Meet Our Emerging Leaders

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 gph.undergrad@nyu.edu.

Do you have a question for our Emerging Leaders?

Emerging Leaders

Ethan Bakal

Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology

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Diya Cherian

Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology

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Angela Chou

Sophomore Majoring in Global Public Health/Media, Culture, and Communication

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Djuly Fleurant

Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Sociology

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Amritra Hoq

Sophomore Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology

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Yingrong (Susan) Huang

Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Sociology

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Ericka Kamanou-Tenta

Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Anthropology

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Gurket Kaur

Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Applied Psychology

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Ashley Mui

Sophomore Majoring in Global Public Health/Nursing

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Lisa Pardee

Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology

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Fatima Rimel

Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Media, Culture, and Communication

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Niouma Semega

Junior Majoring in Global Public Health/Sociology

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Trisha Senthilkumar

Sophomore Majoring in Global Public Health/Biology

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Pia Villavicencio

Senior Majoring in Global Public Health/Applied Psychology

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Ethan Bakal

Hi there! My name is Ethan Bakal, and I am a senior studying Global Public Health and Biology. I am originally from the suburbs of Atlanta-- but I have also lived in Japan and Scotland before ending up here at NYU, and it was while living abroad that my interest in public health first started. Interacting with the different healthcare systems made me realize that the American system is in serious need of change. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to public health, but being immersed in different cultures and understanding the different ways that societies approach healthcare has convinced me that there is so much we can do better. Access to care has been at the top of my mind since living abroad, and I am particularly interested in the role that public health leaders have in empowering marginalized communities to be the stewards of their own health. To that end, I have been involved in research at the Stanford Center for Asian Health Research and Education, and I also participated in an internship at a nonprofit dedicated to increasing COVID-19 vaccine uptake in underserved communities during my junior year. I am unsure of where the future takes me, but I would love to stay active in research and giving back to the community. In my free time, I love trying new foods, especially spicy dishes! I live in Manhattan, but you can find me doing a food crawl in Queens most weekends. I hope that I can contribute to building a strong sense community for both this year’s Emerging Leaders cohort, as well as for the diverse majors that make up the undergraduate GPH student body.


 

Diya Cherian

Hi, I’m Diya! I’m a junior studying Global Public Health and Biology; I was born in Connecticut but consider my hometown to be Yardley, Pennsylvania. During fall of my freshman year I was given the incredible opportunity to work within the Infection Control, Healthcare, and Environmental Epidemiology team within the Communicable Disease Service at the New Jersey Department of Health. I soon found myself immersed in case report forms for Candida auris, risk assessment guidance for COVID-19, and toolkits for Legionnaires’ Disease. Being part of the epidemiological response in a hands-on way forever changed the trajectory of my career, and I’m excited to learn more about infectious disease especially in a global context because the next pathogen truly is only a plane ride away. At NYU, I’m the president of the Dean’s Service Honor Corps and am always looking for new ways to give back to the community and connect undergraduates with organizations in need. In my free time I love to dance, bake, try out new cafes, and spend quality time curled up with a good book — preferably with my golden retriever or tabby kitten by my side. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to connect with mentors and other GPH students across disciplines to exchange ideas and drive the field of public health forward.


 

Angela Chou

Hello everyone! I am Angela Chou, and I am a sophomore studying Global Public Health and Media, Culture, and Communications. I am from Columbia, Maryland! My interest in public health branches from my great uncle who passed from Alzheimer's disease. After researching the health issues he faced, I discovered that countless underserved communities lacked access to adequate care and treatment, and I was motivated to change the system. My experiences treating patients at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, providing resources to 100+ Honduran families, and teaching English to Ukrainian students have all reinstated my passion for addressing public health issues. At NYU, I am the President of the Class Activities Board (CAB25), where I host at-large events for over 6,000 students, including a scavenger hunt, game show, and outdoor yoga event. I also serve on the President's Council of the Student Government Assembly (SGA) where I create legislation to advocate for the student's needs. I helped create social media posts to clarify NYU mask mandates, a Letter of Support to provide more dining spaces for students with eating disorders, and an Iranian vigil in honor of the recent passing of Mahsa Amini. Outside of school, I am a co-founder of PierA, a non-profit aimed at raising awareness about substance abuse and mental health. In my free time, I enjoy painting, cooking, and exploring the city with friends! I am so excited to be serving as an Emerging Leader and a representative for GPH/MCC students. I hope to enrich the undergraduate GPH experience by highlighting student voices and striving to improve the lives of others.


