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Officer Archive

 GSGA 2022-2023 Officers 

The Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) are elected and appointed representatives who serve the CUNY SPH student body. We aim to work on your behalf and as your advocates, serving as a voice for your needs and wants, and helping you optimize your time here at SPH.

 

President: Doris Chiu

MPH Concentration: Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Doris is a second-year student pursuing her MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics. She cares deeply about the experiences of her fellow students and wants to find ways to integrate their lived experiences into improving SPH classes and community. 

As a student, Doris is interested in environmental health, sexual and reproductive health, social epidemiology, occupational health, and land use. She is excited to serve the CUNY SPH community as President of the GSGA.

 

Vice President: Zaire Ali

PhD Concentration: Community Health and Health Policy

Zaire is a New Jersey native, who was born and raised in Plainfield, NJ until he left to attend Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. While at Lock Haven he became an All-American boxer, working hard and dedicating himself to his studies while earning his AA and B.S. Degree. Ten years later, Zaire proudly holds two Master’s Degrees in Education and Public Health. 

Zaire is Director of the Urban Health Collaborative 501(c)(3), where he leads a team to help educate the community and alleviate some of the burdens of systemic racism and the negative impacts it has on folks living in urban communities throughout New Jersey and New York. 

After finishing his degree, he plans to run for state political office, and one day be part of Congress or the Senate. He pledges to amplify the voices of the people and be a major disruptor to the political system that oftentimes marginalizes and discriminates against minority and vulnerable communities.  

Zaire thanks the members of the CUNY SPH commUNITY for electing him to serve as their Vice President. 

 

Treasurer: Natalie Echavarria

MPH Concentration: Community Health 

Natalie Echavarria is a first-generation Dominican/Honduran first-year graduate student pursuing an MPH in Community Health. She graduated from City College with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in sociology. She is passionate about equitable access to education, housing, and food for low-income Black and Latinx communities in the Bronx.

Natalie’s goal is to amplify the voices of Bronx communities and their needs, drawing on her experiences as someone who grew up in a low-income household in the Bronx. She was inspired after interning at a college support program called Bottom Line as an advisor for first-generation low-income students of color in New York City transitioning from high school to college. Her priority as treasurer is to work with the GSGA team and the CUNY SPH community to improve the school year experience for everyone with our budget. Her favorite hobbies are singing, roller skating, and listening to music.

 

Communications Officer: Tess E. Baldwin

MPH Concentration: Health Policy and Management

Tess works for a Federally Qualified Health Center as a medical coder, and previously worked as a reproductive and sexual health educator for Planned Parenthood. Currently in her second year of the MPH program in Health Policy and Management, she is interested in the political and regulatory environment surrounding cannabis program implementation in New York State, the development and evaluation of novel psychedelic therapies to achieve better mental health outcomes for patients, and exploring how equitable, socially just harm reduction practices can assist New Yorkers. 

She has a degree in nonfiction creative writing from Hunter College, and worked for many years as a licensed New York City tour guide, crafting bespoke tours and compelling narratives about city history on social media. She thoroughly enjoys delving into historical records and sources, researching and writing about topics she finds particularly compelling, such as subway and railroading history, medical history, local place names, and folkloristics. In her free time, she enjoys visiting museums, historical sites, and battlefields, writing, watching baseball, and going to concerts. 

 

Masters Senator: Cara Frances

MPH Concentration: Community Health 

Cara is a reproductive and LGBTQ+ justice advocate and researcher in her final year of the MPH program in Community Health. She recently worked as project coordinator at the Population Council’s Girl Innovation, Research, and Learning (GIRL) Center, where she led research initiatives supporting the health and wellbeing of sexual and gender minority adolescents internationally. She’s interested in issues around inclusion of queer identities in health data and health services.

Cara is a Chicago native and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biology from Skidmore College. Before moving to New York, she completed the Public Health Associate Program with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She currently lives in Queens with her wife and adorable cat, Cannoli.

