“My route to public health was circuitous. I had planned to go to law school, but I'd always been fascinated by languages and travel, so I decided to go into the Peace Corps.
My experience serving as an English teacher in Bulgaria led me to get a Master’s degree in international political economy. I’ve since worked in Burkina Faso and in the Democratic Republic of Congo on different emergency response and food security programs, and one of the common themes throughout all of my experiences was the critical importance of health. People do not fully experience the benefits of development if they do not have good health.
After all the work I’ve done, I’ve found my passion lies with women’s issues, and specifically working on issues that impact women in low-resource settings. I’m committed to respecting and responding to the needs and concerns of women around the world, and it’s my hope that regardless of context, they can lead happy, healthy, productive lives.
My dissertation will be on infectious diseases and reproductive health outcomes. I plan to work in Tanzania, where I’ll do research on the risk factors and consequences of infertility. I plan to work with local service providers, and get a sense of what kinds of issues women having infertility are facing. I’m hoping I can contribute to a greater understanding about what could be causing higher rates of infertility, using the tools that the field of epidemiology provides.”