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Kate Foley

Hi! My name is Kate and I’m a second ­year Epidemiology here at Rollins. I’m originally from Saint Augustine, Florida and went to Tulane University in New Orleans for my undergraduate degree. I majored in public health and minored in Spanish. Plan A was to apply to medical school right after undergrad, but during my senior year when I wrote my thesis, I decided that I wanted to spend some more time dedicated to public health before I took that route. Coming from Florida and New Orleans, I’m a little afraid of winter here in Atlanta but I’ve come to really love the city in the short time that I’ve been here so far (even if I have to celebrate Mardi Gras from a distance this year)! From the first day of Visit Emory last March, I felt very at home on the Rollins campus, and I’m so appreciative of all the resources available to public health students here. I am currently working at a medical non­profit through the REAL program, which I really enjoy and through which I’m learning a lot. My ultimate goal is to work as an infectious disease or emergency medicine physician in the context of disaster preparation, relief, and recovery both in the United States and internationally. No matter what road in public health you see yourself taking in your future, I think Rollins is the perfect place to prepare!



Hello! My name is Penelope and I am pursuing a MPH in epidemiology and a certificate in human rights. I received my B.S. in biology and chemistry from a small university in the Chicago suburbs. In the summer of 2015, I attended the Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics (SIBS) at Emory. My SIBS experienced showed me what incredible contributions are made to health “behind the scenes” thanks to epidemiologic studies and data analysis. Furthermore, during my SIBS experience I was able to chat with many professors and current students to learn more about Rollins; making it an easy choice to pursue my degree here. Please send along any questions you may have. I look forward to having you join our community!


Nisha George

Hello! I am Nisha George and I am a second year Epidemiology student at Rollins. I was born and raised in Mumbai, India and moved to little ole Augusta, GA as a teenager. I graduated from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!!) with a dual Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a minor in Spanish. As an undergraduate student, I worked in a laboratory to understand molecular mechanisms that could be used to curb the activity of a cancerous protein. While this biochemical research was fascinating, I was curious about work and research that stretched beyond a laboratory and directly impacted people. I worked for two years after college as the Coordinator of a Sickle Cell Disease Transition Program in Augusta, where I got to interact with and help pediatric patients living with this chronic illness. This experience encouraged me to pursue my degree in public health, specifically at Rollins. The education and experiences in public health provided by Rollins are tremendous. It has been incredible to learn from and work with accomplished and passionate faculty members, who are invested in my personal and professional development. I would not choose to be anywhere but in Rollins and in Atlanta. I look forward to meeting you soon and would love to answer any of your questions!   


Reem Hamoda

Hi everyone! My name is Reem Hamoda and I’m a 2nd year MPH student in the Epidemiology department. Originally from the Philly suburbs, I graduated in 2016 from the University of Pittsburgh (H2P!) with a B.S in Microbiology, although my research interests are in social epidemiology and health services research. I chose RSPH because of the supportive atmosphere, comprehensive curriculum, and vast opportunities to apply what you learn in the classroom! Through my REAL position in the Emory School of Medicine, I’ve had many opportunities to tailor my research interests, strengthen my skills in EPI research (from grant writing to data analysis and manuscript preparation), and advance professionally in the field. I hope to have a successful career as a physician and health services researcher, and I’ve already seen how the skills I’m learning will help me in my pursuits. Outside of school and work, I’ve made ‘trying to cook like an adult’ my new hobby. Other hobbies of mine include exploring the ATL with my Rollins fam, listening to podcasts, and volunteering in the community. Please feel free to ask me any questions about my experiences at Rollins!


Chandni Jaggi

Hi! My name is Chandni and I am a second year Epidemiology student at Rollins. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and went to Texas A&M (WHOOP) for my undergraduate degree. I got my Bachelors of Science in Health with a concentration in Community Health and a minor in Biology in 2016. My interests are immunizations and HIV on both the domestic and international scale.  One of the best things about Rollins is there is so much research going on, if you have a specific area of interest you can probably find a professor who shares that interest. Rollins was an easy choice because of its sense of community, incredible faculty, and beautiful campus. When I’m not in class or work, I love exploring the city and trying new restaurants. Atlanta has much to offer and is such a cool city I definitely recommend taking advantage of it. Jeni’s Ice Cream at Krog Street Market is one of my favorite finds so far!


Ellie Kerr
Ellie Kerr

Hi everyone! My name is Ellie and I’m a second year MPH student in the Epidemiology department. I’m a Pennsylvania native and I’m really enjoying my first Southern winter. Just this May, I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh last year with degrees in microbiology and economics. When deciding on where I wanted to pursue my MPH, I chose Rollins because I could tell how passionate everyone was about public health and how many opportunities there would be for me to get experience right away. In just my first semester, I’ve met so many inspiring people and was able to work with two faculty members on research projects that have given me insight into different aspects in public health and skills that will help me as I advance in my career. When I’m not at school, I love going to baseball games, urban gardening, biking, and eating (a lot). Please feel free to email me about any questions you have about Rollins, Atlanta, where to eat when you’re in town, or anything else!


Ali Kovac

Hi! My name is Ali Kovac and I am a second year Epidemiology MPH student. I grew up in Virginia Beach and graduated from the University of Virginia in May of 2016 with a degree in Economics. I am very passionate about Public Health and am particularly interested in women’s sexual and reproductive health. Currently, I am a Research Assistant at the Emory’s School of Medicine focusing on studying HIV in women.  This has given me a great opportunity to gain real world work experience beyond the classroom.  From the very first day, I have felt the support and dedication of the faculty and staff here at Rollins and I have loved my time here. When I’m not in school, I enjoy exploring Atlanta by bike on the BeltLine and trying new restaurants.


Joana Rosales

Hi! My name is Joana Rosales and I am second year Epidemiology student at Rollins. Before coming to Rollins, I graduate from Dalton State College with a B.S. in Biology and a Chemistry minor. Rollins was my first choice due to its great academic program, close proximity to several public health organizations and amazing faculty. I knew all those great things about Rollins, but nothing compared to how I felt when I visited in the Spring. The welcome from faculty and students was beyond anything else I had experienced. Right away, it was obvious that my success mattered and they were willing to do anything to help me achieve my goals. So far, I have been able to explore my interests and learn about different opportunities. I can confidently say that I am being prepared to be a leader in this field. I have never been a part of a community that cares so much about its members and reminds me every day that I made the right choice coming to Rollins! I am excited to share my passion for Rollins with others and look forward to welcoming you into our community!


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Pauline Harrington



Hello! My name is Pauline and I am a first 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 as well as maternal and child health. 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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Mike Mortillo

Hello! My name is Mike and I am a first 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!


Susanna Trost

Hello! My name is Susanna and I am a first 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 research coordinator through the Emory School of Medicine, and 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!


Zara Khan

Hello! My name is Zara, and I am a first-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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Sierra Patterson

Hi! My name is Sierra Patterson and I am a first 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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Tori Konrad

Hi y’all! I’m Tori Konrad, and I am a first 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!


Huimin (Mia) Zhong

Hello! My name is Huimin(Mia) Zhong and I’m 1st 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!


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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!