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Degree Programs

Alumni

2007-08

Below are selected alumni who received their certificates in Global Health Affairs during the 2007-08 school year.

Click on their names to learn more about what they are doing now and how the GHA program helped them get to where they are today.

Katrina Berg
Katrina Berg

Degree

MA international development

What are you doing now?

I have completed all of my coursework for my PhD at Johns Hopkins (in public health) in the Health Behavior and Society Department, but have taken a 12-month leave of absence for a phenomenal field experience. I currently work for the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) as a research coordinator in Uganda. We are working on a study to assess the feasibility of introducing rapid diagnostic tests for malaria into the private sector.

That's a mouthful for sure.

Basically, there are two research projects currently underway in Uganda with the single objective of reducing resistance to ACTs (anti-malarials). One project focuses of drug adherence, and the project I am working on aims to increase diagnostics so that people know whether or not they have malaria before taking ACTs, which are more expensive, and so they can get the proper treatment if they do not have malaria, and are encouraged to finish their anti-malarial doses with an accurate diagnosis. More importantly, can RDTs be properly implemented in the private sector as 60 percent of the population relies on drug shops versus public health centers?

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

This is hard to outline in a few lines. I think the staff diversity is a key part of the department. I had professors who made sure I could read and understand PH data, tear apart indicators and make solid analytical decisions, professors who allowed us, as a department, to be creative with our needs and create student groups that best facilitated our needs/interests, and professors who could help us integrate into the professional world through current experiences.

One thing that stands out in my mind looking back at my time at DU is how much energy and support was provided to GHA students to build their educational experience. We were given a lot of freedom to take our student group to any direction that we felt was valuable.

For me personally, GHA challenged me academically, pushing me to produce work that was thoroughly researched, statistically validated, well-written, and personally invested. Through GHA (Randall specifically), I found the perfect summer internship that shaped and defined my work post-DU. I was able to apply the skills I developed in my first year, and came back with a clear understanding of my role in the greater field of international studies (which can be overwhelming).

GHA staff looks at every student as a single entity, and helped me identify and build my personal strengths. I entered DU knowing that I wanted a career in International Development with a vague understanding of what that meant. I left DU with a much clearer view of where I fit in the world of global health, very specific carer goals, an amazing network of colleagues and friends, and the confidence to reach my personal goals. I sincerely look back on my time at GHA as one of the most important and valuable educational/transitional periods of my professional life.

GHA internship

International medical mission

Ken Bonneville
Ken Bonneville

What are you doing now?

I am an associate procurement officer for Population Services International (PSI).

My primary responsibilities are procurement and logistics for PSI's health commodities supply chain.

My typical day includes:

  • negotiating and preparing contracts
  • researching health commodities for the field
  • advising on donor policies/guidelines
  • projecting lead times to assist with our overseas forecasting.

I also require a well-rounded knowledge of technical areas, budgets, contracting, donor guidelines and international best practices.

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

I think many of the data/research heavy courses (Practical Applications in Global Health and Health Data for Decision Making) really prepared me for getting a quick and in-depth grasp on complex subjects. I still have to use statistics and data analysis on a frequent basis to understand quality assurance test results.

Amanda Finger
Amanda Finger

Degree

MA international human rights

What are you doing now?

In 2010, I co-founded a nonprofit organization to continue my work in anti-human trafficking efforts. At the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking, I serve as the executive director, overseeing three staff members and 10 subcontractors. Our model is to bridge academic tools and resources with on-the-ground information and trends to better understand the scope of human trafficking in our communities and ways to effectively respond.

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

With a solid understanding of key global health issues, I've been able to:

  • Incorporate my interests in global health with my anti-trafficking work through training professionals and community members, including helping to host a Health Care & Human Trafficking Train-the-Trainer Institute in October 2009.
  • Co-teach a women's health issues course at Metropolitan State College of Denver as an adjunct faculty member, where my contribution was to lecture weekly on global health issues, particularly those that impact women.

GHA internship

Research in South Africa

Jennifer Foltz
Jennifer Foltz

Degree

MA international development

What are you up to now?

After graduation, I worked as a global health fellow in the Africa Bureau at USAID in [Washington] D.C., for a year. In 2008, I became a foreign service officer (FSO) with the U.S. State Department. My first tour was in Rwanda (2009-2011), where I served as a political officer and reported on the political situation in Rwanda, human rights, trafficking in persons, religious freedom and child labor. In October 2011, I started my second tour as a consular officer in the Philippines.

How did GHA prepare you for your current position?

The GHA program helped improve my research and writing skills—something I use on a regular basis as a political officer. Additionally, the GHA program enhanced my ability to make connections between health, development, and politics, which has made me a more well-rounded reporting officer.

