Amber Acquaye is a second-year medical student at the Yale School of Medicine. She earned a BS in Human and Organizational Development, with honors, from Vanderbilt University in 2020. At Yale, her research focuses on the implications of climate change on children’s health, pediatric health disparities, and existing environmental injustices. She serves as the Environmental Justice Leader for Yale’s combined Physicians for Social Responsibility – Medical Students for a Sustainable Future chapter and is a member of the Dean’s Committee for Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice. Amber is interested in leveraging the tools of human centered design and community organizing to develop transformative models of health service delivery that consider the environment, structural vulnerabilities, and social justice
The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health (CCCH) Student Associates are graduate, professional, and undergraduate students from a range of academic disciplines, who all share a passion for understanding the interface between climate change and health. The CCCH Student Associates program provides a venue for students across Yale University to discuss ideas in an interdisciplinary environment, learn from experts in the field, and engage with research and novel interventions in the climate and health field. Applications open each fall, and all Yale students are eligible to apply. YCCCH has partnered with several professionals working in the field of climate change and health to offer mentoring opportunities. Student Associates can get more information on YCCCH's Mentor Program page.
Guests at previous CCCH Student Associate seminars have included: Dr. Daniel Costa, former National Program Director for the Air Climate & Energy Research Program U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Peggy Shepard, Co-Founder and Executive Director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice; and Dr. Anthony Costello, co-chair of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change.
Adriana is a Yale College sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies. She took a leave of absence during the pandemic and worked on the campaign of Patricia Timmons-Goodson, a congressional candidate with a strong environmental justice record. She also worked as a research assistant for Professor Alfred Brownell to help organize an international conference for West African Environmental Human Rights Defenders. During the summer of 2021, she interned with YCCCH and UConn’s CIRCA to develop an extreme heat toolkit for Connecticut’s municipal leaders that emphasizes resources and policy recommendations to protect vulnerable populations. These experiences have deepened her interest in the intersection of climate health policy and justice. On campus, Adriana is co-president of Dwight Hall’s Environmental Education Collaborative (EECO), a member of the Environmental Humanities Undergraduate Advisory Council, and a French interpreter/translator in the Yale Interpretation Network.
Matthew Di Vitto is a first year Master in Public Health Candidate at the Yale School of Public Health. He is studying Environmental Health Sciences and is particularly interested in climate change adaptation strategies in relation to urban health. He graduated from Fordham University in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences and he has prior experience in restoration ecology and exposure assessments at the federal level.
Shreen is a first-year master’s student at the School of Nursing in the Women’s Health specialty (WHNP). She has interests in healthcare sustainability and the impact of hospital-induced waste on climate change. She works at the Yale Landscape Lab as a farm manager at West Campus and loves learning about sustainable farming practices. In her previous life, Shreen worked as a medical assistant for a substance use clinic and graduated with a degree in biology from SUNY Binghamton.
Emily is a first-year MPH student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her focus is on preventative health through equitable access to environmental resources, including healthy, sustainably produced food, clean water and air, and green space. She is most interested in exploring ways to mitigate climate change by combining the building of equitable and sustainable global food systems with realistic methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some strategies that she hopes to explore include the use of fungi to improve soil health and treat waste, land management that promotes environmental justice and human health, and food production techniques such as permaculture, silvopasture, and agroforestry.
Maggie is a first year MPH candidate in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences interested in the intersection of water scarcity and global health and inequity. Prior to starting at YSPH, Maggie worked with various communities - including Montana ranchers, nurses in Nigeria, and fundraisers and scientists in the Harvard ecosystem - and she hopes to add to the interdisciplinary insights of the YCCCH group. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with a BA in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience and a minor in Program in the Environment.
Caroline is a first-year student at the Yale School of Public Health, pursuing an MPH in Social & Behavioral Sciences. She earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Miami in 2013 and spent the last eight years working in the non-profit sector in marketing and community engagement before starting the program at Yale. She is also a dedicated volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Her climate change and health interests include: mental health support for climate advocates, the impacts of trauma connected to climate-related disasters, and coalition-building strategies that more effectively achieve policy and program goals.
