Surge Bench Program

Innovation Project

The Surge Bench program partners graduate and undergraduate students with public health professionals at the Oregon Health Authority to expand local and statewide COVID-19 response efforts.

Oregon State University students work as contact tracers and case investigators, aiding in the collection of important data used by public health authorities and professionals to track trends and outbreaks in communities across Oregon. The program offers students valuable experience in infectious disease surveillance, disease prevention and control, statewide emergency response, and community outreach and health education.

Surge Bench Team

Graduate Assistants

Marissa Song Mayeda, MPH
Graduate Assistant
Surge Epi-Bench
email

Marissa received her Masters in Public Health at Oregon State University and is currently finishing her Masters in Public Policy. She is also Linn County Public Health’s first epidemiologist working on COVID-19 public health communicable disease response. In Summer 2021, Marissa will be starting medical school at Oregon Health Science University. As a graduate research assistant, Marissa has contributed to curriculum development for Oregon Homecare Commission and acted as a project manager for Linn Wellness in Neighborhood Stores, a food security research project. She is currently working on Surge Epi-Bench where she provides technical assistance with Oregon Health Authority to train students who will provide assist the state and counties in COVID-19 response.

 

Haley Morris
Graduate Assistant
Surge Epi-Bench
email

Haley is currently completing her MPH in Global Health at Oregon State University. Haley graduated from Western Oregon University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. In 2017, she was selected to take part in a National Science Foundation fellowship to conduct qualitative research on contraceptive trends in Rwanda. Haley is passionate about topics surrounding international development and humanitarian aid, preventable disease, and working with survivors of trauma.

 


Student workers

Zainab Alidina, MPH
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Zainab is a doctoral student in health promotion and health behavior at Oregon State University. She has an MPH in maternal and child health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a BA in economics from York University. She has extensive global health experience in HIV/AIDs and malaria. Her current research work focuses on HIV self-testing in Tanzania. In her role as a graduate teaching assistant, Zainab has been an instructor for HIV/AIDs and STIs in Modern Society and Introduction to Human Diseases over the past four years.

 

Marisol De La Torre
Student worker
Surge Epi-Bench
email

Marisol is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Sociology with a double minor in Spanish and Business. She is actively involved in community outreach and engagement with an emphasis on the Latinx population. During her time at OSU, Marisol worked at the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez, served on the executive board for Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences, and mentors youth through the 4-H Extension Outreach Program, Oregon Migrant Leadership Institute, and GEAR-UP. Her interest in public health is derived from witnessing and experiencing first-hand health inequities. With her interests in public policy and advocacy, she hopes to help mitigate health disparities within Oregon and improve health literacy as a contact tracer.

 

Tia McPharlin
Student worker
Surge Epi-Bench
email

Tia is currently a 4th year undergraduate pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Public Health with an option in Health Promotion and Health Behavior at Oregon State University. She is passionate about minimizing health disparities in vulnerable communities and also plans to further her education following the completion of her bachelor’s degree to become a mortician. Through her employment with OCHI, Tia is able to both supplement her education and further her professional development in a public health setting.

 

Amanda Tran
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Amanda is currently finishing her BS in public health, health management and policy, with a business minor and medical humanities certificate. She plans on working in the health care innovation field once she graduates and plans on earning a master's degree. In the future, she hopes to change the health care system by helping create more efficient systems that are equitable and inclusive. During her time in this position, she will work to actively assist in controlling the spread of COVID-19 as a student worker for the surge bench.

 

Mint Carroll
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Mint is a senior undergraduate student studying political science with an option in law and politics and a certificate in medical humanities. They are currently planning on pursuing an MPH in management and policy post-graduation, which he hopes to use to promote programs providing mental and physical health advocacy and resources to children in low-resource families.

 

Kendra Yasui
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Kendra is a third-year undergraduate student double-majoring in bio health sciences and Spanish with a minor in chemistry, an option in pre-medicine, and a certificate in medical humanities. She joined OCHI in Summer 2021 to serve on the OSU/OHA surge bench team. Kendra also works locally in Corvallis as a medication aide at an assisted living facility and serves at Oregon State University as president of the Red Cross Blood Drive Association. She hopes to pursue medical school in the future and would like to work in emergency medicine. Kendra has a special interest in combating health disparities faced by Latinx communities and is excited to offer health services in Spanish whenever possible.

