Meet the 2011 Fellows
Lauren Baehner, Environmental Health Sciences
I hope to find the confidence and personal development to be the change that I want to see in the world.
Originally from Kansas, I spent the last two years working in a stem cell lab at UCSF. While an undergraduate, I spent time volunteering on the Navajo Reservation. This exposed me to what it actually means to be affected by environmental justice issues, and how it impacts communities and families. These two experiences lead me to Berkeley to approach environmental justice issues from a public health perspective. I'm interested in how industrial activities affect indigenous communities in the United States and throughout the world, particularly with regards to water rights. The Leadership Fellows Program interested me because working with a small lab group and leading a small group of students to the Navajo Reservation demonstrated how crucial good leadership skills are in a work environment. I would like to continue practicing and developing these skills.
Lisa Chen, MPH in Epidemiology/Biostatistics and Masters of City & Regional Planning
I am excited to collaborate with and learn from people across public health disciplines in addition to honing my career and leadership skills.
I study urban planning and public health because I am passionate about helping communities become supportive of health, environmental quality, and social equity. I earned my undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley in Architecture, during which time I worked for organizations devoted to closing the academic achievement gap. Afterward, I continued to focus on education while developing programs about nutrition and ecology at farms in Northern California, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. I saw these interests -- food systems, urban environments, and education -- coalesce in my role as a school garden coordinator for Urban Sprouts in San Francisco, where I now volunteer as a board member.
Since returning to school, I have deepened my experience in participatory urban planning, working on projects in the Bay Area and beyond. Currently, I am working with a team to develop slum upgrade strategies for settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. I spent part of the summer collaborating with local NGOs in Nairobi, during which we held community meetings and developed plans for housing, infrastructure, and services.
I am excited to join the school of public health, where I am gaining a variety of skills to analyze the impacts of urban planning policies. When not immersed in schoolwork, I like to knit/craft, cook, ride my bike, sing karaoke, and hike in beautiful places.
Erika Granados, MPH in Health and Social Behavior, Specialty in Multicultural Health
I want to participate in the Fellows Program because I think that this program will help me to develop ways to work more effectively with my peers and in larger context, with communities, by enhancing and developing my abilities as a leader who can help guide others toward a common goal.
I would describe myself first and foremost as someone who values the relationships that I establish with people both in my personal and professional life. I find that each experience has shaped the person that I am as well as the person that I hope to become. My family is most important to me and has provided me with support and understanding throughout my various experiences. I would describe myself as a lifetime learner, perhaps because schooling has been such a large part of my life up to this point, but also because I think I have an endless curiosity for how things work and a constant desire for gaining an understanding of new ideas. I think I am initially a bit more reserved when forming new relationships and usually open up more once I begin to develop more trust and understanding with new people. I also consider myself to be open-minded and willing to examine things from various perspectives. On a professional level, I am very dedicated and motivated by issues of social injustice and my desire to be able to actively change these injustices. I also consider myself to be an optimist, although sometimes my pessimistic side tries to take over, but nonetheless, I still think that I ultimately believe in the positive outcomes of a given situation. On a final note, I feel very excited to be collaborating with great people on my personal leadership development and that of the whole group.
Santhi Hariprasad, MPH Health Policy & Management
I want to participate in the Fellows Program to refine my career interests and work on my ability to transform ideas and research into action.
I grew up in a small town in upstate New York called Hornell, and then went to Cornell, where I majored in Economics and Psychology. During college, I got my first exposure to public health, and was inspired when I learned how effective prevention programs could be. After graduating, I did Health Economics research on housing vouchers and Medicare Part D and went to India to work on a rural maternal and child health project. Now, I am working toward a career in health care administration. I have really enjoyed the MPH program so far. In my spare time, I like to read, watch movies, dance, and try new restaurants. Some of my favorite TV shows are The West Wing, Scrubs, Weeds, and The Wire. I’m excited to meet you all and learn with you over the next 18 months!
Matthew Ingram, Concurrent MPH in Health and Social Behavior and MPH in Public Policy
I am looking forward to learning from one another and sharing knowledge and information among a cohort of students from diverse professional and personal backgrounds.
My main academic interest is in the intersection of public health and climate change, although much of my work experience is in health policy and research. My goals at Berkeley include building a stronger research skill set, developing professional tools, and discovering new ideas and approaches.
