2019 Practica Profiles

2019 Practica Profiles

Alessandra Cirillo


Alessandra is a second-year MPH student in the department of Population and Family Health and Global Health certificate. She will be spending 6 months in São Paulo, Brazil at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) where she will complete a manuscript for submission to the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry which reviews the most important ongoing cohorts in mental health.


Kelsey Clayman

United Kingdom

Kelsey Clayman is a second-year medical student at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. She was previously Program Coordinator for the Global Mental Health Program. Kelsey earned her BA in Neurobiology from Harvard University, where she researched brain cancer genetics at Harvard Medical School. During her undergraduate years, she also worked on novel neuroimaging techniques at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Following graduation, she began work at the University of Chicago studying predictive and preventive factors for alcohol dependence. Her current research interests include the intersection of neurobiology and mental health on a local and global scale, utilizing scientific discovery to understand, inform, and reduce the stigma of mental illness worldwide. This summer, Kelsey will be working with GMHP on a study analyzing how individuals with lived experience of eating disorders define and describe their recovery, as well as with Dr. Judith Rodin on a project concerning building individual resilience in efforts to enhance and transform leadership abilities.


Collins Mokua


Collins is a rising Junior in Columbia College and a Neuroscience and Behavior major on the pre-med track. He was born and raised in Kenya and lives in Dallas, TX. He is a part of the first ever Laidlaw Scholars cohort at Columbia College. During his time at Columbia, he has worked with the Program for Global and Population Health on research aimed at increasing the capacity for Oral Health Care in Nairobi, Kenya. He is invested in Public Global Health and issues around capacity and policy building in Low and Middle Income Countries. Coupled with this is a deep love for music, dance, and comedy.


Anya Peck


Anya Peck received her BA in Neurobiology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Colby College and is an MPH candidate at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, studying Population and Family Health with a certificate in Global Health. Prior to Columbia she was a yearlong Public Health Fellow at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center’s (EBNHC) Let’s Get Movin’ program. At EBNHC Anya worked in program development and evaluation, was a bilingual (Spanish/English) youth program leader and in school nutrition teacher and was manager of the East Boston Farmers Market. Prior to EBNHC Anya worked for a year in Guatemala City, Guatemala, as a preventive health coordinator for Unidas Para Vivir Mejor (UPAVIM), a local women’s cooperative. At UPAVIM Anya founded the UPAVIM dentist program, was a youth exercise/nutrition educator, lead women’s health groups, and was a mentor to community youth who have experienced violence. Her current interests are in program planning, youth health promotion/education, qualitative research, and global mental health.


Sara Wetzler

United Kingdom

Sara Wetzler is a rising senior at Harvard College studying History and Science on the Mind, Brain, Behavior track with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. Sara has done research with the Global Mental Health Program as well as the Pan American Health Organization. Her research will be focused on understanding the service user perspective of eating disorder recovery and how this view can inform clinical treatment. In the future, Sara will attend the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai and continue to get involved mental health advocacy.