The Department of Global Health awarded 25 international travel fellowships to support the projects and research of graduate students at UW for the next academic year. Students from varied disciplines across the University of Washington, including global health, epidemiology, nursing, health metric sciences, and environmental health sciences, will travel to 13 countries to engage with local communities and pursue fieldwork experience. Projects range from investigating antimicrobial resistance patterns in Ecuador to promoting neonatal health through text messaging interventions in Kenya. 

The Department’s travel fellowships are funded through the generous donations of private individuals and organizations, as well as support from the Department of Global Health. 

Warren George Povey Endowed Fund for Global Health Students 

Global Opportunities (GO) Health Fellowship 

Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship 

Stergachis Endowed Fellowship for International Exchange 

Global Mental Health Fellowship 



Nuno Alberto de Jesus Ximenes, MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Timor-Leste 

Nuno Alberto de Jesus Ximenes

Nuno is an MPH student in the Department of Global Health. With support from the Warren George Povey Endowed Fund, he will be traveling to Timor this summer to assist HAMNASA, a local organization, in evaluating its mother and child tuberculosis program across four health facilities. The primary goal of this evaluation is to identify the barriers and facilitators to the success of the project, which has been implemented since 2021. The results of this evaluation program aim to provide recommendations to the Ministry of Health of Timor-Leste, suggesting the incorporation of tuberculosis screening as part of antenatal care. This is particularly important considering Timor-Leste's high prevalence of tuberculosis cases. 


Aneth Dinis, PhD Student, Department of Global Health | Mozambique 

Aneth Dinis

Aneth is a 4th year PhD student in Implementation Science, in the Department of Global Health. She applied to the Warren George Povey Endowed Fund to disseminate her dissertation results in Sofala and Manica provinces in Mozambique. Aneth’s research area of interest is service delivery of maternal and child services, which aligns well with her dissertation topic - The impact of audit and feedback in reducing neonatal mortality. She hopes the dissemination will help inform and tailor better strategies to improve population health. 



Eliud Akama, DrGH Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Eliud Akama

Eliud is a 2nd year DrGH student at the Department of Global Health. He is travelling to Kisumu with support from the GO Health Fellowship and will be working with Village Reach to explore scale and sustainment of digital health cases in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Eliud’s project is titled An Application of Kingdon's three stream Framework and the mHealth Assessment and Planning for Scale (MAPS) Toolkit to Examine Scale and Sustainment Cases of mHealth in LMICs. Understanding how and why some digital health interventions attain large scale-up and long-term sustainment could help his community have a more nuanced understanding on what to do or not do to attain digital health scale and sustainment. 


Jacinta Azie, MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Jacinta Azie

Jacinta is an MPH student in the Department of Global Health. With support from the GO Health Fellowship, she will be traveling to Kenya to evaluate the effectiveness of the Teenage Empowerment Program of the Maasai Association with a goal to curb teenage pregnancy, early marriage, and female genital mutilation. Working on this topic will lead to increased safety, health and rights of girls and young women which has a ripple effect on communities and society at large. Through this project, the Maasai Association will become better equipped to advocate for an end to FGM, teenage pregnancies and early marriage in their community. 


Jiawei He, PhD Student, Department of Health Metrics Sciences | Switzerland 

Jiawei He

Jiawei is a PhD student in Health Metrics Sciences. As a recipient of the GO Health Fellowship, Jiawei will be traveling to Geneva, Switzerland to study the risk and associated factors for mortality among HIV-infected children and young adolescents on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in low-resource settings. Through his fellowship with the WHO's Division of Data, Analytics, and Delivery for Impact, Jiawei hopes to gain policy-making experience and collaborate with local health departments to inform policy decisions based on research findings. His project addresses a crucial public health issue, and he hopes to contribute by sharing advanced modeling methods to support evidence-based strategies for reducing mortality in this population. By equipping WHO policymakers with these tools, Jiawei aims to facilitate informed decision-making and make a positive impact on international recommendations and efforts to improve outcomes for children and young adolescents on ART. 