Molly Johnson is a Yale School of Environment ‘23 Masters of Environmental Management Candidate. Prior to graduate school, she worked to plan the National Adaptation Forum focused on climate change adaptation in the U.S. She also served as a Tribal Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College where she helped advance food sovereignty efforts. Molly is passionate about promoting solutions that address climate change, environmental and climate justice issues and encourage healthy communities. She grew up in North Branford, CT and is excited to return to the New Haven area to pursue her degree.
Isabel is a junior in Yale College studying Environmental History. Her academic work focuses on the social meanings assigned to forests and the human context of ever-intensifying wildfires in the American West. Guided by past work on political campaigns, Isabel is interested in taking an ethnographic, community-based approach to understanding the health and social consequences of the changing climate; she hopes to mobilize local lived experiences to encourage larger-scale policy change. On campus, Isabel works as a tour guide, competes with the Yale Club Triathlon Team, and coordinates undergraduate programming in the environmental humanities.
Zhen Liu is a first-year Master of Public Health student at the Department of Environmental Health Science. She graduated from Southern University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and has prior project management experience focusing on how to finance for climate change and nature conservation projects. She is interested in the topic of how climate change negatively affects public health, as well as how to design climate adaptation approaches to minimize these negative impacts. She also shows interest in the role of financial institutions to against climate change.
Alice is a first-year MPH student in the Environmental Health Sciences department. She is interested in the interactions between climate change, urban built environments, and health. She is particularly interested in how the effects of climate change differentially impact communities that have been historically marginalized, as well as how past practices of planning and design continue to shape these impacts. Some current topics of interest include urban heat islands, the politics of shade access, and the utilization of green architectural standards. Alice graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received her Bachelor of Arts and Science in Human Biology & Society and Sociology.
Matthew is a first-year MPH student enrolled in the Yale School of Public Health's Executive MPH program, where he studies Applied Analytic Methods and Epidemiology. Matthew has spent the last ten years in product R&D. Managing a Corrosion/Environmental Testing Laboratory; Matthew has assisted corporations in responding to the impacts of climate change. He often collaborates with R&D teams to develop accelerated aging test plans, predicting product integrity in the dynamic and increasingly extreme climate environment. Matthew has also headed a personal protective equipment (PPE) technical team tasked with developing sustainable infectious disease PPE such as N95 respirators. Matthew is interested in the fundamental link between public health and climate change and the unique challenges and opportunities presented by their interconnectivity.
Neha Middela is a junior in Davenport College at Yale University, majoring in Anthropology and pursuing the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights. She is interested in using ethnographic approaches to understand the effects of climate change and using this research to inform environmental policy and support the work of environmental justice movements. She has researched the environmental implications of development projects and the impacts of climate change on rural communities. She would like to learn more about the intersection between climate change and global health, particularly the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations and links between climate change and infectious diseases.
Barbara Odac, MD, is a current Advanced MPH student at the Yale School of Public Health and a medical graduate from Kenyatta University School of Medicine, Nairobi, Kenya. She has a great passion for global health and clinical research having participated in studies ranging from reproductive health and gastroenterology. Her journey with matters environment was fostered at a young age while writing essays for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She enjoys exploring the link between health and the environment specifically focusing on the effects of climate change.
Yulu is a second-year MPH student majoring in Biostatistics. At her internship at the CDC Environmental Health department in Wuxi, China, she found herself very interested in research on climate change and health. Through her volunteering experience at CYCAN (China Youth Climate Action Network), she learned about various topics in climate change, such as plant-based diets, sustainable fashion, and low-carbon consumption. As a sustainable minimalist, she is passionate about exploring a lighter and easier sustainable lifestyle and encouraging more people to take it into practice.
