Student Involvement

Students can earn academic credit by interning with Center-affiliated faculty.

Summer Internship Program

Center for Community Health Equity Summer Internship Program

The Center for Community Health Equity offers an eight-week, 40 hours per week internship program for four highly motivated undergraduate college students currently in their junior or senior year with a strong interest in research, health disparities, and community relations. The summer internship is designed to give relevant and needed exposure to students seeking careers in the health sciences and research.

Summer interns will be provided compensation for the experience (up to $5000; payment bi-weekly).  No travel or housing accommodations are provided.

Update: Regretfully, as of now, CCHE is not in the position to offer Summer Internship positions for the 2024 Summer.

Congrats to our Summer 2023 Interns!

Safya Aziz

Hometown: Chicago, IL
School of Attendance: University of Illinois at Chicago
School Year: Rising Senior
Major: Neuroscience, with a minor in Public Health

My passion for combating health disparities began when I started volunteering at a diabetes program in high school. This was my first concrete exposure to the disparities in healthcare throughout Chicago. When speaking with patients and learning about the barriers to healthcare and a healthy lifestyle they faced, I saw the impact of the social determinants of health play out firsthand. When I started volunteering at a second hospital, these differences became even more pronounced – the hospital amenities, the lifestyles of the respective patrons, and access to treatment stood in stark contrast to each other.

This exposure led me to continue to seek out more opportunities related to disparities existing within Chicago and my own ethnic community. Besides diabetes volunteer work, I also started working on political, health education, sustainability, and food insecurity efforts. The more experience I got, the more I learned about how many facets are involved when it comes to health risk and disparities and how much all the efforts done to combat them are intertwined. As I continue towards my career goal of becoming a physician, I hope to continue to educate myself on public health issues and make solving health inequities my first priority.

Congratulations, Safya!

Megan Gardner

Hometown: Shorewood, IL
School of Attendance: Missouri State University
School Year: Rising Senior
Major: Speech Language Pathology, with a minor in American Sign Language

Coming from a family of healthcare workers and professionals, I grew up following them in and out of hospitals and care centers throughout Chicago and its suburbs. I first began to fully immerse myself in the healthcare world in high school where I joined a community of youth volunteers at Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. This is where I saw firsthand the lack of health equities in my own community. I was an active volunteer and community member there for 3 years. It was in my third year of volunteering there where I observed a Deaf patient struggle to communicate his basic needs.  What I saw that day inspired me to learn American Sign Language. I aspire to be an ASL/English Medical Interpreter to act as the link of health equity to the Deaf minority.

As a future leader in health science, I want to push myself to be able to combat health inequities in minority groups outside of my own. This is why I sought these experiences in the South and West sides of Chicago which have brought me closer to a community of professionals and peers who are all working towards a better future for healthcare.

Congratulations, Megan!

Jocelyn Torres-Barbosa

Hometown: Anaheim, CA
School of Attendance: DePaul University
School Year: Rising Junior
major: Health Sciences | Public Health concentration, with a minor in Spanish

I’m glad to have been able to grow up in a predominantly Latino neighborhood in Anaheim, California which allowed me to understand what it was like to see a culture of people be cherished yet not being given the same opportunities in ways that affect us the most. I never understood what that meant until I went to predominantly white institution in Chicago. I was in my first year when it struck me that what my community experiences shouldn’t be normal. That so many other factors other than your ability to pay can affect what healthcare is for you. Yet most of the time, so many people are unaware of what those factors are

My passion for public health and health equity only grew from here. I want to focus on policy change and community engagement in ways that create an impact. Being a first-generation student has only pushed me into being able to understand what each of these mean and what that looks like for my community and the communities most impacted by health disparities. I hope to use my experience here at RUSH to obtain my master’s in public policy and one day positively impact those communities.

Congratulations, Jocelyn!

