Student Alumni

Student Alumni

Josh Adler

Josh Adler is a recent graduate of New York University with a B.S. in Applied Psychology and a minor in Sociology. He is from New York. For the past two years, Josh’s research has focused on socioeconomic disparities and mental health outcomes. More recently, Josh has become a research assistant on Dr. Shabnam Javdani’s Researching Inequity in Society Ecologically (RISE) research team due to his interest in the bidirectional relation between the effects of incarceration and mental health wellbeing through a sociocultural lens. Josh is passionate about working with individuals, while utiliIizing reseach to highlight individuals’ struggles as implications for necessary macro-level, structural change.

Sherin Asiimwe

I am a research assistant for the Global Mental Health Program. I earned a BA in Psyhcology from St John’s University. During my undergraduate program, I interned at the National Mental Referral Hospital in Uganda where I am originally from. During that internship, my passion for mental health grew even more. I wanted to earn the skills that would enable me to contribute to bettering the mental health system back home. This led me to pursue an MA in Psychology which I earned from Chatham University. During this program, I engaged in research on the health disparities of Sub-Saharan African female immigrants. I later carried out an Independent study on the mental health system in Uganda.

My research interests lie in the development of culturally adapted treatment interventions, implementing cost effective evidence-based treatment interventions in low and middle-income countries where a majority of these individuals are unable to afford the mental health care that they need.

I intend to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the future.

Ali Bloomgarden

Ali Bloomgarden recently graduated from New York University with a B.S. in Applied Psychology, and a concentration in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies. She is from Los Angeles, CA. Ali has spent the last year and a half working with girls in the juvenile justice system as a researcher and advocate through Dr. Shabnam Javdani’s ROSES program. Ali is now training and supervising future ROSES advocates and their individual client cases. Her experience has fostered her desire to understand the mental health disparities in youth involved with the juvenile justice system through a contextual, multi-level and interdisciplinary approach. Ali is passionate about working with individuals to address oppression-related mental health disparities and ultimately inform system change.

Nicole Khauli, MPH

Nicole Khauli is a Research Associate at the Global Mental Health Program, Columbia University. She earned her BA in Psychology from the American University of Beirut and recently her Master in Public Health from the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. During her training in public health, she completed her 6-month practicum in Lebanon. There, she undertook the role of Regional Coordinator for the Arab participating sites in the WHO-based Implementation Field Studies concerned with the revision of guidelines for mental and behavioral disorders in the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 11th revision (ICD-11). She has since been involved in the management and analysis of these collected data. She has also been working with faculty from the Department of Epidemiology on substance use research. Some of the work she has recently investigated are the effects of alcohol policies and perceived health risks on youth alcohol consumption in Lebanon. In the future, Nicole intends to pursue a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology.

Cara Scharf

Cara received her B.A. in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University and currently works in healthcare public relations at Edelman, where she helps pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare organizations tell their stories and navigate the increasingly complex healthcare landscape. She has previous experience working for both global and community-based nonprofit organizations, and through her work, academic studies and personal experience has developed a deep passion for global mental health research and advocacy.

Gabrielle Williams

Gabrielle Williams is a Master of Public Health candidate at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. She is currently studying Health Policy, with plans of completing an additional certificate in Health Administration. Gabrielle earned her BA in Sociology with a focus on race and ethnic relations from Georgia State University. After graduating, she interned with Columbia University’s Global Mental Health program which sparked her research interest in mental health policy and the criminalization of mental health disorders.

Jamal Yearwood

Jamal is from Saginaw, Michigan and studied Spanish and Economics at Albion College.He is currently a post-bachelor fellow at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and was previously an intern in the Global Mental Health Program, where he researched pediatric epilepsy in Cameroon. Jamal is particularly interested in the economic impact of mental health and how technology is changing conversations around anxiety and depression.

Patricia Way

Patricia works at Ralph Lauren after receiving her B.A. in History from Whitman College and her M.A. in Costume Studies from New York University. While pursuing her M.A., Patricia worked to execute a conference on costume design, co-curate a fashion exhibition, and organize multiple educational panels. She has experience working in the theater and museums where she developed an excitement for community outreach.

Bijan J. Khaksari, BA

Bijan Khaksari is a research assistant for the Global Mental Health Program.  His keen interest in neuroscience began while pursuing his undergraduate studies at the George Washington University, and his commitment to mental health in particular was inspired after working as a field ambassador at the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts. Bijan continues to pursue deeper knowledge about the physiology of the brain in the context of mental health as a Master of Public Health student at Columbia’s Mailman school, based in the epidemiology department, where he will obtain a certificate in molecular epidemiology. His research focuses on optimizing the advocacy and delivery of evidence-based psychopharmaceutic treatment at the global scale.

Ian Rodgers, BA

Ian Rodgers is a Master of Public Health candidate at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He is currently studying epidemiology, with a certificate in Public Health and Humanitarian Assistance. Ian earned his BA in Biology from the University of San Diego. After graduating, he spent two years as an international Jesuit Volunteer in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia, working in education. His time in the FSM led him to pursue his MPH, and he plans to focus on global mental health throughout his studies at the Mailman School. His research interests lie in studying suicide in young adults, and using that research to inform culturally sensitive interventions in the context of Pacific Island culture and other low-resource settings throughout the world. Ian recently joined the team as a research assistant.