Meet our summer intern!
Serena is an undergraduate student at Harvard pursuing a joint degree in psychology and economics. At school she has been involved in several public health groups, such as the Harvard Undergraduate Malaria Colloquium, and hopes to ultimately develop a career in public health. More specifically, Serena is interested in behavioral economics and how it can be used to improve health systems.
When did you become interested in malaria?
In fifth grade I had to write a term paper for my European History class, which I was dreading. However, one of the potential topics was the Black Death which immediately sparked my interest. I absolutely devoured that assignment and began reading every book on infectious diseases I could find. My fascination in infectious diseases continued in high school, so, like any normal 15-year old, I begged my parents to send me to a biomedical research summer program (e.i. Nerd Camp). For the last two weeks of the program each student focused on one disease for their final paper. I chose malaria and that summer paper ultimately led me to write my senior thesis on malaria prevention methods.
What brought you to Stomping Out Malaria?
I did some research on different malaria initiatives and public health opportunities, but Stomp was absolutely the most exciting. I was really drawn to the idea of “scrappiness” as a key value. Stomp does an incredible job of maximizing impact with limited resources and rising to any challenge- I immediately wanted to get involved!
What have you been working on?
The first few weeks I was primarily reviewing research on early treatment as a form of prevention. With the obvious success of the PECADOM + model in the field, I was pulling together evidence in literature that would further support this model. I also put together literature reviews on the current economic burden of malaria in Africa and the importance of parasite density in the transmission cycle.
Now I am working on different aspects of the Stomping Out Malaria website and incorporating more visuals. I have been playing around with different infographics and innovative ways of displaying Stomp’s incredible resources. Ultimately, I will be helping to compile a “How-To Guide” for implementing the PECADOM+ model on a larger scale.
What are your plans for the future?
As of right now, the dream is to enroll in a joint JD/MPH program after college (when I come back from my PC service, obviously). I could stay in school forever, so I am really just an aspiring professional student.
“A party without a cake is just a meeting.” -Julia Child