Our membership was educated and impressed by ARCS Foundation Scholar Elizabeth Sajewski during the January Membership Meeting. Elizabeth’s research work in Environmental Health Science at Emory University centers on the intersection of water infrastructure and infectious disease, with particular interest in using mathematical models to simulate enteric disease dynamics. According to cdc.gov, enteric bacteria typically enter the body through the mouth. They are acquired through contaminated food and water, by contact with animals or their environments, by contact with the feces of an infected person. Every year, millions of cases of foodborne illness and thousands of associated deaths occur in the United States, and the illness burden is even higher in developing countries. So Elizabeth’s work studying water and climate change, and how related to disease, is so important. She studied Environmental Engineering at Princeton and worked at Ramboll Environ conducting human health risk assessments before starting her PhD. She's scheduled to receive her PhD from Emory's Rollins School of Public Health in 2022.
Although Georgia Tech Scholar Michaelanne Dye was also scheduled to speak to the membership, she was not able to attend due to illness. Michaelanne’s research bridges human-computer interaction and development (HCID) and social computing to explore how increasing internet access influences end-users. Her focus also includes how to best leverage pre-existing local information infrastructures to design sustainable and effective internet services for users in emerging economies. Her dissertation work is based in Havana, Cuba, and investigates grass roots information networks that have evolved in the absence of internet access and how those networks interact with new internet access initiatives. Michaelanne has a BA in Spanish, an MA in Cultural Anthropology and is a Microsoft Research Fellow.
Both of these distinguished scholars are recipients of the Herz Global Impact award. The Joachim Herz Stiftung supports the professional development of graduate students who are conducting research that will have a global impact. Scholar recipients must focus on research that affects global issues and is aimed at impacting the larger society.