Peer Support Team

The Peer Support Team members are advanced MPH students who are dedicated to helping their fellow students succeed academically. The team offers individual and group sessions to help students understand public health concepts and skills, and to assist with class assignments in a relaxed and supportive environment. Services are free of charge and available to all undergraduate and masters-level Public Health students, regardless of skill level or comfort with the material. From understanding basic content to more advanced support, visiting the Peer Support Team is a great way to increase your comfort and success in your academic work.

The Peer Support Team is comprised of 3 members: a Writing Specialist and two Quantitative Methods Specialists. The Writing Specialist provides assistance with all aspects of written assignments, including brainstorming paper topics, thesis development, paper organization, proofreading and citations. The Quantitative Methods Specialists review basic concepts and methods, review homework assignments, conduct exam review sessions, provide SAS assistance, and more. All three Specialists work with one another and in consultation with course instructors, TAs and ODI staff to ensure that students at SPH have the support they need to succeed in their coursework. Schedule an appointment with a member of the Peer Support Team today!

Quantitative Methods Specialist

Ananya Stoller

Ananya Stoller, MPH Candidate


Ananya Stoller (she/her/hers) is a second year MPH student in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology. Ananya has over 7 years of work experience as a project manager and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Ananya is passionate about maternal health disparities and hopes to work toward improving maternal morbidity and mortality. She recently worked with the IDPH Office of Women’s Health and Family Services and conducted an analysis of maternal mortality among Medicaid beneficiaries. She was a Quantitative Methods instructor for ODI’s 2021 Pre-Matriculation Program. In the fall, Ananya is serving as a volunteer Project Manager for the Illinois Task Force on Maternal and Infant Morbidity and Mortality Among African Americans (IMMT) Community Engagement Committee. Ananya has always loved math and science and that moment when concepts “click”. She also loves working with programs like SAS to conduct statistical analyses. She is excited to work with her fellow students to strengthen quantitative skills and understanding of key concepts.

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Quantitative Methods Specialist

Prathiba Balakumar

Prathiba Balakumar, MPH Candidate


Prathiba Balakumar is a second year MPH student in Biostatistics. She holds a B.S. in Biology from UIC. She is currently a Health Outcomes Analyst intern at Northwestern’s Health Promotion and Wellness division. She is conducting data analyses for their Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention of College Students (BASICS) program. Prathiba looks forward to continuing to learn further methods in biostatistics and is excited to help students with quantitative methods in biostatistics and epidemiology this fall!

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Writing Specialist

Emma Meersman

Emma Meersman, MPH Candidate

Community Health Sciences

Emma Meersman is a second-year MPH student in Community Health Sciences. She is interested in healthy youth development and interdisciplinary, community-driven approaches to address health inequities. Emma is an intern at the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, where she coordinates their Improving Access to Care for Children in Immigrant Families project. As a member of Radical Public Health at UIC, she helped plan two panels—Unlearning Fatphobia: Moving Toward Fat Liberation in Public Health and Child Welfare Justice: An Abolitionist Approach. Emma is excited to be the Writing Specialist for the Peer Support Team with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion!

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