Masters Senator: Victoria Sunseri
MPH Concentration: Health Policy and Management

Victoria is a second year student pursuing her MPH in Health Policy and Management. Her development as a public health professional began during her undergraduate career at The University of Tampa, where she received a double degree in Psychology (BA) and Public Health (BS) with a concentration in behavioral health. In her senior year, Victoria was selected for a Fulbright scholarship to conduct research in Sicily, Italy from 2018-2019. She continues to apply the various domestic and international leadership experiences she’s had thus far to her work as a graduate student, and she looks forward to representing the HPAM department and serving the greater CUNY SPH community in this role.  

Her areas of interest include mental health services access, LGBTQ+ health, immigration, human trafficking, and substance abuse. Her personal interests include hiking, running, camping, scuba-diving (basically anything outdoors), listening to podcasts, and writing/performing poetry.  

Doctoral Senator: Amena El-Harakeh

PhD Concentration: Community Health and Health Policy

Amena, a doctoral student in Community Health and Health Policy at CUNY SPH, is from Lebanon. She earned a BSc in Environmental Health from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2015. She received the Penrose Award that recognizes a graduating public health student who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, character, leadership, and contribution to university life. In 2017, she graduated with her MPH (Health Management and Policy) from AUB where she became interested in health policy and systems research.

Amena was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society of Public Health in 2017. She then began working as a junior research scientist at the Center for Systematic Reviews on Health Policy and Systems Research (SPARK) at AUB where she was involved in multiple systematic reviews commissioned by the World Health Organization to inform its guidelines. Her primary research interests include health policy and systems research, migrants’ health, and health equity.

 

Doctoral Senator: Shari Jardine

PhD Concentration: Maternal, Child, Reproductive and Sexual Health

Shari is a Public Health Practitioner, innovative strategist, and leader with a myriad of public health experience in community, city, national and multinational organizations. Shari is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Community Health and Health Policy track at the CUNY School of Public Health and Health Policy, with a specialization in Maternal Child Reproductive and Sexual Health. She is particularly interested in global health, sustainable emergency disaster management, social determinants of health, cultural competency, health equity, anti-racism, and school-based sex education.

Shari is currently the Deputy Director for the Center for Global Health at Northwell Health, where she co-leads all global health efforts for the entire health system. During her tenure, Shari served as the Chief Procurement Officer and Incident Commander of the South Beach Psychiatric Hospital COVID-19 alternate care site for over a year. Prior to this, Shari served as the Program Manager of the Community Health and Social Medicine (CHASM) Initiatives for Northwell Health, where she managed the Screening, Referral, and Navigation program and Medical-Legal Partnership with Hofstra University across three clinical sites.

Spring 2021-2022

President: Bradley Meacham

MPH Concentration: Health Policy & Management

Bradley Meacham is a Health Policy and Management student at the School of Public Health. Bradley’s focus began in mental health, where he finished his bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Columbia University, concentrating in neuroscience and behavior. While in school, Bradley decided to focus his research on psychology and communication that led to immigration-based social and cultural development and mental health in international students.  He hopes to gain the necessary experience at SPH to learn the methodology behind equitable systems science and educational dissemination.

As the President of the GSGA, Brad believes his job is to make certain that everyone’s voice is heard. If you have a passion, dream, or idea, he would be honored to help bring volume to your voice and assist in making sure your messages are received and acted upon by the GSGA, SPH, and CUNY, accordingly. Equity and safety are by far the most quintessential things in life and education. As your new GSGA leaders, we are proud to stand with you to fight for every human to live and grow in a community they feel enthusiastic about calling home. Finally, to the new students, Brad would like to congratulate you on your acceptance! He cannot wait to begin learning with and from you!


Vice-President: Shawon Shahriar

MPH Concentration: Health Policy & Management

Shawon was born and raised in Bangladesh and had been living in NYC for almost ten years. He sees himself appropriately fitted for an administrative and policymaking position at a tertiary level hospital in NYS. Shawon’s ultimate goal is to better implement “Vaccines for all” throughout the country and improve the holistic management policy on cancer treatment. Shawon is an exceptional team player, and influential communications skills are his forté. He can work with people of any personality and can bring the best from his friends and colleagues. He loves to keep his smiling face in any sort of situation and would like to see the same from his surrounding folks.