Jacqueline Vanegas

Hometown: Chicago, IL
School of Attendance: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
School Year: Rising Senior
Major: Cognitive Neuroscience Pre-Medicine

Growing up in Pilsen, I have witnessed the difficulties that people face as a result of the disparities in the social determinants of health. Numerous people of color are impacted by the community’s lack of resources. The language barrier between patients and their medical professionals is one of the main obstacles in the health care system. I strive to change that and work towards increasing the number of translators in hospitals and the number of medical professionals who are able to communicate with patients in various languages, allowing them to feel comfortable and heard. I want to raise the voices of the underrepresented and provide the neighborhood with greater resources. As a future physician, I want to be able to mentor other first-generation Latinas and set an example for future generations. Life experiences have shown me what my genuine love is, and how my desire to help the Latino community as a doctor has grown as I gained new skills and experiences. I strive every day to expand the knowledge I need to excel in the health care field and discover new ways to give back to my community.

Congratulations, Jacqueline!

Summer 2022

Jazmyn Scott

Hometown: Chicago, IL
School of Attendance: Xavier University of Louisiana
School Year: May 2022 Graduate
Major: Psychology Pre-Medicine, with a minor in Spanish

As a Black Chicago native, I have many connections to both the South and West Sides of the city, specifically to the West Pullman and Austin neighborhoods in which I both grew up. West Pullman is an economically disadvantaged, predominantly Black neighborhood on the Far South Side whereas Galewood is a racially and economically diverse portion of the Austin community on the Far West Side. I have therefore witnessed extensive differences in resource availability that beget many disparities, including differences in the social determinants of health that result in health inequities. Nonetheless, my passion for medicine and healthcare equity arose during childhood when my mother, a healthcare worker, explicitly explained to me how race, ethnicity, and class greatly affect one’s healthcare experience. As I got older, I began to notice how this negatively affected the people and communities I loved and cared about.

As an aspiring physician who plans to aid underserved communities on the South and/or West Sides of Chicago, I am excited to work hard and play a role in combatting the health inequities faced in our underserved communities.

Sydney Goodman

Hometown: Barrington, ILSydney Goodman
School of Attendance: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
School Year: Senior
Major: Community Health | Health Education & Promotion and Health Planning & Administration concentration, with a minor in Psychology

My first passion within the field of health was menstrual cups. I discovered them in high school and was frustrated that I had never heard about them before. Once I learned how to use them and saw all the benefits, I found myself sharing my new knowledge with anyone who would listen. This was my first taste of health education. Once in college, I expanded my passion for menstrual health into sexual health by joining Sexual Health Peers which is a peer education program that provides inclusive, medically accurate, and comprehensive sex education to the University of Illinois. I facilitate peer education workshops regularly which involves giving an educational presentation and guiding a conversation surrounding sexual health topics in a positive way. This group feeds my interest in health and wellness, as well as providing a method for implementing relevant health education into my own community.

After my first year with this group, I felt confident declaring my major in Community Health. I began learning about the basics of public health and the shortcomings of the American healthcare system. My classes began to discuss complex topics like health disparities and how structural inequalities impact health outcomes. With all my excitement about spreading relevant healthcare information, I felt disappointed that there are so many barriers for some people to access quality healthcare. This refocused my passion for health to being part of the change in our healthcare system. Part of my career goals is to make a difference in communities that struggle most severely with the impact of structural inequality.

Jennifer Vayalil

Hometown: Willowbrook, IL
School of Attendance: Loyola University Chicago
School Year: Senior
Major: Psychology, with a minor in Biology

It was my experiences during my freshman and sophomore year of college that ignited my passion for further educating myself about the structural inequalities present within our society and the negative effects that it has on our health care system. During my freshman year of college, I joined an organization called GlobeMed that focused on spreading awareness and creating open discussions about various social justice and health equity topics. Growing up in the Southwestern Suburbs of Chicago and going to a school that was predominantly White, this was the first time I had an outlet to discuss these health equity issues with individuals that had very different upbringings and perspectives than myself. The weekly presentations and discussions that followed allowed me to grow in my own opinions and made me more knowledgeable about the disparities present within our society. My interest in health equity only grew from here, and I sought out opportunities shadowing and working on the South Side of Chicago. It is through these shadowing and work experiences that I was able to meet individuals who were directly impacted by the health care disparities that we talked about so much in GlobeMed. Each and every individual had a different story that revolved around the lack of health education and lack of access to health care, especially in regard to mental health.

