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Student Associates

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.

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.

Applications open each fall, and all Yale students are eligible to apply.

Student Affiliates

  • Amma Asantewaa Agyei Boakye

    Amma Asantewaa Agyei Boakye, is a 2nd year Master of Environmental Management Candidate at Yale University, with a concentration in Industrial Ecology and Energy Systems. Originally from Ghana, she holds a BSc. degree in Chemical Engineering. Amma is very passionate about clean energy innovations and sustainable manufacturing operations, and their impact on climate change mitigation through emissions reductions. Prior to Yale Amma worked at Unilever Ghana, where she developed methodologies to streamline the company’s zero-waste to landfill activities and collaborated to track safety and environmental indicators for improved performance and emissions reductions.

  • Megan Aitro

    Megan is in her last year at the Yale School of Nursing studying to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She has always been passionate about the effects of climate change on the health of vulnerable populations and hopes to pursue further research in this field. As a healthcare provider she is interested in learning how she can educate patients on the impacts of climate change and what they can do to improve not only their health as it relates to climate change, but the health of the planet.

  • Alanis Allen

    Alanis Allen is a senior in Yale College majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. She hopes to pursue a career in environmental policy especially as it relates to environmental health and justice. Alanis is interested in the role of governments in the environmental justice movement and whether adequate laws that address disparate impact will put an end to environmental racism. She excited to engage with other CCCH associates on the ever-growing topic of climate change and health.

  • Oliver Armstrong-Scott

    Oliver is a first year student in the Advanced Professional Masters of Public Health program, concentrating in global health. He completed an undergraduate medical degree from the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is interested in climate change-related infectious disease, international environmental justice and the impact on island nations, implementation of climate change policy and reduction of single-use plastics, especially in the healthcare sector.

  • Veronica Boratyn

    Veronica is a senior at Yale College majoring in History with a specific focus on Environmental History. At Yale, Veronica is the Public Relations co-director for FOOT (First-Year Outdoor Orientation Trips), the Jonathan Edwards Sustainability Liaison, and a comedy writer for several groups on campus. She is passionate about how art and entertainment can help mobilize people against the climate crisis. Veronica is also interested in learning more about how climate change will impact food systems and healthcare through conversations with other CCCH associates. 

  • Holly Burrows

    Holly is a first-year master’s student in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. Her interests include the One Health approach and its application to studying infectious diseases, and the impact of climate and land use changes on tick-borne diseases such as Lyme. Holly is from Ontario, Canada, and earned a BSc in Life Sciences from Queen’s University in 2018.

  • Yihui Chen

    Yihui is a first-year MPH student at the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. She is broadly interested in climate change and air pollution, environmental toxicology and sustainable food system. She previously interned at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) where she worked with the Clean by Design team and Climate Change and Energy team at Beijing. Now she wants to explore more about the mechanisms that climate change has affected our health from different perspectives. Yihui received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Bachelor of Economics in Environmental Economics at Renmin University of China.

  • Lingzhi Chu

    Lingzhi Chu is a doctoral student in the Environmental Health Sciences Department at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research interests include characterizing risks to human health from weather exposure (e.g. temperature and humidity) with climate change. Lingzhi has a background in environmental science and engineering, climate change modeling and epidemiology, and she is also broadly interested in the interactive relationship between urbanization and climate change.

  • Pasha Davoudian

    Pasha received his B.A. in neuroscience with highest distinction from the University of Virginia in 2016. As an undergraduate with Dr. Mark Beenhakker he studied thalamocortical circuits involved in absence epilepsy. As postgraduate research associate at the Allen Institute for Brain Science he described the patterns of connectivity and characterized synaptic physiology of mouse and human cortical neurons. In 2018, he enrolled in the Yale MD/PhD program and will be working to understand neural circuit mechanisms of computation in Dr. James Jeanne's lab.

  • Sara del Fierro

    Sara del Fierro is a mid-career Master's student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Previously, she worked at the National Wildlife Federation, coordinating joint programming and capacity building efforts with its grassroots affiliates across the country. Prior to NWF, she conducted research on perceptions of and adaptation to climate change at the local level in the High Atlas mountains as a Fulbright fellow and earlier worked on incentives for reducing emissions from tropical deforestation at the Center for Global Development. Sara began her career as an environmental Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, after graduating from Columbia University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Human Rights. At FES she hopes to continue exploring, among other things, community centered approaches to climate change adaptation.

