Katie Lesyna ’12

Katie LesynaDar es Salaam, Tanzania

Fellowship: Fulbright research
Major: Human biology

While at Scripps, Katie Lesyna ’12 was gratified by the support her peers, professors, and advisors gave her to make studying abroad in Kenya a reality and finding ways to learn Swahili, even though no formal Swahili classes were offered. Now Lesyna is continuing to learn the language on a Fulbright Student Research Grant in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

“I am conducting research on the disclosure process for HIV positive children, which is the process in which a caregiver tells their child they are infected with HIV,” says Lesyna.

The best part of her job, Lesyna says, is having “the honor to listen to people’s stories and often times be inspired by how they have overcome their struggles and then turned to their community to help those that are experiencing similar situations.”

While in Tanzania, Lesyna is also taking courses at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences in its Master’s of Public Health program. As a human biology major at Scripps, she plans to apply to medical school after completing her Fulbright.

“I would like to work in global health, particularly in the field of maternal and child health,” she says. “I know that Tanzania will be a place that I will continually come back to or live long term.”

Fun Fact

“One of my favorite animals is an axolotl, which is a Mexican salamander. It does not undergo metamorphosis so as an adult it remains aquatic and retains its external gills.”


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