Current CHPR Master's Students

Alexis Amano

My name is Alexis Amano and I graduated from Santa Clara University in 2019 with degrees in Public Health and Biology. As an undergraduate, I developed a passion for social justice. My internships largely involved work with underserved populations, which exposed me to the health challenges that many in this demographic face. These experiences inspired me to devote my career to improving health equity.

As a part of the CHPR Program, I am excited to enhance my understanding of health care delivery systems and improve my ability to serve those in need.

Enrique Cazares-Navarro

My name is Enrique Cazares-Navarro, and I graduated from Fresno State with a degree in Biology (Spring 2018).

My personal life experiences have motivated me to endeavor in the field of geriatrics and led me to work with the New York City Department for the Aging in the Research and Clinical Services Unit. There, I helped translate and develop the evidence-based health and wellness game, "Age-Tastic!", for a group of Spanish-speaking, Latino, low-income seniors in the Bronx. This experience demonstrated to me how crucial it is for physicians to practice service-learning through community health practices that develop cultural awareness and competency. Sensitivity to cultural implications and the unique needs of individuals ensures a better approach to the holistic care of the patient, especially amongst underserved, Spanish-speaking populations. I hope to continue this research in the CHPR program and to implement it in my future medical practice.

Stephanie Cho

Hey y’all! I am a recent graduate of Cornell University (’19) and received my B.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Health. In the summer of 2018, I worked as a field intern for the Jane Goodall Institute in Bwindi National Park, Uganda to identify paths of disease transmission between village livestock, humans, and the endangered Gorilla beringei beringei. In the summer of 2019, I worked at an environmental engineering firm that focuses on biological wastewater treatment and membrane filtration technology. My research and academic experiences have allowed me to explore the intersections between human, wildlife and environmental health. I look forward to advancing my knowledge and research in this multi-disciplinary field as a CHPR student! Outside the classroom, you’ll find me hiking, camping, making documentaries, or knitting!

Sara Damore

I graduated from Occidental College in 2012 with a B.A. in Biology. My primary passion during this time was marine ecology, which led me through several research projects on the impact of storm drain runoff in Santa Monica Bay. After graduation, I taught high school biology for 5 years at Phoenix Country Day School and Phillips Academy in Andover. I then worked to facilitate provider and patient education in -omics research and technology at the Center for Individualized Medicine at Mayo Clinic. In the CHPR program, I aim to combine my experiences in ecology and genomics by examining the impact of the environment on the genome. I am thrilled to join the Stanford community and look forward to learning from my peers and mentors!

Julia DiTosto

My name is Julia DiTosto and I am from Princeton, NJ. I graduated from Stanford in June 2019 with a BS in Human Biology with a focus in women’s reproductive health and was a three-year varsity athlete on the field hockey team. I am extremely interested in social issues stemming from health inequalities, particularly those pertaining to women’s health. For my senior synthesis project, I conducted an electronic survey on undergraduate contraceptive use and preference. A fun fact about me is that I have my advanced scuba certification!

Ashlyn Gary

My name is Ashlyn Gary, and I graduated from Stanford, where I majored in Human Biology, researched neurodegenerative diseases, and screened patients for social needs in the emergency department. Knocking out genes in zebrafish and investigating glial cells, I discovered a curiosity for unraveling the molecular events that drive disease pathology. Integrating translational research and community health work experiences, I've explored a wide spectrum of themes that have diversified my understanding of what it means to be human. I’m thrilled to join this year’s CHPR class where I can continue exploring how health is prioritized, experienced, and understood across diverse communities. Through this program, I hope to integrate my passions in neuropsychiatry, biotechnology, and community health to advance health care systems that are inclusive, impactful, and committed to helping diverse communities achieve better health outcomes. 

Rhana Hashemi

I received my BA in Social Welfare with Departmental Honors in 2016 from UC Berkeley. My honors thesis explored a critique of common drug-education programs and the ways in which these programs further marginalized at-risk youth through shame appeals and lack of trauma awareness. 

Since then, I have worked with the Oakland Unified School District where I have designed and implemented district-wide education, intervention, and prevention programs that reduce drug-related harm and promote health equity for at-risk youth. Building on my experiences in the community, I aim to expand my research on the role of sociocultural and environmental factors in impacting behaviors related to youth drug use and abuse. I hope to disseminate this research through the creation of trauma-informed harm-reduction programs that support well-being for at-risk youth and, ultimately, to design interventions and inform public policy that impact systemic change.

