Student Advisory Council

Beginning in January 2019, IIGH Student Advisory Council members have served as valued advisers to the Institute with unique access and impact on Institute programming and opportunities for students, now and in the future.

The IIGH Student Advisory Council (SAC) comprises a multidisciplinary group of undergraduate and graduate students from across the university who serve as valued advisers to the Institute. Serving on the IIGH Student Advisory Council offers a unique community- and skills-building experience for students across all disciplines at USC engaged in and pursuing careers at the intersections of health and inequality.

Over the course of the academic year, SAC members actively inform, shape and improve student engagement and programming at IIGH, gaining valuable experience and access to a distinguished, worldwide network of researchers, policymakers and advocates addressing inequalities in global health.


Throughout the academic year, SAC members receive:

  • Engaging opportunities to shape IIGH student programming.
  • Tailored professional development workshops to foster competence and leadership skills relevant to global health careers.
  • Exclusive invitations to meet with IIGH faculty, global health researchers and practitioners, and others.
  • Access to the IIGH network and advising from IIGH faculty and staff.
  • Membership in a cohort of students who share similar values and enjoy learning from and with each other.


SAC appointments are for one academic year beginning in the fall and are renewable for continuing students. SAC members are expected to:

  • Attend a virtual orientation on Wednesday, September 13 from 5:00 – 6:30p.m. PT.
  • Engage fully in monthly cohort meetings and IIGH events (approximately 5–6 hours per month).
  • Serve as ambassadors of USC IIGH within and outside the USC community. (This means identifying publicly as an IIGH SAC member, prioritizing attendance at IIGH events, promoting IIGH events and opportunities with your respective networks, and helping to build a multidisciplinary network of student global health leaders at USC.)


Students enrolled in any degree program at USC (including online programs) are encouraged to apply. Students applying for the AY24 SAC cohort must be enrolled at USC for the fall 2023 and spring 2024 semesters.

We seek students who:

  • Are committed to addressing the broad determinants of global health that impact our world.
  • Engage with their communities, both within and outside of USC, in meaningful ways.
  • Actively pursue opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Enjoy learning from others, especially those who have different backgrounds and experiences.

Note: As this is a highly experiential program, students must commit to prioritizing attendance at all cohort meetings, which will be held virtually or in-person approximately once a month. (Scheduled to be finalized in September.)

Application Process

Applications for the 2023–2024 academic year are open!

The online application is due Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. PT. Applicants for the 2023–2024 SAC cohort will be notified of decisions by Friday, Sept. 8, 2023.


Please note: All AY24 SAC members are required to attend a virtual orientation on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 5–6:30 p.m. PT. Please hold this date and time on your calendar; details will be emailed to the cohort in early September.


Please direct any questions to IIGH Director of Strategic Operations Dr. Meg Goulding at

Current Council Members:

