Global WACh Graduate Certificate Program

Why WACh?

The Global WACh Certificate program was created to give a comprehensive overview of current issues in global health as they pertain to the intertwined health and well-being of women, adolescents, and children. Graduates of the program will gain mentorship, base knowledge and skills, and hands-on practical experience in global health fields related to women, adolescents, and children.

Our Interdisciplinary Approach

Graduate students enrolled in the Global WACh certificate program are from a variety of backgrounds, with different interests related to women, adolescent and child health. Our certificate program includes a broad range of courses that count towards certificate credits. Topics include:

  • Infant, Child, Adolescent health
  • Nutrition
  • Policy & Health Assessment
  • Reproductive Health
  • Pharmacy & Environment
  • Maternal Child Health
  • Global Health

See the tabs below for Certificate application materials, requirements, and profiles on current Certificate students and alumni.

Who should apply?

Students enrolled in any University of Washington graduate school program are welcome to apply. Applications for the certificate program are reviewed on a rolling admissions basis. To apply, please send all completed documents (below) to Kate Pfizenmaier, Global WACh Program Manager, at

What is required to complete the certificate?

  • 15 Total Credits. 
    • 7 Core Credits
    • 5 Elective Credits
    • 3 Capstone Credits (90 hour equivalent)
  • Attend at least 6 Certificate Program monthly meetings
  • Capstone Project. 
    • The Global WACh Capstone requirement is a 3-credit Independent Study project required to complete the Certificate and is separate from your master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. Guidelines, information on selecting a faculty adviser, and examples of capstone projects are linked in the resources tab. With questions, please email

Below are a course checklist and approved elective list that can be used to track progress towards completion of the program.

Hannah Atlas, MPH, Global Health

Hannah Atlas is a first year MPH student in the Department of Global Health. She graduated from Scripps College in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology and Creative Writing. Hannah worked as a program assistant and research coordinator in the Departments of Global Health and Pediatrics at the University of Washington on projects that aim to identify interventions to prevent morbidity and mortality attributed to diarrheal disease in under-five populations in low-resource settings and better understand the composition and functionality of the intestinal microbiome in the pathogenicity of enteric infections and clinical course of disease. Hannah is particularly interested in the intersecting mechanisms of gut health, environmental health, and child survival and will continue working to improve global child health outcomes through an interdisciplinary lens.

Baishakhi Basu, Ph. D., Biocultural Anthropology and MPH, Global Health

Baishakhi Basu is a doctoral candidate of Biocultural anthropology. Her research aims to investigate the effect of early-life nutrition on ovarian development and reproductive function in women. She recently finished conducting her dissertation fieldwork in Matlab, a remote sub-district of Bangladesh. In August 2013, Baishakhi successfully conducted her pilot work funded by pilot grants awarded by Medical anthropology and Global Health as well as the Dept. of Anthropology. Baishakhi serves as a teaching assistant in Biocultural Anthropology. Baishakhi was an awardee of the Wadsworth international doctoral fellowship from 2010 to 2013. She earned her MA in biocultural anthropology in 2012 from U of Washington. She also held a CSDE (Centre for Studies in Demography and Ecology) fellowship in 2010. Baishakhi has volunteered and interned for projects on environmental action plan, and maternal and neonatal health.

Shelley Brandstetter, DNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Shelley Brandstetter became interested in global health when she volunteered with Amigos de las Americas as a 16-year-old. Vaccinating dogs, cats, and even one monkey against rabies in rural Bolivia was not the typical way for teenagers from her Ohio hometown to spend their summers. She went on to graduate from Kent State University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and work as a registered nurse in various intensive care units across the United States. She also volunteered with International Children’s Heart Fund in Ecuador, and Novack Cardiac Alliance in Honduras, supporting and educating local nurses to care for pediatric open heart surgery patients. Shelley is now a student in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program at the University of Washington, specializing in Pediatrics. She works at Seattle Children’s Hospital in the recovery room and interns at PATH on their human milk banking project. She participates in Graduate and Professional Student Senate as a senator for family/child nursing and is a co-lead for the Global Health Nursing Committee. After graduation, she plans to split her time between pediatric primary care and programs that strengthen systems and support local health care workers.

