Community Health Facilitators
Archana is a second year medical student at UT Southwestern. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Biochemistry and minors in Spanish and Public Health. After graduation, she spent a year as an Indicorps Fellow working on grassroots health and education projects with rural and slum communities in India. While her experiences in college were the spark, it was the Indicorps approach of total community immersion and purposeful living that truly deepened her understanding of the process of creating real change in communities. Upon arriving at UT Southwestern, the IHS elective naturally drew her in immediately, and after participating in the course as a first year student, Archana is looking forward to bringing the knowledge and inspiration from her past experiences to her current role as director of the Community Health track.
Jennifer is a second year medical student who grew up outside of Chicago and graduated from Yale University. She was involved in community health through various efforts in undergrad including AIDS Walk New Haven and working one summer on developing comprehensive sex education programs for at-risk students in Chicago. At UT Southwestern, Jennifer is an officer in the Pediatric Interest Group. With three other students, she developed a student organization, MedShare, which was started as a community based participatory research project in IHS 2011-2012. She plans to continue working in the community health field throughout her career as a physician and is very excited for IHS this year!
Marissa is a second year medical student at UT Southwestern from Austin, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Psychology and Neurobiology. During college, her volunteer experiences at Dell Children’s Hospital of Austin and HOPE Clinic in Houston sparked her interest in community health and encouraged her to apply to medical school. Marissa is very excited to be co-facilitating the Community Health track of IHS this year!
Global Health Facilitators
Alexandra Bacalao was raised in Houston, TX where she remained to study Civil Engineering at Rice University. It was during this time that she became interested in public health and sustainable development in the developing world. After working for two years in the Oil and Gas industry, she decided to return to school, earning a master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley, her research involved developing household drinking water fluoride-removal devices for use in developing countries. She is very excited to continue to pursue her passion for engineering in resources-constrained settings in IHS, as director of the Global Health track. She hopes to continue to work in some aspect of global health research and development as part of her medical career.
Aparna Ramanathan, M.D.
Aparna is an Ob/Gyn resident physician at UT Southwestern who founded this course three years ago as a second year medical student hungry for opportunities to get out of the classroom and to make real positive impacts in underserved communities. Herself an alumnus of MIT, she designed this course to emulate the strong traditions of creative thinking, community partnership, and sustainable design which she learned from Amy Smith, the renowned inventor and lecturer. Aparna has had experience working on award-winning innovative design ventures both domestically and in several countries worldwide including Haiti, India, Ghana, and Peru, and she loves to share her experience and passion with students interested in making a difference. She has been thrilled by the projects created by her students in past years, and she is excited for more this year! Aparna received her bachelor of science degree in brain and cognitive science from MIT and her medical degree from UT Southwestern. In her free time, she enjoys singing and theater, yoga, and running half-marathons.
Emily grew up in the beautiful hill country of central Texas. While studying chemistry at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN she had the opportunity to study abroad in Gossas, Senegal, thus finally achieving her dream of traveling outside the United States. After working as a nursing assistant at a hospital in Austin, TX for 3 years she finally got up the guts to apply to medical school and the rest is history. Since arriving at Southwestern, she has enjoyed getting involved with the Hep B Free Project screening at risk populations for Hepatitis B, and with the IHS elective course. She spent the summer after her first year in Pont Sonde, Haiti and anyone interested in working on developing projects in this area should contact her.
Elizabeth is a first year medical student at UT Southwestern. She graduated for Rice University with a degree in Bioengineering, minoring in Global Health Technologies. During her time at Rice, Elizabeth worked on many design projects targeted to the developing world. She tested several of these devices in Malawi, Africa through the Beyond Traditional Borders summer internship at Rice 360. She is excited to share her experience from low resource settings and appropriate device design.
Medical Technology Facilitators
Travis Miller is a native of Dallas but attended the University of Chicago for his undergraduate degree. His background was in biochemistry, but IHS has stimulated his development into engineering and technical design fields. He is currently attempting to survive his second year of medical school while simultaneously developing his project from last year, a device to store guidewires mid-surgery, commercially.
Julia Chen grew up in southern California. She graduated from UCLA with degrees in BME, Computational & Systems Biology and English Literature. Prior to medical school, Julia spent four years as a director in a healthcare management consulting firm. She loves to travel, tutor kids, and learn new languages. She is interested in a future that includes surgery, global health, medical devices, and entrepreneurship.
Dan Walk is a first year medical student at UT Southwestern. Dan began his interest in healthcare innovation while studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. At UT Austin, Dan interned through the Austin Technology Incubator and took coursework in Technology Entrepreneurship, allowing him to work with two start-up companies and earn an endowed scholarship in Engineering Entrepreneurship. Dan went on to work as a program associate and product engineer at the Institute for Global Health Technologies at Rice University. Dan hopes to help connect and grow the medical innovation community at UT Southwestern, and intends to one day bring such creative problem-solving to his own medical practice.