As an Indian-American, I have seen the way that mental health is stigmatized in my community. Individuals are shamed and discouraged from looking to professionals for help. In the same way, I saw the lack of education and stigma that surrounded mental health in the underserved communities of Chicago. Many individuals I worked with refused to acknowledge their mental health concerns and reach out for help for years due to the shame that surrounded depression, anxiety, and various other health concerns. The health disparities and inequalities that are present within our society, especially in the West and South Sides of Chicago, are blatantly obvious.

Hersh Pareek

Hometown: Appleton, WIHersh Pareek
School of Attendance: University of Wisconsin – Madison
School Year: Rising Senior
Major: Global Health and Health Promotion/Health Equity and minoring in Environmental Studies

Health equity and social determinants of health are areas that I find to be critical in the field of public health. I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and have noticed many disparities in healthcare, education, and access to nutrition. For example, parts of Madison such as the south side contain food deserts, which makes it much more difficult to consume nutritious foods. After seeing the disparities across the city in which I live, along with taking various population health courses, I was inspired to work in the field of public health and improve health equity and healthcare access. Volunteering with Allied Fresh in Madison, an organization that aims to improve food security in the south side, and my experience working in the Social Determinants of Health Program with AmeriCorps have provided me with valuable knowledge and experiences that I will apply to this internship.

Reem Bardan

Hometown: Los Angeles, California
School of Attendance: University of California, Los Angeles
School Year: Senior
Major: Psychobiology, with a minor in Public Health

Growing up, I wasn’t perceptive to the fact that I was exposed to a myriad of health disparities that influenced my family and I’s health outcomes. Everybody around me was experiencing the same conditions and my Syrian immigrant parents had instilled within me to be grateful for everything and to focus on education to create a meaningful future in whatever circumstance we were in. It wasn’t until I left my community to UCLA and participated in a HHMI Diversity and Health Disparities Research Program and through my public health minor classes that I came to the eye-opening realization that my communities health outcomes are largely tied to systemic racial and economic disparities. I was probed to reflect the conditions which I wasn’t perceptive too growing up due to the lack of health education within my community. I learned that the access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and the well-being of my community is influenced by our zip code more than our genetic code. I’ve recognized that social, cultural, political, and economic factors play a large role in impacting our health and life course trajectory from the day we are born, and minority and economically disadvantaged communities like my own face the greatest impact. My background in addition to my experiences volunteering at community organizations and clinics has ignited a passion within me for preventative medicine and to bridge the gaps within health equity, specifically through health education. I am passionate about leading community based efforts as a physician to improve access to, and quality of, healthcare for underserved populations through exploring the intersection between public health, medicine, and health education. I’m particularly interested in uplifting maternal and child populations and health outcomes in hopes of combating health disparities.

Summer 2021

Isabella Castillo

Hometown: Chicago, IL
School of Attendance: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
School year: Senior
Major: Psychology | Behavioral Neuroscience concentration, with a minor in Political Science

I grew up on the Southwest side of Chicago and attended grade school in Pilsen. Growing up in Latino communities was both a beautiful and blinding experience for me. After attending high school at a predominately white institution, I realized how many financial and racial barriers exist in the healthcare system. Given that these barriers greatly impact the communities I grew up in, I have a strong interest working towards eliminating health disparities caused by both classism and racism. In school I am on the Pre-medicine track, I am majoring in Psychology, and my interest in medicine is very broad. However, I believe that mental health issues specifically have been stigmatized for many years in black and brown communities due to both cultural and financial reasons. The lack of funding for physical healthcare alone in underserved communities has caused mental healthcare to be wrongfully disregarded and deemed as unimportant.

