National Student Advisory Board 2019-2020
Meredith Peck is currently a 4th year medical student at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem. She previously served as Co-Chair for the 2018 National Conference Committee and as Vice President on the 2017-2018 Touro COM PHR Executive Board. Meredith received her undergraduate degree from Smith College with a B.A. in Biochemistry and a 5-College Certificate in Culture, Health, and Science. Prior to medical school, she conducted biophysics research at Johns Hopkins and volunteered in a clinic for the uninsured in East Baltimore. Meredith’s interests include prison reform, ending sexual violence especially in conflict areas, and long term pain management for victims of torture.
Maddy Sharp currently co-chairs the PHR National Student Advisory Board and previously served on the Asylum and Refugee Outreach Committee. She is a fourth year student at the Yale School of Medicine. Maddy conducted research at the Infectious Diseases Institute in Uganda as an undergraduate at Yale University and moved to Nicaragua after graduating to research a kidney disease epidemic among sugarcane workers. More recently, she examined the association between depression and chronic disease among female Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan. After completing her medical training, Maddy aspires to provide care to displaced populations.
Samantha (Sammie) Truong studied Global Health Determinants, Behaviors, and Interventions at Duke University, where she studied the influence of sociopolitical stigmatization on indigenous health-seeking behaviors in Chile and conducted community-based maternal and child health fieldwork and research in rural Uganda. At Harvard Medical School, Sammie co-directed the Harvard Students for Global Health interest group and investigated perceptions of family planning and barriers to facility-based delivery in rural Chiapas as a Doris Duke International Clinical Research Fellow with Compañeros En Salud/Partners In Health—México. Before joining the PHR SAB Advocacy Committee, she served as the Harvard Student Human Right’s Collaborative Asylum Clinic Director and currently co-leads Medical Students Offering Maternal Support, a program designed to meet the unmet health and social needs of vulnerable pregnant women in the Greater Boston Area. She plans to work long-term in community-health settings—locally and internationally—to improve care for vulnerable populations, particularly in the context of advancing global women’s health, confronting sexual and gender-based violence, and promoting refugee and immigrant rights.
Michelle Munyikwa serves on the Advocacy Committee after several years volunteering with the Philadelphia Human Rights Clinic. She is an MD/PhD candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is writing a dissertation on refugees and asylum seekers in the United States, connecting their experiences to broader struggles for racial and economic justice. She has been working with refugees and asylum seekers for six years, from assisting with asylum affidavits to organizing health education sessions for recently-resettled refugee women. An immigrant herself, she is interested in the role of physicians as advocates for more just and equitable migration policy in the United States and beyond.
Shefali Sood serves on the Advocacy Committee on the Student Advisory Board and is a third-year medical student. Shefali grew up in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) in 2017 with a degree in International Studies, focusing on Global Environment and Health, and Spanish Language and Culture. Shefali wrote her Honors Thesis on the ‘climate change refugee’ discourse in South Asia. Currently, she is interested in exploring the field of environmental health and its widespread implications and is working with the other students to establish a student-run asylum clinic at NYU.
Michael Dorritie serves on the Advocacy Committee of the PHR Student Advisory Board. He is currently a third-year medical student and former chair of the PHR chapter at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem, NY. He also previously served as co-chair of the 2018 PHR National Student Conference. Originally from Long Island, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame, where he studied Pre-Professional Studies and Spanish Language and Culture. Prior to medical school, Michael worked as a healthcare technology consultant, bringing big-data public health solutions to rural communities and improving medical access for local populations. At TouroCOM, he has served on the executive board for the school's student-run health clinic, which opened its doors to the Harlem community in Fall 2018.
Asylum & Refugee Outreach Committee
Kevin Ackerman serves on the Asylum and Refugee Committee of the Student Advisory Board and is also the Co-Executive Director of the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights (WCCHR). He is a fourth year medical student at the Weill Cornell Medical College and received a B.S. in biomedical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research during medical school has focused on the trauma exposure, health status, and disease burden among minors seeking asylum in the U.S. in addition to the improvement of inpatient glycemic management and outcomes of patients with solid organ transplants and sepsis. Since his first month in medical school he has been actively involved in human rights work with the WCCHR and has scheduled or participated in over 50 forensic asylum evaluations.
Claire Lamneck serves on the Asylum and Refugee Outreach Committee. She is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, where she is an upper classman advisor to the Southern Arizona Asylum Clinic. Between her third and fourth years in medical school, Claire completed a Master’s in Public Health at Harvard University, where she focused on social determinants of health and healthcare equity. In Tucson, she is passionate about immigrant justice and improving the medical care of undocumented patients and patients in immigration law enforcement custody.
Madeline Cohen current serves on the Asylum and Refugee Outreach Committee. She is a third year medical student at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where she previously served as the director for the Human Rights Clinic of Miami. Before attending medical school, she studied environmental biology and sustainable development as an undergraduate at Columbia University. She additionally received a Master of Public Health degree at Columbia University, with a focus on climate change and health. She worked in sustainability management consulting as well as patient navigation for underinsured populations before attending medical school. She is committed to working as a physician and advocate for displaced persons.
