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Degree Programs

Alumni

2008-09

Below are selected alumni who received their certificates in Global Health Affairs during the 2008-09 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.

Angie Bengston
Angie Bengston

Degree

MA international development

What are you doing now?

I am in my first year as a PhD student in the Maternal and Child Health Department at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before starting my doctoral studies last fall, I worked in Tanzania for a year as a research analyst with the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance in Tanzania, through a fellowship program called Global Health Corps.

How did the GHA program prepare you for you current position?

GHA gave me the skills to understand some of today's most pressing and complex global health problems within the context of international development. The professors in GHA also served as incredible mentors to me and played a huge role in encouraging to pursue my interests in research and maternal health through a PhD.

Were there any projects you worked on while at GHA?

  • I organized the AIDS candlelight memorial my first year with the student global health group Sante. This event commemorates and honors people living with HIV/AIDS and those who have died from the disease.
  • I helped to organize a week-long series of events to raise awareness about the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The week included events all over campus and culminated in a talk given by Guy Lumumba, son of Congo's first president, Patrice Lumumba.
  • I spent a month in Ethiopia working on a research project for Peter Van Arsdale, field testing rapid assessment ethnographic techniques in a rural Ethiopian village.
  • Finally, I spent 6 weeks in Nigeria at a hospital working with the director of a repair center for obstetric fistula researching the epidemiology and socio-demographic characteristics associated with fistula patients at the center.

For more information about Angie's time in Tanzania, please see the blog she kept while there.

Justin Guay
Justin Guay

What are you doing now?

I work on international financial institution (IFI) reform with the Sierra Club's International Climate Program. I am focused on shifting investments away from fossil fuels toward decentralized renewable energy.

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

Having a deeper understanding of the health impacts of fossil fuel use, particularly indoor air pollution in rural areas, has given me a more nuanced understanding of energy issues and local impacts than many of my colleagues. That combined with a degree in international development has allowed me to come at these issues from a different angle which builds trust with our international partners and allows me to be more effective in my work.

What work did you complete while in the GHA program?

While in school, I worked with Randall Kuhn on a thesis entitled, "Weathering the Storm: Climate Change, Vulnerability, and Adaptation in Bangladesh." The thesis process contributed greatly to my career path by creating a professional niche while helping to refine my knowledge on a topic of emerging importance. Most importantly, by addressing the cross-cutting nature of climate impacts in relation to human health, political structures and economic development, I became better prepared for my current work.

GHA Internship

World Meteorological Institute

Colette Liddell
Colette Liddell

Degree

MA international human rights

What are you doing now?

Currently, I am working for a small international non-profit, focusing on construction and shelter in developing countries, especially those in earthquake-prone regions. We have programming in Indonesia, China and Haiti.

My role as program assistant allows me to be involved with all the different areas of the organization, and the most exciting thing I am currently working on is starting up a monitoring and evaluation team for our Haiti program.

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

GHA gave me the knowledge and skills necessary to think critically about international programming, and being able to understand and evaluate the positions of both stakeholders and beneficiaries to make informed decisions. My work in the field during my time at Korbel in Delhi had prepared me for the work I am currently doing in Haiti. Though I am not working on issues related to health at the moment, I have found that many of the skills I learned in GHA are directly transferable to other sectors in international work.

GHA internship

New Concepts Information Systems

Laraine Martin
Laraine Martin

Degree

MA international development

What are you doing now?

I am working as a logistical administrator for MSF (Doctors Without Borders) in Jonglei State, South Sudan. I handle the medical and logistical supply chains, the human resources administration, and financial management for the clinic. Next on the agenda is finding a way to balance my love for working in international health affairs with my supreme love for skiing on powder days during a lovely Colorado winter!

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

After 2 years service in the U.S. Peace Corps (Togo 2004-2006), I knew I wanted to pursue my passion for service a bit further but wasn't quite sure what sort of shape that would take. At DU, I was able to explore all of these ideas bouncing around in my head about health policy, economic development, project management, social marketing, epidemiology—and find out which things really made me feel my passion, my "calling." I know for sure that I am at my current place in life because GHA helped me arrive here. I don't regret a second of my choice, either academically or personally; moving to Colorado for grad school was one of the best things I've ever done for myself.

Jason Newcomer
Jason Newcomer

Degree

MA international development, concentration in administration/management

What drew you to the GHA program?

I came to DU looking for a graduate program not mired in Beltway think and was happy to find that in the Korbel School and the GHA program. The GHA staff has a great mix of real-world experience, academic expertise, and the teaching experience to help students rise to their potential.

What are you doing now?

I am a development officer at Urban Peak, a nonprofit organization working to provide safety, engagement, and empowerment for homeless young people in Denver and Colorado Springs. My principal job is to manage the organization's engagement with individual supporters through funding and educational opportunities. I oversee Urban Peak's donor database and gift registration cycles, develop messaging, and serve as a representative of the organization with the public.

How did GHA help prepare you for this position?

The GHA program encouraged me to look at issues holistically. At Urban Peak, I don't see the fact that we have homeless youth in our community as the problem. It is the symptom of a larger set of problems we need to address. I bring this perspective with me whenever I speak with schools, businesses or online supporters.

GHA internship

Medicina Social Comunitaria—Tijuana