Former SURE-EH Trainees

Gabino Junior Abarca majored in Public Health. He joined the program in June 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. June Spector, Assistant Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Inspired by the work experiences of his parents and himself harvesting fruit, Gabino’s research during his first year with SURE-EH investigated the association between heat exposure, volume/hydration status and kidney injury using data collected from orchard workers in Eastern Washington state. He presented his research project, “Relationship between Heat Exposure, Volume Status, and Kidney Injury in Washington Crop Workers” at the 2017 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium. 
 
His research during his second year focused on “The Effect of Body Heat on Personal Ambient Air Temperature Measurements During Physical Activity” which he presented at the 2018 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Gabino became a UW McNair Scholar and received the “Exceptional Student Award” at the Washington State Public Health Association's Annual Conference in October 2017. He graduated in the Spring of 2018 and entered the MPH program in the Department of Health Services at the University of Washington in Fall 2018.
 
Arthur Aquilar is majoring in Public Health. He joined SURE-EH in June 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Vanessa Galaviz, Lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and Director of Community Engagement and Education for the PNASH Center.  Art’s research  project “Transcending Barriers: How migrant student engagement can benefit agricultural health and safety” seeks to strengthen farm worker knowledge about occupational exposures and risks, with specific emphasis on pesticides, by engaging and educating children of farm workers. Engaging migrant children in the form of an interactive class activity would allow them to walk away with increased understanding, thus, translational capacity to improve awareness for their families.
 
Art completed the program in Spring 2018 and plans to graduate this year. 
 
Chloe Bergstrom majored in Political Science. She began the program in August 2016. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Jeremy Hess, Associate Professor in Internal Medicine and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Her research project focused on looking at the health co-benefits of climate change mitigation activities. While in the program Chloe  created comprehensive tables that represented various health co-benefits from climate change mitigation. These tables were used in a presentation by Dr. Hess in September 2016 and will be used in paper to be published later. In January 2017 Chloe withdrew from the program citing conflicting school priorities.
 
Felicia Chiang majored in Human Centered Design and Engineering.  She joined the program in November 2015 and completed the program in June 2016. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Edmund Seto, Associate Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Her project focused on improving information for communities at risk of exposure to elevated levels of air pollution. Felicia created mock ups and prototypes of a website and mobile interface for local organizations in the Bay Area to visually understand the level of air pollution around their neighborhood, and what actions could they take to improve the current situation. Felicia’s first opportunity working with the community was volunteering with the Red Cross to bring food to a remote community in Taiwan. Through that experience she learned the importance of field work which empowers the community.
 
Carmin Covarrubias Chong joined the program in November 2015 and completed it in June 2016. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Noah Simon, Department of Biostatistics. Her project was to develop a method to assess the association between potentially toxic exposures and health outcome, while adjusting for confounding variables that are related to location; eg. socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity and possibly other spatially-localized exposures. Carmin graduated from the University of Washington in August 2016 with a degree in Sociology. 
 
Karissa Crawford majored in Microbiology. She joined SURE-EH in June 2017 under the mentorship of Dr. Scott Meschke, Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Her research, “Environmental Detection of Polio Virus Utilizing Reverse Transcription Recombinase Polymerase Amplification (RT-RPA)” investigated polio virus detection in environmental samples to determine how RT-RPA assays perform when compared to other polio virus detection methods. 
 
Karissa presented her research at the 2017 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium.
 
Karissa graduated from the UW in the summer of 2018 and completed her SURE-EH training in June 2018. Currently, she is enrolled in the UW's Medical Laboratory Science post-baccalaureate program to continue her education in the microbiology field.
 
Yasmin Everson was a major in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Sciences. She joined the program in September 2016 and worked with faculty member Dr. Julia Cui, Assistant Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. In her 1st year as a SURE-EH trainee , Yasmin worked on understanding the relationship in gut microbiome to the ontogeny of drug-processing enzymes in liver of germ-free mice. During her 2nd year her project “Modeling the Hepatic Ontogeny of Epigenetic Gene Expression in HepaRG Cells” focused  on determining if the dysregulation of epigenetic marks may lead to adverse drug reactions in vitro by altering the expression of drug-processing genes using HepaRG cells as a model. Additionally, understanding the potential hepatotoxicity of Dechlorane 602, BDE-99 and BDE-47 to the liver. Her research is relative to her previous work of establishing the expression of drug processing genes during development.
 
