Executive Committee 2018

Shannon Guillot-Wright – Conference Co-Chair
Jessica Sen Lin – Conference Co-Chair
Sherene Sharath – Abstracts Chair
Madhushree Zope – Funding & Grants Chair
Jane Truong- Logistics Chair
Joyce Lee – PR Chair
Lea Sacca – PR Chair
Monika Pyarali – Programs Chair
Princess Ogidi – Programs Chair
Caroline Lee – Technology Chair

Executive Committee Bios:

Shannon Guillot-Wright – Conference Co-Chair

Educational Background: I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute for the Medical Humanities at UTMB and a Community Health Research Fellow at the Center to Eliminate Health Disparities, Health Policy and Legislative Affairs at UTMB. Prior to joining UTMB, I received an MA in Human Rights from Columbia University where I studied the history of immigration as a way to understand the discursive practices that legitimized ICE detention centers. My current research seeks to understand the logics and forces that contribute to precarious employment as a social determinant of health for seafaring migrants (people who live and work at sea), with a specific interest in twentieth-century labor movements. I am also the co-founder of TWELVE (twelvepeople.org), a community-based participatory photo voice project that uses photography to highlight the diversity of people, scenery, architecture, and viewpoints. In the past, I served as an Americorps volunteer at Boys Hope Girls Hope in Baltimore and interned at Human Rights Watch in New York City.

I became involved with HGHC because: My advocacy is at the intersection of global health and health policy, with an emphasis on how the global is local. Most recently, I was a co-investigator for a TMC Health Policy grant related to government policies, agency practices, and environmental factors associated with the health of child refugees from Central America and Mexico and their ability to receive adequate healthcare in the United States. I am a co-convener of the Adverse Childhood and Community Experiences (ACEs) Collaborative in Galveston and on the planning team for UTMB’s Health of Migrants Conference. Taking this together, global health has been at the heart of my studies, research, and work for over a decade and I am excited to continue this work alongside the HGHC.

My goal for the HGHC conference this year is: My vision for global health is to strategically incorporate the scholarship of the health humanities. The humanities (e.g. philosophy, art, history, anthropology) help reveal the ethical and political dimensions to health and how individual, behavioral, interpersonal, cultural, and structural experiences affect the health of individuals and populations. In this context, health is more than disease and access to care, but multi-causal and complex economic and political practices play an integral role in the facilitation or impediment of health care and to the health arrangements/conditions of global populations.

Jessica Sen Lin – Conference Co-Chair

Educational Background: I finished my third year of medical school at Baylor College of Medicine and am currently a first year MBA student at the Rice Jones Graduate School of Business. I plan on applying for residency in Internal Medicine, and I am interested in improving and building healthcare infrastructure in underserved areas. I graduated from Pomona College with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience.

I became involved with HGHC because: I believe that it is important to have a space for students and professionals passionate about global health, from different organizations and institutions, to meet together, share ideas, and build networks.

My goal for the HGHC conference this year is: To showcase new ideas, innovations, and research in global health, to foster collaboration among the different institutions in the TMC, and to inspire students and professionals to be excited about global health.

Sherene Sharath – Abstracts Chair

Educational Background: I am a final year PhD Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas School of Public Health. I completed both my undergraduate and early graduate studies at Texas A&M University – graduating with Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Master of Public Health in Epidemiology.

I became involved with HGHC because: Part of my research involves exploring why we observe treatment and disease management disparities within populations based on race and ethnicity. In the context of my research, this year’s HGHC conference theme was particularly interesting as it incorporates and highlights global and local efforts to address public health. Keeping in mind that localized research efforts can result in ripples that amplify, I was excited by the possibilities that the HGHC offers in terms of collaborating with other research teams with similar objectives. The HGHC acts as a forum that brings together specialties, innovations, and thought-processes of vital importance to public health. As a venue that provides clear and accessible opportunities for communication and collaboration, this initiative effectively augments the ability to effect change on a large scale.

My goal for the HGHC conference this year is: To encourage opportunities for collaboration between individuals working towards, what is ultimately a common goal – improvements in the quality of healthcare for as many people as possible.

Abstracts Committee

  • Julie Wu (Baylor College of Medicine)
  • Sergio Navarro (Baylor College of Medicine)

Madhushree Zope – Funding & Grants Chair

Educational Background: I am currently a 1st year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine. I graduated with a BS in biochemistry and a BSA in biology from UT Austin. I plan to pursue the global health track at Baylor and incorporate global health in my future medical career.

I became involved with HGHC because: I was looking for opportunities to contribute to the diverse global health professional community here in the Texas Medical Center. I was particularly excited about HGHC since it aims to bring together multiple institutions and academic fields to tackle global health issues.

My goal for the HGHC conference this year is: To allow professionals at all stages in their training to collaborate with and be exposed to one another’s interests in global health. To ensure the conference truly serves as an open forum for the intermingling of ideas and a think tank for healthcare solutions worldwide.