  • David is a doctoral student in the Biomedical Engineering Department who is passionate about the development of sustainable technologies for the medical field. In addition to his scientific research, he spent three years analyzing entrepreneurial ecosystems with support from faculty at MIT Sloan. He believes that a strong, diverse community of key stakeholders can catalyze the growth of innovation-driven enterprises capable of launching novel solutions that address the world’s most important problems. Originally from New York City, David earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering and minors in Biomedical Engineering and French Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Jiachen is a second year student at the Yale School of Architecture. She is interested in interdisciplinary solutions that address climate change through sustainable design, environmental sciences and public health. Her research experience focuses on the effects of climate change on watersheds as well as creative solutions to address the problem. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in Architecture and a minor in art in 2018.

  • Sarah Esenther

    Sarah is a second year MPH student in the Environmental Health Sciences program at Yale School of Public Health. She is interested in local hydrology and water quality from a public health perspective, with a focus on system vulnerabilities from climate change. Sarah holds a B.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her previous research compared personal NO2 exposures with ambient NO2 estimations and modeled the impact of alternative transportation scenarios on ambient pollution levels and associated health outcomes.

  • Leo Goldsmith

    Leo Goldsmith is a second year Master of Environmental Management student at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His specialization is in climate change science and solutions. He is dedicated to environmental justice and centering community voices within climate change adaptation. Before Yale, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with a focus on environmental justice at Oberlin College.

  • Phoenix Gonzalez

    Phoenix is a second year Master of Arts in Religion with a Concentration in Liturgical Studies student at Yale Divinity School. She is also working towards a certificate at the Institute of Sacred Music. She looks at the intersection of performance and religious traditions and its impact on communities and individuals. She is especially excited about the possibility of combining theater and liturgical studies to facilitate new discussions about the climate crisis and to effect change in religious communities. Originally from Miami, FL, Phoenix received her BA in Religion from Princeton University. 

  • Cecilia Hackerson

    Cecilia is a first year RN/MSN student in the Yale School of Nursing, Family NP Specialty. She is interested in gender dimensions of health outcomes in displaced populations experiencing climate change related displacement, particularly in associations between gender and health disparities among displaced communities and in the development of gender-informed mitigation and adaptation strategies that reduce inequitable health burdens on gender minorities experiencing displacement. She holds a B.A.(2013) in Urban Studies from Columbia University.

  • Carina Hahn

    Carina Hahn is a senior in Yale College studying Economics and Energy Studies. Born and raised in New York City, she is particularly interested in the future of resilience in cities as climate change exacerbates natural disasters and increases public health concerns. On campus, Carina has worked with Yale Tsai CITY’s OpenSolar initiative to fund and build a solar microgrid in Puerto Rico in response to the power outages and natural disasters that have plagued the area. She is also involved in the business and finance student groups on campus. She is passionate about studying the intersection of ecological, environmental, business, and economic forces in urban settings.

  • Leila Halley-Wright

    Leila is currently a junior in Yale College studying Economics and Political Science with a concentration in Sustainability. She is also a part of the Energy Studies program. She is passionate about taking an interdisciplinary approach to creating successful environmental policy, and is particularly interested in studying how the use of moral, political, and economic incentives can be combined in order to motivate governments to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Amelia Han

    Amelia is a first-year Master of Environmental Science student at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her professional interests include the greenhouse gas fluxes, impacts of land use on climate system, and urban climate mitigation. She is also broadly interested in health impacts of air pollution and the role of corporate influence in democratic governments. She believes that effective conservation methods for the climate must be designed with an understanding of the interaction between the terrestrial biosphere, the atmosphere, and the anthropogenic drivers. Amelia graduated from Sichuan University with a Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Engineering, and has broad research experiences in air quality sampling, environmental chemistry analysis, microbiology, and health impact of air pollution.

  • Rachel Hennein

    Rachel matriculated to Yale in 2018 to pursue an MD-PhD in Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health. She graduated from Duke in 2016 with a double major in global health and psychology. During undergrad, she began conducting research in global health, specifically on the ways in which mental health and HIV are mutually reinforcing in rural Kenya. After graduating, she took a couple gap years: one to study malaria in sub-Saharan Africa at UCSF and another to study the intersection of nutrition, epigenetics, and cardiovascular disease at the Framingham Heart Study. Since coming to Yale, Rachel spent a summer in Kampala, Uganda learning about the relationship between TB and diabetes with the Davis Lab at Yale School of Public Health. She looks forward to further exploring her research interests in health disparities and mixed methods at YSM and YSPH.