The Center for Health and Biosciences' Domestic Health Policy Program partners with Houston nonprofit EMERGE to train and mentor college students from underserved communities and promote diversity. Each summer, local Houston students from various colleges and universities throughout the country work as research assistants in our Health Economics, Child Health and Biomedical Research programs. These students are offered a six- to 10-week paid internship that provides valuable skills and experience through their participation in health policy research.

Current Interns

Alan Beltran Lara (Swarthmore College)

Tietchan Dang (Washington University in St. Louis)

Mia Hurts (Emory University)

Cindy Nguyen  (Emory University)

Wendy Olivares (Connecticut College)

Past Interns

Faiad Alam

Yale University

Molecular and Cellular Biology


Dei’Sharrah Allen-Benson

University of Houston-Downtown

Data Science


Alan Beltran Lara

Swarthmore College

Political Science, Pre-Health

2021, 2022

Stephanie Camey

Pitzer College

Neuroscience, Latinx-Chicanx Transnational Studies

2018, 2020

Tietchan Dang

Washington Univ. in St. Louis

Physcological and Brain Science


Jonathan Deng

Williams College

Economics and Mathmatics


Mia Hurts

Emory University

Human Health


Jessenia Fanini

Earlham College

Sociology, Anthropology, African and African-American Studies


Chijindu Iheanacho

University of Texas at Dallas

Neuroscience, Pre-Med


Jonathan LeBeau

Loyola University New Orleans

Sociology, Pre-Med


Gerlin Leu

Bowdoin College

Asian Studies


Melissa Martinez

Amherst College


2018, 2019

Cindy Nguyen

Emory University

Applied Math/ Economics


Wendy Olivares

Connecticut College

Human Development/Education


Bridgette Ramirez

Harvard  University

Human Development, Regenerataive Biology


David Ruiz

Boston University



Rafael Trevino

Harvard University

Molecular and Cellular Biology


Kimberly Zuniga

Kalamazoo College

Political Science and Anthropolgy

2019, 2020

Financial Support

The Center for Health and Biosciences offers an opportunity for donors to support the Health Policy Leadership Program for Underserved Students. The funding supports four to five students from underserved communities throughout Houston by offering them a paid internship that can provide valuable skills and experience.

Each intern is partnered with a CHB researcher whose focus areas may include domestic health policy, child and maternal health, and biomedical research. As part of the internship, the students assist in  ongoing research by conducting literature reviews, producing content for social media platforms, assisting in the authorship of publications, and completing other research-related tasks.

If you are interested in helping to increase the opportunities available to talented, underserved students in the Houston area by supporting the CHB’s Health Policy Leadership Program for Underserved Students, contact Leah Gross, the Baker Institute director of development, at Your generosity will provide a platform for underserved students interested in policy to gain experience beyond the classroom through valuable internship opportunities.

Current program support is provided in part by Wade Rakes.

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