Nywel Cheaye

  • 2021 Summer Intern

Nywel Cheaye (she/her) is a rising senior at Vassar College majoring in Science, Technology, & Society (STS) with a concentration in bioethics and medical sociology. Her interest in mental health stems largely from seeing how it is used by society to criminalize Black and Brown bodies along with the impact of incarceration on people who battle with substance abuse and addiction. She is also dedicated to advocating for the mental health of survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual violence. Nywel has seen the ways in which untreated trauma can severely impact communities through her familial ties to Liberia, whose wounds from a 14-year civil war are still present today.

As a Columbia Global Mental Health Programs intern, Nywel worked with Dr. Philip Kreniske in the novel stages of his research focused on using mobile technology to prevent HIV and other mental health issues amongst youth in Uganda. For this project, Nywel was involved in collecting background information on text message based interventions as it relates to the PHQ-9, GAD-7, and AUDIT. She has aided in strategizing the most appropriate method for delivery of behavior intervention messages that both educate patients and motivate them to seek resources. She has also taken initiative in finding methods for expanding this project by adapting an HIV risk assessment tool and PrEP eligibility screener for the target population.

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