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Public Health International Student Fellowship

The Public Health International Modeling Fellows Initiative (the Initiative) was established in 2011 with support from The Benter Foundation. The goal of the Initiative is to enhance international capacity to apply advanced computational modeling methods to critical problems in global health. The Initiative accomplishes its objectives by training teams from selected countries in the use of modeling and simulation methods being developed at the PHDL and by establishing joint research projects for completion in their home country.

A VineyardYuruo Li SAfrica photoWe are pleased to announce that through continued support from The Benter Foundation, the PHDL launched in the summer of 2015 a new international student exchange program. In May, the PHDL provided fellowships for Pitt Public Health graduate students to go abroad. Ashley Vineyard (right), a masters in epidemiology student, spent time in Yangon, Myanmar, at the University of Public Health. Yuruo Li (left), a masters in epidemiology student, spent time in Stellenbosch, South Africa, at the South African Center for Epidemiological Modeling and Analysis (SACEMA).


PHDL Benter Intl Students 20150716From left to right: Faikah Bruce, Wan-Jen Wu, Claudia Torres

The PHDL is hosting three visiting scholars this summer. Faikah Bruce is a doctoral student from SACEMA, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Wan-Jen Wu is a doctoral student in epidemiology at the Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan. She also works as a public health officer at the Taiwan CDC. Claudia Torres is a masters student in industrial automation at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

The students presented their fellowship research projects to the PHDL faculty and staff on August 17 (Faikah Bruce, Claudia Torres and Wan-Jen Wu) and on September 21 (Ashley Vineyard and Yuruo Li). Below are links to these presentations.

Faikah Bruce

Claudia Torres

Wan-Jen Wu

Ashley Vineyard


The Benter Foundation

The visiting exchange scholars along with PHDL faculty and staff had the opportunity on July 24, 2015, to meet and lunch with the funder of their fellowships, Bill Benter, President, The Benter Foundation. Also joining from the Foundation was Kathy Buechel, Executive Director. The scholars shared their academic backgrounds and described their fellowship research projects.

The Benter Foundation was founded in 2007 to support the leaders, organizations and ideas that help communities and individuals thrive. Since then, the Foundation has invested primarily in Pittsburgh-based organizations committed to advancing education, youth development, human services, the arts and humanities, global citizenship, and sustainable practices. Much of this work enhances the quality of life in the region and supports opportunities for individuals to reach their fullest potential.

BenterFoundation group July 24Front row, left to right: Sharon Crow, Wan-Jen Wu, Claudia Torres, Faikah Bruce
Back row, left to right: Guido España, Kathy Buechel, Mark Roberts, Bill Benter, Wilbert van Panhuis, Logan Brooks
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