After successfully completing his graduate studies, he plans to work as a health administrator at an NYC hospital to advocate for health equity among vulnerable populations. Being an immigrant himself, he found there are gross amounts of health disparities in our country that affect immigrant people. As someone eager to join the fight for a substantial change in health policymaking, Shawon believes the CUNY SPH GSGA will provide him with the knowledge and skills necessary to advance equitable policies and programs. In turn, this will allow him to become the community-responsive professional he aspires to be.


Treasurer: Afia Islam

MPH Concentration: Community Health

At the age of three years old, Afia immigrated from Bangladesh to New York City. She has lived in the borough of Queens ever since. She has seven years of healthcare experience and has earned certificates in quality improvement and patient care. She is in her second semester at CUNY SPH. When she is not focused on schoolwork, she loves to cook, spend time with her family and friends, swim, and read a good book. As your GSGA treasurer, she is responsible for oversight and management of our budget.


Communications Officer: Amena El-Harakeh

PhD Concentration: Community Health and Health Policy

Amena, a doctoral student in Community Health and Health Policy at CUNY SPH, is from Lebanon. She earned a BSc in Environmental Health from the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2015. She received the Penrose Award that recognizes a graduating public health student who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, character, leadership, and contribution to university life. In 2017, she graduated with her MPH (Health Management and Policy) from AUB where she became interested in health policy and systems research. Amena was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society of Public Health in 2017. She then began working as a junior research scientist at the Center for Systematic Reviews on Health Policy and Systems Research (SPARK) at AUB where she was involved in multiple systematic reviews commissioned by the World Health Organization to inform its guidelines. Her primary research interests include health policy and systems research, migrants’ health, and health equity.


Masters Senator: Sherline Altidor

MPH Concentration: Health Policy & Management

Sherline Altidor is an MPH major with a concentration in health policy and management. She loves to travel, cook, and help others. She previously attended a SUNY university and is excited to bring her experiences to the GSGA community to aid in maintaining and enhancing the quality of students’ experience here at the CUNY School of Public Health. She currently works for an international organization and is passionate about health, health equity, maternal health, and sexual/reproductive health. It is her pleasure to serve the CUNY SPH community as a Masters Senator.


Masters Senator: Ansu Abraham

MPH Concentration: Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Ansu Abraham is an international student pursuing her MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She is originally from India and was a dentist there. She is passionate about improving access to care and promoting public health, especially dental health. Leadership positions at her previous university enhanced her student experience and helped her engage with her classmates. This led her to learn about the GSGA. As a Masters Senator, she looks forward to representing her peers and their needs. When she isn’t in class, she spends her weekends baking, reading, and traveling.


Masters Senator: Natalia Surujnath

MPH Concentration: Health Policy & Management

Natalia Surujnath is a second-year student concentrating in Health Policy and Management. She is interested in working in low-income communities and making an impact where quality health is equal access to all. Natalia is also a student member of the Committee for Equity and Inclusion. In her free time, she enjoys writing for BrownGirl Magazine, a platform for the South Asian diaspora, as well as reading, traveling, and enjoying the company of her lovely family and friends.


Masters Senator: Doris Chiu

MPH Concentration: Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Doris Chiu is a first-year student pursuing her MPH in epidemiology and biostatistics. She is interested in environmental health, sexual and reproductive health, social epidemiology, occupational health, and land use.

Doris cares deeply about the experiences of her fellow students and wants to find ways to integrate their lived experiences into improving SPH classes and community. Doris is excited to work with and be a part of the GSGA to serve the CUNY SPH community.


