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Shana A

- Research Program Mentor

MPH candidate at Emory University


Global/Public Health, Community Advocacy, Writing, Spanish, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Decolonization, Trauma-Informed Care, Community Health


As someone who has cultivated her academic and professional career through creating opportunities to develop my skillset and pursue my interests, I have found a real love for multidisciplinary learning, which allows me to embrace my passion for learning, bringing together different fields to create sustainable and balanced solutions for improving the lives of others. I have experience in Global/Public Health, Decolonization, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Advocacy, Leadership, Community Organization/Mobilization, Program Design & Development, and Research/Academic Writing. But beyond my academic passions, I am incredibly passionate about the Arts! I have been dancing for almost twenty years, and I've been teaching/choroegraphing dance for close to ten. I dance multiple styles, from Indian classical to Commercial Dance here in the U.S. I also published a book, "RISE: How Empowering Women Elevates Us All," at twenty-one years old, and have led an advocacy platform and spoken at universities/organizations across the country over the past three years to discuss topics of women's empowerment, DEI, generational trauma, mental health, and how to cultivate communities of care by mobilizing people to empower young girls and women in their lives.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Destigmatizing Mental Health for South Asian Americans: A Community Empowerment Approach

This project aims to address the stigmatization of mental health among people of color and develop strategies for destigmatization within a specific population or community context. As a student, you will have the opportunity to outline a project plan, perform outreach and research activities, collect qualitative or quantitative data, and synthesize the findings into a format that is accessible to non-academic audiences. The project will focus on understanding the unique challenges and experiences faced by people of color (in this case, South Asian Americans) regarding mental health stigma and developing actionable recommendations for destigmatization efforts. You will have the chance to explore frameworks and tools that best align with the project's goals, utilizing approaches such as community-based participatory research or advocacy campaigns. By conducting literature reviews, engaging in community outreach, and analyzing data, you will gain valuable skills in project management, research, data collection, and synthesis. Your community outreach strategy can be a series of virtual, free events that seek to highlight specific challenges for this population when it comes to seeking Mental Health resources, and/or creating a panel to help normalize the conversation. After creating these events, you can poll the audience before and after the event to see if/how their attitudes change before and after the intervention. The ultimate outcome of the project will be a comprehensive report or presentation summarizing the findings and recommendations for destigmatizing mental health among South Asian Americans. As your mentor, I will provide guidance and support throughout the project, helping you navigate the research process and offering assistance when needed.

Coding skills


Languages I know

English (Native), Spanish (Professional Fluency), Malayalam (conversational)


Work experience

United Nations Foundation Girl Up Campaign (2023 - 2023)
Post-Grad Operations Intern
Duke University Research: Big Data for Reproductive Health (2020 - 2021)
Student Researcher
FHI 360 (2020 - 2021)
Decolonization and Global Health Equity Intern
RISE Women (2021 - Current)
CEO and Founder


Duke University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2021)
Program II: "Culturally-Specific Innovation to Reduce Health Disparities for Black and Brown Women"
Emory University
MPH Master of Public Health candidate
Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences

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