Funding & Grants Committee

  • Lauren Sanchez (UTHSC Houston School of Dentistry)
  • Ryan Nowrouzi (University of Houston)

Jane Truong – Logistics Chair

Educational Background: I graduated from University of California, Irvine with a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences. I am currently a third-year pharmacy student at University of Houston, College of Pharmacy. My career goal as a pharmacist is to help patients optimize their treatments and promote the importance of lifestyle modifications and non-pharmacological therapies in many disease states, regardless of the setting I will practice in the future. Hopefully, these will help them improve their overall well-beings and have high quality of life.

I became involved in HGHC because: I want to work in collaboration with students from different schools in Houston to address and make a difference in some of the health issues in Houston as well as worldwide.

My goal for the HGHC Conference this year is: To create a pleasant atmosphere so that visitors and attendees can have quality time while learning about local and global health.

Logistics Committee

  • Tara Thomason (University of Houston)
  • Kellee English (Baylor College of Medicine)

Joyce Lee – PR Chair

Educational Background: I am currently a third year medical student at University of Texas Medical Branch and am on the Global Health track. I graduated from Georgetown University with a BS in Human Science. 

I became involved with HGHC because: I’ve always been interested in global health and I thought this would be a great way to become more involved. HGHC is an amazing opportunity to raise awareness about the various health disparities in the greater Houston and abroad.

My goal for the HGHC Conference this year is: We will all be challenged to translate everything we learn into action! 

PR Committee

  • Arianne Felicitas (University of Houston)
  • Kayleigh Lamphere (UTHSC Houston School of Nursing)
  • Lena Musoka (University of Houston)

Lea Sacca – PR Chair

Educational Background: I am a 1st year MPH student in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Global Health at UTSPH Houston. I have a B.S in Public Health and Development Sciences from the University of Balamand – Lebanon, and I was granted the Fulbright Scholarship from the U.S Department of State to pursue my masters degree in Houston.

I became involved with HGHC because: After undergoing an internship at the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, I was intrigued to know more about the global health field, and how the health statuses of different countries are interlinked through the process of globalization. I have a passion to learn more about global infectious diseases, mental health problems, non-communicable diseases, as well as learning how to implement effective interventions in order to raise awareness and promote health. Since I participated in organizing several national campaigns with the ministry (Breast cancer campaign, Breastfeeding campaign, CVD campaign, food safety awareness campaign…), I got involved in this conference since it has the ability to highlight important global health issues for local, national, and international organizations and agencies to tackle.

My goal for HGHC Conference this year:  To encourage more students and health professionals to attend this one of a kind collaborative, and to empower people with hope and dedication so that they can make a difference in this world by investing their knowledge into the different areas and topics tackled during the conference.

Monika Pyarali – Programs Chair

Educational Background:  I am currently a second year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine. I attended the University of Texas at Austin, where I received my B.S. in Neurobiology and B. A. in Psychology. I am currently pursuing the Global Health Track at Baylor. In the future, I hope to specialize in neurosurgery and lead in the efforts to make basic surgical procedures more accessible across the globe.

I became involved with HGHC because: The global health movement is powered by ideas and fueled with young minds. Participating in this conference allows me to be at the intersection of a flow of ideas that has the potential to change tomorrow’s views of global health and how to approach global health disparities.

My goal for the HGHC Conference this year is: To educate and empower the future generations of leaders in global health by dispersing our current knowledge and brainstorming creative solutions to the issues we face in implementing healthcare globally. My goal for this conference is to be able to cater to a a broader audience outside of Houston by providing access to the conference from anywhere in the world through video streaming. A key factor in approaching global health disparities is working together to organize a joint effort and I believe our joint effort should start with an equal opportunity to learn how to approach global healthcare – regardless of the where in the world the learner may reside.

Programs Committee

  • Nausheen Habib (UT Health Science Center)
  • Elizabeth Zhu (University of Houston)
  • Charlotte Peeters (UTMB PA Program)


Princess Ogidi – Programs Chair

Educational Background: I am currently a first year MPH candidate in Health Services Organization at the University of Texas School of Public Health. I received my BS in Health Science Studies from Baylor University where I first struck an interest in public health. Along with the exposure that community service during childhood and undergrad allowed me to acquire, I gained a passion to help the underserved. During and following the completion of my degrees, I hope to specifically target maternal and child health in medically underserved areas while rebuilding policies that are hindering the acquirement of such services.

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 this year is to highlight global health projects in the Texas Medical Center while encouraging partnership between each relative institution. I want to be able to stimulate conversations aimed at implementing sustainably effective programs at a global level.

Caroline Lee – Technology Chair

Educational Background: I am a current undergraduate junior 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 leading student 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!

Technology Committee

  • Akshat Kumar (University of Houston)