Global WACh Certificate


The health of women, adolescents and children are intertwined and essential for societal well-being. It is recognized in the United Nations’ 8 Millennium Development Goals, 3 of which relate to health of women and children. The Certificate program was created to give a comprehensive overview of the health of women, adolescents, and children, and current issues in global health; and to provide graduates of the program a base of knowledge and broad range of skills to work in fields related to global health or health of women, adolescents and children.

Successful certificate students will complete 18 credits, including 7 core credits, 8 elective credits, and 3 credits from a capstone project.




Interdisciplinary approach

Graduates enrolled in the Global WACh certificate program are from a variety of backgrounds, with different interests all related to women, adolescents and children. Our certificate program includes a broad range of courses that count towards certificate credits. Topics include:

  • Infant, child, adolescent health
  • Nutrition
  • Policy & health assessment
  • Psychosocial & injury prevention
  • Research
  • Pharmacy & environment
  • Maternal child health
  • Global health

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. Please send completed CERTIFICATE APPLICATION, along with unofficial transcripts, a recent CV/resume, and a statement of purpose to the email below.

Andrew Lewis, Program Manager, Global WACh


Certificate Student profiles

Rita Ismail, PhD Nursing Science Student

RitaIsmail_smallI have been working for the Ministry of Health in the Republic of Indonesia as a lecturer since 2005. My specialty is maternity nursing and I teach women’s health topics. Before pursuing my PhD, I actively participated in the reproductive health promotion programs for female sex workers and women. I have also conducted several studies about HIV and women’s health in Indonesia. My current research interest is stigma in women living with HIV and I am currently compiling data from a qualitative study that I organized in in Indonesia last year with this population. I have also oral and poster presentations in the United States and will have a poster presentation in the XIX International AIDS conference 2012 in Washington, DC. I registered for the WACh certificate program in an effort to better understand the health of the women, adolescent, and children. This program will give me the opportunity to learn from experts and researchers in the field as well as greatly increase my knowledge about current issues and strategies for working with this population. Furthermore, as an international student from a developing country such as Indonesia, this certificate program will help me develop programs and interventions to improve the health and well-being of women, adolescents and children based on a cultural approach.

Mona Wiggins, DNP/FNP Student

Mona WigginsMy name is Mona Wiggins and I am a second year Doctorate of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner student. My interests include African health, maternal/child health, family planning, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS. I grew up in a small town in Southern New Mexico with a single mother. I realized at a young age that I had a passion for the underserved and marginalized populations, as well as global and maternal/child health. I decided that obtaining a nursing career would allow me to care for patients while providing them with education to make appropriate and meaningful lifestyle changes. After obtaining my BSN, I worked for almost six years in a variety of settings providing care for children, adolescents, and adults. I have also been privileged with the opportunity to travel to Africa and India to experience their healthcare culture and beliefs. These trips, along with my nursing experience, have provided me with a cross-cultural perspective on the delivery of healthcare and reinforced my passion for global health care. I believe women and children are the key to the health and success of a community, yet are often overlooked and under-cared for. I am excited to be pursuing a career as an FNP and am eager to work with everyone in the WACh program, to hopefully make a dent in this worldwide need of maternal/child health.

Lisa M. Shawcroft, MPA Student

LisaShawcroftI am a second year student at the Evans School pursuing my masters in public administration. In addition to my masters, I am also working toward two graduate certificates: one in nonprofit management and one in the global health of women, adolescents and children.  Prior to returning to school, I worked in marketing and development for Seattle area non-profits, including Seattle Children’s Hospital. I am currently working with Global WACh to develop a sustainability plan for the center. I am interested in global health through a domestic lens, particularly in how immigrants and refugees access healthcare.  I also have a strong interest in reproductive health, education and empowerment for women and girls.

Rubee Dev, MPH Student, Maternal and Child Health

Rubee DevI completed my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in Nepal, where I am from. After completion of my nursing degree, I worked in one of the community-oriented hospital in Nepal, where I came across neglected dimension of women and children health. Following my passion for better public health system and quest for higher study, I came to the United States to pursue Masters in Public Health (Maternal and Child Health) at University of Washington. As part of my practicum, I volunteered with Global to Local in SeaTac serving Nepali/Bhutanese community where I was responsible for expanding REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) curriculum, which is a diabetes education program. I also volunteered as a Resource Connector in the same organization and helped people connect with existing resources by identifying their needs. Currently, I am volunteering as an In-person Assister/Navigator with Washington Health Benefit Exchange and helping people get enrolled in the health insurance. Global Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children Certificate (Global WACh) program offers core courses in global health problems as well as maternal and child health in developing countries. Both of these courses will increase my competency in facing varieties of issues in resource poor countries. I believe that Global WACh Certificate program will help me better understand the major health issues that are taking life of many mother and children all over the world and enhance my professional skill to prevent such issues.

Christopher Westgard, MPA Student

ChristopherWestgardChristopher is currently attending the Evans School of Public Affairs at UW.  Currently he is studying international development and focusing on poverty alleviation through improved health. He spent the summer in Cambodia working on sanitation and health education. He worked at a human rights advocacy organization in D.C. before moving to Seattle. Christopher has also traveled and volunteered extensively in India and South America.