 

Djuly Fleurant

Hi! My name is Djuly Fleurant. I am a junior at CAS, studying global public health with a concentration in sociology. I was born in Haiti, and I currently live in Connecticut. I love to read, walk around the city, particularly to the pier, and explore my surroundings. I especially love to try new bakeries (only to order the same things, simply at different locations). Regarding public health, I have always been fascinated with the idea of indirectly impacting someone’s life and helping them in the smallest way possible. I remember being in middle school and volunteering at a nursing home. The staff was not treating the patients how I thought they should have been treated, meaning providing the patients with proper care while actually caring for that individual, as opposed to just doing the bare minimum. After volunteering, I went home and researched the roles within a hospital and how I could make a change to the system where we genuinely care about what we are doing while providing top-tier care to our patients. My goal since middle school has been to become the CEO of a hospital in order to implement changes and influence the staff while still making an impact on the patient’s life. This correlates with my goals as an emerging leader and GPH student, which is to develop further and strengthen my soft skills, such as communication, leadership, and critical thinking. All the important skills I will need not only in this program but in the real world and in my future role as CEO of a hospital. I am excited to compare my growth at the end of the program to see how much I have improved!


 

Amritra Hoq

Hello! My name is Amitra Hoq and I was born and raised in Connecticut and now currently reside in Virginia. I am a second year student studying Global Public Health/Biology co-major. Coming from a multitude of identifiers, daughter of immigrant parents, Muslim-American, raised in both urban and rural settings to name a few, I have seen first hand the discrimination people face in healthcare not only within America but across the world, which drew me into wanting to join the public health sector. I believe that public health is a multifaceted faceted field, and is necessary to promote health and health equity for everyone. At NYU I am involved with many of our Student Government Assemblies, especially the Conference Funding Committee and Health and Wellness, as well as an editor for the Medical Dialogue Reviewer, a member of our public health think tank Polygeia, and a research assistant at the AIRE(Advances in Respiratory Equity) lab at the School of Global Public Health. I am also a research intern at NYU Langone. My ultimate aspiration would be to work on public health policy on an international scale, combining my interests of healthcare and international relations!


 

Yingrong (Susan) Huang

Hey everyone! My name is Susan Huang. I am a junior majoring in GPH/Sociology with a minor in law and society. I was born and raised in Guangzhou, China—a beautiful southern city with blossoming flowers all year long. I attended high school in the U.S. in Ohio and started my journey to explore the cultural similarities and differences between people across the world in health management and started a health and wellness club. Stemming from the discussions and activities in the club, I realized health is a cross-cultural notion valued by individuals with various backgrounds and cultural practices. I became passionate about exploring ways to provide people with consistent health management on a daily basis. At NYU, I was the co-president of the community and career development at the Chinese Students and Scholars Organization. We held a Socratic seminar on the topic of mental health and career development in the last academic year. Outside of NYU, I worked at a research foundation focusing on promoting the formulation and implementation of child development policies in China during the summer. My project explores effective measures to prevent high-risk pregnancies, reduce birth defects rate and improve maternal and newborn health through interventions during the period from pregnancy to 6 months postpartum in Bijie, China. As one of the members of GPH-ELP, I hope to create an open and innovative environment for the GPH community.


