Inaugural Public Health Internship Fellowship Award Recipients Announced | St. Lawrence University

Inaugural Public Health Internship Fellowship Award Recipients Announced

Five St. Lawrence University students have been awarded the University’s new Public Health Internship Fellowships.

Francesca Frost ’21, Rachel Loyst ’21, Tobias Okong’o ’21, Lauren Gulbicki ’22 and Lily MacCachran ’22 will complete summer internships and research that are designed to increase their understanding of public health in practice. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s cohort will pursue remote opportunities or work that is in accordance with guidelines regarding appropriate social distancing.

The Public Health Internship Fellowship Award was established in 2019 through the generosity of an anonymous donor that supports the work of the Career Services office and St. Lawrence’s public health program by providing internship experiences for St. Lawrence students interested in public health. This fellowship, which is awarded to students who have secured an internship, including structured career development or research opportunities for the upcoming summer break, is intended to help offset the cost of living and travel/transportation expenses incurred during the internship experience.

Both Francesca and Rachel will use their fellowships to conduct research to further their understanding of the public health topics about which they’re passionate.

Francesca plans to complete a grant-writing and research internship in Burlington, Vermont, for Image The World, a non-profit organization whose main goal is to provide diagnostic technology and ultrasound training programs to rural areas of Uganda and Malawi. A global studies major and public health minor from Underhill, Vermont, Francesca learned about hands-on health initiatives in East Africa during her time in St. Lawrence’s Kenya Semester Program last fall.

“I wanted to focus on administrative duties to see how these projects are born, and the steps that go into creating them, which will benefit me when searching for global health jobs post-graduation," she says.

Under the supervision of Associate Professor of Sociology Leah Rohlfsen, Rachel will spend the summer analyzing the cultural differences between the birthing systems in the United States and New Zealand. A neuroscience major and a public health minor from Lake Grove, N.Y., Rachel plans to use her research to inform her Senior-Year Experience (SYE) this fall and her application to medical school. 

Tobias is keenly interested in mental health issues and is curious to explore the ways they impact his home country of Kenya. A sociology major and public health minor from Kisumu, Kenya, he proposed his own internship project at the Lwala Community Alliance.

“I’ll be part of the team that plans the projects that the team on the ground in Kenya carry out,” Tobias says. These projects include getting food deliveries and treatment more effectively to the population dealing with mental health issues—challenges which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lauren, a neuroscience major and public health minor from North Reading, Massachusetts, will intern at the North Reading Health Department. She’ll work with the department’s team to collect routine COVID-19 data, and on other community outreach programs regarding issues such as Lyme disease.

“I hope this opportunity will provide me with relevant experience in the field of public health while providing additional support to my community during these difficult times,” she says. Lauren intends to pursue a master’s in public health, with a specific focus on global health or infectious disease.

Lily, a biology major and a public health minor from Grand Junction, Colorado, is also planning to pursue a similar master’s program and will be interning at the Mesa County Public Health Department in her hometown. She will assist the Epidemiology Department with its triennial Community Health Assessment and other projects, an experience she aims to use as a springboard to future epidemiological research opportunities and her eventual graduate degree program.