I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program at Columbia University.
I received my PhD in Epidemiology from McGill University in 2018 under the direction of Professors Arijit Nandi and Sam Harper. My dissertation research was part of a cluster randomized impact evaluation study that evaluated the effect of an affordable daycare program implemented by the grassroots non-governmental development organization Seva Mandir. My work evaluated the effect of the daycare intervention on women's well-being, as well as investigated determinants of mental distress among women in the study.
I received a Masters of Public Health from Oregon Health & Sciences University in 2013. Under the direction of Professor Janne Boone-Heinonen, my thesis used data from the Oregon Health Study to examine the association between neighborhood conditions and depression in low-income adults. For this work, I received the School of Medicine's Outstanding Master's Thesis Award.
Before pursing an academic career, I worked for over a decade in the violence prevention, substance abuse, and community development fields. In Oregon, I provided intensive advocacy, support and education to survivors of domestic abuse (2001-2005) and families at risk of child abuse (2005-2006). In Namibia, I mentored community leaders to help them set up community-based programs for orphans and vulnerable children (2007-2009). Back in Oregon, I conducted substance abuse research and analyzed patient data to improve clinical outcomes at a methadone clinic (2010-2013).
These experiences have given me a nuanced understanding of the social and structural factors that ameliorate or exacerbate well-being, especially among the socio-economically disadvantaged. This understanding shapes my academic research agenda, which is to understand how social and structural factors affect mental health, and to identify structural interventions to improve the mental health of populations.