Therefore, I am very interested in the lack of mental health care in black and brown communities. I also decided to minor in Political Science to learn more about how political, financial, and racial constraints have negatively impacted our healthcare system. I have previous experience participating in research and I plan on bringing the organization, efficiency, and team working skills I have learned to this internship. I want to ensure that our time spent together not only impacts our lives for the sake of gaining research experience but also helps find practical solutions to combat existing health disparities that will promote a fair and equal healthcare system.

Hannah L. Glass

Hometown: Chicago, IL
School of Attendance: The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
School Year: Senior
Major: Community Health: Health Planning and Administration – Pre-Med

Growing up between the Austin and Washington Heights communities, I have been able to witness and experience how health problems negatively impact predominantly black communities, often resulting in severe illnesses or death. With health problems common within my family, I decided at a young age that I want to become a physician. While volunteering at different hospitals throughout high school and college, I decided that in addition to my aspirations of becoming a physician, I want to work in public health. I’m particularly interested in promoting policy change and focusing more on prevention. During these different volunteer opportunities, I learned how education, accessibility, and inequality play a major role in why certain communities are faced with so many health problems. If low-income families experience disparities such as: 1) living in communities that lack suitable clinics and hospitals, 2) less resources and lack of access to quality education, and 3) live in food deserts, we are bound to see negative effects.

Even though courses I’ve recently taken and my familiarity with Chicago expand my knowledge on health disparities in the city, I still have so much to learn. I look forward to interning with Rush University Medical Center – Center for Community Health Equity and hope to gain more knowledge through collaborating with peers and learning from those like Dr. Reed with experience in the field. Naturally understanding the impact of health disparities from experience, I hope to better understand root-cause solutions for these disparities.

Dallas Ryan

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
School of Attendance: University of Pennsylvania
School year: Rising senior
Major: Sociology, with a minor in Chemistry

In high school I learned about Bryan Stevenson, an attorney and social justice activist who represents wrongly or unjustly convicted incarcerated people. Reading his book introduced me to disparity work and helped me understand how lawyers and doctors can use their degrees and positions of power to create change in people’s lives who are systemically oppressed. I grew up in West Philadelphia, so during my time at Penn I began to explore health disparities in my city and get involved with community organizations through classes and volunteer opportunities. I chose to connect with my community in a few different ways like tutoring West Philadelphia students, doing research on suicidality in African American youth, and vaccinating Black West Philadelphia residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

I value direct engagement with the communities that large institutions like universities and hospitals occupy, so I am excited to learn how Rush does that in Chicago. I hope to contribute some of the skills I learned from previous research projects to CCHE and learn how to connect community engagement with research to address community members’ needs. I was initially drawn to Rush because of its commitment to working with community organizations to provide intentional support and services. I’d like to use the tools and practices I learn at Rush when I am a practitioner one day to positively and directly impact systemically oppressed communities.

Ben Georgia

Hometown: Green Bay, WI
School of Attendance: DePaul University
School Year: First year Graduate student
Major: Master of Science in Nursing

Growing up in Green Bay, I have noticed over the years that it is becoming an increasingly diverse community. My classmates came from various cultures with rich backgrounds. I want to learn why there are health disparities due to race, culture, sexual orientation, educational attainment, and socioeconomic status. My life experiences have shown me various examples of these disparities. Particularly, the more money an individual has results in better access to healthcare, but a person who is battling the same disease does not necessarily have the same access. In order to solve any problem, the root cause needs to be discovered. Why does money equal better healthcare, why does lighter skin equal better treatment, and what are the true causes of the health disparities we see every day? These questions fuel my drive to help solve problems of health inequities.

I will bring organization, communication, and well needed comedic relief. From personal research experience I know that some days are tough, but as long as my team is able to remember why we started and what our goals are we will be able to persevere and continue to be successful. I also pride myself on my attention to detail and making it known when I have questions or concerns. Lastly, my clinical experience as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant has conditioned my patience which, in a world where dropping by an office is no longer an option, is very much needed while waiting for responses to questions and next steps.