Miriana Duran, MPH

Miriana is a first year student in the MPH General Track from the Department of Global Health. She is originally from Mexico, where she got her M.D. She worked for a year as a General Practitioner in both private hospitals and public clinics in Mexico City and did her social service year at a Family Clinic where she got to see first hand some of the Health Systems inequities and weaknesses. This is what initially sparked her passion for public health as clinical practice would only improve the health care of one person at a time, she intends to gain knowledge and skills that can allow her to make a change at a broader level.  Her interest lies in Maternal and Child Health, she is particularly interested in breastfeeding, nutrition, vaccines and non-communicable diseases.

Jaclyn Escudero, MPH, Global Health

Jaclyn Escudero is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Global Health. She graduated in 2012 from the George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she studied Psychology and Health Sciences. She began her journey in global health when she joined the Peace Corps as a Community Health Educator in Cameroon, where she implemented a hygiene and sanitation improvement project to show support for people living with HIV/AIDS in her community. She is currently working as a Research Assistant for Global WACh, investigating PrEP adherence in adolescent girls and young women. Jaclyn is interested in reproductive health education and access, as well as mental health of incarcerated and recently incarcerated women.

Hannah Frizzell, Ph. D., Bioengineering

Hannah Frizzell is a third year Ph. D. student in the department of Bioengineering. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin and completed a minor in Spanish. She is currently a graduate research fellow working with Dr. Kim A. Woodrow, focusing on mucosal immunoengineering, vaccines, drug delivery, and how these relate to women’s and children’s health on a global scale. Her current work is centered around improving oral vaccination through the combination of biotechnology and immunology. Hannah is the Vice President of Funding at UW’s Bioengineers without Borders, which develops medical devices for resource-limited areas. She mentors a teams focused on a low-cost device for diagnosis of pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. Hannah is also a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Roche/Achievement Awards for College Scientists (ARCS) scholar. As she progresses in her field, she hopes to apply both her technical background and experience from the Global WACh program to create and integrate medical technologies into communities to improve their accessibility and thus ultimate effectiveness in improving health globally.

Brenda Kharono, MPH, Global Health

A native of Uganda, Brenda Kharono, is a Global Health MPH Student, at the University of Washington and a START Center Research Assistant in the Department of Global Health. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from Makerere University, Brenda worked with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) providing clinical care to HIV patients. She then took up a position as a research physician in a research organization- Makerere University John Hopkins University Research Collaboration (MUJHU), whose mission is to improve the health status of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS through research, training, prevention and care. Prior to this, she worked with a faith based NGO, as an intern medical doctor in Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Surgery and Internal medicine. She was introduced to the field of public health came in through a four year Community Based Education and Research Services (COBERS) medical training program. Her interest in improving community-based health practices and refugee health among women and children in low-and-middle income countries saw her volunteer at a resettlement camp in south western Uganda, carrying out outreaches, and clinical and surgical work in Kilembe Mines Hospital. She intends to use the MPH and Global WACh Certificate to leverage her skills in detailed understanding of research principles, primary prevention of disease and improved health service delivery globally.

Wamaitha Kiarie, MPA

Wamaitha Kiarie is currently a Master of Public Administration (MPA) student at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance specializing in International Development. Previously, Kiarie received her Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from University of Nairobi. She has a passion for women empowerment that was roused when, while growing up in Kenya, she saw how women and children were disproportionately impacted by the extreme levels of poverty. Prior to joining UW (and again this past summer), Kiarie worked at the Gates Foundation supporting teams working towards improving the lives of women and children in the US and around the world. In this work, she was exposed to the complexity of tackling development issues. Her primary interests are the integration of health and development policies, particularly in reproductive health, and strengthening health systems. Kiarie is also passionate about social justice and currently sits on the board of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). She also loves to spend time with family and friends and travel at any opportunity.

Sharon Kiche, MPH, Global Health

Sharon Kiche is a MPH student in the Department of Global Health. Sharon graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Whitman College where she studied Sociology and Chemistry. After graduating from Whitman, she worked as a Public Health intern in Philadelphia with Bebashi-Transition to Hope where she helped provide a continuum of free care involving culturally sensitive and competent community education on HIV, STI as well as pregnancy counseling and testing services, cessation of drug use and medical case management. She is currently a graduate research assistant contributing to a diverse group of researchers working on implementing spirometry programs in developing countries (FA 2020). She also supports a number of studies focused on the implementation and dissemination of evidence based mental health treatments for children and adolescents as part of the University of Washington School Mental Health Assessment, Research & Training Center (SMART). Sharon is particularly keen to work with reproductive health and especially obstetric fistula survivors.

