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The day-to-day life of a fellow varies from fellowship to fellowship, but each placement offers the opportunity for professional growth and hands-on experience with one of the nation’s most prominent public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This fellowship year, our fellows have been busy using their time and unique positions within the CDC to expand their global public health skill sets and even venture outside the field to share their stories.

For a look inside what our fellows have been up to this fellowship year, see some of their highlights below:


Each year we ask current and former fellows to come in and share their experience and advice with the newest cohort of fellows. We’d like to wish a special thank you to PHI/CDC Fellow, Larry Hinkle (see some of his work here and here), and PHI/CDC Alumni, Meagan Cain and Grace Adofoli for stopping by to speak with the incoming 2018-2019 cohort!

We would also like to extend thank yous to PHI/CDC Global Health Fellow, Solape Ajiboye, and PHI/CDC Global Health Alum, Grace Adofoli, for participating in our annual “The PHI/CDC Global Health Fellow Experience” webinar. You can view the webinar here.


Publishing research findings, especially for third year PHI/CDC Global Health Fellows, is often a momentous step forward in an early-career professional’s career. Several of our fellows and alumni have published articles in scientific journals, including PHI/CDC Global Health Alum, Anyie Li, who recently published two articles for Science Direct and PLOS One.

Many fellows also find ways to share their experiences outside of formal journals through blogs and online posting. One example of such fellow is current PHI/CDC Global Health Fellow, Sophia Anyatonwu, who recently published her blog on APHA International Health (IH) Section’s “IH Connect” and wrote a personal feature on Texas A&M’s Alumni Association website.


Seeking and obtaining training related to global public health is a key aspect of the fellowship, and one way fellows pursue these opportunities is through attending and presenting at conferences. This March, the program supported several fellows as they attended the 2019 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle, WA (pictured above from left to right: Greg Chang, Marcela Torres, and Solape Ajiboye). First-year fellow, Marcela Torres, attended CROI to present her research findings on PrEP and STIs in the poster presentation, “Association of PrEP Use and Past and Current STIs amount MSM in Washington DC, 2017.”

The UNAIDS Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa, was also largely popular with PHI/CDC fellows, and served as a valuable learning and team-building opportunity for many, including current Lesotho fellow, Shreya Desai (featured here).


As part of the next generation of global health leaders, fellows are not only gaining skills to further their own careers, but are also learning and seeking ways to empower others in their generation to do the same. For PHI/CDC Global Health Fellow, Vanessa Da Costa, this means sharing valuable advise through a blog on PH SPOT that you can read here.

For others this is demonstrated after their fellowship ends through their participation in Alumni Profiles, articles highlighting their experiences during the fellowship and how the fellowship shaped their current careers. Visit our Alumni Profiles page to see our latest profiles.


Fellows are considered essential team members in their branches and host offices, and they often receive praise for the tireless dedication and high quality work that they as PHI/CDC Global Health Fellows produce. See some of the examples below:

CDC Mentor, Daniel Williams, recognizes Nikhil Kothegal for his hard work and continued growth in his fellowship.

“Nikhil has, without complaint, worked evenings and weekends to help ensure the high quality of PHIA reports and publications. He has really improved his SAS statistical software coding skills in the past year, and we trust and rely on him to take the sometimes messy and complicated data that we work with and turn it into clear, actionable information. He is making good progress on a MMWR, and works unselfishly with other groups in DGHT. We’ve been very fortunate to have him with us for almost 3 years.”

Shreya Patel, Atlanta-based fellow, was recognized through the DGHT Kudos Board for supporting CDC Namibia’s Integrated Bio-Behavioral Surveillance survey.

“Kudos to Shreya for supporting CDC Namibia’s Integrated Bio-Behavioral Surveillance survey. She recently completed her first TDY assignment in Namibia and impressed the team greatly with her professionalism and her performance. During a short (<2 week) TDY, Shreya completed a two-day site visit outside of Windhoek, presented in two different forums to mixed crowds of key populations community members and public health professionals, and drafted SOPs for the transgender substudy (~50-page document which she generated).

CDC Namibia is so thankful to Shreya for her contributions and her efforts to get the study launched with solid footing. We look forward to working with her in the future as the study rolls out. We extend our “kudos” to Shreya!”


Photo credit: Michelle V, CROI