Executive Committee 2017
Eric Kao – Conference Co-Chair
Asal Naderi – Conference Co-Chair
Edward Pettitt – Pre-Conference Chair
Anne Hause – Abstracts Chair
Rebecca Kessinger – Logistics Chair
Thanh Hoang – Programs Chair
Princess Ogidi – PR Chair
Caroline Lee – Technology Chair
Executive Committee Bios:
Educational Background: I am a final year student pharmacist at University of Houston College of Pharmacy and a Longitudinal Clinical Experiential Program student at Memorial Hermann Hospital – Texas Medical Center. My career interests include public health, critical care, infectious disease, and pediatrics.
I became involved with HGHC because: I believe in evolving our community into a global health hub for sustainable collaboration and meaningful efforts. My background in public/global health includes: serving as a HGHC Grants Steering Committee member, co-founder of Worldwide Wednesdays, 3 different medical mission trips, and the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship 2016-2017. These experiences have demonstrated to me that global health problems are universal issues that cannot be solved alone. Only working holistically in tandem will we penetrate through the complex political, economic, social, and health issues that disrupt the vision of health for all.
My goal for the HGHC conference this year is: To increase involvement of global health efforts in the Texas Medical Center and its surrounding regions, to create cross-talk in various on-going projects, and to build an active community of participants driving further change.
Asal Naderi – Conference Co-Chair
Educational Background: I am currently at second year medical student at McGovern Medical School at UTHSC Houston. I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a Concentration in Infectious Disease and a Bachelor of Arts in Portuguese through the Liberal Arts Honors Program. I’ve been on medical trips to Honduras, Nicaragua, and Uganda and have implemented various programs to improve the health of the individuals in those communities. I am currently pursuing a Global Health Concentration in addition to my medical degree. I am interested in anesthesiology as a specialty and I plan to incorporate global health into my future career as a physician.
I became involved with HGHC because: I believe that HGHC will promote collaboration in all realms of global health and because this kind of collaboration is the key to innovation and sustainability.
My goal for the HGHC conference this year is: To bring together fundamental innovators who have shown that sustainable global health endeavors are successful. I hope to extend the reach of the conference to beyond the Texas Medical Center and promote new relationships across institutional and geographical barriers.
Edward Pettitt – Pre-Conference Chair
Educational Background: I recently graduated with my Master of Public Health from The University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH), with a concentration in Global Health, and hope to ultimately complete a PhD in Healthcare Management. I completed my undergraduate studies in Human Biology at Cornell University. Between undergrad and grad school, I served in Botswana with the Peace Corps, developing HIV/AIDS and adolescent health interventions before ultimately being employed by the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital, where I currently work. During my time at UTSPH, I was an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, President of the Student Society for Global Health, and co-founder of the Houston Global Health Collaborative. I’m currently co-chair of the Global Health Innovations and Action Foundation.
I became involved in HGHC because: I believe that the next generation of global health leaders should be given opportunities to showcase and hone their scholarship and leadership skills. I am proud that the initiative we began in 2012, including the annual conference, continues to excel and expand with each new group of student leaders. We have succeeded in positioning Houston and the Texas Medical Center as major players in the global health arena!
My goal for the HGHC Conference this year is: To bring on board new co-sponsors, such as Texas Children’s Global Health, who can help exand the breadth and depth of our programming; to attract more attendees from out-of-state and abroad; and to involve younger students from the local public schools.
Educational Background: I received my MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Texas-School of Public Health, where I concentrated in global health and infectious disease. Currently, I am a 5th year PhD candidate in Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
I became involved with HGHC because: It is a unique collaboration of TMC institutions that brings together those who are passionate about global health. The conference offers a venue for students and professionals to share their work, learn from each other, and develop lasting relationships.
My goal for the HGHC conference this year is: To foster relationships between different disciplines and institutions around the Texas Medical Center in order to promote global health.
