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APHA’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity awards 10 advocacy scholarships

Date: Jun 25 2019

CONTACT: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913

Washington, D.C., June 25, 2019 - APHA’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity is proud to announce the 10 recipients of its Speak for Health Advocacy Bootcamp Scholarship. The scholarship supports expenses associated with APHA’s Speak for Health Advocacy Bootcamp, which will be held July 15-16 in Washington, D.C.

Public health students, recent graduates and early-career professionals who participate in this year’s bootcamp will learn how to take action, change the direction of our country and build a better public health system through advocacy on climate change and health. Scholarship winners demonstrated commitment to health equity and passion for advancing climate solutions in their applications, exemplifying the kind of action the Center for Climate, Health and Equity strives to promote.

With a long-standing commitment to climate as a health issue, APHA created the Center to apply a health equity lens to climate policy, engagement and action. The Center leads public health efforts to inspire action on climate and health, advance policy and galvanize the field to address climate change. The Center’s work seeks to justly address the needs of all communities regardless of age, geography, race, income, gender or other factors.

Read more about the inspiring Center for Climate, Health and Equity Scholarship recipients and look for guest blogs about their advocacy and action on APHA’s Public Health Newswire.

Christopher Aono is pursuing his Master of Public Health degree from California State University in Los Angeles, California. He is passionate about health education and is working as a medical assistant instructor servicing lower-income populations. Christopher also works as a program manager for an LGBTQI2-S nonprofit organization that focuses on health equity, LGBTQI2-S rights and social justice, mental health with DMH, substance abuse with SAMHSA and HIV prevention with CDC. Christopher plans to one day open his own all-inclusive nonprofit organization to provide services to underserved populations.

Sativa Banks is a Master of Public Health student in health promotion and education at the University of Toledo. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she received a Bachelor of Public Health Education degree from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, in 2018. Throughout her undergraduate career, Sativa has worked on research projects centering around the social determinants of health and health disparities. At the University of Toledo, she has aligned herself with advocacy projects that address the social determinants of health and achieve health equity.

Tonye Fohsta-Lynch is a Brooklyn, New York, native currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a concentration in maternal and child health. Her educational research interests include the health implications of climate change on maternal and child health populations, the influence of the built environment on marginalized groups, maternal and child health nutrition and sexual and reproductive health and justice. In addition to pursuing her MPH, Tonye is also a trained birth doula through the DONA International.

Lindsay Joy-Wenning is a field epidemiologist for the Indiana State Department of Health. She is responsible for investigating infectious disease occurrences in her eight-county district and educating the public about vaccine-preventable diseases. Lindsay graduated from Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health in 2015 with a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology. During her studies, she interned in hospital infection control in Indianapolis and was a public health practice scholar for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Roseanne Nguyen is a first-generation Vietnamese American from Phoenix, Arizona. In 2017, she became the first in her family to graduate college, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in nutrition from Arizona State University. As a student, she studied abroad in Mexico and Nicaragua, where she discovered her love of public health. Roseanne became an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving at the Pima County Health Department in Arizona helping to prevent substance misuse. Now she is the program specialist there committed to improving the built environment, ensuring bike and pedestrian safety and providing resources for children and youth with special health care needs.

Mariah Norwood is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and the electronic health record support specialist and research and evaluation coordinator for the Lower Sioux Indian Community. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master of Health and Human Services Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma. Mariah serves on the Mayo Clinic Office of Health Disparities Research’s A Path Toward Better Health for Bemidji Area American Indians Healthy Nations Advisory Board.

Michaela Seiber is an enrolled tribal member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation of the Dakotas. She graduated in 2016 with her Master of Public Health degree from the University of South Dakota. She lives in Sioux Falls and works at Sanford Research with rural and tribal communities. Michaela was elected president of the South Dakota Public Health Association in 2018 and has been working to engage South Dakotans in public health by holding community events and starting a book club. Michaela was also selected as a 2019 Bush Fellow.

Ericha Alexandria Stewart is a second-year graduate student at Florida State University pursuing a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health degree. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degrees in African diaspora studies and economics at Florida State in 2017. Her academic and research specializations focus on health communities, health policy, epidemiology, neighborhood planning, health equity and capacity building for climate change. Ericha hopes to facilitate capacity building in the marginalized communities most impacted by climate change and environmental injustices. She intends to pursue a doctoral degree, and her optimal career goal is to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Kyle Sullivan coordinated a tobacco control coalition as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public health fellow for their home state of Illinois before earning a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Michigan in 2019. Climate, health and equity issues motivated Kyle to commit to public health and to study environmental health promotion and policy and community-driven action strategies. Their projects addressed stormwater and temperature extremes in the Midwest, climate knowledge and policy, global labor standards and diversity in professional communities. Kyle is exploring job and development opportunities in environmental health and climate adaptation that center related technologies and sciences, policy, and multi-stakeholder engagement.

Mislael A. Valentín-Cortés is currently a Master of Public Health/Master of Social Work student at the University of Michigan. As researcher and practitioner, his interests lie in the relationship between climate, disasters, health and mental health. Coming from Puerto Rico, most of Mislael’s work has focused on how socioeconomic conditions, discrimination and access to resources have affected the health outcomes of historically oppressed populations. He plans to pursue a PhD to study, through community-based methods, how climate change and disasters impact communities and how to mitigate the burden associated with atmospheric events through theory, policy and interventions.


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.