Through this internship experience I would like to gain a greater understanding of health disparities on a larger scale beginning in the city of Chicago. I hope to learn what I can do to help fight against health disparities as I continue my education to become a Registered Nurse. As a nurse, I know that I will be put in situations that require me to proceed with an unbiased opinion and critical eye. I also know that I could possibly come across others on my team that may not have the same approach. Having as much exposure and knowledge as possible will help me work through these situations that may put my patient at risk and would allow me to build on the skills learned while growing in my career. Health disparities have been well documented through established public health research, but it cannot stop at the research point; the problems now need to be fixed. I want to be able to experience this repair in our healthcare system and be a part of the team that is working towards the solution for these problems. This internship will allow me to gain experience while working with people who are dedicated to serving everyone regardless of their race, culture, sexual orientation, educational attainment, or socioeconomic status.

Summer 2020

Marcos Montes

School: The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Grade: First-year graduate student
Major: Master of Counseling Psychology, with a focus on Substance Abuse and Trauma

Marcos grew up on the West Side of Chicago, the west side of Humboldt Park. His family was one of the many first Latino families that migrated during the 1960s to the area and we are still living there. Growing up, Marcos was exposed to countless disparities affecting communities of color. This inspired and motivated him to create change to improve the quality of his life. His professional career started at the young age of 18 years old working as an Orthopedic Technologist at a private doctor’s office. Macros gained an understanding of how to treat patients for orthopedic injures from as young as three weeks to one hundred and two years old. Later, he decided to go back to school and become an Orthopedic Physician Assistant. While he was in his undergrad program, a close classmate committed suicide. This was a shock not only for Marcos, but for his small close-knit cohort because they did not know he was suffering from depression. It was the death of his classmate that prompted Marcos to reflect on what he is passionate about and his career goals. He became aware that many people in his circle struggle with mental health once he started to have more conversations with them. Macros reached out to other healthcare professionals in mental health to gain a better understanding and to understand how he can help those in need. This made him reflect on his own neighborhood and many others like it to realize that there was a need for more mental health counselors that look like him, a person of color.

After achieving a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, Macros’ goal is to utilize what he has learned and to give back to the communities that lack the support they desperately need. Many members of underserved communities do not talk about mental health issues. Many underserved communities do not seek treatment because they don’t recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions or know where to find help. Mental health has become a passion of Macros’ and he wants to be able to bring more awareness to these issues, especially those the underserved communities who suffer from substance abuse and trauma. He feels empathy for those he’d like to help for many reasons, paramount is the fact that he sees people who look and have grown up like him. Macros believes he can stand in their shoes and he can help.

Kalia McRoy

School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Grade: Rising Senior
Major: Psychology, with a minor in Health & Society

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago in a predominantly Black neighborhood, Kalia was not quite aware of the many disparities her community faced. She was surrounded by faces that look like her all the time, so she thought everything was normal. It was not until high school when she truly realized the many differences in health care access, education, food, etc. that we were subject to due to living in a minority community. Once she went to college, a predominantly white institution (PWI), she was made even more aware of the inequalities faced by the people of color (POC) community compared to the majority, despite being in the same space that is devoted to “equality”.

Kalia’s psychology research interests focus on adolescents and how life experiences can affect developmental patterns, particularly in minorities. As research has proven, early life experiences can strongly impact an individual’s future, but she questions what mechanisms, whether physical, mental, emotional, or environmental have the greatest impact. Kalia added Health & Society as her minor because she wanted to learn more about the many health inequalities present in the US and around the world. Health disparities are also widely present in mental health, so Kalia hopes to address this in her future career as a Counseling Psychologist as well as in volunteer work for organizations focused on addressing and reducing health disparities in low-income communities.

Neel Matiwala

School: Saint Louis University
Grade: Senior
Major: Investigative and Medical Sciences, with a minor in Biology

Volunteering in the St. Louis and Chicago communities opened Neel’s eyes to the systemic disparities in health and education due to socioeconomic class. He was shocked by the lack of quality care and unequal distribution of resources. His experiences working in free clinics and public high schools have piqued his passion for preventative medicine and helping patients navigate systemic barriers and inequitable resources. Understanding the barriers plaguing our communities has been a task in itself, but finding a solution is even more complicated. Neel is really excited for this opportunity at RUSH because he will be able to develop a stronger understanding of the socioeconomic barriers faced by the community of Chicago, while getting a first-hand look at positive solutions that have been improving the community’s outcomes.

Neel hopes to apply the knowledge and skills he learns from this internship towards the communities he works with in the future. He plans on attending medical school and following a career centered around alleviating socioeconomic barriers to health resources and creating healthier, empowered communities.

Dureti Godana

School: University of Illinois at Chicago
Grade: May 2020 Graduate
Major: Biological Sciences

Dureti has always had a strong passion for ideas surrounding equity. For the duration of her college career she lived on the West Side of Chicago and saw the disparity in educational opportunities. On the main intersection of Lexington and Western street there are two different narratives. When heading North on Western, there are more affluent neighborhoods and new businesses. While going south on Western empty lots, brown grass and dilapidated school grounds illustrate the strong divide of gentrification, especially in education. Dureti views education as a gateway to success and she saw firsthand that not everyone has that opportunity. This inspired her to then pursue a minor in public policy to answer the question why disparities are present. Dureti plans to pursue the intersection between disparity and health policy and will be attending Boston University School of Public Health in the fall focusing on Health Policy.

Dureti’s interest in research related to equity was ignited by her experience in the Summer Opportunities Research Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne in which she examined the impacts of historical trauma on coping mechanisms and identity formation of single mothers in Englewood, a neighborhood located on the south side of Chicago. She was fortunate enough to study transcribed interviews where the mothers had elaborated on their situations and the role their hostile environment had on their children’s health as well as their own health outcomes. This experience opened Dureti’s eyes to the necessity of advocacy and bridging the gap between community and research.

Summer 2019

Dominque Dilworth

School: University of Illinois at Chicago
Grade: Senior
Major: Integrated Health Science, with a minor in Sociology

Dominque grew up on the West Side of Chicago. Growing up in Humboldt Park, she was exposed to a myriad of disparities affecting communities of color. This inspired and motivated her to create change to improve the quality of life for those in communities like her own. Dominque’s educational and professional goals include obtaining a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Practice, volunteering at a local free clinic long-term, founding a health-based community center on both the South and West sides of the city, and joining a non-profit organization that works to reduce the consequences of healthcare disparities for people of color.

Dominque’s interest in research was cultivated when she took Health & Medicine during her junior year at UIC. In this class, she studied both distal and proximal causes of health inequalities while brainstorming potential solutions. In this class, she was able to conduct a case study about maternal and fetal mortality for Black women in Chicago. Her research was then presented and discussed during the final weeks of school. In all, this opportunity allowed her to develop her research skills and expand her understanding of intersectionality within U.S Society. Dominque is excited for the opportunity to join the RUSH family and assist with a research project that aligns with her values and interests.

Alexia Leggin

School: Occidental College
Grade: Sophomore
Major: Cognitive Science, with a minor in Spanish

Alexia graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep, and is from the Austin area of the West side of Chicago. Early on she realized that, because of my community, she was limited in resources to catapult my academic career and development. Taking note of this , Alexia utilized Rush’s career development programs (ie: SAME Network, REACH) to indulge herself into the more professional world where she was able to see her dedication to academia present itself.
Throughout Alexia’s years of involvement, she’s come to find that she is heavily interested in learning about the relationship between medicine and the African American community, the dynamic of the hospital on an individual level and how that translates to a collaborative effort, and how her passion for writing can still be an effective tool within a strictly structured STEM field. She has even come to enjoy the subtleties of her medical journey such as learning and applying medical terms in the workplace, developing long-lasting relationships with those that would not normally be in her social realm, and watching the role of every professional at different stages of the medical journey (ie: an attending, medical student, resident, etc). Because of these qualities and experiences, Alexia is certain that she’d be a pre-med student throughout her college career.