Irene Maeri, MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Irene Maeri

Irene is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Global Health. She will be traveling to Kenya under the GO Health Fellowship to conduct primary data collection for her thesis titled Exploring the Role of Social Support in Viral Suppression among Adolescents and Young Adults Living with HIV (YLH) in Homabay County. She is interested in this topic because young people living with HIV (YLH) worldwide often struggle with adhering to their antiretroviral treatment, resulting in elevated viral load, compromised immune systems, and increased susceptibility to opportunistic illnesses. This not only diminishes their quality of life but also heightens the risk of HIV transmission. To address these challenges, the study aims to comprehensively examine the factors that influence the seeking and utilization of social support among YLH, both with and without viral suppression. Additionally, it seeks to identify barriers, facilitators, and strategies for enhancing social support for this population. By employing qualitative research methods, the study will actively engage YLH, caregivers, and healthcare providers to assess the direct impact of—informational, instrumental, emotional, and appraisal support—on the viral suppression of YLH. By conducting this study, Irene hopes to generate insights that can inform the development of targeted interventions and programs aimed at improving social support systems for YLH.  


Jerusha Mogaka, PhD Student, School of Nursing | Kenya 

Jerusha Mogaka

Jerusha is a PhD in Nursing Science student interested in HIV and STI prevention and treatment, particularly within maternal and child health settings, to improve health outcomes during pregnancy and birth. Through the GO Health Fellowship, Jerusha will travel to Kenya and examine the relationship between STI testing and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use patterns among women in maternal and child health (MCH) settings. Using qualitative data approaches as part of her PhD dissertation, Jerusha hopes to understand user experiences in laboratory testing of curable STI testing during the peripartum period to inform future national implementation guidelines of similar programs. 


Stanley Ndwiga, MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Stanley Ndwiga

Stanley is an MPH student in the Department of Global Health. With support from the GO Health Fellowship, he is traveling to Nairobi, Kenya, to undertake a research project on factors that affect how well young people aged 15-24 take their antiretroviral medication by determining the burden and impact of psychosocial factors on viral load suppression. Stanley hopes the community will benefit from the project by identifying the factors that influence medication adherence among this population group. This knowledge will be used to develop targeted interventions and strategies to improve adherence rates and address their unique challenges. The community will also have more access to evidence-based interventions and strategies to enhance medication adherence among adolescents and young people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. 



Viviana Alban, PhD Student, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences | Ecuador 

Viviana Alban

Viviana is a first-year PhD student in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Through the Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship, Viviana will travel to Quito, Ecuador, to conduct a summer project investigating antimicrobial resistance (AMR) patterns in E. coli strains isolated from animal fecal samples. The scientific data will constitute baseline information for her research plans and provide valuable information on AMR profiles and potential risks associated with different animal types in a low-and middle-income country. Leading this project will contribute to her growth as an early career researcher on animal-to-human AMR transmission and child health. This travel constitutes an opportunity to build technical capacity in-country and to work closely with Ecuadorian undergraduate and graduate students. 


Tessa Concepcion, PhD Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Tessa Concepcion

Tessa is a PhD student in Global Health Implementation Science. With support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship, Tessa will be traveling to Kisumu, Kenya to evaluate potential barriers and facilitators to acceptability and feasibility of mWACh-PrEP implementation in routine antenatal care (ANC) delivery settings. Mobile WACh PrEP (mWACh-PrEP) is an SMS communication platform that sends PrEP-tailored, theory-based SMS to facilitate adherence among pregnant women who initiate PrEP.  Tessa will conduct a qualitative evaluation at the individual-, provider-, and health systems-level to inform future scale-up. To assess acceptability and feasibility, she will conduct interviews and focus-groups with ANC-PrEP users, providers, and PrEP stakeholders. Pregnancy is a period of high HIV acquisition risk for African women and prevention research in this group lags behind other populations. Many pregnant Kenyan women with HIV risk factors accept PrEP when offered during ANC, yet >50% of pregnant women discontinue PrEP within 30 days of initiation. Tessa’s role as qualitative lead will directly support the parent project and study team by shouldering study responsibilities and building qualitative research capacity.  