Yasmin graduated from the UW in Spring 2018 and is currently working at Amazon on their Environment, Health and Safety team.
 
Niloufar Ghodsian joined SURE-EH in November 2015 and completed it in the spring of 2017.  Her faculty mentor was Dr. Chris Simpson, Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.   Her research, “Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Metabolites in Kenyan HIV-1 Infected Children” focused on the biological monitoring of exposure to combustion products, including diesel exhaust and wood smoke and was presented at the 2017 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium. Growing up in Shiraz, Iran, Niloufar observed the health impacts from poor quality first hand. In her project, she was able to analyze samples from Kenyan HIV-1 infected children and their caregivers who were exposed to indoor air pollution.

Niloufar completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Washington in the spring of 2017. She has since been admitted to the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Graduate program where she will pursue her MS in Occupational & Environmental Exposure Sciences. She has also become a trainee in the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NWCOHS) in the Industrial Hygiene program

Daysha Gunther joined SURE-EH in November 2015 and completed it in June 2017. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Scott Meschke, Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Her research project, “Environmental Screening of Poliovirus Using Recombinase Polymerase Amplification”, focused on the development of enhanced methods for environmental surveillance of Poliovirus. The project sought to improve current surveillance methods where barriers constrain environmental detection of pathogens. She presented her research at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Tampa, Florida in Fall 2016 and the 2017 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium. 

Daysha completed her undergraduate studies at the UW in June 2017 with a BS in Public Health and is currently pursuing her MPH in Health Systems and Policy in the UW’s Department of Health Services. She is also doing qualitative research for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Washington. 
 
Joanna Harrison is now a Master’s student in Environmental Health. She joined the program as an undergraduate in November 2015 and completed the program in June 2016. Her faculty mentor was Peter Rabinowitz, Associate Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Joanna’s SURE-EH research focused on the impact of Cryptosporidium and Giardia at the community level and its zoonotic transfer in Vicosa, Brazil with the aim of developing targeted interventions. As a graduate student her thesis work will be a continuation of that research focusing on the capture and detection methodology of Cryptosporidium and Giardia. 
 
Shamey Kassim joined SURE-EH in June 2017under the mentorship of Dr. Nicole Errett, Lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. She withdrew in March 2018 to focus on her academic work. Shamey’s research looked into current recommendations to increase preparedness of methadone clinics affected by disasters such as 9/11 or devastating natural events. Specifically, she wanted to determine what evidence-informed interventions have been implemented to enhance emergency preparedness clinics located in King County, WA. Shamey hopes to one day go to medical school. 
 
Medina Khedir entered the program in October 2016 and completed the program in the Spring of 2017. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Anjam Hajat, Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology. Medina’s project title was “Tracking Levels of Air Pollution in 1980 and 2010 Using County Level Data”. It focused on determining if poor and minority groups are exposed to higher concentrations of air pollution as compared to other economic and racial groups. 
 
As well as being a SURE-EH trainee, Medina was also a Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP) fellow. An Ethiopian immigrant, a Muslim, and a first generation college student, Medina hopes to pursue a career that will allow her to focus on health policy and immigrant populations. She graduated from the UW in the June 2017. 
 
Christine Perez Delgado joined the program in November 2015 and completed it in September 2017. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Rich Fenske, Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Her research focused on reducing agricultural worker risks through new and emerging technologies. Initially, Christine analyzed urine samples from pesticide handlers to look for biomarkers of acetamiprid exposure.  With that project complete, pursued a field investigation analyzing pesticide drift into neighboring fields utilizing water sensitive paper. She presented her project, “Estimating Orchard Worker Exposure to Pesticide Drift using Water Sensitive Paper” at the 2017 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Christine graduated from the University of Washington in Spring 2017 with a BS in Public Health. 
 
Vy Tran joined the program in November 2015 and completed the program in June 2016. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Noah Sexias, Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.  Her project focused on working conditions, stress and health among low wage workers in Seattle. Vy helped develop a comprehensive questionnaire that will characterize injury experience and severity; non-work stressors; and general health status (objectively and subjectively measured) among workers employed across a variety of industries. Vy has since graduated with a degree in Environmental Health.She currently works as an EHS Consultant at Google and is in the process of applying to a MSPH program in Occupational Hygiene. In December 2016, she was featured in a “Spotlight” article for the University of Washington’s Be Boundless campaign highlighting her work to create safer workplaces: http://www.washington.edu/boundless/fighting-for-a-safer-workplace/