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2006 SUMR Scholars

Raven R. David
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2007
Major: Health & Societies and Urban Studies


Raven has a very holistic perspective towards medicine and is interested in exploring the social aspects of it. While studying abroad in Buenos Aires, she conducted an independent research project on the epidemiology of AIDS and the relationship between the government and the non-profit organizations with regards to prevention. Raven also conducted research on the epidemiology of AIDS in Philadelphia and hopes to further her work by exploring the relationships among the different actors relevant to the city's AIDS scene. Raven worked with LDI Senior Fellow Susmita Pati, M.D., M.P.H., and Daniel H. Reirden, M.D., on a project that examined how insurance coverage among HIV-infected adolescents affects their access to care.

Raven was accepted to Columbia University’s Masters in Public Health Program.

Jasmine Davis
Hampton University, Class of 2007
Major: Sociology


Jasmine's career goal is to reduce health disparities through health services research. She would specifically like to explore the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in minority adolescent populations and eventually focus on creating innovative ways to help these adolescents make healthier decisions regarding the health problems that disproportionately affect them. Jasmine currently participates in the Career Opportunities in Research (COR) Program at Hampton. As a COR scholar, her research has focused on the health of minority incarcerated women. Her responsibilities include the development of research designs from literature searches to the conceptualization of projects that address the experiences of women in prison. Jasmine's SUMR mentor was LDI Senior Fellow David S. Mandell, Sc.D.; her project was entitled "Factors Associated with Special Education Placement Among Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder."

In 2008, Jasmine received her Masters in Urban Education Policy from Brown University.

Gadareth A. Higgs
Ramapo College of New Jersey, Class of 2008
Major: Biochemistry and Bioinformatics


Raised in the Bahamas, Gadareth became interested in studying HIV/AIDS after learning that his country had one of the highest incidences of it in the Caribbean. He would like to learn more about the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Gadareth is also interested in examining the effectiveness of mental health services and psychiatric drugs. He is a summer term alumnus of the Rand Memorial Hospital of Public Health Authority in Grand Bahama, and is currently involved with computer-related bioinformatics research at Ramapo. Gadareth worked with LDI Senior Fellow Michael B. Blank, Ph.D. on a project entitled "Differences Between HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Seriously Mentally Ill."

Gadareth received his Masters in Biomedical Informatics at UMDNJ and currently works as a SHE Business Analyst at Vopak Terminal in the Bahamas.

Final Presentation:
Differences Betweem HIV Positive and HIV Negative SMI

Uzoamaka Igweatu
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2007
Major: Health & Societies (Concentration: Health Care Markets & Finance)


In studying the disparities that exist among low-income populations, Uzy would like to focus on the origins of these populations' beliefs and attitudes toward health, particularly through examining the impact of media on the health of families and communities. She hopes to apply her interests in both communications and healthcare in a way that expands on the research that has already been done in this area. Uzy worked with RWJ Health & Society Scholar Annice E. Kim, Ph.D., on "Racial Health Disparities in News Media," a project that looks at the kinds of messages regarding health and disease that are sent by our nation's top newspapers. Uzy is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Vision, an independent student journal particularly attentive to the University of Pennsylvania's African-American community. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Health Care Law.

Uzy is a Senior Marketing Coordinator at WellPoint.

Malika E. Iton
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2008
Major: Nursing


Malika believes that the disparity in health and healthcare in minority communities could be better addressed if health care professionals had an understanding of the principles of cultural competence and the ways in which cultural variations provide barriers to effective care and patient compliance. Malika is interested in examining the rising obesity epidemic among African-American women and the failure of traditional methods to remedy it. Through the cultivation of culturally competent weight loss methods that consider socio-economic status, food availability, traditional/typical lifestyle, body image, family values, and access to other resources, she believes that successful weight loss strategies can be developed for this minority group. Malika's SUMR mentor was LDI Senior Fellow Eileen Lake, Ph.D., R.N.

FInal Presentation:
SUMR 2006: My Experience

Divya Kumaraiah
Brown University, Class of 2007
Major: Political Science


Divya plans to pursue a career in health policy. During her senior year of high school, she authored a research paper on glaucoma under the guidance of an ophthalmologist which was submitted to medical conferences across the nation. Divya would like to focus her summer research on the interplay of politics and medicine in the U.S. She worked with LDI Senior Fellow Guy David, Ph.D., on "The Relationship Between Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and Safety." She is also very interested in the containment and termination of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, specifically in developing nations.

Divya is a Policy Assistant at the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in Washington, DC.

