Meet the Class of 2022 Health Scholars

Jan. 14, 2021

The Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHW) at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) has selected six students as Class of 2022 Health Scholars. All of them 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 selected for the program annually through a rigorous application process focusing on both academic performance and plans for work and research on health policy issues.

“These students represent Princeton University’s best and brightest scholars in the field of global health,” states Gilbert Collins, Director of Global Health Programs.

Scholars are supported for two years, engaging in fully funded health-related internships or independent research during the summer following junior year and then writing senior theses with a health policy dimension. They may also participate in health policy seminars and lectures, broadening their understanding of global health challenges while interacting with distinguished speakers and visitors. 

The Health Scholars initiative is part of the CHW’s Global Health Program (GHP), which offers the opportunity for undergraduates to earn a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy while exploring the world’s most pressing health issues through academic study, innovative research, and experiential learning.

Meet the Class of 2022 Health Scholars:

  • Jacob Barber ’22, a SPIA concentrator pursuing certificates in GHP and Statistics & Machine Learning, plans to study how demographic heterogeneities in vaccine hesitancy impact the spread of COVID-19 and how vaccine distribution policy should address these differences.
  • Abigail Drummond ’22, an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology concentrator pursuing a GHP certificate, plans to explore how parasite life cycles may have changed, and be changing, because of socioeconomic inequalities. She hopes to identify predictors of increased parasite burden and to explore determinants of innate immunity and exposure risks.
  • Matthew Lee ’22, a Medical Anthropology concentrator pursuing certificates in GHP and Chinese Language and Culture, plans to analyze narratives around the spread of Covid-19 among Asian-American populations, including health inequity arising from racial, socio-economic, and political contexts.
  • Mayowa Oke ’22, a Neuroscience concentrator pursuing a GHP certificate, plans to examine racial disparities in addiction treatment by analyzing differences in addiction recovery for Black and White drug addicts.
  • Grace Simmons ’22, a Neuroscience concentrator pursuing a GHP certificate, plans to research the media's impact on the public perception of Hikikomori, or severe social withdrawal, and the lived experiences of diagnosed individuals.
  • Sandra Yang ’22, an English concentrator pursuing a GHP certificate, plans to investigate the Asian-American/Pacific Islander experience during COVID-19, and the ways that racial discrimination, mental health stigma, and other intersecting environmental factors have translated into health consequences amidst the pandemic.

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