Melissa Krell, DNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Melissa Krell is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2010 from Whitworth University and had her first experience in global health while volunteering in Tanzania as a Registered Nurse (RN) after graduation. Although she initially worked in the U.S. as an adult cardiac nurse, Melissa realized after her second trip to East Africa in 2012 that a career in pediatrics was her calling. She is passionate about improving the health of children and adolescents and is especially interested in working to change local and global policies to positively impact the health of children over their entire lifetime. Melissa plans to work as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner to provide care and promote wellness for underserved populations in Seattle. She is looking forward to using what she has learned from the Global WACh program to be an advocate for children and their families.

Sarah Lawrence, MPH, Global Health

Sarah Lawrence is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Global Health. She graduated from Winona State University in Minnesota, where she studied Psychology. After graduation, she worked as a youth counselor and served with AmeriCorps as a dropout prevention liaison in rural Minnesota. While working in these positions she also co-led sexual health and youth sobriety programs in school- and community-based settings. After completing her service with AmeriCorps, she served in the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Volunteer in Morocco. She worked primarily with adolescent girls to help them work toward their educational goals and develop healthy lifestyles. She is currently working as a Research Assistant for Dr. Donna Denno on two research projects, one investigating minimally invasive autopsies to determine cause of death among children in Malawi and the other on environmental enteric dysfunction among children in three LMICs. Sarah is interested in developing comprehensive sexual education programs as well as improving reproductive health access. She is particularly interested in working to improve women’s and adolescent health outcomes in the Middle East and North Africa.

Houa Lee, MSW

Houa is a first-year Master of Social Work student with a concentration in health. She graduated in 2017 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied Rehabilitation Psychology. Houa served with AmeriCorps at West High School in Madison, WI where she tutored in various subject areas and assisted with the preparation and delivery of after school programming for high school youth. She is currently an intern with InterIm CDA where she engages immigrant and refugee youth in financial empowerment and food justice programming. Houa’s research interests broadly include healthcare access and mental health for immigrant and refugee women and youth.

Katherine Ly, MPH, Environmental & Occupational Health

Katherine Ly is a South Seattleite pursuing a MPH in Environmental and Occupational Health. Prior to UW, she served as a Wellness Intern and Resident Advisor at Wesleyan University, where she received her Bachelor’s in Neuroscience & Behavior and Science in Society. She is interested in the interface between science and population health, environmental justice, displacement, and community health. In the future, she hopes to build close relationships with immigrant families locally in primary care.

Chen-Yu Ma, MPH, Global Health

Originally from Taiwan, Chen-Yu earned a BS in Biology and a BA in Medical Anthropology from UW. He is aspiring to devote his life to promote, maintain, and restore maternal and child health and well-being through practices of medicine, leadership and management, and advocacy. Chen-Yu’s research interests include prevention and treatment of maternal and pediatric HIV and health system strengthening for maternal and child health (MCH). Prior to attending graduate school, Chen-Yu served in Madagascar as a community health advisor with Peace Corps, where he collaborated with community health center and USAID Mikolo to address MCH issues. Chen-Yu also worked as a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) associate with Catholic Relief Services, providing technical and programmatic assistance to a local NGO, Organe de Développement du Diocèse de Toamasina to support the development of M&E tools for MCH projects. They also trained and supervised health promoters who oversaw activities in two districts of Atsinanana region in eastern Madagascar.

Marissa Masidhas, DNP, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Marissa is a student in the Family Nurse Practitioner track of the Doctorate of Nursing Practice program at UW. She first became interested in global health when she traveled to India as a nursing student. She spent three weeks participating in mobile medical clinics to remote villages, providing wound care to patients with leprosy, conducting well-child exams and administering immunizations in southeastern India. After graduating with her BS in Nursing (BSN) and nutrition minor from Brigham Young University, she traveled to the Dominican Republic to provide medical care and health education to at risk children. She has also volunteered with a NGO to rural Kenya and Peru, where she provided care at a pediatric clinic, taught CPR and first aid to villagers, and participated in local construction projects. As a registered nurse, Marissa worked in the pediatric surgical/cardiac unit of Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and now volunteers as a patient health advocate at the SeaMar Seattle clinic. She hopes to incorporate global health into her nurse practitioner career by strengthening existing health infrastructures and implementing health education programs for underserved populations locally and abroad.

