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SPH Student Blogs from Abroad

SPH Student Blogs from Abroad


This summer, three School of Public Health students are blogging from abroad. Two students, Theodore Hufstader and Albert Plenty, are recipients of the Douglas Passaro International Award. This award honors the memory of Dr. Douglas James Passaro, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Illinois, Chicago and Attending Physician in Infectious Diseases at the UIC Hospital from 2001 to 2005. The fund is intended to provide support to graduate students for health-related, hands-on field experiences to carry on Dr. Passaro's important work in promoting global health that was interrupted by his untimely death at age forty-three.

Ryan Chopra, has received seed funding from the School of Public Health Dean's Office to pursue research in Chennai, India.

Please follow our students as they share their experiences abroad:

Theodore Hufstader (MPH Candidate, Health Policy and Administration)
Advisor: Judith Levy

Ted is spending the summer in Santiago, Chile, analyzing existing qualitative research data relating to the stigmas, perceptions, and beliefs surrounding HIV/AIDS among Chilean men as part of a five-year, multi-faceted HIV/AIDS study funded by NIH.

Albert Plenty (MS Candidate, Epidemiology and Biostatistics)
Advisor: Robert Bailey
Blog: Coming Soon!

Albert will be working in Kisumu, Kenya, for the Kisumu Initiative for Positive Empowerment to collect demographic and behavioral data to identify risk factors and facilitators for HIV infection among men who have sex with men (MSM). The project is part of a larger effort to obtain more descriptive and representative data in order to create better targeted interventions to reduce the spread of HIV among MSM.

Ryan Chopra (PhD Candidate, Epidemiology and Biostatistics)
Advisor: Ronald Hershow

This summer, Ryan Chopra is working with partners at a government-run communicable disease hospital in Chennai, India. The collaboration seeks to improve laboratory capacity and investigate the epidemiology of several enteric parasites within the region. This pilot project is intended to establish collaborative partnerships for a comprehensive study, not only with the hospital in Chennai, but also hospitals in other large cities like Hyderabad. In addition to these clinical contacts, Chopra is working with members of the IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health, a non-profit organization funded by the ICICI foundation, one of India's largest financial institutions seeking to improve rural health throughout the country. This research is funded by a grant from the UIC SPH Dean's Office and made possible under the supervision of Associate Professor of epidemiology Mark Dworkin.

Dan Goldman (MPH Candidate, Health Policy and Administration)
Advisor: William Kling

Dan is spending this summer in Bali, Indonesia working with the Kerti Praja Foundation (KPF). He is working in collaboration with various staff members and field workers by providing comprehensive care for female sex workers (FSW) and care support treatment for FSW and PLWHA. His activities include outreach work concerning HIV/AIDS prevention and information dissemination to FSW, taking a leadership role in the foundation's support group for HIV+ FSW, as well as serving on a subcomittee for the planning of the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP) IX to be held in Bali this August.

Yuka Asada (PhD Candidate, Maternal and Child program)

First-year PhD student, Yuka Asada, moved from Vancouver, Canada, where she worked as a clinical dietitian for four years, to study maternal and child health at UIC. Asada began writing a blog focusing on the culinary elements of ethnic identity and is now competing for a scholarship from She has dedicated this blog to her late grandfather, a self-proclaimed foodie.

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