GHA internship

USAID Africa Bureau: Office of Sustainable Development Health Team

Jennifer's internship presentation

Cory McCullough
Cory McCullough

Degree

MA international development

What are you doing now?

I currently work in the Caribbean Regional Office based in Trinidad and Tobago for Population Services International (PSI) as its procurement officer.

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

It gave me a holistic understanding of the development process. PSI works to develop markets to improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable around the world and DU's education focused on the theories behind this practice.

GHA internship

Adventures in Rwanda

Cissy Segujja
Cissy Segujja

What are you doing now?

I work in the market research industry, and I work as a senior project manager for a company that provides sample solutions to the industry, where I manage market and social research projects—including cross-sectional and longitudinal studies within the full service vertical of the organization.

I perform project management roles, including determining project requirements, analysis of research needs, delivery schedules, timelines and budgets, and I consult on research tools, assemble and coordinate project resources, and act as a liaison between the client and the project teams to uphold project success.

What special projects or passions did you work on while at Korbel?

While at Korbel, I did a research project on HIV clinical trials, where I explored questions pertaining to cultural constructs and clinical trial participation. This project was a springboard for my aspirations to enroll in a PhD program in statistics this fall, when I will concentrate my research in the area of drug safety.

How did GHA improve your work?

I enjoy research and I want to make significant research achievements in the global health field. Global health as a field is very broad, and the GHA program gave me an opportunity to explore different areas within the field and then narrow down to one area (e.g., drug safety).

Janna Smith
Janna Smith

Degree

MA international studies

What are you doing now?

I currently work for American International Health Alliance (a PEPFAR funded nonprofit) as a senior program associate. I manage country programs in Cote D'Ivoire, Botswana and South Africa. Most of my programs fall under PEPFAR's "Human Resources for Health" indicator, so I work mostly with medical schools to help train and deploy new health care workers into rural areas where they are needed the most. I am lucky in that I get to spend a lot of time in the field visiting my programs, and this is the part of the job that I most enjoy!

How did GHA prepare you for your current position?

I think I'm at an advantage having had a very broad training in global health issues from the GHA program. I could easily segue into something non-HIV/AIDS related in the future. Also, this may seem obvious, but I had no health background whatsoever before entering DU, so I would not have gotten this job without the degree and especially not without the GHA certificate.

GHA internship

During my time at Korbel I did a two-month (summer) research project in Trinidad and Tobago on HIV/AIDS prevention programs, which was sponsored by the GHA program. This was an awesome addition to my resume, and a lot of my job interview for the job I currently have focused on this project. It was nice to have something tangible to talk about, and the fact that I did it totally independently I think was an attractive point to my current employer. Much of the work I do now is totally independent and self-motivated, so it was a good talking point.

Trish van de Velde
Trish van de Velde

Degree

MA global finance, trade and economic integration

What are you doing now?

I have worked at The World Bank since graduation, first in financial and private sector development and now in agriculture and rural development. I am currently working on agribusiness indicators, which I am enjoying immensely, as I get to hunt down and analyze fun data for comparison (like fertilizer use, and tractor imports and loans to agribusiness).

How did GHA prepare you for your current position?

GHA helped me understand and apply analytical practices, as well as giving me a solid base in quantitative methods. The practical classes were hugely beneficial to my first months at the Bank. A lot of my colleagues were shocked that I had even heard of a logframe (and the subtle differences between outcomes and outputs!) before working at the Bank.

GHA internship

Mumbai: The City Initiative for Newborn Health and Putting Health on the Urban Agenda

Dan VerSchneider
Dan VerSchneider

Degree

MA international development

What are you doing now?

I am a population/health/nutrition officer with USAID/Zambia.

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

GHA provided me with a solid foundation in policy, knowledge of technical areas, and practical skills. While the certificate is more general than a MPH, it can provide a student with the diverse skill set needed for project management with donors and implementing organizations.

In order to be successful in this position, there seem to be three areas that I need to be well versed in: development policy, administration and technical areas. For each area, there were certain classes in the GHA certificate program that helped to prepare me for my current position. These were:

  • development policy
    1. international organizations and actors
    2. health and development
  • administration
    1. project management
    2. data analysis for development
    3. practical applications in global health
  • technical areas
    1. HIV/AIDS in international affairs

Words of advice for current and future students

It seems that personal connections and general competence in management matters are more important than specific expertise in a technical area. The technical area can be learned relatively easily in comparison. So, it's very important for students to get the project management skills first, in my opinion.

GHA internship

U.S. Department of State