 

Ericka Kamanou-Tenta

My name is Ericka Kamanou-Tenta and I am a senior at CAS studying Global Public Health with a concentration in Anthropology and a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. As a U.S-born girl who was raised in a French-speaking Cameroonian household, I've had the opportunity to perceive the world from different cultural perspectives. My international background has pushed me to practice empathy wherever I am. Moreover, coming from an underdeveloped country, I hope to help African countries decolonize their public health systems and find solutions to global health challenges, through entrepreneurship. Driven by faith, my mission in life is to use my experiences and knowledge to empower others, and inspire others to do some. In my free time, I enjoy eating new foods, writing personal stories and practicing meditation.


 

Gurket Kaur

Hi everyone! My name is Gurket Kaur and I'm a junior from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, majoring in Global Public Health and Applied Psychology! My interest in public health started in high school, when I personally struggled with mental health and academics, an issue that is seldom talked about. While learning from and exemplifying tenacity with my own difficulties, I understood that the stigma surrounding mental health caused a public issue amongst students and adolescents that needed to be addressed. By my sophomore year of high school, I began an independent research initiative that worked to observe ways that could reduce students' struggles in relation to their mental health and academics. Getting the opportunity to work with and listen to the participants' endeavors, my eyes were opened to the field of public health long before I recognized it. It wasn't until my first semester at NYU, when the year was overshadowed by our generation's biggest public health crisis of Covid-19, that the field was more obvious to me. Taking classes like Health and Society in a Global Context, and Epidemiology for Global Health, however, I knew I wanted to work in global public health with a concentration in mental health and Psychology. Throughout my time at NYU, I have been involved with the SAHARA (South Asian Health and Research) group and the E.P.I.C. (Exploring People in Context) lab. Through this program, I hope to share my past stories and experiences to relate with and learn from other students of the GPH/AppliedPsychology community!


 

Ashley Mui

Hello! My name is Ashley Mui, and I am a sophomore studying GPH/Nursing with a minor in Bioethics. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. From a young age, I felt an innate attraction to the healthcare field, and chose to pursue my interests through medicine. 
After immersing myself in a multitude of educational medicinal programs, hospital internships, and volunteer work, I discovered the intimate relationship between medicine and public health. Shortly after this realization, I delved into my first public health passion project: period poverty alleviation. During this project, I assisted a variety of non-profit organizations in menstrual product provision as well as media advocacy. Education for women in rural or developing communities is a major root cause for period poverty, and thus, I've since expanded my public health interests to educating low-income communities as well as policymaking. Some actions I've taken recently to advance these interests include facilitating a literacy program for low-income students at Stanford University as well as taking part in NYU PDU, a debate space for students around the US to both learn and discuss some of the world's most pressing social and political issues. I look forward to being part of the future generation of healthcare innovators at NYU and committing myself to the betterment of public health in the world!


 

Lisa Pardee

Hi! My name is Lisa Pardee, and I am a senior majoring in Global Public Health and Biology. I was born in New York and raised in Tampa, Florida. My interest in public health is attributed to my passion for providing access to care and advocating for underserved populations, not only in the U.S., but on a global scale. As someone with family members in Nicaragua, some of which have immigrated to the United States, I am aware of the many inequities immigrant populations face and desire to gain valuable skills throughout my time in the GPH program that will better equip me to evoke change and advocacy for this population. My specific field of interest is the intersection between epidemiology and population-based research as one of my goals is to promote better representation for immigrant populations in scientific research. Currently, I work as a Research Assistant with the Empower Lab, a team-based clinical research and advocacy lab studying the intersection between health and sexual and gender-based violence, on the Trauma-Informed Care, Empower Clinic, and Asylum Team. I also work as a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Team Lead with BroadStreet overseeing a team of data entry interns. These experiences are incredibly valuable for informing my future career in epidemiology and public health, and I am excited to see how I can take the knowledge and skills I have acquired from these experiences and apply them in the GPH community. I also look forward to learning from my peers and strengthening relationships with fellow GPH community members as we develop initiatives to aid communities and reform the public health system.