- Michael Juma
- Sydnee Lucas
Educational Background: I am currently a third year pharmacy student at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. I graduated from the College of Santa Fe with a BA in Music and began pursuing a career in healthcare shortly after graduation. I plan on pursuing a PGY1 residency after graduation, and I hope to make an impact on healthcare inequalities in Houston.
I became involved in HGHC because: I am currently a third year pharmacy student at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. I graduated from the College of Santa Fe with a BA in Music and began pursuing a career in healthcare shortly after graduation. I plan on pursuing a PGY1 residency after graduation, and I hope to make an impact on healthcare inequalities in Houston.
My goal for the HGHC Conference this year is: I hope to bring more students (especially pharmacy students!) to HGHC so that they, too, can find inspiration from the amazing speakers. This is such an exciting opportunity for us to collaborate and to find ways to change the world in a meaningful and sustainable way.
- Leah Sherman – Rice University
- Hilda Sekabira – University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston
Educational Background: I am a fourth year PhD student in Epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health. My research interest is on maternal and child health, and I am currently working on projects related to birth defects. I have a bachelor’s in epidemiology from the University of Rochester.
I became involved with HGHC because: I have a strong interest in global health research, partnership, and sustainability that stemmed from college. Going into graduate school, I wanted to continue to be involved in global health. I was surprised by the lack of global health collaboration between the different institutions in Houston and wanted to help foster the collaborations between professionals and students who are interested in global health in Houston. In addition to being the Programs Chair, I am also the co-chair for the HGHC Grants Steering Committee.
My goal for the HGHC Conference this year is: 1) To highlight current global health projects in the TMC, 2) to promote collaboration and partnership between professionals and students, and 3) to stimulate global health ideas, projects, and research that are sustainable.
- Kathi Ackerman – UNICEF
- Omar Ali – Baylor College of Medicine
- Hari Athreya – University of Texas at Houston
- Ed Pettitt – Texas Children’s Hospital Global Health Initiative
Princess Ogidi – PR Chair
Educational Background: I am a recent graduate of Baylor University with a BS degree in Health Science Studies. Along with the exposure that community service during childhood and undergrad allowed me to acquire, I gained a passion to help the underserved. During my present gap year before medical school, I plan on pursuing my MPH with a concentration in Global Health. I also aim to expand my boundaries beyond current local involvement and make changes that affect individuals on the international level. During and following the completion of my degrees, I hope to specifically impact the health of women and children in medically unprivileged areas.
I became involved with HGHC because: I have had a keen interest in Global Health ever since my first mission trip to Nigeria back in 2011. After living in Waco, number 4 of the poorest cities in Texas, I have grown a passion to assist those in need. Since moving back to Houston, I did some research to find an organization that will help me accomplish the goals I want for myself and for worldwide economies inclusively. That’s when I found HGHC! I am beyond excited to be plugged into an organization with the same values and energy to attack problems of concern in today’s environment.
My goal for HGHC Conference this year: My objective for the HGHC conference this year is to be able to assist in igniting new ideas to make changes on not only the local level, but the global level as well. I also want attendees to be able to form partnerships and connections to individuals with the same values as theirs and use those values to grow within.
- Maggie Yagas
Educational Background: I am a current sophomore undergraduate at Rice University studying Cognitive Sciences and Policy Studies, with minors in Global Health Technologies and Biochemistry/Cell Biology. My previous engagement in global health include chairing hepatitis B advocacy efforts in Asia and across the US, evaluating and developing Chagas Disease diagnostics for low-resource settings, and connecting refugees in Houston to health insurance assistance and social services.
I became involved with HGHC because: I am passionate about engaging in opportunities to affect global health change abroad and within Houston. I am looking forward to developing academically and professionally from the innovative people and resources in the Texas Medical Center. Working with others in global health has introduced me to the most caring and inspiring people I have ever met and I can’t wait to meet more!
My goal for the HGHC conference this year is: For all attendees to collaborate to create sustainable solutions in the international arena. I’d especially like to engage students at all educational levels by introducing them to essential issues and connecting them to resources to help them grow as global health advocates!