Stempel College students selected for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Internship Program

May 14, 2018

Three students from Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work were selected to participate in a highly competitive 12-week paid internship sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington through the summer.

Master of Public Health (MPH) student in the Department of Biostatistics Daniel Tirado, doctoral student Angel Algarin in the Department of Epidemiology, and Master of Public Health (MPH) student Donald Yanogo in the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention will be working alongside top-tier global health researchers who tackle the world’s most critical health inequities.

The selection process for the internship is not an easy one. First- and second-year public health graduate students were asked to submit a resume/CV to determine whether their qualifications matched with the foundation’s requirements. Once selected from hundreds of candidates, Tirado, Algarin and Yanogo were interviewed to vet their capabilities. After the initial interviews, each applicant interviewed with three specific units that correlated with their respective skills and abilities.

Tirado will be working with Gates’ Healthy Growth and Development Initiative on analyzing a dataset of over 170 studies in 30+ countries, in addition to examining millions of data rows to better understand what health factors the research may influence. He will learn about the combination of statistics and the utilization of code and advanced programs to uncover new insights and questions, which can help tackle problems that were previously impossible.

“I am hoping to work in the big data analytics field; thus, the internship goes hand-in-hand with preparing me for my career path,” said Tirado. “I am very fortunate to experience an organization that is on the cutting edge of using data-driven decision to make such large impacts on millions of individuals.”

Algarin will be working with Gates’ Global HIV/AIDS team on projects that accelerate the reduction of HIV infection in high-burden geographies/populations of southern and eastern Africa, while addressing the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PreP) stigma.

“I am beyond ecstatic to have been chosen for the Gates Foundation Internship,” said Algarin. “Working for the foundation will also be very rewarding because they operate under the premise that all lives have equal value.”

Algarin’s education is currently supported by The C.V. Starr Scholarship, an award given to extraordinary Stempel College students of Latino and Caribbean descent. Algarin, who is of Puerto Rican descent, hopes to give back to his community by working hard to diminish the HIV disparity amongst Latinos.

Yanogo will be working with Gates’ Global Development Department to promote nutrition in countries of the West African region; this will be implemented by expanding the use of confirmed interventions and supporting the growth of new solutions.

“When I moved to Miami last year as a Fulbright Scholar grantee, I was expecting a great academic reinforcement from the MPH program at Stempel College,” said Yanogo, a medical doctor with specialized clinical training in endocrinology and diabetology from Burkina Faso. “Still, I did not know much about professional reinforcement opportunities until I was encouraged to apply—and now I am extremely happy and grateful to have the guidance I needed to make it through the competitive process.”

Yanogo will be operating alongside Gates’ Nutrition Strategy team on the execution of a partnership with several countries such as Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, India and Nigeria.

He will focus on nutrition strategies, which include immediate and exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding, as well as food fortification and supplementation. He will also explore novel approaches for improving nutrition for women and adolescent girls, increasing advocacy and technical assistance, improving data systems and strengthening food systems.

These topics are currently of great interest in many regions of the world, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa, where malnutrition presents a double burden for social and economic growth.

 

Daniel Tirado

MPH student Daniel Tirado

Angel Algarin

Doctoral student Angel Algarin

Donald Yanogo

MPH student Donald Yanogo