Lauren Lessard, MPH in Maternal and Child Health, Global Health Specialty
I look forward to working with students from a variety of disciplines within public health while gaining a better understanding of my strengths so I can effectively contribute to a team of public health leaders,
I am primarily interested in studying methods to increase access to family planning in developing countries. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Suriname, I helped the Pan-American Health Organization reach out to indigenous communities in order to get feedback for a national family health policy. I initially became interested in MCH while working for Planned Parenthood Mar Monteas a development coordinator. Prior to Planned Parenthood, I worked for Congressman Sam Farr as a Congressional Aide, specializing in issues involving women’s health, military families and veteran’s benefits. I graduated in 2005 from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in Politics. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking with friends, snowboarding and traveling. I also travel between LA and Berkeley quite frequently as my husband, Eli, is in his first year of medical school at USC.
Markell Lewis, MPH in Public Health Nutrition
Effective leadership is essential for change, and I want to develop my leadership abilities to make a positive impact in the field of Public Health Nutrition.
I am a high energy, enthusiastic person, and really excited to be a part of this diverse group of students committed to developing their leadership potential. Whether at work or at school, I enjoy working with people committed to my development, and I in turn enjoy working with those around me to improve their abilities. I was a pastry chef for 4 years before coming into this program, but I studied product design at Stanford’s School of Engineering as an undergraduate. I have a wide variety of interests, including languages, traveling and running (half marathons) especially. I am looking forward to getting to know all of you!
Elise Mariner, Dual-degree MBA and MPH in Health Policy Management
I want to participate in the Fellows Program to further improve my leadership capabilities, build stronger connections with the School of Public Health, and take advantage of the opportunity to learn from a very diverse group of peers.
I am originally from Colorado but have bounced around the East and West Coasts since my teens, starting with boarding school in Connecticut, completing my undergraduate at Columbia University in New York, and finally working in Southern California for three years prior to Berkeley. Before returning to school, I was working at Abbott Vascular designing and building medical devices for use in cardiac interventional procedures. I worked first as a manufacturing engineer, and then as a design engineer where I became very interested in the hospital setting and the (broken) healthcare system as a whole. I returned to school with the hopes of transitioning from the medical device industry into the provider side of healthcare, with a focus on cost reductions and quality and efficiency improvements in hospitals and health systems. When I’m not struggling through Accounting and Finance homework, I enjoy all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and mountain biking, and I also love to play and coach lacrosse.
Doug Penner, MPH in Health Policy and Management
I want to participate in the Fellows Program to enhance my leadership skills, expand my network, and learn from other participants in the program.
Sarah Sattelmeyer, Concurrent Masters in Public Policy (MPP) and MPH in Health Policy & Management
I look forward to participating in the Fellows Program and meeting and working with a new peer group.
I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia and lived and worked in Washington, DC before moving to Berkeley for graduate school. My academic interests include health care program and system design and access to care issues. When I am not at school you will find me watching college football, laughing, doing crossword puzzles, baking, and/or watching reality television (especially when I think no one is looking).
Stephanie Stramotas, MPH in Epidemiology/Biostatistics
In this program, I hope to build lasting relationships with my peers and develop my leadership skills under the guidance of faculty of the CHL.
I recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology, with an emphasis in Neurobiology. I am working in my second term as President of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), UC Berkeley Pre-Medical Chapter. I am active in public health reform, co-sponsoring two health reform forums this semester and lobbying California Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. My career goal is to become a primary care physician, reforming US quality of care through delivery reform. Outside of my studies, I am a passionate performer and a classically trained singer. I also love playing soccer and watching Formula One racing.
Chandrika Zager, MPH in Maternal and Child Health
I am excited about participating in the CHL Leadership Fellows program because I know it will challenge me in many ways and give the practical skills I need to affect positive change in the field of Public Health while giving me the opportunity to be mentored by Public Health faculty and professionals in the community.
I am the mother of a five-year-old girl who just started Kindergarten this year. Being “mommy” is definitely the most challenging and rewarding part of my life. When not dashing between school, swim lessons, dances lessons and play dates, we enjoy swimming together, Dr. Seuss books and lots of coloring. I don’t get much free time, but when I do, I love going salsa dancing. I have spent time in various countries such as Ethiopia, Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. I hope to spend more time in the future in the Dominican Republic so that my daughter can learn more about her culture and her history. I have a B.A. in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz and graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work in 2003. Prior to beginning the MPH program here at Berkeley, I worked for 6 years as a mental health therapist in both clinic and school settings. I was drawn to the Maternal and Child Health program because of my work with adolescent girls around reproductive health issues and my work addressing the mental and physical health needs of Latino children and families. In my future work I would like to go into development, evaluation and management of maternal and child health programs.