We invite prospective undergraduate students to submit questions to our team of Emerging Leaders to learn more about their firsthand experiences as students in our program. The students below are available to correspond with prospective students and are happy to answer questions about the program from their perspective as enrolled students.
Please note that questions about admissions or the application process should not be directed to the student leaders, but to the NYU GPH Office of Undergraduate Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a question for our Emerging Leaders?
Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Media, Culture, and Communication
Sophomore Majoring in Global Public Health/Communicative Sciences and Disorders
Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Applied Psychology
Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology
Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology
Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Nutrition and Dietetics
Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology
Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology
Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Sociology
Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Applied Psychology
Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Media, Culture, and Communication
Hi everyone! My name is Rhea Balasubramanian, and I am a Senior studying Global Public Health/Media, Culture, and Communications. I was born in California, but raised in Westborough, Massachusetts. I'm particularly interested in how sustainability and urban design informs the public health of communities all over the world. The climate crisis has been both a major contributor and stemming point for a plethora of health concerns faced by various communities globally, and is often neglected, avoided, and misinterpreted. The rapid decline of our environmental health runs much deeper than admitted by many officials, and I am passionate about researching and combatting its direct and indirect consequences on our global citizens worldwide. I am currently researching the UI/UX Design reach of the Metaverse, specifically its capabilities and hindrances towards increasing public health accessibility across the globe. In the past, I have studied the relationship between food insecurity and diverse communities, as well as the impacts of food label literacy and its relationship to infant and childcare. As an emerging leader, I am motivated by the quintessential bridge between global public health and the media to foster accessible, exciting collaboration. I believe this interdisciplinary relationship is often underutilized, but has the power to deliver measurable change in the present. In my free time I thoroughly enjoy trying new food, socializing, playing field hockey, and watching every cooking video to exist. I look forward to contributing to the NYU Global Public Health Community as an innovator in the healthcare space, and hope to enhance the public health undergraduate experience here at NYU by creating positive connections and a voice for students.
Hi everyone! My name is Eeshani. I’m a sophomore from Baltimore, Maryland, majoring in Global Public Health and Communicative Sciences and Disorders. I originally became interested in the field of public health after working as a medical assistant, mainly caring for the adult and elderly patient population. Seeing them face issues when it came to accessing basic preventive healthcare services, combined with my own experiences coming from a South Asian immigrant family, I have first hand experience with healthcare providers disregarding and dismissing the healthcare needs of family members and community members due to stigmas and creeping, unconscious racial biases. My goal is to become a public health leader that is committed to working collaboratively with BIPOC, immigrant, refugee, and elderly communities, advocating for policy changes and fostering culturally competent healthcare practices. By participating in the Global Public Health Emerging Leaders Program, I aim to acquire the knowledge and skills required to develop and implement strategies that address these specific challenges systematically. My vision is to contribute to the promotion of equitable access to preventive healthcare services across various communities, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their racial or ethnic background, can avail themselves of these essential services and lead healthier lives. At NYU, I currently serve as the co-president of the South Asian Women’s Association, and am also a research assistant at NYU BITS Lab in the Communicative Sciences and Disorders Department. I will also soon be starting as an intern under the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health (BMIRH), in an effort to gain experience and knowledge on how reproductive and maternal health services in NYC can be expanded and improved. My future goal is to be a physician working with at-risk populations and improving access to healthcare, and look forward to being a part of the GPH Emerging Leaders Program!
Hello! My name is Valentina Duron, and I am a senior majoring in Global Public Health and Applied Psychology with a minor in Anthropology. I’m from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I hope to take my understanding of human behavior, culture, and human societies and use them to take action and advocate for equitable and quality care globally. My interest in public health was sparked by my volunteer work, which included medical missions and other outreach services. I witnessed injustices firsthand, with marginalized populations and their needs going unacknowledged, and this urged me to work towards a better world where well-being and health are at the forefront. As an intern at HealthRight International’s Human Rights Clinic and a volunteer at the non-profit Overcome, I’ve become attuned to the lack of access to mental health care and the multiple perspectives that can be taken to understand it. The systematic, cultural, and educational barriers that affect health and well-being have piqued my interest in epidemiology and health policy. I grew up with very few examples of people from my country, especially women, in educational spaces and positions of power within the realm of public health. That's why I hope to advocate and support people from diverse backgrounds struggling to feel seen or heard in both the industry and my work. Through storytelling and action, I hope we can create a more empathetic and inclusive healthcare system.
Hi! My name is Ansley Fiorito and I am a senior studying Biology and Global Public Health. I was born in Texas, but I have lived in Paris and London. During my time at NYU, I have developed an interest in the aging population and the American eldercare crisis.The elderly population in America has exponentially grown. This growing population has placed a strain on existing resources and pressure on America to provide better care for its elderly. In the future, I hope to be apart of the team that recognizes the aging population through effective health policy and governmental legislation. Thus far in my public health career, I worked for the State of Maine on an initiative called MaineMOM, a program that supports pregnant people with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). I coordinated communication materials, supported listening sessions with various groups in the model, and worked alongside the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to shine a light on cultural differences in the community. I’m excited to be an Emerging Leader for 2023-2024.
