Each year Nurture benefits from the assistance of student interns from our local universities. This year, a team of five University of Richmond students, led by Hannah Gorga and Jonathan Huang (see below) are assisting us with both our Perinatal Resource Mapping Project, and an analysis of our COVID19-Survey for Pregnant and Postpartum Parents.
If you are a Lactation Support, Perinatal Mental Health, or. Doula Support Provider, you may be contacted by one of these students during the month of April as part of our Perinatal Resource Mapping Project.
We hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as we have!
My name is Hannah Gorga and I am currently a senior majoring in biology with a minor in healthcare studies on the pre-med track. Throughout my college experience, I have focused most of my extracurricular time in clinical and healthcare settings. I have a passion for learning about all things healthcare and the way people do and do not benefit from our system. Over the past four years, I have worked with Crossover Clinic and Remote Area Medical learning about the various barriers within our healthcare system, especially when serving low income or underserved populations. Additionally, I have spent the last two summers working as a certified nursing assistant focusing specifically on geriatric patients. My draw towards being a doctor stems from wanting to be the best advocate possible for my patients. Furthermore, I think it is incredibly important for providers to be aware of the local resources at hand. In this way, providers are able to provide information which empowers their patients to be self-advocates. The work that Nurture is doing now brilliantly makes this aspect of healthcare just a little bit easier. With so many different resources available, it is imperative that we know how to utilize them. I am incredibly excited to be working with Nurture and I strongly believe that this Asset Map will be an abundance of help to both families and providers.
My name is Jonathan and I am a senior at the University of Richmond where I am majoring in Biology. I have an interest in using data to better understand health disparities and inform health policy changes. I believe that this is especially important since the needs of vulnerable populations tend to be ignored or poorly understood. At the University of Richmond, I have been conducting research with Dr. Joanna Wares to create computer simulations using Netlogo to model the impact of policy interventions and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 health outcomes. I have been really enjoying my time at Nurture where I have been helping to analyze and visualize data from a survey asking about the social and economical impacts of COVID-19 on pregnant and postpartum mothers.
My name is Kamene Mang’oka and I am a sophomore at the University of Richmond from Nairobi, Kenya. I am double majoring in Computer Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and I am passionate about data science, advancing women’s reproductive health and cybersecurity. I am fascinated by everything women-centred and data-oriented. I constantly think about finding innovative ways to use technology to transform women’s lives. Having grown up in a deeply patriarchal society, I have always been drawn to elevating the status of women in my community. This has led me to find ways in my academic learning that I can learn more about African and African-American women’s health. My hope is to use my academic pursuits for social good and to bridge the gendered-data gap that renders women invisible in research. I am keen on expanding my knowledge on maternal health, childbirth and radical feminist parenting, hence my desire to be part of Nurture. I am thrilled to grow, learn and serve.
My name is Colleen Aspell, and I am a sophomore at the University of Richmond. I am majoring in biology and minoring in psychology. I have always had a passion for healthcare and helping those around me. I am not only interested, but also excited to be partnering with an organization that strives to bridge the gap between women and crucial information to ensuring a healthy birth and recovery for both the child and mother. In all of my time during school, I have never had a health class that educates on pregnancy beyond what happens at what trimester. I have never learned about doulas, breast/chest feeding, or post-partum complications. It is really important to me that education be available to anyone who wants or needs it, especially when that education surrounds bringing another human into the world. I hope to make a meaningful contribution to Nurture that helps expecting mothers and families anywhere, as well as to learn more, myself!
My name is Isabella Araújo and I am a senior at the University of Richmond. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil, which has influenced many of my different endeavors throughout my life. I am passionate about fitness and holistic wellness and have found comfort in learning about the potential medicinal properties of food. Among these passions, I have always shown a profound interest in caring for others. As I have matured, this calling to care for others has adapted and evolved throughout my life. When I was very young, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. There was nothing more intriguing to my juvenile mind than being the person that “fixes” sick dogs, cats, horses, and any other animal. These different possibilities of how I could spend my adult life quickly evolved into wanting to care for newborn babies and their mothers. Taking a medical anthropology course opened my eyes to the lack of cultural relevance that exists in many medical environments. This influenced the way I thought about my future profession as a Physician Assistant. It showed me how crucial it is to understand the interaction between the various domains of human life, such as one’s race, ethnicity, social class, socioeconomic status, and belief system, and how all of these play a prominent role in influencing an individual’s health. I am thrilled to be contributing to an organization that confronts the many barriers that new mothers encounter in receiving holistic perinatal care.