Gaea Morales Co-Chair 2020-2022
PhD Candidate, Political Science and International Relations
USC Dornsife School of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Gaea’s research interests revolve around the nexus of global environmental governance, security, and human rights. She is also engaged in the discourse on the Global North-Global South divide, urban-global relationships, and policy conceptualizations of “vulnerability” and “diversity.” She served as the Program Coordinator for the John Parke Young Initiative on the Global Political Economy, working as a liaison to the L.A. Mayor’s Office for the local adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She has previously worked with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the United Nations Development Programme. She received a B.A. in Diplomacy and World Affairs and French Studies from Occidental College.
Jessica Santos Co-Chair 2020-2022
Progressive Degree Student, Chemical Engineering and MPH
USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Keck School of Medicine of USC
Jessica Santos is a fourth-year undergraduate Chemical Engineering student in the Viterbi School of Engineering and a first-year Master in Public Health student in the Keck School of Medicine’s Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California (USC). She is from Dallas, Texas. She is a recipient of the USC Mork Family Scholarship and the Viterbi Undergraduate Fellowship, as well as a candidate for the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program. She is currently in her second year of an environmental justice internship through USC Environmental Health Centers.
Vanessa Andrick
Vanessa Andrick
Vanessa Andrick is a first-year undergraduate student majoring in Global Health through the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. She is from Culver City, CA. Her interests include epidemiology, health equity, and decolonization. She is a new USC Student Ambassador and involved with Trojan Scholars Society, Thematic Option, the Roosevelt Network, and theater on campus. Vanessa is very excited to be part of the IIGH SAC.
Arthur Bookstein
Arthur Bookstein
Arthur is a medical student at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Molecular & Cell Biology and Public Health, as well as a Master in Public Health in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He hopes to become a primary care physician who treats and empowers patients regardless of their background, while also engaging in cancer epidemiology research, teaching, global health policy and social justice advocacy as he pursues his medical career. In his free time, he loves cycling, tennis, piano and traveling.
Mckenna Coffey
Mckenna is pursuing a dual Master’s in Social Work and Urban Planning at the University of Southern California. She holds a bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of California, Irvine, and has worked in internship and contract positions with D.C. think tanks focused at the intersection of climate, international development, and peacebuilding. In addition, she is a project manager working to provide youth with economic mobility through environmental programs, an organizer of events for environmental journalists, and an advisor for the U.S. EPA’s American Climate Equity Corps. Her goal is to use an interdisciplinary framework to approach our converging environmental, social, and economic crises.
Gurmun Dhillon
Gurmun Dhillon
Hello, my name is Gurmun Dhillon (She/Her/Hers) and I am originally from Nevada. I completed a BA in public health and population policy at the University of California, Riverside. Currently, I am completing my MPH degree with a concentration in Global Health at the Keck School of Medicine. My research areas of interest include understanding complex humanitarian emergencies and mass migratory patterns at the intersection of human rights and law. Currently, I am engaged in work in addressing gender inequities in vulnerable and marginalized communities internationally. In the future, I plan on pursuing a doctorate in public health and continuing my work with vulnerable populations.
Julian Guo
Julian Guo
Julian Guo is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in public policy at Sol Price School of Public Policy and Economics at Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. He is interested in human rights and aims to attend law school after graduating from USC and specialize in human rights law. Julian has work experience in management consulting, research, and NGOs, all of which help him address the complexity of human right issues. He joined the IIGH Student Advisory Council to explore concerns and problems in global health, especially in developing countries, by learning from peers and professors.
Anju Kane
Anju Kane
Anju Kane is a first-year PhD student in the Health Behavior Research Program at USC Keck School of Medicine. Her research interests are in sexual and reproductive health and rights, health disparities, and universal health coverage. Beyond academia, Anju is a birth equity advocate and community leader in Los Angeles and takes pride in providing the best community support possible through preventive care strategies and advocacy. Anju has also worked with the Malawi Ministry of Health to design care coordination processes to improve community health and has conducted award winning research focused on health as a human right in Cuba. Anju holds a MPH from the University of Southern California and an MA in Pan African Studies from Syracuse University.
Casey Murphy
Casey Murphy
Casey Murphy is a pre-med post-baccalaureate student with a strong interest in humanitarian operations in the context of ever changing global challenges. Casey received her bachelors in Marketing and her Masters in Business Administration before changing the trajectory of her career to medicine. Previously, Casey worked as a consultant for UNICEF in New York where she worked in the Emergency Operations department. She currently does research at University of California Irvine in the transplant surgical department, focusing on insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction. In her free time Casey enjoys hiking, mountain biking, playing tennis and watching the Great British Baking Show.
Justine Po
Justine Po
Justine Po is a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Prior to attending USC, Justine graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley, and conducted infectious disease research as a summer research fellow at the University of Cambridge. She has published research on preventive care and maternal/child health and is passionate about the joint role of advocacy and research to drive change. Her past advocacy roles include lobbying Congress for increased funding for global health infrastructure in the wake of the Ebola epidemic. Justine’s current interests include research at the intersection of climate change and health, and grassroots advocacy on issues of homelessness, public health and environmental justice.
Mary Rozelle
Mary Rozelle
Mary is a nationally certified physician assistant working towards an MPH with a Global Health concentration and will graduate in May 2023. I aim to generate data-driven research that supports the implementation of science into policy and practice. A culturally aware, ethically respectful, and gender-sensitive approach supported by a human rights-based model endorses my research aspirations. I value a society where stigma and discrimination are eradicated, and justice, integrity, and humility are the norm.
Asna Tabassum
Asna Tabassum
Asna is part of USC's Class of 2024, studying Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Resistance to Genocide. Passionate about global health equity, she's exploring the field of international and refugee medicine — such as how medical devices and health literacy can improve access to care. She hopes to bring these insights to the IIGH SAC as well as medical school and beyond.
Liam Tsao
Liam Tsao
Liam Tsao is a senior studying history with minors in environmental studies and marine biology. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, he is interested in environmental justice policy, specifically around sea-level rise and air pollution. On campus, he is the Executive Director of the Roosevelt Network at USC and a member of the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund Governing Board. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in environmental law and policy.


I’m a medical student/doctoral candidate. Am I still eligible?


I’m expecting to do a semester abroad or take a leave of absence during the academic year — can I still apply?

No, SAC members must be enrolled for the full academic year and able to attend all cohort meetings.

I’m an online student and can’t attend meetings in person. Can I still apply?

Yes! If you are an online student or are unable to attend meetings in person, arrangements will be made so that you are able to attend remotely.

Former Council Members: