AEA Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI)
GEDI Interns come from a variety of disciplines including public health, education, political science, anthropology, psychology, sociology, social work, and the natural sciences. Their commonality is a strong background in research skills, an interest in extending their capacities to the field of evaluation, and a commitment to thinking deeply about culturally responsive evaluation practice. Meet the 2016-2017 GEDI Cohort!
Yamelith Aguilar is a second year Master of Public Health student with a concentration in health education and social justice at San Francisco State University. She earned Bachelor degrees in Health Science and Political Science from California State University, Fullerton. Yamelith is passionate about finding ways to engage communities to uncover social inequities in health and education. Her curiosity in evaluation centers around empowerment and working WITH communities to reach program outcomes and believes that data visualization is a rich and vital component of involving communities into the evaluation process. As a Graduate Education Diversity Intern, Yamelith will be working with Partners in School Innovation, a non-profit organization who works to transform teaching and learning in the lowest-performing public schools so that every student, regardless of background, thrives.
Hiershenee Bhana is a health promotion specialist with experience developing and evaluating nutrition education curricula and health-promotion programs for schools, worksites, and food pantries. She is a doctoral candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University, currently completing her PhD. For her doctoral dissertation, Hiershenee developed and evaluated the In Defense of Food (IDOF) curriculum, available on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), as the companion to the IDOF documentary film and based on the work of best-selling author Michael Pollan. She has experience developing cultures of health by creating programs which both motivate individuals to engage in healthy behaviors and change the environment to make it easy to do so. Hiershenee formerly worked in the area of maternal and child health, chronic diet-related disease, and HIV/AIDS serving vulnerable communities in Newark, New Jersey and within New York City. Through the GEDI program, she is working for the non-profit think tank and planning group, NewKnowledge Organization in New York City.
Tiffinie Cobb is a native of the city of Milwaukee and has more than 6 years of experience serving her most vulnerable neighbors, by partnering with various community organizations and initiatives. She also worked with the Center of Urban Population Health and UW-Milwaukee to enhance her community in the capacity of Research. Tiffinie is currently a second year Graduate Student at the UWM Zilber School of Public Health. Her Master’s in Public Health, emphasizes Community & Behavioral Health Promotion. As a Scholar with the American Evaluation Association’s Graduate Education Diversity Initiative (GEDI), Tiffinie’s role with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation involves collaborating with multiple systems that impact health disparities.
Melanie Gwynn is a second year doctoral student in Health Services Policy and Management with a concentration in Evaluation at the University of South Carolina and a graduate research assistant at the South Carolina Rural Research Health Center and the Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities. She earned a dual Master’s degree in Public Health and Healthcare Administration from Des Moines University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Georgia Southern University. For the GEDI program, Melanie assists South Carolina Advanced Technological (SC ATE) Center of Excellence with evaluation projects. Melanie is excited to delve deeper into the field of evaluation and to apply best practices to her research interests which include, health promotion, population health, and health disparities.
Jenifer Rogers is a second year Masters of Public Health student at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Jenifer received her B.A. in English with a linguistics minor from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. She is currently employed part-time at Alaska Literacy Program as the health literacy coordinator. She is an educator at heart and is passionate about changing lives through literacy. With her MPH, she will expand her work in multicultural communities through health education and health literacy promotion. As a GEDI, Jenifer interns at Southcentral Foundation (SCF), an Alaska Native owned and operated health care system. SCF’s vision is a Native Community that enjoys physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness. Jenifer is very excited about this opportunity to learn more about health promotion and program evaluation.
Fatimah Nadiyyah Salahuddin is an educator and "research justice” advocate whose expertise involves a deep knowledge of social justice oriented research methods and approaches. She is currently working towards a Master of Arts degree in Education with an emphasis in Teaching at Mills College in Oakland, CA. It was during an event that featured Maori scholar Dr. Linda T. Smith, author of Decolonizing Methodologies, where Fatimah first learned about research through the lens of decolonization while completing her undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies, also at Mills College. During her first semester she was one of three students nominated for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for students who possess a commitment to a career in public service. She also served on the Student Planning Committee for the 42nd annual National Association of Ethnic Studies conference, "Research as Ceremony: Decolonizing Ethnic Studies." Also during her undergrad she had her first joint-publication titled, "By Us, Not For Us: Black Women Researching Pregnancy and Childbirth," in the anthology Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change. Fatimah was first introduced to evaluation as an intern at Harder+Company Community Research where she helped develop their Culturally Based Consulting internal workgroup. As a GEDI intern she will be working with United Way of the Bay Area’s Sparkpoint and Education teams. She currently tutors English at City College of San Francisco and teaches a research course at a continuation high school in Oakland, CA.
Ammy Sena is a second year Mental Health Counseling student at Boston College's Lynch School of Education. Ammy received a Bachelors of Science and Arts in Psychology and Latin America and Caribbean Studies with an Educational Studies minor from Suffolk University. Her particular area of interest is on mental health practices, treatment, assessment and diagnoses amongst the Latino/a community and other minoritized groups. She is currently working as a research assistant at the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College, where she studies race and culture as it intersects with mental health practice, educational settings and differing aspects of society. Ammy has worked with children and adolescents in inpatient and residential settings with various mental health issues such as severe trauma and anxiety but is currently working as a college counseling intern. Through the GEDI Program Ammy will be working at the Education Development Center in Waltham, MA. Ammy is a Dominican Republic native but currently resides in Rhode Island.