Recent interns & fellows at ARTH

Hannah Pentith

Hannah Pentith graduated from University of Sussex, Brighton, United Kingdom in 2011 with a BA in Anthropology. As an undergraduate Hannah explored her interests in global health, sociocultural perspectives on medicine, reproductive health and cross-cultural birthing practices. During her final year, Hannah concentrated in Medical Anthropology and Reproductive & Maternal Health where she developed her interests in midwifery practices as a strategy to improve global maternal morbidity and mortality. In her final year at Sussex, Hannah conducted independently designed, literary based ,research for her thesis that explored the values ascribed to South Asian midwives and their implication on birth outcomes. Whilst interning at ARTH Hannah assisted on the Navjeevan Newborn Survival Project. She compiled a qualitative report exploring the progress and experiences of the Navjeevan Helpline intervention. Hannah investigated the knowledge, perceptions and experiences of the intervention communities to understand what influenced their decisions to utilise the Navjeevan Helpline. The report discloses both the successes and constraints which impact the Helpline interventions’ aim to improve newborn survival and health-seeking behaviours. The results have been documented to produce a progress report which will be distributed to collaborative partners.Hannah can be contacted at hannahpentith@gmail.com.

Megan Gordon

Megan Gordon graduated from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in June 2011 with a B.A, majoring in International Development Studies and Women’s Studies, and a minor in Public Health. While completing her undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University, Megan honed her interests in international development, health, and gender issues through both experiences abroad and domestic research. She spent three months in Chiang Mai, Thailand interning for The Integrated Ministries for Ethnic Minorities Foundation, which works for the advocacy and empowerment of hill tribe people living in Thailand. Upon her return to the United States, she pursued fundraising and awareness-raising efforts for the Foundation. During a recent medical trip to Port-a-Prince, Haiti, she worked in an assistive and interpretive capacity for a clinic. Over the course of her senior year at Ohio State, she engaged in independent research study regarding women’s health in the developing world and has become particularly interested in the professionalization of midwives as a method to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Megan came to ARTH as an American India Foundation William J. Clinton Fellow from September 2011 to June 2012. During her time here, she carried out a qualitative research study investigating formal abortion providers and possible barriers to service delivery in Southern Rajasthan, designed and piloted a community awareness project working in congruence with ARTH’s Evidence-Based Delivery initiatives, and served in a consulting capacity for a variety of issues and possible collaborations regarding access to safe abortion at ARTH. Megan may be contacted at megangordon448@gmail.com.

Maya Ragavan

Maya Ragavan is a third year medical and public health student at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. She received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Northwestern University where she focused on cross-cultural social psychology. Her honors thesis examined intergroup bias and its association with group cohesiveness. At Northwestern, she also volunteered as a crisis line counselor at an intimate partner violence shelter and designed and taught a class for her peers about intimate partner violence prevention. While at Northwestern, she did a 5 week internship at ARTH writing an ethnography about the lives of nurse-midwives. In her medical school, she and a colleague designed a web-based program to teach cultural sensitivity in the medical arena in a practical, skills-based way. This program is now offered to medical students nationally through the American Medical Students Associations (AMSA.) She also serves as the national medical education coordinator for AMSA, focusing on improving cultural sensitivity based medical education. After graduating from medical school, she will continue her training as a pediatric or family medicine resident and then hopes to practice in a primary care setting as a clinician, researcher, and public health practitioner. She is currently working with ARTH as a Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Fellow from 2011-2012.  At ARTH, she did a qualitative research project examining the attitudes that women and men have about intimate partner violence (IPV). In addition, based on the data she is designing two small interventions related to IPV prevention.  Her mentor at ARTH is Dr. Kirti Iyengar who has provided logistical and academic support throughout her tenure here.

Sara Price

Sara Price is a Master’s of Arts student at Oregon State University. She studies Applied Medical Anthropology with a specific focus on institutional delivery and skilled-birth attendant training in Northern India. During her time at ARTH, Sara worked with ARTH staff to design one of the first Hindi training guides for conducting qualitative research. She also designed and carried out a qualitative assessment of skilled-birth attendants who had previously been trained by ARTH to explore barriers to SBA use of Evidence-based delivery protocols in delivery rooms around southern Rajasthan. The results of that focused, qualitative study culminated into a report that will be delivered to the Government of Rajasthan by ARTH.