Alexia hopes to attend medical school to work towards a career concentrated in neuroscience. Throughout her lifetime her older brother battled with schizophrenia, and for many years that has been a battleground for her family. She often holds this experience close to her heart and understands that everything she strives for is in light of his purpose. Alexia hopes to take this and use it to fuel her progression towards finding answers with neurology.

Nancy Wu

School: University of Michigan
Grade: May 2019 Graduate
Major: Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience

Nancy was able to conduct research on vascular proteins within brain disorders and improve current treatment and disease models for stroke patients. In addition, she had the opportunity to be a part of Michigan Active Citizens: Alternative Spring Break (MAC-ASB) and study public health in Peru as well as South Africa. It was through these experiences that Nancy gained knowledge on public health systems within and outside of the US and the factors that determine the quality and accessibility of healthcare individuals are receiving. With these experiences, she is eager to apply them to this internship as well as learn more about health disparities among underrepresented groups in Chicago.

In the future, Nancy plans to pursue a PA/MPH and, ultimately, hopes to contribute on reducing health disparities and improving access to quality healthcare among underrepresented individuals within Chicago.

Moriam Yarrow

School: University of Illinois at Chicago
Grade: Senior
Major: Neuroscience

Moriam has wanted to be a doctor her entire life, but it wasn’t until she entered college that she wanted a bigger role in caring for patients. Her research at Cook County Hospital has opened her eyes to the many issues that occur in healthcare. Therefore, Moriam wanted to pursue a career in healthcare administration to have a larger impact on the patient population, and the roles that doctors play. The experience that she has with the underserved community has shown the stark differences in care. The health disparities gap needs closing. Moriam’s goal is to utilize her career and experiences to aid in the closing of this gap.

Summer 2018

Autumn Gant

School: Beloit CollegeAutumn Gant
Grade: Senior
Major: Anthropology

Autumn is a resident of Chicago, which has allowed her to experience first-hand the health systems and disparities in the city that she wants to help make more equitable. She is also heavily involved in the activities at Beloit College’s Office of Academic Diversity and Inclusiveness (OADI) and a participant in the McNair Scholars Program, which has allowed her to learn about systemic inequalities in academia. Autumn is excited to bring both of these experiences together to delve deeper into the causes and effects of trauma and health disparities on underrepresented populations. She loves being able to contribute to the promotion of equitable health care in my community, and gain more knowledge in the health field from prestigious professionals so that she may take that knowledge to her current institution, family, and friends. Autumn feels this experience will be prepare her for a PhD in psycho-socio anthropology, which she plans to use to make Chicago a more equitable place.

Karla Gomez

School: Grinnell CollegeKarla Gomez
Grade: Senior
Majors: Psychology and Russian

Karla is a Senior at Grinnell College majoring in Psychology and Russian. Her interest in education equity and mentoring minority youth led her to discover public health and health disparities. Karla feels the CCHE Summer Internship combines these two perfectly, and she is excited to learn how we can tackle these issues in our community.

Cierra Robinson

School: Northern Illinois UniversityCierra Robinson
Grade: Senior
Major: Biological Sciences

Cierra’s goal in life is to become a physician specializing in anesthesia and later start her own practice. Cierra has been a part of the SAME program at Rush for more than ten years, and has experience working in departments like the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Case Management, and the Psychiatric Acute Care Unit. Understanding the importance of working collaboratively in group settings, Cierra is always eager to share her ideas and take on leadership roles. Cierra hopes to showcase her talents and skills while gaining useful healthcare experience.

Robert Tavory Robinson

School: Beloit CollegeRobert Tavory Robinson
Grade: Post Undergraduate
Major: Business Economics, with a Minor in Studio Art

Robert brings an entrepreneurial spirit to his work and projects. He has demonstrated leadership potential in his work experience and extracurricular activities. Robert hopes to learn the strategies as a health expert and learn the ways to apply his efforts to prevent health disparities mostly seen in his community. Robert’s favorite color is blue, he loves Chinese food, and loves supporting his family/friends entrepreneurial endeavors. He hope to own several businesses one day, and rehabilitate his community.