Manal Jmaileh, MD-MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Ghana 

Manal Jmaileh

Manal is an MD/MPH student and ITHS Research Fellow with research interests in healthcare delivery in limited-resource settings, injury prevention, global health, and defining healthcare capacity. Under the guidance of esteemed faculty mentors Dr. Barclay Stewart and Dr. Charlie Mock, she conducts research aimed at improving healthcare access and emergency response in vulnerable communities. She will be traveling to Ghana with support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Fellowship. Manal is originally from Tacoma, WA, and is currently working on her master's degree in Global Health.   


Ana Krause, PhD Student, Department of Global Health | Ethiopia 

Ana Krause

Ana is a PhD student in the Department of Global Health, who will be traveling to Harar, Ethiopia with support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Fellowship. Her project will involve adapting two forms of simulation-based skills training (virtual and in-situ) for emergency department clinicians at the Hiwot Fana Comprehensive Specialized Hospital (HFCSH), and evaluating their usefulness and acceptability in this setting. This project responds to educational needs identified by our partners in Ethiopia and is part of a larger partnership with Haramaya University, Queen’s University, and the University of Ottawa. Ana is delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with the HFCSH emergency team in-country on this project, which may help inform the development of future simulation education for lower resource emergency departments. She also hopes to learn more about Harar's rich history and culture.


Floria Nyandaya, MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Nigeria

Floria Nyandaya

Floria is an MPH student in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington. Through the Thomas Francis Jr. Fellowship, she will travel to Abuja, Nigeria, to conduct a landscape analysis of diversity gaps in cancer drug clinical trials and evaluate phase III clinical trial site readiness at Zenith Medical and Kidney Center in collaboration with Hurone AI. With a passion for improving oncology health disparities among underrepresented populations, Floria seeks to utilize digital health technologies to enhance clinical trials and augment treatment and care in resource-constrained settings. Her collaborative work will promote trial diversity, leading to more accurate and representative outcomes for approved cancer drugs in diverse settings. By leveraging machine learning, Floria's practicum aims to democratize access to affordable, equitable, and context-specific oncology care, benefiting patients in Nigeria and individuals of African descent.


Tiara Ranson, MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Tiara Ranson

Tiara is a first year MPH student in the Department of Global Health, with interests in maternal and reproductive health. This summer Tiara will be traveling to Kisumu, Kenya with support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Fellowship. She will conduct process mapping to evaluate the level of family planning integration into six HIV clinics. At each facility, Tiara will follow the path of a theoretical woman living with HIV taking note of any interaction with staff, the wait times during visits, and any referral procedures. FP-HIV integration is a new approach to reproductive care for vulnerable populations affected by HIV; process mapping is a great way to provide a baseline for integration levels while also understanding what might be successful or limiting in the clinic setting for FP-HIV researchers and intervention implementers. 


Priyanka Shrestha, PhD Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Priyanka Shrestha

Priyanka is a PhD student in the Implementation Science program in the Department of Global Health. With support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Fellowship, Priyanka will be traveling to Kisumu, Kenya to identify potential disparities in access and delivery of a text messaging intervention (CHV-NEO) to promote neonatal health in Kenya. Priyanka has always been interested in improving maternal and child health (MCH) through innovative solutions, which dates to her prior work in global health. This project particularly gives her an opportunity to take a step further into her research interests and learn about intersections between health disparities and persistent MCH problems. This project is nested within a larger trial that connects community health workers with caregivers via an interactive two-way SMS tool to reduce neonatal mortality. Priyanka will be working with diverse members of the communities: mothers, pregnant women, community health volunteers, and healthcare providers. Since she will be engaging with both providers and beneficiaries of the intervention, she hopes that her research can shed light on the existing health issues from both sides of the health system equation. She particularly believes that her research will target women and mothers from communities that are most marginalized and would be able to help them get access to care. She hopes that the Kenyan health system would benefit hugely in understanding the disparities and accommodating the needs of their healthcare providers and users.  