Mosope Oyewole, MPH, Global Health

Mosope Oyewole is a first year MPH student in the Department of Global Health. She received her medical degree from Victor Babeș University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timișoara in 2010. Her journey in global health began when she left the shores of Nigeria for Romania, a couple of years into her medical program. She volunteered every summer in remote areas of Romania, where she provided preventive medicine interventions to local communities. She completed a residency program in Gastroenterology in 2015. Prior to attending UW, she consulted for a global health consulting firm where she leveraged skills in designing strategies to solve gastrointestinal diarrheal diseases, especially in children living in the rural areas of Abuja, Nigeria. She is interested in the reduction of mortality rate caused by diarrhea in children under 5 years of age by exploring policies and practices around vaccination, treatment options, and applying relevant epidemiological methods to better understand the high mortality rate in Nigeria and other LMIC settings.

Nuttada Panpradist, Ph.D., Bioengineering

Originally from Thailand, Nuttada Panpradist aspires to become a professor of bioengineering so that she can remain engage in the areas she is passionate about: medicinal science, technology, healthcare and teaching. Currently, Nuttada is a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering under the supervision of Dr. Barry Lutz. Her research focuses on developing point-of-care devices for detecting HIV/TB infection and drug resistance. She is the technical lead on the OLA-Simple project, engineering a simple-to-use HIV drug resistant test (funded by Global WACh – W.H. Coulter foundation Seed Award 2012, Seattle’s Children Bridge Funding 2013, NIH R01 2014-19). Besides the OLA-Simple project, Nuttada works on developing point-of-care diagnostics for pulmonary TB from urine samples. This project was initiated from her GH 590 classroom project with Dr. Diana Marangu (a clinician from Kenya who was an MPH student at UW) and was subsequently funded by Global WACh – W.H. Coulter foundation Seed Award 2014. Through her participation in the Global WACh certificate program, Nuttada hopes to acquire better insights in WACh-related global health issues and explore more ways to utilize bioengineering skills to develop solutions to address these issues. She also hopes to expand her academic network by interacting with other Global WACh students and faculty members.

Erin Picolet, DNP, Nursing Midwifery

Erin Picolet grew up on a cattle ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas. Strong ties to family, community service, and love of the great outdoors were steeples of her upbringing and continue play significant roles in her life and visions for global equality. Erin first started to dream of international service and being immersed in global communities when she attended Heifer Project International Camp in middle school. Her life was forever impacted by simply standing on a map of the world that was divided according to distribution of wealth. From that moment on, Erin has pursued educational, personal development, and volunteer opportunities that foster ending poverty and the plights associated with it. Erin currently works as a Registered Nurse at the Family Maternity Center at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. International service experiences, natural/ low intervention birth practices, and Women’s Health issues led her to the UW Doctor of Nursing Program: Nurse Midwifery Track. To date, Erin is still forming her vision of the future practice setting that allows her to merge her passions, interests, and life purpose. In her free time, Erin loves to be outdoors, take photographs, spend time with family, and travel at any opportunity.

Lauren Rotkis, DNP, Pediatric Nursing

Lauren Rotkis is a candidate in the Pediatric Doctorate of Nursing Practice program. She completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Washington, a Master of Science in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis. Within the global health field, she is particularly drawn to working with adolescent populations who are at a unique stage of self-discovery and self-determination. Having grown up in Seattle, Lauren has observed societal and political shifts that have led to an increasingly vulnerable marginalized population of teens. She currently volunteers at the Country Doctor Free Teen clinic, which is an evening health clinic for homeless teens. It is this experience that has had a defining role in shaping Lauren’s career goals. She plans to continue working with vulnerable teens as a Nurse Practitioner, either in a school-based health clinic, Juvenile Detention or a primary care clinic with a specific focus on nutrition and stress-related health effects.

Manahil Siddiqi, MPH, Community-Oriented Public Health Practice

Manahil Siddiqi is an MPH Candidate at the University of Washington School of Public Health in the Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program. Her primary interest is in global health, particularly health politics and health systems strengthening with a focus on women and children. Manahil graduated with distinction in her self-designed major in Global Health from Bryn Mawr College in 2015, where she was the recipient of several honors commending her public health achievements in Philadephia, England, and Nicaragua. Prior to joining UW, Manahil conducted research on refugee mothering, resettlement and mental health among conflict-affected populations, including refugee families resettling in Philadephia. The principles of social justice, human rights and collective action fuel Manahil’s scholarship and advocacy.

