We kicked off this summer with our first class of writing volunteers. The program was a huge success, and we're happy to announce our new class of fall 2015 writers!
Emily Abraham is a student at UC Berkeley studying Anthropology and Public Policy. She started a youth run nonprofit that raised thousands of dollars to benefit homeless, at risk youth, elderly, and pregnant and abused women in her community. She believes that nonprofits fueled by passionate people can make all the difference for those in need and really enjoys creating hands-on solutions.
Sanna Alas is an aspiring physician who just graduated from UCLA with a double major in Human Biology and Comparative Literature. She believes that healing and health comes from finding connections between body and soul. She spends most of her time doing just that-- balancing MCAT studying with community organizing around health disparities in Los Angeles. In her downtime, she can be found bird-watching, reading Arabic poetry, and/or Netflix'ing Spanish soap operas.
Kane Bennett is a law and finance student from The University of Queensland, Australia. He has also studied at New York University and The University of Vienna, and joins Watsi after working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan and corporate law at Herbert Smith Freehills. Kane is excited about working with Watsi and seeing first-hand how technology has the potential transform the non-profit sector.
Jenna Blind is a registered nurse working in the area of informatics, Jenna's career is focused on using health information technology to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery. Although she is masters prepared in her field, Jenna's favorite "job" is being a mom to her 3-year-old daughter, Dylan. Her hobbies include DIY projects, going to see Broadway musicals, solving cryptoquotes, and baking cheesecake. Jenna has always been particularly moved and inspired by Maya Angelou. Her favorite quote, among many, is "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." She is elated to be joining the Watsi family and looks forward to using her love and knowledge of healthcare and technology to contribute as a volunteer writer! To connect with Jenna, follow her at @iamjenna.
Keonna Bonner is a Clinical Research Coordinator for Sutter Health, Alta Bates Comprehensive Cancer Center. She has a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Research Methods from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is passionate about supporting the dissemination of healthcare information and resources to reach patients with the most need. She is excited to be a Content Writer for Watsi, helping to change the lives of patients all over the world!
Karen Brothers completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering at Georgia Tech and Stanford University, and she has worked as an engineer, technical writer, and release manager in the automotive, consulting, and software industries. Her desire to help people understand their health issues led her to earn a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from National College of Natural Medicine and complete a two-year residency in naturopathic oncology at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. These experiences introduced her to new people and ideas that have deepened her passion for medicine and technology.
Sharon Chen studied Art History and Biology at Northwestern. She recently graduated and is living and working in Chicago as a clinical research assistant studying Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). In her free time, she volunteers at a Hep B Clinic in Chinatown, cuddles with her cat, and spends whole afternoons in beautiful stationery shops. She believes in Watsi's mission and is excited to contribute!
Val Fong is a Bay Area native with a love for travel, farmer's markets, and her Birkenstocks. With a degree in Microbiology and Global Studies, she is fascinated by the world's cultures and their implications in public health, particularly for the medically underserved. Val just graduated from UCLA and will be backpacking through Southeast Asia to seek adventure and learn how to use her GoPro.
Shoshana Gould is a California native currently living in Berkeley. Since graduating from the University of Puget Sound in 2013, she has volunteered with the Peace Corps in Peru and backpacked throughout Southeast Asia. She is thrilled to start writing for Watsi again and hopes to continue learning about the intersection between technology and global public health.
Lili Kroll recently graduated from UCLA with a degree in Human Biology and Society. As a proud Bay Area native, she now lives in San Francisco with five wonderful roommates and works as clinic program coordinator at UCSF. Lili is passionate about improving health equity and access for the underserved. She is incredibly excited to be volunteering with Watsi, where she hopes to learn about how technology can expand and reinvent globalized healthcare. In her free time, Lili can be found exploring Golden Gate Park, dancing to live music, and cooking lots and lots of brussels sprouts.
Michelle Matvey is a student at UC Berkeley, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. With a lifelong passion for healthcare, she spent the past summer working with patients in a medical office and is currently a research assistant at UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Mood Clinic. Michelle is fascinated by the innovative use of technology and writing to increase worldwide access to medical care and is excited to contribute to Watsi’s cause.
Ravi Mulani currently works at LinkedIn as a Senior Associate in the Business Operations group, focusing on strategy, performance management, and analytics. Before LinkedIn, he worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. He has substantial working experience in developing markets as well as the United States, and is excited about using technology to improve health outcomes and reduce inequality. In his spare time, you can find him reading a good book or trying out a new recipe.
Mara Perman is a huge fan of human-centered design and its implications for global health equity. She studied government and global health at Cornell and now supports digital health startups. She loves good weather, road trips, and the internet.
Victoria Rainbolt is a public health and business student at the University of St Andrews in St Andrews Scotland. Having competed in half-marathons and triathlons, she is a fitness lover but also enjoys graphic design, photography and writing. Victoria is passionate about improving the accessibility of healthcare as well as understanding complex health issues around the world. Her research interests relate to global public health, specifically obesity, nutrition, prevention, socioeconomics, social stigmas in health and HIV/AIDS.
Emily Ratto is a student at Saint Mary’s College of California, where she is pursuing a B.A. in English. Emily is an aspiring poet and has worked as a communication and marketing intern for a Bay Area nonprofit, Volunteers of America. Emily is fascinated by the way that written and spoken language can help improve lives.
Olivia Rutler is a current senior at Drew University completing a double major in Neuroscience and Music. Passionate about community service, Olivia volunteers as an EMT and executive board member for the Madison Volunteer Ambulance corps. She is pursuing a career in healthcare and has completed various internships with hospitals in New Jersey. Olivia is excited to be a part of the Watsi mission.
Peyton Sherwood is from Alamo, California, and just finished up her first year at the University of California, Los Angeles. As an English major, writing is one of her greatest passions and she could not be more thrilled to be volunteering for Watsi, and using her interests in a way that will have a positive global impact. At school she works for the newspaper’s advertising/marketing department and is a member of a dance group called Synthesis Dance Team. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, playing guitar, and going to the movies.
Georgia Sleeth is a Bay Area native working as a Community Health Program Coordinator at UCSF. She has a B.A. in Neuroscience with a concentration in Psychology from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. She is passionate about combating social determinants of health, specifically food insecurity, through primary care programs for underserved populations. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, running, cooking…and eating!
Gisele Toumi recently graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she received a B.S. in Biological Sciences. She developed an interest in medicine when she was in high school, and decided to pursue a career in the medical field. She is currently working as a medical scribe. Gisele's hobbies include volunteering, solving crossword puzzles, and baking. She especially enjoys making cheesecake.
Jonathan Tsay is a graduate student at Northwestern University studying Mathematics and Physical Therapy. He aims to create a global platform that dispatches passionate physical therapists and yoga teachers to areas of high need. Jonathan is also interested in sports, yoga, and manual therapy to one day inspire others with hands and words.
Jaclyn Vanstone is a die-hard Vancouverite pursuing her law degree in the interior of BC. On issues of international development, philanthropy, and human rights she has been accused of having a voice too loud and opinions too strong for her diminutive stature, but believes that the important things in life are worth yelling about. She’s looking forward to bringing this fervour to the Watsi mission.
Sakena Washington is a freelance writer and research coordinator based in Pittsburgh. She graduated from Clark Atlanta University prior to earning an MFA in Creative Writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Borgen Magazine, Brevity, and In the Fray.
Leena Yin is a student at Stanford University majoring in Biology. She is passionate about healthcare, social equity, and the power of storytelling, and is excited to be able to combine all three. In her free time, she volunteers with a free clinic in San Jose, acts with a university theatre group, and does a lot of reading.