SCHOLARS 2016

Arman Alvarado is a 4th-year undergraduate student at the School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin. After earning his Bachelor of Science in Nursing, he plans to work with patients in a clinical setting. Specifically, he wants to work with HIV-positive people and vulnerable communities and populations that are at-risk for HIV/AIDS. In addition, he plans to further his education with a focus on public health policy alongside community outreach within the LGBTQ community. As a SHARP scholar, Arman worked with Drs. Stephanie Cohen and Jonathan Fuchs alongside Robert Blue at San Francisco City Clinic. Throughout the summer, he worked with his mentors to create a survey which evaluated patient transition to primary care and experiences receiving Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in the San Francisco community. Additionally, he worked with members of San Francisco City Clinic’s PrEP Services Team. Arman was able to observe PrEP navigators and the daily process of PrEP initiation, consultation, and implementation at San Francisco City Clinic.

After SHARP, Arman will be completing his last year in the professional sequence under the School of Nursing at UT Austin and soon graduate with his Bachelor of Science in Nursing. While still in Austin, he plans to continue working with HIV/AIDS at-risk populations through organizations such as AIDS Services of Austin. Upon graduation, Arman would like to apply the clinical skills he has learned and serve the Bay Area as a registered nurse. Eventually, he would like to attend medical school and incorporate both his passions for patient-centered care and public health research.

Kiana Chan is in her final year at the University of California at Los Angeles, studying Geography and Chinese. She is interested in the public health disparities among ethnic minorities, the Asian and Pacific Islander community, and specifically, how language, culture, and migration influence public health outcomes among marginalized communities. As a SHARP Scholar, Kiana worked alongside John Sauceda, PhD at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. Throughout the summer, she worked with her mentor on a secondary data analysis of HIV-positive Latinos living on the U.S.-Mexico border, to examine the role of language on antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. Additionally, she wrote the introduction of a manuscript on acculturation and its impact on poor mental health outcomes and HIV risk behaviors among U.S. Latinos living with HIV/AIDS.

After SHARP, Kiana will be studying abroad in Taipei, Taiwan for a semester to continue her goal of reaching fluency in Mandarin. When she returns to UCLA, she will gain additional research experience as a research assistant for the NIH-funded PROMIS study of health disparities among children and adolescents. Upon graduation, Kiana would like to complete a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Malaysia for a year, where she hopes to incorporate public health education in her English-centered curriculum. Eventually, she would like to attend graduate school to pursue a dual masters degree in nursing and public health where she can combine her interests in patient-centered clinical care and public health research. Kiana hopes to use her Mandarin language and cultural competency skills to bridge health disparities among underserved communities both locally and globally.

Dharsan Chandrakumar will graduate from Brown University in 2018 with a degree in applied mathematics and biology. He pursued the SHARP Internship in order to inform his future medical career through a thorough understanding of public health research. His interests include health disparities amongst sexual and gender minorities, and the intersection of mental health, substance use, and HIV/AIDS. At Brown, he is a volunteer at the Miriam Hospital STD Clinic, and has performed a cost analysis of the clinic in order to ascertain its sustainability. As a SHARP Scholar, he worked in the Substance Use Research Unit with Dr. Phillip Coffin and Caitlin Turner. His research this summer was a multi-level exploratory analysis of stimulant-related overdose deaths in San Francisco. Demographic, geographic, and clinical characteristics of decedents were analyzed in order to understand the differences between these marginalized populations afflicted by methamphetamine and cocaine overdose deaths. Next semester he will be pursuing a Global Independent Study Project (GLISP) as a part of his study abroad in Sri Lanka that will culminate in a novel needs assessment of PrEP implementation in Sri Lanka as a form of HIV Prevention. He hopes to champion the needs of sexual and gender minorities through his future career in medicine and public health.

Michelle Fletcher will be entering her final year at California State University, East Bay and will be receiving a Bachelors of Science degree in Health Science with an emphasis in Community Health. As a SHARP scholar, Michelle is working with mentors Dr. Kelly Taylor and Dr. Willi McFarland in the Center for Public Health Research and UCSF. For her project, she analyzed the data collected from a previous study of female head porters, Kayayei, in Ghana. Michelle examined the correlation between the women and their interpersonal relationships and studied the link between various demographics including age and education level; sexual behavior; and social abuse and violence. Looking forward Michelle plans to go to graduate school for an MPH in epidemiology and hopes to later receive a PhD. She ultimately wants to pursue a career in global health. Her goal is to educate and provide resources to the Black community where access and linkage to care is currently lacking.

Max Green is a rising senior at The University of San Francisco studying Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He hopes to pursue an MPH/MBA next year and ultimately pursue his dream of attending medical school. His passion lies in serving the LGBTQ community and identifying gaps in services for them and other minority populations. Throughout his career, he hopes to expand access to mental health services and community resources to these populations in order to improve their quality of life. This summer he is working in the Substance Use Research Unit with Drs. Phillip Coffin, Milo Santos, and Jaclyn Hern, MPH.

Selvin Marroquin is currently a junior at California State University Northridge. He will graduate spring 2017 with a major in Public Health. He developed an interest in public health issues while in high school, and hopes to promote health and healthy practices through his career in the future. He currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. where he work as a Special Ed. Assistant. Working with kids of different backgrounds, cultures and personalities has solidified his interest in working with disadvantaged communities. Aside from his job, he enjoys volunteering at the California Science Center, where I talk to kids about the Space Shuttle Endeavour. This summer he is working in the Substance Use Research Unit with Dr. Milo Santos and Jaclyn Hern, MPH.

Melody Nasser is a senior at California State University, Monterey Bay with a major in Collaborative Health and Human Services and an emphasis in community health and public administration. Her interests include sexual minority issues, health disparities, sociocultural behaviors, and prevention for infectious disease.

As a SHARP scholar, she worked within the Sexual and Gender Minority Lab at UCSF with her mentor, Dr. Annesa Flentje. Melody analyzed health inequalities, determinants and risk factors associated with the current homeless population of San Francisco. She assisted the PRIDE study, a longitudinal survey addressing and improving LGBTQ community health, though focus group observations and logging health discussions. After graduating in Spring 2017, she hopes to further work with the Department of Public Health in San Francisco. Ultimately, Melody plans to pursue her Master’s of Public Health in Epidemiology or Health Policy.