Nicholas Perez is a sophomore in Jonathan Edwards College majoring in Environmental Studies. His interests lie in the intersections of health studies, environmental justice, and public policy. He recently interned with the Deziel Lab in the Yale School of Public Health, where he helped a project related to exposure science and ethane cracker plant facilities in the US. Additionally, Nicholas is interested in health communications and practical applications, most recently captured through an internship with Junta for Progressive Action in which he drafted materials about vaccine safety and called members of Fair Haven in attempts to ease vaccine hesitancy. Outside of the classroom and YCCCH, Nicholas is involved with the Sustainability Liaison program, YSEC, and the Yale Undergraduate Jazz Collective.
Ashok is presently an Advanced Professional Master in Public Health (APMPH - Global Health) student at Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). He graduated from medical school in Crimea and subsequently practiced in Malaysia for several years before advancing to a policy planning role in the Ministry of Health. He has worked in the private sector’s pharmaceutical and medical device industries and engaged in numerous industry organizations’ committees. Ashok holds an MBA degree (OUM), a master’s degree in Health Economics (UPF), and a certificate in healthcare leadership from Harvard Medical School. He is particularly interested in understanding the link between climate change and infectious diseases and feels inspired to influence policy change at large for sustainability initiatives while sustaining growth. In his spare time, Ashok enjoys listening to music, reading books, and watching movies.
Dr. Lauren Pischel obtained her undergraduate degree in biology and worked in the lab of Dr. Jake Kurtis on the development of a pediatric malaria vaccine. She obtained her MD at Stanford where she conducted research with Dr. Julie Parsonnet on the impact of an antimicrobial triclosan on the human microbiome. She completed her internal medicine residency at Yale where she was awarded the primary care award for the Fair Haven Community Health Center. She subsequently pursued here fellowship in infectious diseases at Yale and will be pursuing her masters of epidemiology of infectious diseases. Her current interests include the epidemiology and spread of COVID-19 as well as interactions of infectious diseases with climate change and changing environmental landscapes.
Erik is a first-year joint PA/MPH student in the department of Health Policy. He is interested in the intersections of climate change, natural disasters, armed conflict, and human health and specifically interested in civil-military operations. His clinical interests are emergency medicine, tropical medicine and heat stress physiology. Erik is a retired U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman with broad experience in healthcare as well as warfighting and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief planning and operations. He is a 2021 graduate of San Francisco State University’s formal Postbacc program.
Julia is a second-year MEM candidate and first-year MPH candidate in the joint degree program between the Yale School of the Environment and the Yale School of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. She is interested in the effects of climate change on disease patterns and extreme weather events. In addition, Julia is interested in the health co-benefits of climate mitigation strategies and ways to build health systems resilience to climate impacts. Julia previously attended Trinity College in the University of Toronto, where she earned her BSc in global health and biology.
Khang is a first-year MPH candidate in the department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases. He’s interested in the intersection of climate change, health, and urban planning and seeks to work with vulnerable communities and governments in Southeast Asia to combat health consequences induced and exacerbated by climate change. Khang graduated from UCLA in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minors in Evolutionary Medicine and Film, Television, and Digital Media. With this background, he also hopes to use the digital medium to raise awareness of climate change and health, to encourage active participation in policy intervention and urban planning, and to lift the voices of those at risk.
Julia is a first-year MPH student at the department of Environmental Health Sciences. Her interest lies in the impact of climate change on mental health, especially for developing countries and underrepresented populations in the United States. She is also passionate about communicating climate change science to the public. Julia graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Geography.
Weixi is a first-year MPH student at the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. She is very interested in climate change impacts on water quality and public health. She previously completed an internship at China Academy of Urban Planning and Design where she worked with the Water and Infrastructure team. Now she is eager to address the impacts of climate change on underrepresented groups. Weixi received her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science at University of Manchester in the UK.
Aija Zamurs is a first-year MPH candidate in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She is interested in the effects of climate change related political instability and conflict on the health of vulnerable populations. Aija graduated from Williams College in 2020 with her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Health.
Wei Zhang is a student at the Yale School of Public Health, majoring in Healthcare Management. In 2019, Wei graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor's degree in Public Health, focusing on healthcare communication and behavioral health. Climate change and environmental health are important for public health, and Wei wants to contribute his efforts and skills to make it better.