The Global Health Student Advisory Committee is comprised of student representatives from the School of Arts & Sciences, Brown School, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, School of Medicine, McKelvey School of Engineering, School of Law, and Olin Business School.

Former Global Health Student Advisory Committee Members

This group works closely with the Global Health Center on university-wide activities and organizes events. The role of the committee is to communicate with the different schools and student groups to help generate awareness and interest in global health among students at Washington University and beyond. The group participates in university-wide events including Global Health Week as well as the annual Global Health and Infectious Disease Conference.

2022-23 Global Health Student Advisory Committee

Committee Members

  • Kaelan Smyser, Chair & McKelvey School of Engineering Representative
  • Pedro Gomez, Vice Chair and College of Arts & Sciences Representative
  • Baffour Boaten Boahen-Boaten, Communications Coordinator & Brown School Representative
  • Grihith Varaday, Operations & Logistics Coordinator and Olin Business School Representative
  • JingJing Zhu, Operations & Logistics Coordinator and School of Medicine Representative

About the members

Kaelan Smyser is a junior studying Environmental Engineering. She is interested in the intersection of public health and climate change. She has explored these interests as an Engineering Plan Review Intern for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, an Environmental Biology Research Intern for Shaw Nature Reserve, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Tyson Research Center and as a volunteer for the Newborn Brain Society. Through her studies, she hopes to minimize environmental pollutants that negatively affect the health and development of marginalized communities.

Pedro Gomez is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, double majoring in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and Anthropology: Global Health and Environment on the pre-medical track. As the son of Venezuelan immigrants, Pedro became interested in public health during his time living in Colombia after witnessing the lack of proper healthcare access that millions of Venezuelan refugees were facing in the neighboring country. As a member of the Medicine and Society Ampersand program, he has learned more about the health inequities facing different groups here in the United States, and it has deepened his desire to learn more about health crises abroad.

Baffour Boaten Boahen-Boaten (‘B4’ in short) is an MPH (Mental & Behavioral Health) student at the Brown School. He is the lead author of the Suicide in Low-and Middle-Income Countries contribution in the Palgrave Handbook of Sociocultural Perspectives on Global Mental Health (2017). He has an MSc in Global Mental Health from the University of Glasgow, UK, a Postgraduate Diploma in HIV/AIDS Management from Stellenbosch University, South Africa and a BSc in Psychology from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. His interests include global mental health, HIV/AIDS and sociocultural aspects of public health. He enjoys conversations on bi-directional public health insight sharing between the Global North and South.

Grihith Varaday is a junior studying business, neuroscience and South Asian languages and civilizations. His interests lie at the intersection of patient care, medical innovation, and health policy. Grihith was born in London, bred in Visakhapatnam and raised in St. Louis. He attributes his passion for global health to his upbringing across three countries and his unique experiences within each country’s health systems. Grihith is interested in rethinking challenges in maternal health, trauma care and surgical capacity building with the GHSAC. He hopes to attend medical school and continue improving healthcare delivery in low-resource settings.

JingJing Zhu is a second-year medical student. As an undergraduate student at Harvard, she worked in Kigali, Rwanda with the Clinton Health Access Initiative on national health financing and malaria guidelines and in Geneva, Switzerland at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In her gap years before medical school, she also worked on research projects with Partners in Health’s Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais and GHESKIO Centers in Haiti on emergency medicine and HIV care. She remains involved in global health research and is particularly interested in preventative care, health policy, implementation science, and health equity.

Past Committees