Global WACh Scholars


The Global WACh Scholars program connects University of Washington graduate students with exciting opportunities for practical experience in the field of global health. From developing a congressional policy brief on child nutrition with the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), PATH and 1000 days; to understanding why women in Ethiopia do not access HIV services in pregnancy with SCOPE; to supporting the monitoring and evaluation of the Maternal and Young Child Nutrition Security Initiative in Asia (MYCNSIA) Program with UNICEF in Southeast Asia; Global WACh Scholars have contributed to improving maternal, adolescent and child health around the world.

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UNICEF and Global WACh have partnered to support the monitoring and evaluation of the Maternal and Young Child Nutrition Security Initiative in Asia (MYCNSIA) Program. MYCNSIA is an initiative started in 2011 to identify innovative interventions and program delivery models to improve maternal, infant and young child nutrition in five Southeast Asian countries (Bangladesh, Laos, Indonesia, Nepal and Philippines). The University of Washington has been contracted to support the monitoring and evaluation of MYCNSIA and will work closely with the UNICEF Regional Offices, individual UNICEF country offices and key stakeholders and partner organizations where MYCNSIA is being implemented.

The initiative currently includes four program support assistant positions for University of Washington graduate students.

Jessica Broz


MYCNSIA Posting – Laos
Jessica Broz is a second year MPH student in Health Services. A native Washingtonian, she feels lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful part of the world. She enjoys traveling and meeting new people. Jessica has spent time in Tanzania and India and recently spent a year teaching English in Japan. Passionate about nutrition, Jessica worked as a nutrition coordinator at an elementary school in the Highline School District and gardened alongside low-income high school youth.

Shakira Bandolin

MYCNSIA Posting – Philippines

Lauren Olsen

MYCNSIA Posting – Nepal

Christopher Kemp

MYCNSIA Posting – Nepal

kempChris grew up in Seattle before he left to study Linguistics at McGill University in Montreal, where he met his partner, Emily. They spent time living in New Zealand before returning to Seattle, where he is now earning his MPH in the Peace Corps’ Masters International program at the Department of Global Health. He has just returned from two years of service with the Peace Corps Community HIV/AIDS Outreach Project in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, where he worked with a small community-based organization to develop and improve community health worker-delivered services for people living with HIV/TB.

During his fellowship in Nepal he will work with UNICEF and at the NPC with the National Nutrition and Food Security Secretariat to revise and streamline the monitoring and evaluation framework of the Multi-sector Nutrition Plan (MSNP). He will travel to the MSNP pilot districts to meet with sector officials and identify opportunities for capacity building at the district level. He will also support the design of the MSNP baseline survey and nutrition sentinel site surveillance system, in line with the needs of the monitoring and evaluation framework.

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SCOPE  identifies and links medical and religious communities to improve the delivery of HIV/AIDS care and to prevent new infections. The Strengthening Care Opportunities through Partnership in Ethiopia (SCOPE) project is a partnership between the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health, Global WACh, University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Washington, the University of Gondar, Ethiopia, and the North Gondar Diocese of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

The SCOPE Fellowship Program is a 3-6 month research project with a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about fostering interdisciplinary approaches for tackling global health challenges. Fellows are located in Gondar Ethiopia, a region where 87% of the population belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and believe in the curative power of religion for various illnesses and where there are 42,000 priests and 170 doctors. These factors create a huge opportunity to harness the strengths of both communities. The primary objective of the SCOPE fellow is to identify the best ways to use the reach and influence of the church to link pregnant women to PMTCT and antenatal care and services with the goal of improving the health of mothers and babies.  This could include, but is not limited to, determining the requirements and steps necessary to establish and maintain an HIV counseling and testing center with emphasis on pregnant mothers.

Kristen Savage


Kristen Savage is a graduate student at the University of Washington in the Community Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) Program. She has an anticipated graduation date of June 2014. She received the SCOPE Fellowship in June 2013 and will work in this capacity from June 2013 to September 2013.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies from UCLA, Kristen interned with Educare India, a rural development organization based in Punjab. She founded and managed a Girl’s Club for adolescent girls in the village of Sotla, which provided nutrition, sanitation, and sexual health education through creative means. She also developed an HIV/AIDS education module for secondary schools in Punjab.

Prior to joining the COPHP program, Kristen worked as a Program Manager for CFY, a nonprofit organization partnering with middle schools throughout the Los Angeles Unified School District to place computers in the homes of disadvantaged youth. As a Program Manager she implemented CFY’s Digital Learning Program in nine partner schools.

Zerai Asgedom


I was born and raised in Southern Part of Ethiopia in a small town called Yavello, about 120 kilometers north of the southern border between Ethiopia and Kenya. When I was a freshman at Addis Ababa University, I got an opportunity to come to United States of America through a diversity visa lottery program. I moved to Seattle on October 19, 2002 .

