SCHOLARS 2013

Alexis Andrea Adsit will be finishing her Bachelor’s in Women and Gender Studies at San Francisco State University and graduating in January 2014. During that time she will be working part-time and plans to apply to Graduate Programs in Sociology in Fall 2014. While in SHARP Alexis worked on examining intersections and how identity impacts experiences, access, and quality of HIV and transition-related care for Transgender Women of Color. She worked closely with Dr. Erin Wilson on a secondary analysis of qualitative interviews conducted with the organization WORLD [Women Organized to Respond to Life-Threatening Diseases]. She found that identity and intersections play a role in care as well as jobs, enrollment in entitlement programs, and places traveled.

Nathan Kim is a rising 4th year majoring in Public Health at U.C. Berkeley. As a SHARP scholar, Nathan analyzed research literature on the use of Twitter for public health and on sexual risk during gay-related festivities. Then, he researched whether Twitter could serve as real-time surveillance to track alcohol tweets in the SF Bay Area. Nathan’s role included helping to create the Twitter surveillance model while quantitatively and qualitatively analyzing alcohol-related tweets. After SHARP, Nathan will continue his Twitter research with the Das Research Group at the SFDPH and with the Auerswald Research Group for HIV/Homeless Youth at U.C. Berkeley. He ultimately plans to attend medical school and obtain an MPH.

Aminta Kouyate is a 4th year Psychology major at UC Berkeley. As a SHARP scholar she investigated the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a mobile health adherence support strategy for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or PrEP. She conducted focus groups with the staff members that implemented the strategy to learn about staff perceptions of the iText Support Strategy. Aminta worked closely with Dr. Jonathan Fuchs, Dr. Al Liu, and Kristefer Stojanovski. After SHARP Aminta will continue to volunteer with Project Homeless Connect, YEAH!, TEACH 2, and the Black LGBT History Event Planning Committee. She will also continue to work for the Alameda County Public Health Department as a Program Specialist with Emergency Medical Services. She plans to go on to medical school to pursue an MD and an MPH in Epidemiology.

Erikan Obotetukudo graduated from Claremont McKenna College in May of 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology. As a SHARP Scholar, Erikan researched the acceptability of PrEP testimonial videos as a strategy to improve uptake and adherence among MSM and transwomen. She created three videos that detailed PrEP users’ decision to take PrEP, experiences, challenges, and advice for potential users. She also conducted DPH staff and community focus groups to elicit feedback and recommendations for improvement. Erikan’s experience as a SHARP Scholar has increased her interest in sustainable and feasible global health strategies that meet the needs of providers and patients.

After SHARP, Erikan will conduct malaria research in Nigeria with UCSF and the Society for Family Health. She would like to thank the SHARP Program, all SHARP mentors, and her fellow Scholars for their confidence in her, constant wisdom, and humor. She looks forward to giving back to the SHARP program by supporting future scholars.

Nneka Okeke graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Urban Studies and Planning at the end of Spring 2013. She ultimately plans to pursue an advanced degree in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology, but in the meantime is working on a research project with UCSF in Nigeria. While in SHARP 2013, Nneka worked on a project to calculate disparities in HIV/AIDS care for African-American MSM in San Francisco.

Ali Zahir is a student at City College of San Francisco, and is in the process of applying to transfer to a 4-year university, where he plans to study Human Biology with a minor in Sociology. As a SHARP scholar Ali studied the differences between HIV positive and HIV negative methamphetamine-dependent men who have sex with men. After SHARP Ali will continue his work with SFDPH as an intern, where he will further study methamphetamine-dependent populations in San Francisco. He will also continue his work with SACNAS, a national organization dedicated to increasing the number of minorities attaining careers, positions of leadership, and advanced degrees in science.

“The SHARP internship has been one of the most influential experiences of my college research career. What makes the SHARP mentors so special is that they set high expectations that we become HIV researchers/leaders while tirelessly providing professional, financial, and personal support.”
Nathan Kim
2013 SHARP Scholar
“SHARP has been one of the very best parts of my educational path to date – I’ve deepened my understanding of the research process, gained concrete skills that will allow me to work in the field, and formed relationships with incredible mentors and peers…. In addition, SHARP taught me about the impact that public health interventions have on others. I am now confident that I want to create the research that brings those interventions to life.”
Nneka Okeke
2013 SHARP Scholar
“When I reflect upon this past summer, I can honestly say this was the most fulfilling and rewarding summer I have had. When I first received the phone call telling me I was accepted to SHARP, I honestly did a cartwheel and injured my wrist. After this incredible summer, I feel I should have done two cartwheels during that initial phone call.”
Ali Zahir
2013 SHARP Scholar
“Prior to arriving at DPH, I was interested in receiving an MPH; yet, I was uncertain about pursuing an MD. This internship has expanded my understanding of public health and medicine and helped me decide to pursue both. Fortunately, I’ve learned that the possibilities within public health are broad and the field allows me to problem solve using research, activism, education, etc. Medicine is now less narrow in my mind because I have asked questions, shadowed, and been introduced to various providers within the medical field. This internship has solidified that I want to combine both passions in the near future and pursue two of the following degrees: MD, MPH, DrPH, PhD, MPAS.”
Erikan Obotetukudo
2013 SHARP Scholar
“After my time at SHARP I have a better understanding of Public Health as a field, qualitative research methods and analysis, and public health research methodology.”
Alexis Andrea Adsit
2013 SHARP Scholar
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