 

Fatima Rimel

Hi! My name is Fatima Rimel and I am a Junior studying Global Public Health/Media Culture Communication and minoring in Data Science. I am an international student from Pakistan and I was born and raised in Islamabad, Pakistan. My interest in Public health arose when i came across a Pakistani transgender activist who vocalized different public health concerns in the extremely marginalized community in Pakistan. I learnt about deep rooted misconceptions attached to the trans community and how it adversely affected the health of the population, especially due to HIV related misinformation. On campus, I have had the opportunity to serve as the Communications Head for the Pakistan Student Association where I had to oversee the instagram page and conduct correspondence and maintain relationships with other cultural organizations at NYU. I have also had the opportunity to do a consulting internship with Professor Brian Hansen to help a small childhood cancer not for profit organization. We were able to curate a well researched framework to help them grow their pipeline of children volunteers through partnerships with organizations in New York. I am also a part of Greek life at NYU, and I am a member of Pi Delta Phi who organize philanthropic events related to childhood literacy. In future, I plan to work for health consulting and health policy advising in areas such as trans activism and the effects of climate change on the global south countries like Pakistan.


 

Niouma Semega

Hello, my name is Niouma Semega, pronounced (knee-oh-mah). I am a junior studying Global Public Health and Sociology and I’m from Richmond Hill, Queens New York. Although I was born in America, during my early years I lived in Mauritania, West Africa for five years. Seeing the environmental and health disparity in Mauritania after moving back to America was such an alarming experience growing up. During these years I never thought someone as young as me could make a huge impact or change in areas where I want to see change. However, after discovering public health, I now feel there are endless possibilities in the field that would allow me fulfill my aspirations. I aspire to create change in my passionate sectors both domestically and internationally within underrepresented communities as either a biostatistician or epidemiologist. I also want to inspire other girls who look like me to be the change they want to see in the world, no matter who they are and what they look like. This intention is what embarked the birth of my organization SemegaChange, a growing empire of Black and Women of Color in STEM making societal and environmental change. I look forward to creating change in spaces like this Emerging Leaders program as well as my other commitments and projects.


 

Trisha Senthilkumar

Hi guys, my name is Trisha! I’m a sophomore pursuing GPH/Bio, and I am from Montgomery, NJ. As an aspiring physician, my goal is to work with underserved patient populations especially in developing countries, while tracking data trends using epidemiology to improve population health and optimize patient care. I am an EMT in Brooklyn and research at the NYC Free Clinic; seeing firsthand the struggles that minority populations face to access healthcare further fostered my interest in public health. In NYU, I am part of the medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon, which is a great support system on my journey to medical school. Outside of NYU, I volunteer with children with special needs and teach English to international students as educating the younger generation is something I am very passionate about. Some of my hobbies include playing basketball, badminton, ping pong, and competitive dancing! I also love to travel the world and explore new places with my friends and family. As an emerging leader, I hope to develop my expansive nature of thinking fostered by the program’s interdisciplinary culture, which will allow me to further my passion as a global citizen in service to society. I want to construct my own education by growing on discovery and soft skills while capitalizing on the program’s offer to give me the personally transformative freedom to guide my life’s trajectory as a well-rounded aspiring physician.


 

Pia Villavicencio

Hey! My name is Pia Villavicencio, and I am a Senior at Steinhardt in Global Public Health and Applied Psychology. I am from Queens, New York. My interest in public health emerges from traveling around different countries in the world, mostly amongst South America where I was exposed to different cultures. As a first-generation immigrant I knew it was important for me to study the differences amongst healthcare systems globally. I am interested in learning more about health disparities, health care accessibility and prevention services surrounding mental health and how I can contribute towards the change and de-stigmatization of mental disorders amongst children and adolescents. I have always been interested in healthcare and children and adolescent mental health; in the future I aspire to pursue a career in medicine in the field of psychiatry to merge my interests. Currently, I am a research assistant at the Families and Children Experiencing Success Lab (FACES) at NYU, and intern at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in the mental health bureau. Additionally, I am a member of various student clubs including UNICEF at NYU and Active Minds. During my free time I enjoy reading, going for walks, visiting museums and coffee shops around the city. As an emerging leader I hope to help strengthen the community amongst GPH students and expand my knowledge in public health.