Public Health Scholars

Our collective health depends on the skill and dedication of a cadre of public health professionals—now more than ever. Here at the Columbia Mailman School, we are training promising students in the skills they will need as tomorrow’s public health leaders and providing them with opportunities to hone their expertise in the field.

Read below to learn about some of our remarkable students and recent alumni, whose interests range from infectious disease to global health to environmental exposure. They have one thing in common: all have benefits from scholarships made possible through alumni gifts.

Make a gift in support of scholarships at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. 

Thank you for your role in supporting our inspiring students—and ensuring the strong public health workforce on which we all depend.

Robin Breen, MPH 2021


The coronavirus outbreak has reinforced my desire to go into infectious disease epidemiology. I have been reading the scientific literature about COVID-19 to better understand the disease so I can be a helpful resource to family and friends who are struggling to sift through all information out there.

Stefania Buta, MPH 2020

Population and Family Health

This pandemic has unambiguously exposed the great inequalities within the economic, social, and health systems of the United States. It has re-emphasized to me how important it is to have an understanding of the social and environmental determinants of health and how those factors impact entire communities and the need to restructure our systems to work well for everyone.

Hugo Camarena, MPH 2021


As a Dreamer, my humble beginnings have solidified my desire to serve people in need, and to be a beacon of hope in the only country I’ve ever known. The next chapter of my career journey is to profoundly expand my impact as a healthcare professional in advanced lung disease and lung transplantation.

Amelia Papadimitriou, MPH 2021


I volunteered for the COVID19 Student Service Corps because I feel deeply that it is my duty to act during this crisis as a public health student with a background in infectious diseases. I am helping to conduct two COVID-19-related research studies and I am working with the Puerto Rico Interprofessional Service Learning Fellowship at Columbia to create educational infographic materials regarding COVID-19 for Puerto Rican communities.

Kaleigh Post, MPH 2020

Health Policy and Management

I wanted to better understand ways in which not only health systems could improve, but economies too, so I chose to pursue my concentration in policy. Going forward, I hope to use this degree to either work directly in policy on global health issues, or to create economic opportunities through technology and other economic development strategies globally.

Emily Romero, MS 2020


I am happy to hear friends and family asking for my public health opinion during the pandemic. Mailman provides a great forum to stay informed, which is the best way to beat fear and prevent panic, along with debunking misinformation and knowing there are amazing people all over the world doing their absolute best to beat this.

Victoria Sanders, MPH 2020

Environmental Health Sciences

I was already interested in infectious disease and how it is impacted by social, environmental, economic, and other determinants of health. This crisis has focused those interests, enabling me to see firsthand, in an accelerated timeline, the realities of these public health issues. It has really emphasized the fact that health should be a basic human right.

Mallory Stellato, MPH 2020

Population and Family Health

Attending Mailman has allowed me to continue building upon my interests in global health and food access issues, as well as pursue transformational internship opportunities that will inform the rest of my career.

Eliz Rivera Torres, MPH 2020

Sociomedical Sciences

I aim to promote awareness around chronic disease in the Latino community. Reaching better health outcomes for the largest growing cultural group in the United States is imperative as the field of public health looks to limit health disparities and ensure the health of the nation.

Nora Zakaria, MPH 2020


The crisis has solidified the reality that successful public health efforts and disease prevention are highly dependent on good leadership and resources. I am as motivated as ever to integrate the healthcare system with the social determinants of health and strengthen social safety net systems. The pandemic is perpetuating existing vulnerabilities, and it is more clear than ever that our healthcare system cannot continue to operate at the status quo.