COLIN

Advanced Certificate Senator: Colin DeVries

Certificate Concentration: Public Health

Colin DeVries is completing an Advanced Certificate in Public Health. He is assistant director of media relations at NYU Langone Health, covering neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics/sports health and transplantation. Previously, he worked over nine years as a newspaper editor and reporter. As a healthcare communicator, Colin hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the intersection of public health and communication to combat misinformation while encouraging deeper comprehension of critical public health concerns. He has particular interest in housing, transportation, and economic opportunity as social determinants of health. When not hitting the books, you might find him biking around his home in Jersey City or hiking in upstate New York, where he grew up. He also serves as president of the Deadline Club, the New York City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has a master’s degree in communication and media from Rutgers University, an advanced certificate in nonprofit management from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University at Albany.


Doctoral Senator: Claudia Calhoon

DPH Concentration: Health Policy & Management

Claudia Calhoon is a DPH candidate at the SPHHP and a Substitute Lecturer at Queens College Department of Urban Studies. She oversees the Cities and Social Medicine minor during the current academic year. Claudia worked at the New York Immigration Coalition from 2014 to 2020 with the Health Policy program. She led the development and execution of city and state campaigns to improve health access, coverage, and delivery for immigrant communities. Claudia has provided leadership to a diverse array of public health and non-profit settings, including the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, the Open Society Foundations, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cuenca, Ecuador. Claudia is excited to work with GSGA to make SPHHP as student-friendly and accessible as possible.  She can be found doomscrolling on Twitter and Citibiking around Brooklyn.


Doctoral Senator: Shari Jrdine

PhD Concentration: Maternal, Child, Reproductive, & Sexual Health

Shari is a Public Health Practitioner, innovative strategist, and leader with a myriad of public health experience in community, city, national and multinational organizations. Shari is a third-year student in the Community Health and Health Policy track, with a specialization in MCRSH. She is particularly interested in social determinants of health, cultural competency, and school-based sex education.

Shari is currently the Senior Advisor for the Center for Global Health, where she serves as the deputy director of the Center, leading all global health efforts for the health system. Prior to this, Shari served as the Program Manager of the Community Health and Social Medicine (CHASM) Initiatives for two years, where she managed the Screening, Referral, and Navigation program and Medical-Legal Partnership with Hofstra University across three clinical sites.

Prior to joining Northwell Health, Shari served as an ASPPH Allan Rosenfield Program Management Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control in Haiti and an ASPPH Domestic Public Health Fellow in the Education and Training Services branch at CDC Atlanta. Shari received her bachelor’s degree as a double major in Health Science and History from Stony Brook University. She received her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Community and International Health from New York University and a second master’s in Individualized Study with a concentration in Cultural Competency and Health Education from the Gallatin School at New York University.

A born and bred New Yorker, Shari is passionate about advocating for those not at the table, being a people and opportunity connector, traveling the world and bridging the gap between academia and community.


Fall 2021-2022


Antonino Maltese, President


Kevin Chin, Treasurer


2020-2021


Zoe Schacht-Levine, President and USS Alternate


Muhammed Tekanyi, Vice President and USS Delegate


Jennifer Carmona, Treasurer


Melissa Carreño, Communications Officer


Bridget Akasreku, GSGA College Assistant


Abel Oni, Masters Senator, and FSDC Member


Diandra Grinage, Masters Senator


Navkaran Singh, Masters Senator


Priyanshi Patel, Masters Senator


Erinn Bacchus, Doctoral Senator


Faculty Student Council 2020-2021


Huihui Li, EPI/BIO Representative, and Masters Student Curriculum Committee


Miranda Hogan, EOGHS Representative, and Masters Student Assessment Committee


Jessica Walsh, CHSS Representative


Constantious Stavroulakis, HPAM Representative


Claudia Calhoon, Doctoral Student Curriculum Committee


Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee 2020-2021


Kimberly Ramos



2019-2020 Officers

Pavan Lohia, President 


Zoe Schacht-Levine, Vice President 


Kellie Joseph, Communications Officer


Melissa Carreno, Communications Officer


Tamara McDonald, Treasurer


Carly Luk, Masters Senator & USS Alternate 


Oyinkansola Akinde, Senator


Allyson Gatto, Senator


Jennifer Carmona, Senator

 
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