2016 Leadership Awards

Leadership Development in MPH Internships:
The Second Annual "Leading From Where You Are” Award

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The Center for Health Leadership was excited to announce the second annual “Leading From Where You Are” awards at the Preceptor and Student Intern Recognition event on September 22, 2016! These awards were created specifically to recognize student efforts to impact change and serve as a leader in their summer internships, in order to further the goals and/or effectiveness of their organization, project, or community.

Definition of "Leading From Where You Are"
The Center for Health Leadership (CHL) defines a leader as someone who motivates, empowers, and inspires a group of people to work toward and achieve a common goal or vision. The CHL has further used a theme of “leading from where you are” to allow students to engage with leadership throughout their career, independent of their positional authority, to affect change, and to contribute to the goals of an organization, project, or community (Lachance & Oxendine, AJPH 2015). Read more about our framework and leadership competencies here, and learn just what we mean by "leading from where you are."

Congratulations to our amazing awardees! 

Health and Social Behavior







Golda Hernandez
Internship site: Homeless Prenatal Program, San Francisco

"Golda put on a training of great magnitude that required impeccable project management, strategic thinking, and ‘on the fly’ problem solving skills. She led the training with courage, incredible cultural humility, and most importantly a high level of professional integrity given the sensitivity of the subject matter. Golda’s ability to face such a high volume of analysis was impressive, but even more impressive was her ability to understand how this effort fits into and supports a larger strategy. Her ability to understand and learn the formal and informal decision-making structures was evident in that she a put a lot of care and attention into the presentation of the results to the executive team and staff."


Health Policy and Management








Chantal Griffin
Internship Site:
California Primary Care Association

"Chantal brilliantly blended her health policy and social welfare coursework and professional experiences to add immense expertise to our association’s behavioral health work. Early in her internship, Chantal expressed a strong interest in designing a project to better understand and improve LGBTQ patience experience in health centers. She also created new materials, including a county by county analysis of behavioral health provider licensees. These materials have been shared with the Governor’s office and members of the legislature. Chantal completed in-depth research on MHSA (Mental Health Services Act) and county utilization of federal MHSA funds. Her research, which included phone interviews with half of California’s 58 counties, is already being used by the association to develop our behavioral health policy and funding strategy. Chantal truly worked with little supervision and like a seasoned member of the staff team."


Public Health Nutrition






Mikaela Burns
Internship Site:
Oakland Unified School District, Oakland

"Mikaela continued to take assignments above and beyond her scope of work and during her time at OUSD she became deeply invested in Nutrition Services and an integral part of the team. While I was on vacation she worked diligently on a major menu project - problem solving and making appropriate decisions without my input (and did a job that well exceeded expectations at a level of production comparable to any of our senior staff)."


Maternal and Child Health








Lauren Hunter
Internship Site:
ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health ), San Francisco

"Lauren’s efforts changed what we know about the activities of local health departments and will affect future stages of our work. Without her leadership skills, it is likely that the study of local health departments would have not been completed and our understanding of their impact would be more limited. We will continue to present Lauren’s results in our presentations and papers. Her contributions will be felt for a long time."


Epidemiology / Bio Statistics







Alexis Reeves
Internship site:
UCSF, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, San Francisco

"Alexis' independent performance in carrying out analysis was so impressive that the biostatistician focused on other key projects of our Center. Alexis surprised the research team with findings from a mediation analysis she carried out independently, pursuing an answer to an important question that confronted the team. Her initiative demonstrated her commitment to the shared goals of the project team to learn all that is possible from the valuable data collected. Her commitment to the team, creative thinking and careful application of skills to a complex problem are the building blocks of outstanding leadership."


Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology







Megan McIntosh
Internship Site:
Forum for Collaborative HIV Research, Washington, D.C.

"Megan immediately began work as the first author of a review article on Cytomegalovirus (CMV) drug development and regulatory issues. Less than four weeks after beginning her internship, Megan had completed the article which was submitted to and published by the Journal of Virus Eradication. She fully committed to completing the paper on such a short deadline that she spent her first evenings and weekends in DC working on the project. Megan is the rare type of person who is able to quickly step into a new area of research or public health and confidently take leadership of a project or even a small part of a project."


Environmental Health Sciences

Michael Lucia
Internship site:
Center for Environmental Health, Oakland

"Michael took total charge of the project given for beta testing by the University of Colorado. He worked many additional hours teaching himself about air monitoring hardware and software. One special accomplishment was that Michael upgraded the wireless capability of the devices, markedly increasing their utility for our community partner. The use of these monitors can keep polluters honest about the extent of what they are releasing, and in light of the Aliso Canyon methane leak have the potential to be an early alert system for hazardous and explosive gas leaks."


Selection Criteria

Nominations were evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Affects change to contribute to the goals of an organization, project, or community
  • Works beyond assigned responsibilities
  • Pushes self outside comfort zone
  • Demonstrates independence from positional authority
  • Demonstrates how this speaks to a shared goal or vision with others in the organization, project team, or community

Questions? Please email: sph_chl [at] berkeley.edu