Dil Singh, MPH Student, Department of Epidemiology | Philippines 

Dil Singh

Dil is an MPH student in the Department of Epidemiology. They will be travelling to Manila, Philippines with support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Fellowship, where they will contribute to research aimed at enhancing our knowledge of HIV prevention strategies for Filipina Trans Women. Dil’s dedication lies in providing support to gender diverse communities, and Dil aims to use their privilege by higher education to address the needs of systemically marginalized communities. By becoming immersed in this community, Dil hopes to gain a comprehensive understanding of their needs and gathering relevant resources to promote the health and well-being of Filipina Trans Women. 


Melody Wang, PhD Student, Department of Global Health | South Africa 

Melody Wang

Melody is a PhD student in the Implementation Science program in the Department of Global Health. With support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Fellowship, she will be based in Durban, South Africa investigating the impact of the Centralized Chronic Medication Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) program which provides access to ART for over 1.7 million people and has become the largest differentiated care program in the world. Melody hopes to use barrier prioritization methodology to better understand the barriers clients living with HIV encounter when they enroll and access differentiated care, with the ultimate goal of supporting successful implementation and scale-up of the CCMDD program to increase access to treatment.


George Wanje, PhD Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

George Wanje

George is a second-year PhD student in Implementation Science at the Department of Global Health. He is currently serving as a Research Assistant for an implementation cluster randomized trial of the Systems Analysis and Improvement Approach (SAIA) strategy to increase the integration of HIV prevention and treatment services in family planning clinics at program scale in Kenya. The study seeks to improve HIV counseling and testing, linkage to HIV care, and screening and linkage to PrEP through the utilization of the SAIA implementation strategy. Additionally, George will be incorporating his dissertation within the project. With support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Fellowship, George will travel to Mombasa, Kenya, where he will collaborate with the Mombasa County Department of Health Services on the training of SAIA, analyze the results of the baseline survey conducted in 180 clinics, and interpret the findings in conjunction with the local research team. Furthermore, he will utilize the opportunity to refine and contextualize his dissertation research questions focusing on the adaptations made to SAIA implementation. The study aligns with George's research interests in women's health and HIV, using implementation science strategies to improve the cascade of HIV care and treatment outcomes by integrating reproductive health services in Kenya.  


Miyuki Watanabe, DNP Student, School of Nursing | Peru 

Miyuki Watanabe

Miyuki is a Doctor of Nursing Practice Pediatric Nurse Practitioner student in the School of Nursing. With support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship, Miyuki will travel to Iquitos, Peru, to complete her capstone project for the Graduate Certificate in Global Health Nursing. Her project will investigate barriers and facilitators to accessing healthcare in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, aiming to expand available evidence that could help guide future policy discussions and recommendations. Iquitos is a community surrounded by the Amazon Rainforest, and healthcare access in rural communities outside of Iquitos is extremely limited. The project findings will shed light on the factors that play a crucial role in creating more inclusive and accessible healthcare systems and bring new solutions that translate into settings in the Peruvian Amazon across other low-resource areas. 


Linxuan Wu, PhD Student, Department of Epidemiology | Kenya 

Linxuan Wu

Linxuan is a PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology. Through the Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship, Linxuan will be traveling to Nairobi and Thika, Kenya, to collect data for the aim 1 of her dissertation, which aims to quantify the relationship between TDF/FTC PrEP dosages and drug levels in hair and urine among pregnant women in Kenya. Adherence plays a crucial role in ensuring the effectiveness of PrEP, and measuring drug level concentrations in biospecimen is considered one of the most accurate methods for assessing adherence. However, the relationship between dosages and drug concentrations, which is needed to guide the interpretation of adherence data, has not been established yet among pregnant women. Pregnant women have often been underrepresented in early efficacy trials of biomedical interventions, including HIV PrEP, resulting in significant knowledge gaps regarding the PrEP safety and use. Linxuan hopes her work will contribute to filling these gaps by providing more evidence to support the use of PrEP among pregnant women. 


