Scholars-in-Training Profiles

UHAND Program scholars-in-training are undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows committed to diverse career paths with the common mission of advancing cancer equity.

The first cohort of scholars-in-training began their program in the summer of 2018.

Graduate Scholars

Sahar Eshtehardi

Sahar Eshtehardi is a second-year doctoral student in the Health Psychology track of the Counseling Psychology program. She is interested in the biobehavioral mechanisms that influence health outcomes in adolescents and young adults with chronic medical conditions, particularly the biological precursors of co-morbid mental and physical illness. Specifically, she is interested in

examining factors of treatment adherence and health-related quality of life of youth and families who manage chronic illnesses. Sahar enjoys volunteering at her local animal shelter, plant-based cooking, and practicing hot yoga.

Academic Mentor Dr. Joya Chandra

Degree Program Mentor Dr. Lorraine Reitzel

Krystal Christopher

Krystal Christopher is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Health Psychology track of the Counseling Psychology program. She is interested in investigating social determinants of health, such as exposure to neighborhood violence, and the relationship to chronic stress as it pertains to the development of preventable risk factors, particularly in African Americans. She enjoys cooking, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.

Academic Mentor Dr. Ezemenari Obasi

Ashley Taylor

Ashley Taylor is a second-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program. She aspires to create and foster early intervention and wellness programs aimed at addressing risk factors that are associated with obesity-related cancer and reducing cancer-related health disparities, particularly within African American and Hispanic populations. She also enjoys spending time with her family, long outdoor runs, and reading.

Academic Mentor Dr. Tracey A. Ledoux

Degree Program Mentor Dr. Lorraine Reitzel


Undergraduate Scholars

Shreya Desai

Shreya Desai is a senior, double majoring in Psychology and Biology. Her history of volunteering with a non-profit has driven her to seek a career as a health professional. She hopes to work with underserved populations and to conduct research examining social disparities. She is passionate about soccer and loves to travel in her spare time.

Academic Mentor Dr. Rosenda Murillo

Basant Gamal

Basant Gamal is a senior, majoring in Biochemical and Biophysical Science, with a minor in Medicine and Society. She aspires to become a scientist, working in the field of cancer prevention in minorities and hopes to be able to educate local communities on her research. She enjoys reading and creating in a variety of mediums, including building benches, sewing, and painting.

Academic Mentor Dr. Tracey A. Ledoux

Paulina Linares

Paulina Linares is a senior, majoring in Psychology (Biology minor). She aspires to become a neurologist, utilizing her knowledge of cancer disparities to provide exceptional patient care and reduce disparities. In her spare time, she likes to design posters and work on various art projects.

Academic Mentor Dr. Jason D. Robinson

Sean Reuven

Sean Reuven is a senior, majoring in Public Health (English minor). He is driven to become a medical doctor, specifically addressing cancer disparities in African American men and women through achieving equitable breast, lung, and prostate cancer screenings. He enjoys playing and watching basketball and writing poetry and fiction in his spare time.

Academic Mentor Dr. Lorraine Reitzel

Sara Flores

Sara Flores is a senior, majoring in Health with a minor in Human Development & Family Studies. She aspires to become a Public Health professional. Her experiences as a Latina raised in rural South Texas have greatly influenced her dedication to health equity. Through her work, she seeks to advocate for under-represented communities and to address the social determinants correlated with health inequities so that good health may be attainable for all. In her spare time, Sara enjoys to make and admire art, go to concerts, and explore the city.

Academic Mentor
Dr. Karen Basen-Engquist


Former Scholars

Chisom Odoh, PhD, MPH

Dr. Chisom Odoh (former UHAND postdoctoral fellow) completed the UHAND program in July 2019 and is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services at the University of North Texas! 

Postdoctoral Mentor Dr. Lorraine R. Reitzel

Christine Smith

Christine Smith graduated in August 2019 with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in Biology. She was with the UHAND program from May 2018 to August 2019. Christine is looking to pursue an MPH in Epidemiology in the future in order to work as an Epidemiologist for the CDC.

Academic Mentor Dr. Ezemenari Obasi

The UHAND Partnership is funded by the National Cancer Institute (P20CA221696 and P20CA221697).

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