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Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Sonia Pandit

After conducting field research in the villages of Punjab in 2008, Sonia founded UAID to empower undergraduate students to make a hands-on difference in the lives of rural villagers who are affected by infectious diseases. Her leadership experience includes serving as Sophomore Class President, Freshmen Class Council Representative, Ezra Stiles College Council Representative, Public Health Coalition Events Coordinator, and South Asian Society Outreach Coordinator at Yale University. Sonia has researched at Yale School of Medicine, University of Washington, and at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine while volunteering extensively at the Emergency Department of the Hospital of St. Raphael, Leeway AIDS Facility, and UW Medical Center. She also has experience interning at NBC Universal in Washington D.C., the Maryland General Assembly, and Massachusetts General Hospital. Sonia graduated from Troy High School in 2007 as Valedictorian and from Yale University in 2011 with a major in Political Science. She  graduated with a Master of Public Health degree in Health Systems and Policy from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2013 and with a MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management in 2015. (Sonia@uaid.org)

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Directors

Colleen Howarth - Community Projects Team and Impact Team

Colleen is a 2018 graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park where she received her Master of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral and Community Health. She did her undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University and received a degree in Social Work there. In the past she has worked with adults living with serious mental illness, and is currently working full-time as the Adult Education and Prevention Coordinator for Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. Colleen is passionate about planning programs around mental health and substance use and always takes a social ecological approach. She enjoys hiking, live music, spending time with her beagle, and exploring Richmond in her spare time. Colleen interned with UAID for one year and is now the co-founder of the Impact Team and the co-director of the Community Projects Team. She aims to put theory to practice and help community projects reach their full potential. (Colleen@uaid.org)

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Talia Morikawa - Community Projects Team and Impact Team

Talia graduated from Drexel University in 2014 with her Doctor of Physical Therapy. She spent two years working as a physical therapist in a community hospital and rehabilitation center in Philadelphia. She then transitioned her career to providing home care services to patients in West Philadelphia. Her patients lived no more than four miles from her home and yet it felt like she was traveling to a third world country. The amount of poverty and health impairments were astounding. She could not ignore the socioeconomic, environmental, and political barriers that were creating and perpetuating poorer health outcomes in low-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia. As a result, Talia returned to school part-time. She is taking evening classes after work in order to get a Master's of Public Health at the University of Pennsylvania. Talia interned with UAID for one year and is now the co-founder of the Impact Team and the co-director of the Community Projects Team. (Talia@uaid.org)

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Jason West - Management Team

Jason is a student at Princeton University, where he is concentrating in French & Politics while pursuing a certificate in Global Health Policy. His independent research at the undergraduate level has focused on issues of public health stemming from environmental conditions, including natural disasters, and on language as a determinant of health. His passion for social justice drives his interest in analyzing disparities in health outcomes along lines of gender identity and sexual orientation. He hopes to continue studying health systems and policy at the graduate level, then to spearhead a health initiative devoted to defending the right to health for people within LGBTQIA and immigrant communities. On campus, he serves as an advisor for first-year students, works with Princeton Caribbean Connection and the Order of Black Male Excellence, and tutors for 100-level French courses. (Jason@uaid.org)

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Interns

Nazra Amin - Community Projects Team

Nazra is an undergraduate student at the George Washington University studying public health. She is currently a candidate for both a Bachelors of Science in Public Health and a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology. Nazra is interested in public health because of the field’s overall mission of addressing problems with multifaceted, impact-oriented approaches. She joined UAID’s Community Projects Team because of her desire to work with undergraduate students like herself to implement sustainable projects that will benefit these students’ local communities. As a student, Nazra enjoys getting involved in on-campus student organizations like GW’s South Asian Society as well as Alpha Phi Omega, a community service fraternity she is a part of. In her free time, she enjoys attempting to cook and making various playlists of Spotify. (Nazra@uaid.org)

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Silicia Lomax - Community Projects Team

Silicia is a current graduate student getting her masters in public health from the University of Pennsylvania. She recently graduated from Penn with her bachelors in global health. She's done research at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Penn in the Institute for Cognitive Science and the Communication Neuroscience Lab. After her experiences volunteering in mobile health clinics in Peru and Ecuador, she became interested in public health and the ways that it can affect underserved communities. She joined UAID as an intern because of it's commitment to local communities and the value of sustainable efforts in those communities. Silicia hopes to do global health work in early child development and nutrition with minorities in the future. In her spare time, she loves to go running, dance and watch movies. (Silicia@uaid.org)

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Reine Ibala - Community Projects Team

