START Center Research Assistant, Provost Award

PhD in Implementation Science program

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in the Washington, DC area, but my childhood experiences going back-and-forth to see relatives in the Philippines drew me to pursue a career in global health. I received a BS in Global Health at Georgetown University and an MPH in Global Health Metrics at the University of Washington. At the University of Washington, I worked as a Post-Bachelor Fellow and Research Scientist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). There, I primarily modeled the epidemiology and burden of disease attributable to low birth weight, short gestation, and child growth failure. Prior to starting the PhD program, I worked as a Research Associate at International Care Ministries (ICM), a poverty reduction NGO based in the Philippines. Most of my time there was spent helping to design, build, and evaluate ICM's newly started community health worker program. I am delighted to now be an Implementation Science PhD student in the University of Washington's Department of Global Health.

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

I was 19 years old when I stumbled upon a video of Jim Yong Kim speaking about a new ‘Science of Delivery’. I was intrigued by the notion that we can study not just efficacious interventions but also how to make them work effectively in the real world. With this inspiration, I completed my undergraduate thesis on ‘Understanding the opportunities and challenges in the scale-up of a household WASH innovation’ (I didn’t know the lingo ‘barriers and facilitators’ back then!). After college, I continued looking for more information about implementation science, which led me to learn about the Implementation Science PhD program at the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health. That was almost a decade ago – so I’ve had a longstanding interest in this specific department for many years, and I am glad to be a part of the community!

What are your research interests?

My research interests lie primarily in the survival and healthy growth of neonates, infants, and children under 5. I’m particularly interested in the social determinants of health, and I’m drawn to research that examines social connectivity, the quality of social relationships, and social networks as protective factors against disease. As a secular researcher and practitioner, I have had a long history working with local communities of faith (of all kinds), and I strongly believe in the principles of community-based participatory research.

What are you enjoying most about your graduate program?

The vibrant and diverse community has been wonderful. I’ve enjoyed spending time with and learning from other UW students. I also am grateful to deepen my understanding and application of quantitative methods through the many strong departments and centers at UW, including Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Metrics, and the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences. I’m also glad to be in Seattle, which has been a beautiful place to call home for many years now.