Kawena Hirayama

Aloha!  I'm so grateful to be in the CHPR Master's Program here at Stanford, pursuing another avenue to support kuʻu lāhui Hawaiʻi (my Hawaiian nation).  I hope to use my BA in Psych, an MS CHPR, and (if I'm lucky) an MD/PhD, to shape a new health system in Hawaiʻi that better serves my people.

While I'm away from home pursuing my dreams, I try my best to stay connected to my cultures while up on the continent for school (and have fun while doing it).  For me, that means hanging out with other Asian and/or Native students, enjoying Japanese and Hawaiian media, and continuing to do various forms of Polynesian dance.

Fun fact: I once almost grabbed a giant manta ray by accident when I was swimming because I thought it was a trashbag floating around.  Luckily, I noticed before it was too late!

Tiffany Jow

My name is Tiffany Jow and I graduated from UC Davis in 2018 with a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior. During undergrad, I was a clinical volunteer for the Knights Landing One Health Center, which serves the rural agricultural community of Knights Landing and uses the One Health model, which links human, animal, and environmental health, to address the health of the community. I was an undergraduate researcher for the Knights Landing Environmental Health Project focused on investigating the environmental disparities in the community by using a community centered approach. I hope to become a public health physician because I not only want to treat the biological systems of the body, but also the environmental, political, and social systems that impact health. As a CHPR student, I am excited to deepen and refine my passion for community health and interdisciplinary collaboration to promote the health of communities.

Mariko Kelly

My name is Mariko Kelly and I am a Human Biology major with a concentration in the Interaction of Food and Public Health (’19). As an undergraduate at Stanford, I had the privilege of working with different communities, including Dr. Gardner’s Food and Farm Camp, where I researched the influence of food description on children’s eating behavior. These experiences sparked my interest innovating our healthcare system by promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors which can prevent chronic diseases. I am very excited to join the CHPR program and to learn more about practices and models which emphasize prevention and wellness in order to create a more sustainable and equitable healthcare community.
A fun fact about me is that one of my favorite places in the world is in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, near a small town called Elkins!

Alexandra Kennedy

My name is Alexandra Kennedy and I graduated from University of San Francisco in December 2019 with a degree in Business Management. 

I have been volunteering in the San Mateo County jail since 2016, creating curriculum and facilitating classes for incarcerated women. My classes focus on health, making better choices (and how, exactly, to do that), and healing as it supports growth. While at USF, I realized that as much as I love all things business, I wanted to reach more incarcerated people, so I began volunteering in Hillcrest juvenile hall in Belmont. I have been working with the teenaged girls there for over a year. I am also on a subcommittee of the San Francisco Adult Probation Department, our main purpose being to advocate for longer treatment episodes and a wider variety of treatment options to be available for people with substance use disorder. 

I am thrilled to be in this program where I can study epidemiology. I am fascinated by preventable diseases and those that can be arrested. Beyond school and volunteering, you'll find me spending time with my son, planning our next family trip, and exercising.

Manali Kulkarni

My mission is to contribute to socio-culturally sustainable innovation for health and social equity. I graduated from UC San Diego in 2018 with degrees in Global Health and Molecular Biology, and minored in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. During college, I started a design for social innovation student organization, helped create a health education video game for kids, and studied abroad in India where I worked with an NGO that’s empowering adolescent girls and their communities.

Since then, I’ve pursued my passions of gender equity, human-centered technology, and participatory design by working on a digital health intervention for menopausal women. I love interdisciplinary work, and I’m excited to explore big questions with my CHPR peers like, “how can we leverage systems thinking and human-centered design within the field of community health?” 

Beyond school, you’ll find me in the Redwoods, scoping out surf spots, and punching it out at a local boxing gym.

Oksana Kutsa

I received my BS in microbiology and a minor in law and social change in 2017 from the University of Michigan. During my undergraduate career, I completed an internship with the National Institute on Drug Abuse where I examined how sexual and physical police violence toward people who inject drugs (PWID) impedes access to HIV prevention and treatment services in my native Ukraine. After graduation, I completed a fellowship with amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, and later worked at the University of Michigan on the domestic HIV and opioid epidemics. I am passionate about exploring issues in immigrant healthcare, including the high burden of chronic diseases and the lack of reproductive health services for pregnant immigrant women. Through CHPR’s unique curriculum, I hope to gain tools needed to evaluate, conduct, and implement research that drives change within underserved communities.