Jonathan A. Muir, PhD Student, Department of Sociology

PhotoJonathan is a PhD student in the Sociology Department at the University of Washington with an area emphasis in medical sociology. His research examines social determinants of health for children and adolescents with an international concentration on South and Southeast Asia. He has over 10 years experience working as freelance translator in Thai, is conversant in Lao, and is currently a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow studying Bahasa Indonesian. His undergratuate experience encompased training in Asian Studies, International Development, and Sociology. As an undergrad, Jonathan worked as a program facilitator for an international development program that operated in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Through working with this program, Jonathan gained experiencing addressing issues of sustainable rural development and public health in Southeast Asia. While completing his master’s degree in Sociology, he helped resettle a population of Thai and Laotian refugees while working with the Utah Health and Human Rights Project (UHHRP).  The refugees were a group of human trafficking victims and their families who were trafficked to the US and subsequently received refugee status from the US government after they were rescued from their traffickers. Using cultural and linguistic knowledge of Southeast Asia, Jonathan helped facilitate the refugees in beginning the process of restarting their lives and facilitated cultural understanding during their first encounters with local health and education systems and job markets. He currently works as a research associate with the Strategic Analysis, Research and Training (START) Program in the Department of Global Health at the UW. The START program supports the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in addressing issues of global health in developing countries. Jonathan’s primary responsibilities include conducting impact evaluations and assessments for global health projects that address health problems for women and children in developing nations.

Kirk Tickell, MPH Epidemiology Student, Global Health Track

KirkTickellI am MPH student studying Epidemiology and Global Health, having previous been a physician in both adult and pediatric care.   In the United Kingdom, I worked in a deprived area on the border between England and Wales.  During my training I also spent a quarter assisting on an inpatient pediatric ward in Dar es Salaam.  And last August, I travelled to Mophela township in South Africa to create a pediatric health screening and data collection system for a UK based NGO.  In each country I witnessed disease and injury determining the futures of children, adolescents and families.  I believe that inadequate health service provision and a failure to address the social determinants of ill health cause these outcomes.  As a result, my interests include pediatric infectious disease, the social and economic cost of preventable disease, and universal health coverage.

Catherine Karlak, MS Nutritional Science Student, RD

CatherineKarlakI am a first year MS Nutritional Sciences student training to become a Registered Dietician through the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics.  My undergraduate research focused on parasitology, but prior to returning to school, I worked in early education both locally and abroad, and also in the culinary industry.  I am passionate about food security, urban agriculture, and nutrition education, and am active in community gardening through Seattle’s P-patch program.  Recently, I taught cooking classes to emigrant and refugee kids at the Seattle World School. My focus is on pediatric and maternal nutrition, and given my parasitology background, I am especially interested in how poor nutrition and infectious diseases interrelate and the implications of this interaction for child undernutrition and stunting interventions.

Lacey Rose Miller, DNP Student, Perinatal Nurse Specialist

LaceyRoseMillerLacey Rose was born and raised in Portland, Oregon to a family of energy-efficient, long-haired vegetarians. Her dream of promoting women’s health internationally for those most underserved started when she was twelve-years-old. Lacey has enjoyed her volunteer hours spent with nonprofit organizations over the years offering health consultation, conducting health promotion projects with her global community members and organizing and leading healthcare volunteer teams abroad. As a family maternity nurse, her work at home as well as internationally focuses on maternal and newborn health promotion. She is currently enrolled in the University of Washington’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program as a Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist. She hopes to find a faculty position that will (1) allow her to teach obstetrics to nursing students, (2) offer her inclusion on volunteer trips abroad with students and (3) provide her with the opportunity to educate nursing and non-nursing students in women’s, children and newborn global health. She also hopes to continue consultant work with international aid organizations, public health officials, tribal leaders or governmental organizations regarding women and newborn health.

Abigail Korn, MPH Student, Global Health

kornAbi is a first-year MPH student in the department of Global Health. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Latin American Studies, and her thesis examined the incorporation of traditional medicine into Chile’s national health system with a case study in sexual and reproductive health. She interned in an STI clinic in Lima, Peru where she designed outreach materials for female sex workers and men who have sex with men. Abi has worked on youth leadership projects in Mexico and Panama, and is currently part of a community based participatory research team addressing food and water security in an informal settlement outside of Lima, Peru.

Annie Hoopes, MD, MPH Student, Maternal and Child Health

AnnieI’m a pediatrician currently completing a fellowship in adolescent medicine at University of Washington/Seattle Children’s while concomitantly pursuing an MPH in the Department of Health Services with a Maternal Child Health Concentration.  I’ve had the opportunity to work in various clinical and research capacities in a number of low-resource settings in Africa and South and Central America, and my current interests are focused on adolescent sexual and reproductive health with an emphasis on family planning.  My goal is to ensure that ALL young people have access to quality youth-friendly health services and to develop adolescent-focused interventions that promote sexual health and reduce unintended pregnancies.  I’m so excited to be a part of the Global WACh certificate program as it will allow me to weave together my interests in multiple disciplines as I complete sub-specialty training and pursue a career in adolescent public health.