Blog Post
Photo of poster session at UCSF campus.

Healthforce Center Welcomes Five Summer Interns to UCSF!

July 25, 2022

Healthforce Center at UCSF is pleased to welcome five interns this summer! Working with interns is just one way in which Healthforce Center advances health equity by building pipelines of diverse health clinicians, researchers, and leaders. Internships such as these provides an opportunity for people from under-represented communities to learn about and contribute to health care as they explore the next steps in their careers.

Healthforce Center initiated our internship program in 2021 with two interns, one of whom went on to join our team as a full-time research analyst. Interns serve as valuable members of our team and are compensated for their time as they gain important professional development opportunities. Under the mentorship of Renae Waneka, senior manager for people and programs, interns assist our team in analysis, writing, project management, and communications. This summer, Healthforce Center is excited to work with Nabiha Siddiqui as part of this program.Nabiha Siddiqui

Nabiha Siddiqui will be a second-year graduate student in the master’s of public health program in health care management and policy at San Diego State University this fall. “I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I worked as a nursing assistant and pharmacy technician. I decided to pursue an advanced degree in public health because I am passionate about improving patient care quality and health equity through effective leadership. My values align with Healthforce Center’s mission to enact positive change in health care delivery through helping organizations gain workforce knowledge and leadership skills. As a future public health professional, I aspire to prioritize quality of care while championing health care equity for all individuals in my community.”

Additionally, Healthforce is hosting one of four summer fellows that are being mentored through their summer projects by a team of faculty at the Center to Address Disparities in Oral Health (CAN DO) that includes Healthforce Center’s Associate Director for Research Dr. Elizabeth Mertz and Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Ann Lazar. PI Lazar leads the two grants that provides funding for these four fellows to visit UCSF this summer: (1) CAN DO Undergraduate Scholars Program for Reducing Oral Health Disparities and (2) HU UCSF CAN DO Scholars Program for Reducing Oral Health Disparities, funded by the University of California (UC) Office of the President (UCOP) via the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative (UCOP-HBCU Initiative). This scholars program has partnered with the summer research training program known as the SRTP program in the graduate school led by Dr. D’Anne Duncan.Alanna Flowers

Alanna Flowers is a rising senior in biology and English at Howard University: “I was born in Brooklyn, New York, but I moved to Tampa, Florida when I was four years old and have been enjoying the warm weather ever since. I am currently interested in neurodegenerative diseases, mental health studies, and clinical psychology. Following undergrad, I plan to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology with the intent of becoming a certified practicing psychologist. I am excited to learn from my peers and mentors within the CAN DO Scholars Program here at UCSF as I work to further develop my research skills while preparing for a future in the clinical psych field. This summer I have been granted the wonderful opportunity to work with Dr. Sepideh Banava.”


Yodit GoshuYodit Goshu is a rising senior in health sciences at Howard University: “I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and come from an Ethiopian culture. I am really interested in health disparities and working on providing care and support to those in underrepresented areas. I plan to attain a PhD and use my interests to make change by working in federal and international health care agencies to dismantle many of the health issues that arise in our communities and world today. Therefore, I applied to the CAN DO Scholars program to gain research skills in the public health field, connect with UCSF faculty on various influential projects, and learn more about a PhD program. I look forward to working with Dr. Mertz and others this summer to gain knowledge and important skills that I will continue to utilize for my educational career.”


Lethan HamptonLethan Hampton is a rising senior in biology and chemistry at Howard University, who is originally from Houston, Texas: “At Howard University, I am a member of the Karsh STEM Scholars Program, which is a program designated for African American students interested in pursuing a PhD or combined MD/PhD. Some of my research interests are cancer biology, immunology, and infectious disease, yet my main passion is global health, as I hope to work to provide adequate aid for underserved areas abroad. I applied to the CAN DO Scholars Program to enhance my critical thinking skills and fulfill my curiosity in the laboratory space. I am excited to be working with Dr. Mary Helen Barcellos-Hoff and her laboratory as we study the mechanisms in which radiation promotes carcinogenesis along with various ways to biologically augment the effects of radiation.”


Aaron PattersonAaron Patterson is a rising senior in biology and psychology at Howard University: “I originate from Stone Mountain, Georgia, a city in the Atlanta area. I hope to eventually pursue a PhD (in psychology or neuroscience) that will allow me to conduct research on mental health. More specifically, I want to do research on neurodevelopmental disorders, their mental health implications, and how to better serve underrepresented populations that are often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. As part of the CANDO Scholars program, I hope to gain experience in clinical mental health research in order to flesh out my interests and help me decide the field I ultimately want to conduct research in. I also hope to connect with the faculty, graduate students, and other summer researchers that I meet here to gain more insight into research, academia, and life. I greatly look forward to working this summer with Dr. Kathleen Tebb, a developmental psychologist and professor of pediatrics.”

Healthforce Center thanks the funders, partners, and team members who contributed to support these rising changemakers in health care! Healthforce Center will be recruiting new interns again in the future. Learn more about the internship and check for updates.