Linette Kwon

My name is Linette Kwon and I majored in experimental psychology at Wellesley College, class of 2019. I am interested in mental health, particularly within young adults and how we can make solutions more accessible in the community. Having come from a women’s college, I also took an interest in women’s health, and its significant impact on family/child health as well. One of my favorite courses in college was research methods. Therefore, I am really excited to join the CHPR program because it’ll allow me to merge all of my interests together to learn more about preventive health. One fun fact about me is that I keep a turtle doll with me that I’ve had since I was four years old!

Joanna Langner

My name is Joanna Langner and I graduated from Stanford in Spring, 2019 from the Human Biology Program with a concentration in cancer and infectious disease. During my undergrad I volunteered at Pacific Free Clinic as a health educator and preclinical assistant which sparked my interest in learning more about community health. I also worked in radiology for the past two years, using MRI to look at hip health in athletes who tread water. Overall, I am excited to learn more about women’s health and health disparities among underserved, diverse populations, as well as gain some hands-on experience. I hope to attend medical school next fall, and I think CHPR will be an important addition to my path into medicine. 

Fun Fact: I love listening to true crime podcasts and swam on the synchronized swimming team during undergrad.

Jessie Moore

I graduated from Brandeis University in 2018 with a BS in Biology and Biochemistry. I was a two-sport collegiate athlete, competing on both the women’s volleyball and track and field teams. With my background in athletics, I became interested in health and nutrition, particularly in young children. During college, I worked as a research intern for a clinical trial that examined the outcomes of a community-based, family-centered, intervention program to prevent obesity in pre-school aged Latino children. After graduation, I lived in Peru for several months, serving as a medical volunteer. My time in Peru furthered my interest in health and nutrition research. I am most interested in researching how the access to both healthy food and affordable exercise options can impact the health of a community.

A fun fact about myself is that I fell in love with ultimate frisbee during my time in Peru, where I would attend weekly pick-up beach games with a group of Venezuelan immigrants.

Ann Nguyen

My name is Ann Nguyen and I am a Biology major with a concentration in Neurobiology at Stanford University (Spring 2020). My personal experiences with eczema, food allergies, lactose intolerance, and diabetes in my family have driven me to become very interested in the relationship between nutrition and chronic health issues. Through my time in the CHPR Program, I am looking forward to learning more about the importance of nutrition in treating and preventing disease. I surely hope to carry that understanding into medical school and beyond. I am also involved in various Asian American student organizations on campus and would love to apply the culturally appropriate knowledge and skills I gain from CHPR to give back to the community.

A fun fact about me: There is a special place in my heart (and stomach) for exotic fruits, from durian to rambutan. If you happen to have your hands on one I have not tried, please send it my way!

Anjali Wignarajah

My name is Anjali Wignarajah and I graduated from UC Davis in 2018 with a B.S. in cognitive neuroscience and a minor in music. After being a medical scribe, volunteering at free clinics, and shadowing at hospitals, I became fascinated by the myriad of external factors affecting patient health. I’m excited to pursue a master’s in CHPR so that I can develop a stronger understanding of the socioeconomic patterns and problems affecting certain communities and eventually use this knowledge to be an effective advocate. I hope to work in health policy and dedicate my career towards improving healthcare overall in this country; the CHPR program will help ensure that I have the necessary background to do so. I’m particularly passionate about women’s health and health disparities among medically underserved populations.

Fun facts: I was involved with competitive collegiate a cappella throughout undergrad and I know how to drive a tractor!

Natalie Yu

Hello, I’m Natalie. I was born and raised in Singapore, and went to Duke for undergrad. There, I had the privilege of creating my own interdisciplinary major entitled “Cognitive Science in Innovation and Society”. Through my coursework in neuroscience, computer science, public policy and anthropology, I became interested in the application of cognitive science principles and digital technology in healthcare. In particular, I started studying healthcare innovation ecosystems in China, India, Singapore, and the US to examine the impacts of funding, regulation and entrepreneurial education on successful commercialisation of digital health. However, for all the important dynamics that influence healthcare service delivery on the systems level, it seemed that the individual was sometimes lost in all that complexity. I am keen to transition to a more patient-centric approach that is sensitive to specific barriers and facilitators in local settings through the CHPR program, so I can help design more impactful interventions for health.