Current Graduate Students
Salma Abuhamda is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where she earned a BA in both Neuroscience and Medicine, Health, and Society. Her research interests include health disparity research and education, particularly the ‘Invisibility of Arab Americans in Healthcare Education.’ At Vanderbilt, Salma worked as a research assistant for the Jaser Lab studying the psychological impacts of Type 1 Diabetes and as a biology lab teaching assistant. Salma’s goal is to be a primary care physician and physician educator in the future. She chose to MHS-MA program in order to educate herself on the intricacies of the healthcare field and allow herself a more holistic and just perspective of medicine when entering medical school and the years beyond.
Maya Antoine graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Medicine, Health, and Society with a minor in Italian studies. Her research focuses on disability care and the way public spaces can isolate people with disabilities. While in the master’s program, Maya will work with Professor Aimi Hamraie. Her goal is to work in occupational therapy or as a prosthesis technician with amputees. She chose the MHS-MA program with the goal of helping plan the newVanderbilt athletics facility to ensure the new plans include disability-friendly access for both athletes and spectators.
Alie Basil holds a BA in Communication and a BA inSpanish from The University of Delaware. After college Alie launched her career at Boston GlobeMedia, before starting her own business that gainedacclaim in and around Boston; she later sold it in2019. She has consulted with a wide range of consumer-facing businesses helping to expand their brand and drive revenue and has extensive experience producing and marketing large and small-scale events. In 2021 Alie decided to utilize her professional skills in a more consequential way and left the business world to join healthcare. She is currently the Program Manager and Director of Patient and Community Outreach for the Celiac Disease Clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Alie is passionate about patient support and using research to provide resources to improve quality of life and recovery. She joined the MHS-MA program to gain more experience and training in research, specifically applying nonpharmacologic solutions to care.
Davina Daoud is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where she completed a BA inMedicine, Health, and Society with a minor in Philosophy. Her research interests include global health and bioethics. In the future, Davina hopes to further her education and work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and continue Global Health research to address challenges such as non-communicable diseases.
Kevin Davis is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he received a BA in Medicine, Health, andSociety with a minor in Sociology. His research interests include the impacts of diet and food availability as downstream determinants of health and addressing the systemic upstream determinants which cause these issues. His goal is to become a Gastroenterologist for inner-city communities before branching into his own practice. He chose the MHS-MA program for its ability to build a strong foundation in practicing healthcare and widen the perspectives of students with the study of various forms of care.
Derek Green is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he received a BA in Medicine, Health, andSociety. His research interests are improving resources for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) in the U.S. “South” and mental illness diagnoses in the Black community. His goal is to work for theUnited States Department of the Navy as a MedicalService Corps officer and change healthcare for active duty service members, veterans, and their families. He chose the MHS-MA program to gain more knowledge and unique perspectives to address challenges in the healthcare system.
Sarah Khwaja is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College where she received a BS in Political Science with a minor in Medicine and Society. Her research interests include various subjects in the mental health field, such as suicidality and trauma as well as narrative medicine. Alongside Houston physicians, Sarah performed her own writing at OffScript, a narrative medicine storytelling event hosted by the Baylor College of Medicine. She chose the MHS-MA program to further her knowledge and develop a solid foundation in the study of mental health and literature and develop her skills in this field in order to become a strong educator and a well rounded scholar. Sarah’s goal is to become a professor of mental health narratives and related literature.
Sophia Kosturos is a graduate of the University ofCalifornia, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she earned a BS in Psychobiology. Her research interests include addiction and the persistent opioid crisis in the United States. Specifically, she will focus on the integration of individuals with a history of addiction into society post-rehabilitation, including access to appropriate care resources and fair opportunities in the job market. She hopes to work in the medical device sector of healthcare, primarily focusing on orthopedic and spinal therapies. Sophia chose the MHS-MA program to expand her knowledge on the social disparities present in healthcare, in addition to gaining interdisciplinary research experience.
Shawn Naim is a graduate of the University of Akron where he completed a BS in Biology with a minor in Business Administration. Shawn has intern experience in chiropractic care. His research interests include neuroscience along with brain trauma care and prevention in athletes. He chose the MHS-MA program to acquire and develop new skills in research as well as gain perspective on new challenges and developments in healthcare.
Dhruvi Parmar is a graduate of the University of NorthCarolina at Asheville where she received a BS in Chemistry with minor in Biology and Neuroscience. Her research interests are in improving patient care within the emergency room and ensuring proper treatment and diagnosis. Her goal is to be a physician that works in underserved communities and eliminates any barriers that prevent families from receiving medical assistance. She chose the MHS-MA program to equip herself to address these challenges in healthcare and to provide holistic care to her patients.
Cela Patras graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BM in Music Therapy, BA in Biology, BS in Health and Society, and a minor in Neuroscience. She is a music therapist with experience in pediatrics, and her research focuses on how medical stress and trauma influence the mental and physical health of pediatric patients. Cela chose the MHS-MA program to gain interdisciplinary research experience in preparation of starting an MD/PhD program in the future.
Sofía Singer is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where she received a BA in Medicine, Health, and Society. Her research is focused on perceptions of drug and alcohol use at academically rigorous institutions in the United States and the implications of these perceptions. Sofía plans to attend medical school in the near future and chose the MHS-MA Program to further learn about the complexities and intricacies of the medical field prior to entering. During her time in the program, she will work as a research assistant in the Schlesinger lab which focuses on the impacts of music and alarm systems on patient well-being and recovery.