 

Cody Selker
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Cody is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in public health with an option in health promotion and health behavior and a minor in environmental and occupational health. After close to 10 years of working in the spa and wellness industry as a cosmetologist, Cody is excited about pursuing a new and meaningful career in public health. She is currently working on the surge bench and is supporting the work of the COVID Feedback Team at the Oregon Health Authority. Cody has a strong passion for working at the intersection of environmental justice and health equity with the hope of minimizing health disparities to create a more just future.

 

Denna Alnasser
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Denna is a second-year student at Oregon State University majoring in public health with an option of health promotion and health behavior. She is also planning to major in dietetics after completing the pre-dietetics course requirements, as well as possibly earning a minor in psychology to help make her more versatile. Denna is currently working as a case investigator and vaccine navigator with the OSU/OHA Surge Bench. She is passionate about the tasks of her job, as they encompass the elements of helping people make healthy choices, promoting health, reducing health disparities, preventing disease and creating that second chance. With all of the public health related career opportunities available, she is thinking about being a registered dietitian. She ultimately wants to help people in a way that makes their lives better, as well as make the world a healthy and more equitable place to live.

 

Ditte Hansen
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Ditte is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in public health with a focus on health promotion and health behavior and minoring in Spanish and statistics. She joined the OSU/OHA Surge Bench team in the summer of 2021, hoping to contribute to the COVID-19 effort in Oregon. Ditte’s professional goals include pursuing graduate school with a focus on epidemiology or global health. Her passions include preventable disease, expanding public health community outreach, and reducing health disparities in vulnerable communities.

 

Rae Lattanzio
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Rae is currently completing an MPH with a focus in global health from Oregon State University. She graduated in 2020 with a BS in geography and geospatial sciences as a first-generation student. Rae is an ambassador for the MPH program and has participated in TRACE-OSU as a member of their field team in Corvallis. Her interests include health equity research and program creation, as well as HIV/AIDS prevention programming.

 

Sam Stuve
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Samantha is a senior studying public health optioning in health management and policy, with a minor in economics and certificate in medical humanities. She joined the OCHI team at the beginning of summer 2021 after completing the H499/599 COVID-19 Response Training course to work on the surge bench as a case investigator and vaccine navigator. Samantha is also active on OSU’s Corvallis campus, where she has worked as a resident assistant, in addition to being part of the University Legislative Scholars Program. After her finishing her degree, she wants to pursue graduate school with a focus in health equity and policy.

 

Manisha Khatiwada
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Manisha is currently a second-year MPH student in biostatistics at Oregon State University. She completed her undergraduate degree in microbiology from Nepal. She was a teacher at a school in Nepal and is passionate about data analysis and research. She is looking forward to using her public health skills in data analysis and research.

 

Shekinah Clarke
Student Worker: Surge Bench

Shekinah is currently completing her MPH in health systems and policy. She recently graduated with her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University. She double majored in human development and family sciences and public health with a focus on health behavior and health promotion. Shekinah worked as a student worker and a current graduate assistant in Student Health Services with the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) prevention program. She has also worked for TRACE OSU and TRACE Community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Interests in public health varies from health disparities in communities of color and expanding health in communities using racial and ethnic approaches.

 

Phillip Hernandez
Student Worker: Project Assistant

Phillip Hernandez is a fourth-year biological engineering major at Oregon State University. He is originally from Coos Bay, Oregon, and has lived in Oregon his entire life. He currently assists with multiple public health projects related to the COVID-19 response, community health improvement, and healthy food systems. He is particularly interested in supporting underserved communities and increasing access to quality health care. Phillip plans to become an orthopaedic surgeon and biomedical engineer.

 

Sammy King
Student worker
Surge Epi-Bench
email

Samantha King is a senior Public Health- Health Management and Policy student with a minor in Spanish. She became involved with TRACE-Community through the volunteer call center in April of 2020 and moved on to becoming a Research Assistant and also a part-time tester for TRACE-OSU. She joined OCHI under Dr. Sandi Phibbs and other undergraduate and graduate students to form the OSU/OHA Surge Epi-Bench team in the summer of 2020. Her aspirations are directed toward hospital and clinic management.