START Research Assistant 

Master of Public Health program

Please tell us a little bit about yourself 

I was born and raised in the greater Seattle area to two Ethiopian immigrant parents. In 2021, I earned my B.A. in Public Health-Global Health with a concentration in Global Health at the University of Washington. Throughout my undergraduate education, I pursued a fellowship with Pro Choice Washington. During this fellowship, I collected initial data on and mapped religious-affiliated hospitals and conducted research on the implications of the high rate of hospital consolidations on access to essential reproductive health services. This opportunity reaffirmed my interest in sexual and reproductive health, as well as public health data, which subsequently led me to work in data extraction at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, primarily within the HIV, TB, and Infectious Diseases team until graduation.

After graduating, I continued to work within the field of public health data as a Bariatric Clinical Reviewer. In this role, I analyzed clinical outcomes within the Bariatric Department at Evergreen Health and generated quality improvement suggestions based on the available data. In 2023, I served as a Research Fellow at St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During this time, I conducted in-depth interviews with women and their family members/partners to gain insight into their concerns regarding contraceptive side effects and the determinants influencing contraceptive utilization decisions.

Currently, I am a Research Assistant at the START Center, where I have the privilege of pursuing my interest in global health consulting while researching a wide range of pertinent global health issues. In my free time, I enjoy film photography, hiking, and traveling.

Why did you decide to attend the UW for graduate school?

The University of Washington was where I was first introduced to and became passionate about global health, and I was excited to return and be able to immerse myself further in the Department of Global Health and its wonderful faculty and support system. I also appreciate the University's emphasis on equitable, sustainable, and community-oriented solutions within global health spaces, and how this is integrated into all of the professional and academic experiences I have had in my time here. 

What are your research interests?

Most of my academic and research experiences and interests thus far have centered on sexual and reproductive health, particularly in the access and delivery of these critical health services. I am interested in improving access to miscarriage management options, contraception, and perinatal support and healthcare in rural low- middle income settings, with the ultimate aim of reducing staggering preventable maternal mortalities worldwide.

What are you enjoying most about your graduate program?

I am enjoying in-person learning and being able to learn and draw from the diverse experiences and wealth of knowledge of my peers and the faculty here. I am truly grateful for how accessible and supportive the faculty at the University have been thus far and feel that I have learned so much from the people around me already!