Oregon State University Center for Health Innovation
Expanding local and statewide COVID-19 response efforts.
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.
Terran is Currently completing an MPH in Epidemiology at Oregon State University. He graduated from Washington State University as a first-generation student in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. He is an MPH Ambassador, and is also part of the OSU TRACE-Community Field Team. For OCHI, he works as a graduate research assistant as a part of the COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative. His public health interests include community level disease surveillance, communicable disease research, and the intersection of molecular biosciences and epidemiology.
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.
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.
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.
Maya is currently an MPH student pursuing a focus in Health Promotion and Health Behavior. Originally from Reno NV, Maya completed her undergraduate degree in anthropology at California State University Chico in 2021. Her interests lie in community-based participatory research and community organizing, emphasizing the use of research as a way to work for the community and establish authentic partnerships. She utilizes her personal experience with wildfires to contribute to community emergency response and resilience. Maya's other interests include substance abuse rehabilitation, food, and housing insecurity, and health equity. In the future, she hopes to be instrumental in program planning, development, and evaluation of health disparity-related prevention programs.
Marley is a senior public health major with an option in health promotion and health behavior, with a minor in psychology and certificate in medical humanities. She joined the OSU/OHA Surge Bench Fall of 2021 after completing an internship at a post-acute rehab and long-term care facility. Her firsthand exposure to how COVID impacted the geriatric population has influenced her work, hoping to provide relief and care to vulnerable populations targeted during the pandemic. Marley’s professional goals have led her to pursuing a degree in nursing following graduation at Oregon State University, where she hopes to use her background in public health to promote health equity in hospital settings.
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.
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 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.
Lauren is currently completing her Bachelor of Science in Public Health in the Health Promotion and Health Behavior option and is also on the Pre-Med track. She joined OCHI in the Summer of 2021 to serve on the OSU/OHA surge bench team. Lauren is also a Peer Advisor at the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU. Her interest in public health center around her passion to address systemic health inequities and to improve health for underserved populations. Lauren plans to pursue an MD/MPH degree.
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.
I am currently a fourth-year undergraduate with a major in Public Health Management and Policy and a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. I joined the Surge Bench Team as a student intern, and I will be graduating in the Spring. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree, I will be applying to nursing schools with a focus in Ultrasound Technology. In the future, I am hoping to be a leader in the public health institution where I am placed, who strives to create positive change to improve the delivery of health services for all populations.
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.
Diane is currently in her first year of an MPH in Epidemiology at Oregon State University and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Washington. She has spent most of the pandemic helping her local community through volunteer work at food justice organizations in Seattle before moving to Corvallis to begin her graduate studies and worked as a research assistant on the OSU research farm before starting this job on the OSU/OHA Surge Epi-Bench. She is passionate about maternal and child health and helping her community by reducing health disparities, especially in preventable and chronic diseases, by improving access to affordable, nutritious, and sustainably made food.
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.