Since graduating from Yale University in 2016, Reine has worked as a Healthcare/Biomedical Analyst for Broad Haven Associates (BHA) and clinical research coordinator at Mass General (MGH). At BHA, Reine helped startups launch biomedical devices and treatments. Her team’s medical tourism projects aimed to provide low-cost surgical care alternatives to American patients while bolstering medical infrastructure in low-income countries by establishing medical facilities with training for local staff and quality care for native, underserved communities. At MGH, she works on trials focused on improving cognitive outcomes for cardiac surgery patients postoperatively. Reine’s interest in racial inequities in healthcare prompted her to initiate a mini-study using patient perceptions to understand the impact of patient-primary care physician race concordance on surgical referral timelines. She ultimately aims to pursue an MD/MPH to transform healthcare internationally and address sociopolitical dynamics affecting underserved patients. Reine is excited to contribute to UAID’s evidence-based, community driven public health interventions. Reine enjoys singing, writing, cooking and nature walks. (Reine@uaid.org)

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Elizabeth Davidson - Community Projects Team

Elizabeth is a Master of Public Health candidate in Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and works as a sexual health & HIV counselor at the Student Health Action Coalition in Carrboro, NC. She attained her B.S. in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Music in 2017, also from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She worked primarily in sexual health and violence prevention as an undergraduate, and reconciled her interest in medicine with a passion for social justice through public health practice. As a UAID intern, she is excited to learn more about working with unique and diverse communities across the country through practice and application of public health theory. She plans to attend medical school after completion of her graduate program, and hopes to work in rural populations in the Southeastern U.S. with regards to healthcare access. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her dog and hiking. (Elizabeth@uaid.org)

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Janet Yim - Management Team

Janet is a second year Masters in Public Health candidate at the Yale School of Public Health, concentrating in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her introduction to public health occurred during a study abroad program in Oaxaca, Mexico, and upon return to the U.S., she dropped her pursuits of becoming a physician and instead began applying for MPH programs as she completed her B.A. in International Relations and Global Studies. She is interested in the social determinants of health--specifically how race and class disparities lead to and are perpetuated by discrepancies in health care access, delivery, and quality. She is passionate about addressing these issues through policy and innovative business solutions and had the opportunity to see this in action last summer as Summer Fellow at the Health Policy Commission, an independent state agency in Boston, where she wrote policy briefs on how accountable care organizations manage performance under risk contracts as well as how ACOs provide end of life care. When she's not discussing public health issues, Janet loves to play volleyball, take spinning classes, admire babies and puppies from afar, and sing on the worship team at Vox Church in New Haven, CT. (Janet@uaid.org)

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Chris Schaich - Management Team

Chris is an aspiring epidemiologist with integrative research interests in cognitive function and autonomic neuroscience at the population level.  Since graduating from Wake Forest University in 2014, he has worked as a laboratory research scientist, emergency medicine research associate, and mental health crisis clinician before returning to WFU to obtain his MS in Clinical and Population Translational Sciences.  Chris has special interests in implementing novel technologies in the clinic setting to improve healthcare and outreach efforts to help underserved populations with undue disease burden.  He is excited bring his expertise and passion for this endeavor to the UAID Management Team. (Chris@uaid.org)

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Alexandria Organ - Management Team

Alexandria is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying Human Development and Family Studies as well as Exercise and Sports Science. She is an aspiring Licensed Clinical Social Worker and health educator with a concentration in sexual wellness. Alexandria is interested in global health after spending part of her summer in the Upper West Region of  Ghana where she helped implement with the local clinic to combat malnutrition in the surrounding communities. She is excited to intern with UAID because she has a deep passion for addressing and educating others on health disparities around the world. (Alexandria@uaid.org)

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Aubree Driver - Impact Team

Aubree is an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park studying Public Health Science. Her interest in public health comes from her continued work with Dr. Sacoby Wilson, a passionate professor at the University of Maryland who advocates for health equity and environmental justice. Aubree aims to continue on to obtain her master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Equity. As an undergraduate, she has conducted research concerning the effects of socioeconomic status and pollution on Non-White individuals in the state of Maryland, and hopes to apply her research skills to upcoming UAID projects. In her spare time, Aubree enjoys singing, traveling, and spending time with her family. (Aubree@uaid.org)

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Susan You - Impact Team

Susan is an undergraduate student studying Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. After interning at her city's public health department, she realized that there are unique, systematic barriers that prevent health equity, and that these barriers can be broken down through advocacy and multi-sectoral collaboration. She joined UAID as an Intern because she hopes to learn how to serve her community in a culturally competent way while working to ensure that everyone has their best quality of life. Through her time in college, she realized the importance of becoming an active community member and advocate, which led her to conducting research about stressors of food availability and cyclicality amongst Baltimoreans. Outside of the academic setting, Susan loves singing with her a Capella group and spending time with her friends and family. (Susan@uaid.org)