Final Presentation:
The Relationship Between Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and Safety

Felisha F. Liu
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2009
Major: Business (Concentration: Health Care Management) Nursing/Pre-Med


Felisha's research interests are varied, including neurology, cardiovascular diseases, and healthcare management. In high school, she has conducted materials engineering research at Northeastern University, which won Siemens Westinghouse semi-finalist status. She assists on research concerning growth in babies born with congenital health defects through the School of Nursing. This summer, Felisha is working on a cost/benefit analysis of drug-eluding cardiac stents versus bare-metal stents. Felisha is a member of the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program, Joseph Wharton Scholars Program, and the Nursing Undergraduate Honors Program. Felisha's mentor was LDI Senior Fellow Peter W. Groeneveld, M.D., M.Sc., and her project was entitled "Cost/Benefit Analysis of Drug-Eluding Cardiac Stents Versus Bare-Metal Stents."

Felisha works at Accenture as a Strategy Business Analyst.

Amina D. Massey
Brown University, Class of 2008
Major: Ethic Studies and Community Health


Amina would like to focus her research on the prevalence of chronic illness in communities of color through an exploration of the social, environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to it. Through studies of diseases such as lupus, which primarily affects women of color, and the community response to the them, from both within communities of color and within a broader social context, Amina hopes to expose key insights regarding the biomedical impact of social inequality. Amina's mentor was RWJ Health & Society Scholar Carolyn C. Cannuscio, Ph.D. For her SUMR project, Amina looked at Philadelphia residents' beliefs regarding neighborhood characteristics that promote or impede health attainment as part of the Health of Philadelphia Photo-Documentation Project.

Amina was accepted to UCSF’s Sociology PhD Program.

Derek C. Mazique
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2009
Major: Biological Basis of Behavior


As a research assistant for the military and a community service volunteer in his hometown of Washington DC, Derek has become a proponent for multidisciplinary approaches to health care. More specifically through his experience at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Derek developed an interest in both the microscopic and macroscopic impact of healthcare management. His research project for the summer, "The Role of Community Integration and Mental Health Policy," with mentors Trevor R. Hadley, Ph.D., and Cynthia D. Zubritsky, Ph.D., examined the specifics of health care delivery to underprivileged and minority communities, particularly mental health care services and treatment.

Derek was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine.

Robert E. Medina
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2008
Major: Economics and Hispanic Studies


Born in Lima, Peru, Robert immigrated to the United States with his family in 1996. He first became interested in the American health care system after his family experienced numerous difficulties in obtaining care, primarily due to the language barrier. Inspired by these experiences, Robert would like to explore the disparities in access to care among people of color. In addition to racial and ethnic disparities, Robert's current research interests include the impact of acculturation on the health care access of Latino Americans and undocumented immigrants' utilization of health care services. In the future, Robert hopes to enroll in a doctoral program in business economics. During SUMR, Robert worked with LDI Senior Fellow Guy David, Ph.D., on a project entitled "Racial Disparities in Emergency Medical Services: The Case of Mississippi."

Robert was accepted to Berkley’s Hispanic Languages and Literature PhD Program.

Naveen R. Sablani
Macalester College, Class of 2007
Major: Mathematics Minor: Anthropology


Naveen spent his winter break shadowing a general surgeon in his native Jamaica where he was surprised to discover the high incidence of diabetes in the population. Naveen would like to focus his research on how African American dietary and lifestyle patterns confer greater susceptibility to diabetes. He would also like to explore ways to reduce the risk of the disease to the population through not only public education but also by the means through which health services are delivered to them. Naveen plans to pursue a career in medicine. During SUMR, he worked with LDI Senior Fellows David S. Mandell, Sc.D., and Judith A. Long, M.D., on two projects, "County Level Variation in the Age of Diagnosis of Children with ASD" and "Racial Disparities In Diabetes Control Among Veterans: A Theoretical Model."

Naveen was accepted at Georgetown University’s Masters in Physiology Program.

Jeannette (Jenny) P. Schroeder
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2008
Major: Environmental Studies and Health & Societies
Minor: Japanese


Jenny takes a holistic approach to health care. After working with North Philadelphia children whose asthma was exacerbated by environmental factors, she spent the following summer caring for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) patients at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Lung Health Center. These experiences reinforced her understanding of how environment influences human health. Jenny's mentor was RWJ Health & Society Scholar Carolyn C. Cannuscio, Ph.D. Jenny worked on the Health of Philadelphia Photo-Documentation Project, which probes Philadelphia residents' beliefs regarding neighborhood characteristics that promote or impede health attainment.

Jeanette was accepted at the University of Michigan’s Masters in Human-Computer Program.

Natalie M. Wilson
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2008
Major: Business (Concentration:
Actuarial Science Science and Health Care Management & Policy)


Natalie is interested in the application of economic analysis to the health care sector and what distinguishes it from other markets. Intrigued by the effects of insurance on both the demand and supply of medical care, she would like to focus her research on solutions for the uninsured while also exploring the correlation between race or other socioeconomic factors and access to health care services. Natalie's mentor was LDI Senior Fellow Mark V. Pauly, Ph.D. She plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Health Economics.

Natalie is working as an Actuarial Analyst at Towers Watson.

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