learned so much in my first semester and although I’m an Epidemiology student, I’ve learned a lot of things that can be applied to various public health fields. Furthermore, my REAL position teaches me new things, while also allowing me to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom. The Rollins community is very welcoming and everyone’s ultimate goal is making sure that you succeed in the future. I’m excited about being able to share my love for Rollins with you and I look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful community!


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Zaena Tessema

Hello! My name is Zaena and I am a first-year Global Epidemiology MPH candidate here at Rollins. I was born in Clemson, South Carolina and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health. After graduating, I spent 4 years working on expanding health services and health education for underserved and underrepresented populations in the Maryland, DC and Baltimore regions. I decided to go back to school to expand my technical skills and explore my interests in public health preparedness, WASH and infectious disease. After Visit Emory, I knew that Rollins was the perfect place for me to do that. I have already learned so much and met so many amazing people and look forward to the rest of my time here. When I’m not studying or in class, you can find me playing with my dog, eating my way around Atlanta, finding great live music or hanging out with friends. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about Rollins, what it’s like to go back to school after working for a few years, good places to eat in the area, or the REAL program. I look forward to showing you all the amazing things this school has to offer!


Susanna Trost

Hello! My name is Susanna and I am a second year Epidemiology student at Rollins. I’m from the Philly suburbs and received my B.S. in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Public Health from the University of Delaware in 2017 (Go Blue Hens!). My undergraduate research focused on autism and encouraged me to pursue public health. After visiting Rollins, I knew it was the perfect choice. Everyone is so passionate about public health and the opportunities available to students are endless. Currently, I am working as a Program Assistant for the Division of Global HIV and TB at CDC and as a graduate research assistant for PRISM Health at Rollins. I am very interested in infectious disease epidemiology. When I’m not at Rollins, I love exploring Atlanta and hanging out with the wonderful friends I’ve met in the program. Please reach out to me with questions you have about Rollins, Atlanta, or anything else!


Qi (Echo) Zhang

Hello! My name is Qi (Echo), and I am a second year Epidemiology MSPH student. I am from Beijing, China, and I graduated from Tsinghua University with a master degree in Sports Science. I was determined to study epidemiology because of my interest in the methodology of data-driven logical reasoning in human health, and Rollins offers much more resources and opportunities in both academic and professional paths than I can imagine. My academic interest lies in genetic prediction, and I hope to work in healthcare consulting after graduation. I am currently working as a TA, and I also have a REAL job in a child care evaluation program for a non-profit organization. Meanwhile, I enjoy working as a directed study student in Emory Healthcare. I feel lucky to be here at Rollins and acquired so much encouragement and help from my ADAP, mentor and friends, who inspire me to overcome challenges. With such a friendly and amazing community, you will never miss out on the fun that goes around. I love running, hiking, swimming and rock climbing—I cannot live without sports, and also, events held by student organization enriched my life. Attending Rollins will be a perfect choice if you have a passion for public health. I would be excited to meet you and hope you enjoy your experience at Emory!


Huimin (Mia) Zhong

Hello! My name is Huimin (Mia) Zhong and I’m 2nd year Global Epidemiology student here at Rollins. I’m pursuing a certificate in Gene and Molecular Epidemiology as well. Originally from Chengdu, Sichuan, China, I graduated in 2016 from University of Oregon (Go Ducks!!) with a B.S in Human Physiology and minor in Chemistry. I’m very outdoorsy person and really enjoy hiking, biking, swimming and camping! My academic interests are HIV/AIDs and Diabetes prevention in both domestic and global level. Rollins provide me the best platform for the most advanced studies, researches and programs. I felt overwhelming at beginning because of the great resources here. Fortunately, I got lots of helps from my new friends here, ADAPs, mentors and professors. This amazing helping atmosphere is one of the reasons that I fall in love with Rollins in the first places. Life is not an easy journey and places with comprehensive strong support like Rollins is the best choice to find your team for life! I feel like a destiny to be here and I hope others who made or will make the same decision as me can feel the same way!