Eight months after moving to Seattle in the fall of 2003, I started going to school at Shoreline Community College to get my Associate degree in Science. I graduated from Shoreline in June of 2005 and was accepted into the Seattle Pacific University’s School of Nursing. I graduated from Seattle Pacific University on June 9, 2007 with a Bachelor of Nursing Degree.

After my graduation from nursing school, I have been working on the Organ Transplant Unit of Swedish Medical Center. I’ve been there for 6 years.

In order to achieve my long dream of being a change agent in the community that raised and nurtured me, I started my Masters in Public Health at the University Of Washington School Of Public Health in fall of 2011. I plan to graduate in June of 2013 with an MPH Degree.

Emily Robinson

Robinson_Emily_PictureI am heading into my third year as a Doctorate of Nursing Practice student in the Family Nurse Practitioner track.  I wanted to be a nurse from the time I was 12 years old when I left behind my dream of becoming a chimpanzee trainer.  I graduated with my BSN in 2005 after which time I worked in a number of settings, focusing on children and families before returning to school to become a nurse practitioner.  Three of my years as a nurse were spent in Cairo, Egypt and my experiences there piqued my interest in global health.  During all my experiences as a nurse I began to realize that there are forces, outside of people’s personal decisions that profoundly affect their health and therefore my ability to care for them in the settings in which our encounters take place.  This realization has lead to my interest in public and community health.  I have a passion for primary care and very much see primary care functioning at its best when married to the worlds of public and community health.  My interests include women and children’s health both domestically and globally, nursing education both domestically and globally and the deliverance of primary health care in the context of the patient’s social and environmental settings.  My hope is that my future jobs allow me to care for patients, plan, implement and evaluate programs and then find some time to teach nursing students.  I am open to a number of locations for said job as long as there are mountains near by to play in.

Kate Pfizenmaier

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In 2011, Global WACh, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), 1,000 Days, and PATH formed a partnership to explore the relationship between HIV and nutrition, particularly during the 1,000 days from a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.

These four organizations joined forces to take advantage of their collective expertise in HIV research, nutrition, policy, and advocacy to create several policy briefs. The briefs have been used to inform policymakers and stakeholders of the importance of integrated nutrition programming on the effectiveness of HIV care and treatment programs in the developing world. Two graduate students from Global WACh and University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs researched and developed the briefs.

Emily Hansen


Emily Hansen is a second-year MPA student at the UW Evans School of Public Affairs where she will also pursue a Certificate of Nonprofit Management. Emily is also serving as the 2012-2013 Board Fellow at the Seattle Repertory Theatre in Seattle. Prior to attending Evans, Emily graduated with a BA in International Business and a double minor in Economics and Political Science from Western Washington University. After graduating from Western, Emily moved to DC to serve as a Legislative Intern for Senator Patty Murray, where she worked closely with the health care legislative staff. Following her stint on the Hill, Emily worked for several years at Mathematica Policy Research in DC as a Program Associate. At Mathematica, Emily completed many education and health care research project tasks, helped with business and strategic development, served as project manager for a FNS research project, and budgeted for proposal projects, among other things. She is very excited to get engaged with this PEPFAR project and learn more about future opportunities within this area.

Vijay Narayan


Vijay graduated from Brown University in 2008 with a Bachelor Degree in biology. In May 2009, he started working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Uganda as the program manager for PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) and Pediatric HIV. During his two years in Uganda, Vijay supported the Ministry of Health to strengthen the national PMTCT and Pediatric HIV programs by developing initiatives to improve clinic systems at health facilities and strengthening central-level program management. From May 2011-April 2012, Vijay worked with CHAI in Swaziland on an ambitious project to scale up antiretroviral treatment (ART) to 90% of HIV-positive individuals. He managed several initiatives including expansion of nurse-led ART provision, the use of Mobile Health technology to improve patient retention, and implementation of HIV point-of-care HIV diagnostic devices.

Vijay is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Washington in the Department of Global Health. Vijay hails from Boston, and in his free time he enjoys hiking, playing basketball, and traveling.

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Gillian Levine

Gillian LevineGillian is a PhD student in Epidemiology and a Research Coordinator with the Department of Global Health. She is interested in pediatric infectious disease and child nutrition, and the relationship between host and maternal risk factors for malnutrition and communicable disease.

Gillian works on studies of the epidemiology and risk factors for diarrhea, bacteremia, and neonatal sepsis in infants and children in Kenya, including malnutrition, HIV, and co-infections. She also works on a collaboration with the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh, investigating the association between enteric illness, enteric dysfunction and stunting, and evaluating potential interventions.

Previously she worked in India on adolescent health education, and conducted an assessment of child nutrition in Burmese refugee camps in Thailand for her thesis. Gillian has a Masters of Public Health in Population and Family Health from Columbia University and a BA from the University of Washington.

Annie Hoopes

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.

For more information, please contact us.