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2014 Graduate Certificate in Global Health Recipients

The graduate certificate in global health is an interdisciplinary program designed to promote student opportunities to diversify their experiences and education, while instilling awareness of the challenges posed by work in global health and low-resource settings. The certificate symbolizes a student’s ability to navigate multiple institutional, social, and cultural contexts, all while reflecting the student’s awareness of themselves in the larger picture. See our 2014 recipients below.

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Katie Barcy, M.Ed., graduated from Peabody College’s International Education Policy and Management program. During her first year at Vanderbilt, Katie was involved in health-related projects in Guatemala through the Owen Graduate School of Management’s Project Pyramid and the Global Health Case Competition. During the summer of 2013, Katie assisted Vanderbilt with its CDC-funded grant in Guyana to develop the country’s first Master of Public Health program at the University of Guyana. In her second year, Katie was a member of the VIGH Student Advisory Council, assisting in the logistics, fundraising, and case writing for the Global Health Case Competition. After graduation, Katie hopes to work with an organization that designs programming in health and education to empower marginalized populations.

Katrina Byrd received her MD from Meharry Medical College.  Her career interests include completing residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and a fellowship in Med/Peds Infectious Disease. She grew up in Detroit, Michigan but graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a BS in Microbiology and The George Washington University with a MS in Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases. She has always wanted to incorporate practicing medicine internationally into her career and traveled to Clínica Esperanza, a clinic in Roatán, Honduras, as a medical student volunteer. Infant malnutrition is a significant problem on the island; therefore, she prepared a teaching session to educate mothers on the importance of breastfeeding. In the future, she sees herself practicing academic medicine and spending a couple of months per year doing medical mission work globally.


Leigh Cummins, M.Ed., graduated from Peabody College’s International Education Policy and Management program. She was involved with the VIGH Student Advisory Council while at Vanderbilt. She was a participant in the 2013 Global Health Case Competition and served as a case writer for the 2014 competition. She completed her practicum at VIGH during the summer of 2013. Additionally, Leigh traveled to Guatemala and Haiti to work with international organizations focusing on projects of childhood malnutrition and water/sanitation issues as part of Project Pyramid. In the future, Leigh plans to work within the field of health education. She hopes to find a job stateside that will allow her many opportunities to travel abroad.


Julie Dunlap gained much interest in the disparities manifested in infant and maternal morbidity and mortality across the globe as an MSPH student at Meharry Medical College. She is most interested in how implementing socially competent community-based health programs focused on health education, promotion and empowerment through social engagement can lead to improved community health outcomes. She plans on continuing to work in maternal and child health research for a year before returning to finish her academic career. She currently plans on pursuing a PhD in Sociology focused on global health and social capital theories. It is her long-term goal to implement global community-based health facilities aiming to impact MCH and community health through the promotion of community advocacy, engagement and social connectedness.

Melissa Hazlitt entered an Emergency Medicine Residency in the summer of 2014 following graduation from Meharry Medical College. In addition to a BA in International Relations from SUNY New Paltz, she earned a Master’s degree in Diplomacy from Norwich University. Working as a VECD Fogarty Global Health Fellow, Melissa traveled to Beijing where she worked with the Chinese CDC National Center for HIV/AIDS and STDs to examine the impact of ART treatment initiation on outcomes in Henan province’s plasma donor population. She intends to follow residency with a career in emergency medical service development and expansion in rural settings.


Lamar Johnson completed his MD degree at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. His career interests include completing residency in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and possibly a fellowship in Adolescent Medicine. He graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC with a BS in Biology.  He volunteered at a clinic in Roatán, Honduras called Clínica Esperanza. He loves working with children of all ages, so in addition to providing medical care with the clinic, he also visited schools in the area to perform eye exams and do vision screenings. Ultimately, his goal is to have a career that incorporates providing primary care, teaching medical students, and traveling abroad at least once every year to continue to serve underserved populations.


Maria Prom graduated in May 2014 with an MD from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Her interest in sustainable global intervention started as an undergraduate at Carleton College when she was accepted for a Service Internship for International Development Fellowship and worked with the Foundation for Sustainable Development at a local NGO in Masaya, Nicaragua. As a medical student her interests developed in global mental health, as well as public health policy and economics research. Her primary focus is on Spanish speaking populations both locally and internationally. She was awarded a Vanderbilt Overall Fellowship in International Medicine to work with a free mental health clinic in rural Ayacucho, Peru, for three months. There she investigated potential interventions to prevent patient drop-out from mental health therapy. She was later selected as a Vanderbilt Medical Scholars Fellow and completed a one year research investigation in public health policy and economics in urban and rural Peru. She will be completing residency training in psychiatry, with a focus in global mental health research in the area of mental health systems and services development. She later hopes to complete fellowships in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Global Psychiatry.

Dilyara Yusupova, M.Ed., completed her M.Ed. in the International Education Policy and Management Program in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University.  Born and raised in Uzbekistan, Dilyara received her undergraduate degree from the University of World Languages in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with a Bachelor of Arts in English Philology. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to complete her graduate degree at Vanderbilt University studying about the intersection of health, education, and economic development. As part of her M.Ed. program, Dilyara conducted her internship with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health, where she helped organize the Nursing Leadership in Global Health Symposium that took place in Nashville on February 27-28, 2014.