Kyla Donnelly

Kyla Donnelly graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA in 2008 with a Bachelor’s of Art in International Relations. She then worked as the Foundation Relations Assistant within the Resource Development Department of Pathfinder International, in Boston, Massachusetts, supporting the fund raising team of the organization. She came to ARTH through the American India Foundation’s Clinton fellowship, from September 2010 to June 2011. She assisted in the conceptualization and implementation of a programme focused on improving adolescents’ awareness and utilization of family planning services in ARTH’s rural catchment area. In this capacity, she worked on developing and piloting a curriculum for adolescent and young women on issues of health, nutrition, entitlements, and practical skills. She also conducted a research study to investigate the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding family planning among ASHAs as village level service providers. Kyla may be contacted at kyla.donnelly@gmail.com

Karmel Wong

Karmel Wong graduated from Duke University in North Carolina, USA, in May 2010  with a B.A. in psychology. After her graduation, she came to ARTH under the Hart Fellows Programme. Here she carried out formative fieldwork to understand the context of mental health in rural Rajasthan, particularly the needs of women who come into contact with ARTH’s perinatal health services. In November 2010, on behalf of ARTH, she attended the international Leadership in Mental Health course in Goa, organized by NGO Sangath. During her stay at ARTH from July 2010 to May 2011, as a former Duke student, she also assisted with the setting-up of Duke’s first Global Semester Abroad Programme for undergraduates. After completing her fellowship, Karmel plans to begin her PhD studies in clinical psychology at the Duke University. Karmel may be contacted at karmel.wong@duke.edu

Mandy Hagseth

Mandy Hagseth, a United States resident of the state of South Dakota graduated in 2006 from the University of South Dakota with a degree in English, Music, and Women’s Studies. Since then, she worked on a variety of women’s issues – health, violence, electoral politics and public policy advocacy. During her 9-week internship at ARTH, her main project was the observation, research, and writing of a qualitative report on the organisation’s postpartum visit program. Another project that she assisted on was the planning and preparation of a document detailing the launch of the injectible contraceptive at ARTH’s urban health centre. She also converted two of ARTH’s previous publications to power-point presentations to be used in future for training of government health workers.

“All and all, I was highly satisfied with my internship experience at ARTH. I feel like I got out of my internship exactly what I wanted: a foundation in development and women’s issues from a global level”- Mandy Hagseth

Mandy can be contacted at: mhagseth@gmail.com.

Rebekah Watterson

Having majored in Human Development and Family Sciences from the Oklahoma State University, Rebekah intends to become a certified midwife with specialisation in pregnancy and delivery, and work globally. Rebekah spent three months at ARTH, during which time she observed the work being done by the organization in the villages, attended a 15-days training of trainers of skilled birth attendants (SBAs), interviewed past trainees about the impact of the training and helped in analyzing and documenting the eight batches of SBA training done by ARTH till then.

“The ARTH internship was great! I really got to experience and see the culture of India and Rajasthan and participate in a project of my interest. The SBA (skilled birth attendant) training that was my primary project gave me exactly the experience in midwifery training that I wanted”- Rebekah Watterson

Hari Krishna Tiwari

Hari Krishna hails from the state of Uttarakhand in north India. He is a “Bachelor of Electro Homoeopathic Medicine & Surgery” (BEMS). Hari Krishna came to ARTH as a fellow under the “Swadesh Ki Khoj” programme for 11 months. At ARTH, he participated in community mobilization on evidence based care for maternal and newborn care, learnt some laboratory tests at the health centers, was involved in a survey being done in the organization’s field area and conducted a field intervention on detection and management of malnourished children in 10 villages.

Hari Krishna learnt a lot from the malnutrition related work that he did in the villages and was happy that he could directly implement a programme in the field. He enjoyed the exposure that he got by being a part of the survey. He would have liked to visit some other organizations and see their work for which he felt that he did not get enough opportunity.