Hello! My name is Alice Kang and I’m a third year studying Global Public Health-Biology, and working towards a minor in Bioethics. I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, but spent a few years living in upstate New York and Florida. I have always been interested in healthcare, and as I learned and grew through various classes, experiences, and travels, I became aware of the overwhelming multitude of barriers that prevent people from receiving the healthcare that they deserve. An area I’m particularly passionate about is infant/maternal health, and over the summer, I volunteered at Oregon’s breast milk banking center where I was able to learn lots about the benefits of breast milk and the importance of neonatal nutrition. I enjoy traveling and working with kids, and in the future, I would love to be able to make a difference in the realm of international infant and maternal mortality by addressing disparities in access to healthcare and education. Currently, I work at a local tutoring center, and for the past few years, I’ve been involved in NYU’s intersectional womxn’s health club, The Pow(h)er Collective, and the UNICEF club. I hope that through this program, I’ll strengthen my leadership and communication skills, while also gaining confidence in order to better pursue my goals.
My name is Serena Lau and I am an undergraduate senior studying Global Public Health: Nutrition and Dietetics at Steinhardt. I am a native New Yorker with a passion for health equity and addressing food insecurity. Growing up in the city exposed me to a diversity of people and cultures, heightening my awareness of factors that prevent people from acquiring adequate healthcare and necessary resources inherent to a decent quality of life. I am actively involved on campus in food redistribution projects, organizing student volunteer opportunities at food shelters, and assisting in qualitative research on food deserts in NYC. The study of public health through the lens of nutrition uniquely exposes rigid inequities in America’s food and healthcare systems. My time at NYU has furthered my understanding of healthcare across the globe. In particular, with the opportunity to study abroad in NYU Sydney came the realization that there is much research and work to be done in order to make sustainable changes for the overall improvement of American health. I hope to continue my studies on healthcare equity to become an active member of the public health field and use my spheres of influence to enable silenced demographics to be voiced in policy.
Hi friends! My name is Rachel - I am a junior studying Global Public Health and Biology. I call upstate New York home but am a firm believer that home is where you’re surrounded by the people who make you most happy. My passion for public health is rooted in the intimacy associated with health as a whole. I am dedicated to improving the accessibility and structural inefficiencies that exist within the healthcare system, in order to provide a more supportive, individualized and comforting environment. At the end of the day, as an Emerging Leader and Public Health professional, my goal is to make individuals feel empowered when it comes to their health, and be a friendly face to which they can say made them feel seen. Further, I want to bridge the gap that can exist between clinical settings and public health ideals, and diminish the barriers that prevent health from existing as the basic human right that it should be. Throughout my time at NYU, I have been a Welcome Leader for incoming first year and transfer students and an advocate for mental health through Active Minds. In my free time I love anything to do with books - reading, libraries, bookstores, you name it, and I love a good pun.
Hey, there! My name is Fatoumata Sawaneh and I am a junior studying Global Public Health and Biology on the pre-med track. I was born and raised in The Bronx but my family is from The Gambia. I've always had a passion for healthcare, initially having my mind set on becoming a pediatrician. However, as I've grown exposed to health disparities not only in the United States, but around the world, this piqued my interest in the field of global public health which is what allowed me to chose my major as Global Public Health/Biology so that I can further discover the intersectionalities between individual and population health. I am currently also a student research intern under the Institute for Excellence in Health Equity at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. During my free time, I love to cook or to explore the city with my friends. As an Emerging Leader, I hope to gain essential skills including public speaking, leadership, and collaboration which I can use to transform healthcare around the world.
Hi! My name is Cynthia, and I am currently a Junior studying Global Public Health/Sociology. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, watching movies, and spending time with my friends. I have experience working in healthcare as a certified nursing assistant. This role has given me the opportunity to connect with patients and learn about their lives and experiences. In relation to public health, I am interested in learning about how health disparities in healthcare impact different groups of people within society. I believe that it is important to understand the social factors that influence health disparities within various communities. I hope to contribute to the improvement of public health and to see it become a system that allows for equality.
My name is Christopher Wu. I am a senior studying Applied Psychology and Global Public Health with a minor in sociology. I am from California, raised in the suburbs of San Francisco. In my free time, I enjoy playing piano and listening to music. My interest in public health first emerged as I witnessed my own family’s interactions with the American healthcare system, revealing to me, on a very personal level, many of its flaws and failings, ones that countless others have struggled with. This experience coincided with a nationwide discussion over healthcare reform as I was becoming increasingly politically aware and active, leading to my first understanding of the field of public health as being one that is intertwined with the field of politics on an integral level. One of the things I love most about public health is its multifaceted, interdisciplinary nature, allowing me to integrate my other academic interests in sociology, particularly in political sociology and medical sociology, as well as in bioethics. At NYU, I have written a research paper on the intersections of poverty, health, and psychological development for OPUS, the Applied Psychology department’s undergraduate journal, as well as a paper on nurse leadership for Polygeia, a student-run think tank. Currently, I am writing a comparative analysis of healthcare policy to be submitted to the NYU Medical Dialogue Review. Eventually, I hope to be able to work on creating health policy in order to drive systemic change.
Hi! My name is Ailin Yao. I am a junior at Global Public Health and Media, Culture, and Communications. I am from Guangzhou which is a southern city in China. I am driven with a passion for multimedia content production and global public health. My experiences at Netease in Guangzhou, China, have allowed me to lead teams, conduct market research, and create engaging short-form video content tailored to various social media platforms. I hope I can have more opportunities to explore, and work in the field of public health. My choice to pursue Global Public Health because I realized how crucial it is, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-19 crisis and other widespread challenges impacting communities worldwide. These events showed me that public health plays a vital role in protecting people's well-being, and I'm eager to contribute to making a positive impact in this field. It inspired me to be a part of the effort to make things better. Moreover, I am excited to further develop my leadership, problem-solving, and communication abilities through my effort in the field of public health. I look forward to learning more about global public health throughout the program and having more GPH experiences with my peers.