BSPH in Environmental Health Sciences Ambassadors
Below are the current student ambassadors for the Bachelor of Science in Public Health program in Environmental Health Sciences. These students are happy to answer questions you may have about the application process, the program, or student life in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Abhigya Chennamsetty is a senior in the BSPH Environmental Health Sciences Program and from Morrisville, NC. She was initially drawn to the major by her interest in global environmental issues and the perfect overlap with her interests in human health. After taking several classes in the department, Abhigya has especially become interested in the influence of air and water pollution on gene mutations and their overarching community level consequences. After graduating, Abhigya plans to pursue an MD to apply her knowledge of human-environment interactions and better inform disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. She hopes to advance holistic patient care while increasing local and global environmental awareness. Additionally, Abhigya has a minor in French and is pursuing a minor in biology. She is also Co-president of UNC Project RISHI, President of the UNC Global Brigades Spring Medical Brigade, member of Hearts for Homeless International, and an Undergraduate Volunteer at the UNC Hospitals. When she’s not studying, or volunteering, Abhigya loves to paint and spend time with her friends
Tamara Paris-Davila is an EHS major from Greensboro, NC whose main related topic interest is data analysis and risk assessment. She spent last summer at Columbia University as a part of a biostatistics and epidemiology research program working on the research topic “Among children <12 years of age on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa, are traumatic life events associated with poor treatment outcomes?”. She is currently working on publishing a paper based on this research and hopes to do further research within the statistical data analysis and risk assessment realm. She is an incoming Siemens research fellow at PATH and intends to focus on malaria data analysis and predictive modeling research during her time there. After graduating, she plans on pursuing an MSPH in Environmental Health focusing on environmental risk assessment. In her free time, Tamara enjoys hiking or you can find her working at Sup Dogs on the weekends.
Nicole Egerstrom is an international student from San Jose, Costa Rica. She currently does research at The SUDDEN Project within UNC School of Medicine looking at environmental factors and its association to sudden unexpected death. Her main research interests within ENHS are climate change and health, air pollution adverse health effects, as well as environmental epidemiology. Some extracurricular activities she enjoys are rock climbing and being a part of UNC American Mock World Health Organization. In the future, Nicole plans to pursue a PhD or a joint MD/PhD degree focusing on environmental health. Her hope is to become an advocate and advisor/consultant for NGOs on the adverse health effects from climate change and the environment.
Banks Grubbs is a senior from Matthews, North Carolina. His main interests are addressing environmental inequalities in access to clean water and understanding water quality issues in developed countries. Past research Banks has been involved in includes: investigating the connection between lead contamination in well water and blood lead levels in children, assisting in collecting field samples to assess the quality of a GAC/UV filter in homes with wells, and utilizing GIS to understand the connection between groundwater characteristics and likelihood of PFAS exposure in Minnesota. After his BSPH, Banks plans to continue into the MSPH program in EHS. Outside of research, Banks likes to backpack, ferment foods, and be with his friends.
LeeAnn Lucas is an Environmental Health Science student from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is primarily interested in the biology and toxicology side of environmental health. Her favorite Gilling’s class was Systems Biology and she participated in research her sophomore year with Dr. Zhang, synthesizing compounds used in experiments to understand organic pollutants in the body. LeeAnn found her love for public health when she participated in a trip to Honduras through UNC Global Brigades. Her group built sanitation stations to decrease the spread of infection and water borne diseases. In her free time, LeeAnn plays on the UNC Beach Volleyball team and is a member of APO, UNC’s coed community service fraternity. She enjoys working at the UNC hospital as a Health Unit Coordinator. She also loves running and snacking. In the future, LeeAnn hopes to continue her education in public health by attending a joint MPH and MD program. Eventually, she would like to work to improve public health in underdeveloped countries.
Francie Sentilles is a senior in the BSPH program from Memphis, Tennessee. In the field of environmental health, she is interested in industrial toxicology in the context of environmental injustice and inequality. She is also pursuing a second major in Anthropology and a Hispanic Studies minor, and she hopes to use the social sciences perspective to enhance her understanding of environmental health issues. Currently, Francie is a research assistant in Amanda Northcross’s research group, which focuses on assessing environmental exposures among artisanal fishermen and fisherwomen in Brazil. Outside of the ESE department, Francie serves as the president of APPLES Service-Learning, an executive board member for Dive In: Chapel Hill, and a member of the Delta Advocates program. After graduation, she plans to pursue an MS in environmental health sciences through the +1 (year) program. Eventually, she plans to work in public health research and/or policy and complete a JD or a Ph.D. in environmental health.
Abhishek Shankar is a rising senior majoring in Environmental and Health Science and minoring in Health and Society, with research interests in health equity and health policy. He is the director of the Asian American Center Campaign at UNC, the head undergraduate research assistant at the Moody Lab in the Lineberger Cancer Center, and serves on the Coalition of Awareness, Resistance and Solidarity (a multicultural group looking to expand racial solidarity and equity at UNC). After graduation, Abhishek intends to pursue a graduate degree in health behavior or health policy, hoping to work in government or at a think tank focused on racial and socioeconomic health equity.