Graduate student training is seen as a vital step towards developing the next generation of the population health workforce. The goal is to dedicate 10% of UT Population Health funds to employ and train graduate students through our Population Health Scholars Program.  

Population Health Scholar placements are available from the undergraduate through post-doctoral level. Most of our scholars are in paid positions, but there are also opportunities for unpaid internships, practicums, and keystone projects. Placements are available year-round, with evaluation on a semester-by-semester basis. Scholars will work closely with their mentor team to tailor the program curriculum and core competencies to their academic discipline, stage, and interests.

There are currently open positions in the research and communications tracks, but we accept resumes for all tracks, and may contact students when placements become available. To be considered for future positions, send us a resume, and subscribe to our population health scholars mailing list for announcements of new openings.  

Current scholars

Hari Athreya is a recently graduated with his MPH and MD from the McGovern Medical School in Houston. He has interests in chronic disease prevention and global health. In addition to his clinical background, he brings experience with the World Health Organization, Americorps, and the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship to the Population Health team. In June 2017, he joined the Healthy Families project and will be working on improving access to prenatal care in rural regions of Texas.
MentorDivya Patel
Project: Healthy Families

Eun Me Cha is a doctoral student in the division of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin. She is interested in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs related to diet and obesity prevention especially among adolescents. Eun Me received her MPH from University at Albany School of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology. 
Mentor:  Eileen Nehme
Project: Community Health Indicators / Small Area Mapping   

Ashley Hill is a second year doctoral student in Epidemiology at Texas A&M University School of Public Health focusing on reproductive epidemiology and interactions of social, environmental and biological factors that contribute to sexually transmitted infections. As a GRA with UT System Population Health, Ashley works under Divya Patel focusing on immediate postpartum contraception.
MentorDivya Patel
Project:  IP-LARC

Shelby Knowles is a graduate student pursuing her MA in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Before joining Population Health, Shelby was a photo intern on the Science Desk at NPR in Washington, D.C., and a year-long photo editing fellow at the Texas Tribune. She holds a nutritional science degree from Texas A&M University. In 2017, she joined the Population Health communications team to produce content for the Texas Health Journal.
Mentor: Daniel Oppenheimer
Project: Texas Health Journal

Kaulie Lewis is a graduate student pursuing her MA in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She has previously worked as an editorial assistant and contributing writer for publications including the Missouri Review, The Millions and Texas Music Magazine, and now reports on cultural and political life in Texas. In 2017 she joined the Population Health communications team to produce content for the TCHMB newsletter and the Texas Health Journal. 
Mentor: Daniel Oppenheimer
Project: Texas Health Journal

Kyser Lough is a PhD student in the School of Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to UT, he worked in health communication at a rural city/county-owned hospital and before that as a photographer/reporter for a daily newspaper. His research focuses on visual communication and solutions journalism. He has an MA in Mass Communication and a BA in Public Relations (Minor in Photography), both from Murray State University in Murray, Ky. 
Mentor: Daniel Oppenheimer
Project: Texas Health Journal

Matthew Myers is a graduate student on track for his MPH in Epidemiology at The University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus. His interests lie within clinical epidemiology and infectious disease. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Albion College in 2016. 
Mentor:  Dorothy Mandell
Project: Texas Safe Babies

Molly O’Neil is a graduate student in Epidemiology (MS) at The University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus. Her research interests focus in spatial epidemiology and understanding disparities in access to care in Texas.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from The University of Texas at Austin and worked internationally as a high school science teacher after graduation. She joined Population Health to assist with geospatial and visualization projects, including community health indicator mapping. 
Mentor:  Eileen Nehme
Project: Community Health Indicators / Small Area Mapping   

Ana Navarro is currently an MPH in Epidemiology candidate at the UT School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus. Her research interest include post-partum depression, prenatal care interventions, infectious disease, and molecular epidemiology. In 2013, she graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American with a BS in Biology and BA in History. 
MentorDivya Patel, Nagla Elerian
Project: Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies

Rachel Rana is a graduate student of Epidemiology at The University of Texas School of Public Health.  Her research interests land at the intersection of crime and health, focusing on the health impacts of persistent interaction with the criminal justice system, both at the individual and the community level. Rachel received her B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University, and worked as a lobbyist and political advocate prior to enrolling in graduate coursework at UT Health. 
Mentor:  Dorothy Mandell
Project: Texas Safe Babies

Meliha Salahuddin joined the Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies in Spring of 2017 as a post-doctoral research fellow. She earned her PhD in Epidemiology from UTHealth School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus in 2016. Her research interests focus on understanding risk factors of chronic diseases and maternal and child health.
MentorDivya Patel
Project: Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies

Sanchit Singhal is a graduate student in the School of Information at The University of Texas Austin. His specializations include data engineering, data analytics, and data visualization. He has previously received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University and worked in the information technology industry across several domains. As a GRA with UT System Population Health, Sanchit works under the mentorship of Jon Gibson to facilitate the research team’s data requirements.
Mentor: Jon Gibson

Amelia Sosnowski is a second year doctoral student in the Department of Geography and the Environment at UT Austin. Her focus is applied work with spatial data that has the potential to identify and monitor local and regional drivers of change within communities. Her academic research has focused on environmental land use and water resource changes and how these may influence civil conflict distributions in South Sudan; flooding distributions and risk perception in the Okavango Delta, Botswana; and environmental perception and translation of concepts at the community level. Amelia has previously worked with Holland Consulting Planners in coastal North Carolina as a GIS Technician on health analyses, zoning, and hazard mitigation plans. As a Population Health Scholar, she applies knowledge of geographic data and modeling to the challenges of understanding spatial distributions of health and risk factors in Texas. 
Mentor:  Dorothy Mandell
Project: Texas Safe Babies

Michelle Tran joined the Texas Health Improvement Network (THIN) in Spring of 2017 and is currently an MPH in Epidemiology candidate at the UT School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus. Her interests include preventive medicine and clinical epidemiology. She received her BS in Human Biology with a minor in Psychology from The University of California, San Diego in 2014. 
Mentor:  Eileen Nehme
Project: Texas Health Improvement Network