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Catherine Mwai

Student Ambassador, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging

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Catherine Mwai


Catherine is a second-year MPH student in the Social Behavioral Sciences Department concentrating on Global Health. Originally from Kenya, she immigrated with her parents to Michigan, where she completed her BS in Public Health with a concentration in Health Administration and has gained extensive experience leading health promotion efforts centered on community engagement.

Before coming to YSPH, she had worked on numerous multisectoral projects, including efforts at Michigan Medicine to decrease and demystify medical procedure anxiety for patients and their families. She also conducted oral health research in Kenya with the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry. Catherine later worked as a Health and Wellness teacher on Rosebud Sioux (Lakota) Reservation in South Dakota. She developed her school district's first K-5 health education curriculum centered on culturally-responsive and trauma-informed practices and delivered it to over 1000 students on the reservation over two years.

Most recently, at Yale, Catherine interned in Somaliland to lead a landscape review of the nation's cancer care system with the Hagarla Institute/Hawa Abdi Hospital; and facilitated academic collaboration between Rwandan and Somaliland universities in Rwanda. In addition, Catherine is the 2022 Grantee of the American Public Health Association (APHA) 's ACTION Award for addressing Black-Asian community relations at Yale.

Catherine has strong interests in health promotion and education, addressing systemic inequity in healthcare and academia, and strengthening healthcare systems nationally and globally.