Nora Suárez , DNP, Family Nurse Practitioner

Nora attended primary school in Querétaro, Mexico, and has lasting memories of public health nurses visiting her school to give children vaccinations and check for head lice. Her experience growing up in Mexico and the U.S. raised her awareness on the differing public health practices and how gaps in socioeconomic statuses impact health disparities. Nora’s passionate career in neonatal nursing spans over 16 years. She has extensive work experience in the Pacific Northwest at institutions, such as Seattle Children’s Hospital (Seattle), St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital (Boise), and Randall Children’s Hospital (Portland). Nora also served as a speaker at the First International Neonatology Conference in Ecuador in 2011. She has a BS in Nursing from Boise State University and a Master’s degree in Nursing, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist from the UW. As a current FNP student in the Global WACh Certificate Program, Nora wants to focus on primary care settings with an emphasis to strengthen local systems, as well as in developing countries, in health promotion and disease prevention.

Kristen Trivelli, DNP, Family Nurse Practitioner

Kristen is a student in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, studying to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Georgetown University, during which time she received a grant to travel to India and volunteer as a student nurse with several non-profits. She volunteered at a Comprehensive Cleft Center with Operation Smile, at an orphanage, and prepared and served meals for the local children in the slums with the Pratyasha Foundation. Back in the US, Kristen developed and implemented a Health Fair for forty high school students at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Washington, DC. Kristen worked as a Registered Nurse (RN) in several Intensive Care Units in California, and she is currently working as a RN at the University of Washington Regional Heart Center. Through her studies in advanced nursing practice and the Global WACh program, Kristen aspires to maximize the role of nurses and advanced practice nurses worldwide, to their full practice potential, in order to alleviate global health disparities among all members of both families and communities.

Meredith Wang, MPA, MPH Global Health

Meredith is a concurrent student pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree and a Master of Public Health degree in global health program at UW. Her career interest is in data-driven analysis and decision-making in health system strengthening and reproductive health. Her journey with global health really began due to the impact she felt living under the one-child policy era in China. That inspires her career devotion to engage in policy, health and human rights in joint forces when solving problems. She did research on reproductive health status in China against SDG criteria, such as maternal healthcare, family planning, and epidural provision. Outside of school, she has worked with PATH on the Global Fund Prospective Country Evaluation project, and BID (Better Immunization Data) initiative to strengthen information system on children’s vaccination. She currently works as a consultant for PATH’s Myanmar office to conduct a policy analysis for the national Rice Fortification policy. Meredith enjoys exploring the world and new experience. Before coming to the US, Meredith lived and completed her undergrad in one of China’s top universities and studied labor economics and econometrics. After graduation, she hopes to work in promoting women’s health rights and reproductive health around the globe.


Alyssa Bosold

MPH, Maternal and Child Health

Yilin Chen

MPH, Global Health

Chantal Donahue

MPH, Global Health

Christina DuJardin

MPH, Global Health, and MSW

Sheldon Halsted

MPH, Global Health

Elizabeth Karman

MPH, Global Health

Kellie List


Carlie Sulpizio

MPH, Global Health


Jade Fairbanks

MPH, Health Services

Molly Feder

MPH, Epidemiology

Shadae Paul

MPH, Global Health, and MPA

Marina Plesons

MPH, Global Health

Jessica Raddatz

DNP Nurse Midwifery

Katie Reynolds

MPH, Health Services

Gladys Salgado



Sonjelle Shilton

MPH, Global Health

Jennifer Mueller

MPH, Epidemiology

Lacey Rose Miller

DNP Nursing

Tracy Lam-Hine


Taurmini Fentress


Ai Mahoney



Jenny Lenahan

MPH, Epidemiology

Georgina Mendoza


Annie Hoopes MD

MPH, Maternal and Child Health

Takuya Habu


Abigail Korn

MPH, Global Health

Kirkby Tickell

MPH, Epidemiology

Irene Wu



Lisa M. Shawcroft


Rita Ismail

PhD Nursing Science

Mona Wiggins

DNP Family Nurse Practitioner

Christopher Westgard


Rubee Dev

MPH, Maternal and Child Health


Anya Pintak


Jenna Udren

MPH, Community-Oriented Public Health Practice

Onyinye Anitha Edeh

MPH, Global Health

Shelby Feliciano


Sharla Semana


Silvia Huaynoca

MPH, Global Health