Hiwot Zewdie, PhD Student, Department of Epidemiology | Colombia 

Hiwot Zewdie

Hiwot is a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Epidemiology, who will be traveling to Bogotá, Colombia with support from the Thomas Francis, Jr. Global Health Fellowship. Her project is focused on neighborhood social and built environment determinants of physical activity in Bogotá, with broader interests in exploring similar relationships in other rapidly urbanizing contexts worldwide. Hiwot will join collaborators at Universidad de los Andes to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and contextual factors that shape physical activity behaviors in Bogotá. The ultimate goal of this project is to contribute to the development of evidence-based recommendations for urban planning and policy interventions, with the aim of enhancing the overall health and well-being of communities in Bogotá and similar urban settings around the world. 



Robin Klabbers, PhD Student, Department of Global Health | Uganda 

Robin Klabbers

Robin is a second-year PhD student in the Department of Global Health in the Global Health Metrics and Implementation Science program. Her research is a part of the Head StART study, a cluster randomized trial taking place at health centers in refugee settlements in mid- and southwestern Uganda. The study is a collaboration between the University of Washington, the Infectious Diseases Institute at Makerere University in Uganda, and Medical Teams International and focuses on investigating whether community antiretroviral therapy (ART) delivery can improve viral suppression among refugees newly diagnosed with HIV in refugee settlements. Currently, this form of differentiated service delivery, in which people living with HIV (PLHIV) form groups and take turns collecting the group’s HIV medication from the health center and bringing it to the others in the community, is only available to PLHIV who are “stable in care” and are already virally suppressed. Robin is interested in studying community ART delivery for refugees newly diagnosed with HIV because she hypothesizes that the social support and assistance in overcoming barriers to care that community ART delivery offers, would be especially beneficial during the time following a new HIV diagnosis. If community ART delivery is shown to be effective for this new population, this research could help inform a change in Ugandan HIV guidelines and promote early HIV care engagement in refugee settlements. 



Laurén Gomez, PhD Student, Department of Epidemiology | Kenya 

Lauren Gomez

Laurén is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Epidemiology and will be entering the PhD program in the Fall. Through the Global Mental Health Fellowship, Laurén will be traveling to Kisumu, Kenya where she will partner with Kenyatta National Hospital to support the implementation of neurodevelopmental assessments nested within safety evaluations of infant antiretroviral exposure (pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and dolutegravir (DTG)). The GMH Fellowship will allow her to merge her research interests and expand on the work she conducted for her thesis, where she assessed the association of prenatal PrEP exposure and perinatal and infant outcomes. Fieldwork activities will focus on capacity building through trainings and data quality systems. Results from these activities will be analyzed as part of her dissertation and will fill evidence gaps on longer-term neurodevelopmental outcomes in the context of growing DTG and PrEP use globally during pregnancy which will inform scale up in Kenya and similar countries. 


Marilyn Nyabuti, MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Marilyn Nyabuti

Marilyn is an MPH student in the Department of Global Health. With support from the Global Mental Health Fellowship, Marilyn will be traveling to Homabay County in Kenya over the summer to conduct primary data collection for her thesis work. Her project aims to evaluate the loss-to-follow-up among women living with HIV in the transition from maternal and child health (MCH) clinics to comprehensive care clinics (CCC) in 3 Ministry of Health clinics in Homabay County, Kenya. Marilyn hopes to support the clinics in identifying ways they can better support mothers during the transition period to ensure optimal retention in care and better health outcomes. 


Dismas Ouma, MPH Student, Department of Global Health | Kenya 

Dismas Ouma

Dismas is an MPH student in the Department of Global Health, who will travel to Kisumu, Kenya, with support from the Global Mental Health Fellowship. Dismas’ project will focus on the burden and impact of depressive symptoms on sexual risk behavior and the use of oral HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis among adolescent girls and young women in Western Kenya. Understanding the burden of depression among adolescent girls seeking HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) preventive services is crucial in resource allocation toward incorporating mental health into HIV and STI preventive services. Integrating mental health services into HIV and STI preventive services will address the holistic needs of adolescent girls and other vulnerable groups, helping to improve their overall health outcomes and reducing the risk of HIV transmission.