Meet the Class of 2019 Health Scholars

Written by
Gilbert Collins
Feb. 14, 2018

The Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW) at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs has selected six Health Scholars. The scholars, all juniors, will receive financial support for travel and research to pursue internships and senior thesis research that relate to domestic and international health care and health policy.

A small group of juniors is chosen each year for the program through a rigorous application and selection process focusing on both academic performance and plans for work and research on health policy issues.

The scholars are supported by the program through their junior and senior years. Scholars receive financial support to engage in health-related internships or independent research on health-related topics in the summer before the senior year, and are expected to write senior theses with a health policy dimension.

The scholars may also participate in planning health policy seminars and lectures, and they have the opportunity to interact with distinguished speakers during their campus visits.

This initiative is part of the Center for Health and Wellbeing’s Global Health Program (link is external). The program’s key elements all relate to domestic and international health care and health policy, and include seed grants to support innovative faculty research; conferences, workshops and policy forums; and grants for student research and internships.

The six Class of 2019 Health Scholars are:

  • Ruchita Balasubramanian ’19, a Molecular Biology concentrator pursuing certificates in Global Health and Health Policy (GHP) and Engineering Biology. She plans to travel to India to work with local hospitals and research institutes to investigate the impact of antimicrobial resistance in the region.
  • Jacqueline Dragon ’19, a Chemistry concentrator pursuing certificates in GHP and Humanistic Studies. She proposes to investigate the response of medical communities in Houston, Texas and San Juan, Puerto Rico in the wake of recent hurricanes, and the impact of these natural disasters on viral disease transmission in affected regions.
  • Mikaela Gerwin ’19, a History concentrator pursuing a GHP certificate. Mikaela plans to investigate the effects of homelessness as a social determinant of health.
  • Nergis Khan ’19, a Neuroscience concentrator pursuing certificates in GHP and Technology and Society. She is interested in investigating how medical professionals and institutions are responding and adapting to new influxes of digital patient data and how that data is impacting patient care and approaches to medical education.
  • Madison Offstein ’19, an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology concentrator pursuing a GHP certificate. Madison intends to travel to Boulder, Colorado to research the effects of patient engagement and activation on health outcomes.
  • Anagha Prasanna ’19, a Molecular Biology concentrator pursuing certificates in GHP and Ethnographic Studies. She plans travel to the World Health Organization headquarters in Washington, DC to study the dynamics involved in longitudinal medical studies.


The Center for Health and Wellbeing is an interdisciplinary center within the Woodrow Wilson School, which seeks to foster research and teaching on the multiple aspects of health and wellbeing in both developed and developing countries.