Jessica is a fourth year medical student at Georgetown where she served as the Asylum clinic scheduling coordinator during her first and second years. Prior to medical school, Jessica lived and worked in Switzerland, El Salvador, South Africa, and Togo, West Africa where she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She has worked on HIV/AIDS prevention projects, maternal and child health promotion, as well as guinea worm eradication. Clinically she has worked in various medical settings -- on an ambulance, in an Intensive Care Unit, in a free clinic, and in an embassy health unit. She is looking forward to an international career with her husband, a U.S. diplomat, and two adventurous sons. She is passionate about global health, addressing the opioid crisis, and is currently working on a project initiated at Weil Cornell, studying chronic pain in refugee torture survivors.
Austin Herbst is a 4th year medical student at Harvard Medical School and is a Co-Chair for the 2019 National Conference Committee. Austin received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Genetics from Clemson University, where he also spent time studying non-communicable disease care delivery in rural South Africa. Austin is applying into Internal Medicine and is interested in global health, with a focus on health systems strengthening.
Inkyu Kim is a 4th year medical student at Harvard Medical School and is a Co-Chair for the 2019 National Conference Committee. Inkyu received his undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Brown University. Inkyu is applying into Emergency Medicine and is interested in working with vulnerable population and issues regarding human rights.
Regional Chapter Mentors
Regional Chapter Mentor – Northeast: Rhea Fogla serves as a regional chapter mentor to New York. She is a current first year medical student at Weill Cornell Medical College and completed a degree in biology at Emory University before attending medical school. At Emory, she worked at a free women’s clinic in Clarkston, Georgia, a population with a prominent refugee and aslyee population. After working at the clinic, she wanted to become more involved in human rights advocacy and joined the student board for the Weill Cornell Center for Human Rights where she currently serves as the Education and Curriculum Coordinator. Rhea is interested in improving medical education on human rights, as well as the resources to empower physicians and medical students to be stronger advocates for especially vulnerable populations.
Regional Chapter Mentor – New York: Natalie Walsh currently serves as a Regional Chapter Mentor for the PHR National Student Advisory Board. She is a second year medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, and Co-Chair for Geisel’s 2020 Regional PHR Conference focusing on Children’s Rights. Natalie is originally from Belleville, IL and received her undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Evansville. Natalie is currently interested in addressing healthcare disparities at all levels.
Regional Chapter Mentor – West: Simon is a third year medical student at UCLA and one of the co-founders of the Los Angeles Human Rights Initiative (LAHRI), a PHR affiliated student run human rights clinic that is now one of the leading providers of forensic evaluations in Los Angeles. As clinic chief for the LAHRI Simon implemented and executed protcols that allowed more than 45 evaluation to be completed in the clinic’s first year, participated in 3 major research projects and organized training for over 200 health care providers. Simon is passionate about a wide range of human rights issues ranging from immigration and asylum to the high disease burden in developing nations and hopes to work with PHR to address these issues throughout his career.
Regional Chapter Mentor – West: Kayla is currently an MS3 at the David Geffen School of Medicine. She co-founded the Los Angeles Human Rights Initiative, the first student-run asylum clinic at UCLA. She and her leadership team were able to quickly grow the young clinic into a strong, vibrant community, training hundreds of students and physicians and establishing partnerships with dozens of local organizations in its first year. She also spearheaded research projects on the challenges in asylum clinics and led workshops at human rights conferences. Since adventuring into the field of human rights, she has engaged in advocacy efforts ranging from immigration (asylum clinic, border crisis, implicit bias against asylum seekers) to health access (university drug patent, health access to cancer treatment in developing countries).
Regional Chapter Mentor – South: Steven Tau serves as a Regional Chapter Mentor on the Student Advisory Board. He is a MD/PhD student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where he co-chaired the 2019 Regional PHR Conference titled “Planetary Health: Life in Our Changing World.” The conference focused on themes of how the environment affects human health and human rights. Steven is currently involved with efforts in establishing an asylum clinic in the Upper Valley.
Katherine Trinh previously served on the Conference Committee for the PHR National Student Advisory Board and is currently serving her second term on the Media Committee for the PHR National Student Advisory Board. She is in her fourth year of medical school and served as the PHR chapter lead at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth during her second year. Before coming to Dartmouth, she studied at the University of California, Berkeley and worked to provide free health care and social services to the homeless and disenfranchised populations of the bay area. Katherine also volunteered at an orphanage for children with special needs and a free clinic predominantly serving undocumented immigrants. This year, Katherine and the PHR chapter at Dartmouth will be focusing their energy on restorative justice, refugee advocacy, and the annual PHR Regional Conference at Dartmouth.
Nina is a third year at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and served as the PHR Chapter Lead during her second year. She is involved in Geisel’s Regional Conference planning and research on children's health and developmental outcomes in underserved areas of NH and VT. After medical school, Nina hopes to pursue a career in Obstetrics and Gynecology working with rural populations and advocating for women’s rights.