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“This has been one of those years that has challenged our country, ourselves, our families, our friends and the world, and thank you for all your work to make [the world] a better place.”
– Mike Sage, MPH; Program Director

On Friday, July 16, Program Director, Mike Sage, MPH, welcomed fellows, CDC mentors and program staff to the 3rd annual Fellows Showcase & Awards Ceremony to recognize mentor support along with fellows’ achievements and contributions to Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s global health portfolio. Over 70 attendees comprised of program staff, Fellows and CDC staff, connected virtually tuning in from the African continent, Latin America and the U.S. to celebrate fellow and mentor achievements and reflect on a year that called for resiliency and determination in the face of on-going adversity.


Four Fellows highlighted their work over the 2019-2020 program year during the Fellows’ Showcase, moderated by Atlanta-based Program Management Fellow, Justin Wellins, MPH.  The presentations were divided into two topic areas of Capacity Building and COVID-19:

The following fellows presented on Capacity Building:

Paulah Wheeler, MPH


Program Management Fellow; Pretoria, South Africa

Presentation: Improving Engagement and Knowledge Retention in Laboratory Trainings for Healthcare Workers

Sarah Legare, MPH


Surveillance Fellow; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Presentation: SARI/ILI Surveillance in Ethiopia: Evaluation and Expansion

Paola Rullan, MPH


Surveillance Fellow; Atlanta, Georgia

Presentation: Providing Technical Support to Latin American and Lusophone Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs): A Fellow’s Experience

Next, attendees heard a presentation on COVID-19:

Sarah Aheron, MPH


Monitoring & Evaluation Fellow; Pretoria, South Africa

Presentation: COVID-19 Knowledge, Attitudes & Practices (KAP) Survey: Pakistan


Program Manager, Christine Caraballo, began the awards by recognizing fellows’ appreciations for one another whether it was while adjusting to work life as a new fellow onboarding remotely or providing support to a peer while relocating overseas:

The Awards Review Committee consisted of several program staff (Jasdeep Dulay; Mike Sage, MPH) and alumni (Grace Adofoli MPH; Orrin Tiberi MPH; Allison Yoos MPH). In June, the committee independently reviewed an impressive list of nominations from a diverse pool of CDC locations and fellowship tracks. Congratulations to the following fellows and mentor who were the recipients of this year’s awards and thank you to all of our nominators:

Cristine Gutierrez, MPH Surveillance Fellow; DGHT; CDC Central America & Hayley Moretz Program Management Fellow; OD; Atlanta; Best Team Player Award
Cristine’s initiative led to an improved, streamlined performance of our recency portfolio, with clear responsibilities, lines of communications, and the development of a shared team spirit to move forward this initiative in the Central American region. This would not have happened without Cristine’s leadership.” –Nasim Farach, MPH (Public Health Advisor); DGHT
“Hayley quickly became a valued and vital team asset supporting 50+ CDC country offices and our international workforce of nearly 2000…Hayley demonstrates an amazing ability to be flexible and adaptable.  Whether duty calls at 4am or 11 pm Eastern Standard time, or East Africa/Asia Time, Hayley rises to the occasion.  She has established herself as a critical pillar on our small, but mighty team.” –Christopher Stallard, MS (International Workforce Management Officer); OD
Lizzie Heilmann, MPH; Outstanding Leadership Award; Epidemiology Fellow, DGHT Lusaka, Zambia

“Even though she is a first-year fellow, she has already made tremendous contributions to the CDC-Zambia program… In her short time with CDC-Zambia, Lizzie has demonstrated leadership and independence well above the high standard we hold for PHI fellows. She has great potential and we have no doubt she will leave a positive lasting impact in Zambia (she already is!).”- Dr. Jonas Hines, Surveillance Advisor; DGHT, CDC Zambia
Courtney Sciarratta, MPH; Lasting Impact Award; Epidemiology Fellow; GID, Atlanta, Georgia

“Ms. Courtney Sciarratta has applied both established and newly developed vaccine safety scientific and technical methods and practices to identify and evaluate a wide range of vaccine safety issues, including analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of vaccine safety surveillance system operations in priority countries and implementation of global vaccine safety standards and recommendations.” -Dr. Jane Gidudu; Medical Epidemiologist, Global Immunization Division, Immunization Systems Branch
Tiffany Tran, MPH; Outstanding Impact on a COVID-19 Related Project or Activity Award; Epidemiology Fellow, DGHT Maputo, Mozambique
“In 2020, the Mozambique National Institute of Health (INS) conducted a series of COVID-19 serosurveys to understand the level of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus throughout Mozambique…. Without Tiffany’s time and expertise CDC/Mozambique would not have been able to provide this critical support to the INS.”- Dr. Peter Young, Associate Director for Science, DGHT, CDC Mozambique
Langan Denhard, MPH; Innovator of the Year Award; HIV Prevention Fellow; DGHT Atlanta, Georgia
“Without a doubt Langan is the most innovative person on the Gender & Youth team and has made significant contributions to supporting the transition from in-person to virtual trainings to ensure continued technical assistance to the DGHT field teams.”- Jennifer Hegle, MPH (Public Health Analyst) and the Gender and Youth Team, DGHT
Dr. Jane Gidudu Medical Epidemiologist GID, Atlanta, Georgia & Dr. Anne Purfield Associate Director for Laboratory Science, CDC Ethiopia: Outstanding Mentorship Award
“Jane has gone above and beyond as a mentor.  During this time, she has not only guided me through this experience, but has also created activities and projects for me to lead and has provided advice and friendship. Jane has taken me under her wing without hesitation and, with her more than 15 years of experience in vaccine safety, I have been able to professionally grow in this novel field of expertise in a short amount of time.” -Courtney Sciarratta, MPH Mentee & Epidemiology Fellow, GID
“Anne has continuously provided me with opportunities, challenged me, and facilitated personal and professional development throughout the duration of my fellowship. As an alumni of EIS and with experience within multiple CDC program areas, she understands what experiences will help me most in my future career and has made sure to open the doors necessary for me to have them.” -Sarah Legare, MPH Mentee & Surveillance Fellow, DGHP

Patrick Chong, MPH, Associate Director for Overseas Operations at CDC’s Center for Global Health, closed the event addressing fellows:

“I am happy to see you are thriving in your assignments despite a year and a half now of teleworking…I would like to congratulate all the award recipients today…Thank you for continuing to serve, to volunteer and continue to carry out CDC’s mission overseas.”

Special thanks to Felicia Warren, Patrick Chong and everyone who attended and participated in the event.