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HANNAH REISS, India, 2016-2017
Fulbright Scholar Hannah Reiss

Fulbright Year: 2016-2017
Country: India
Proposal Type: Research Grant
Field of Study: Public Health
Proposal Title: "Mobile Health Interventions in Mumbai to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes"
UGA Undergraduate Majors: Biology and Anthropology
Graduation Date: Spring 2016
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia

There’s a divided feel to Hannah Reiss’ Fulbright experience.

For the first three months of her Fulbright year, Hannah will study Hindi at the American Institute for Indian Studies in Jaipur, and then she’ll spend nine months on an academic research grant in Mumbai.

While in Mumbai, Hannah will work on a project that evaluates the impact of a prenatal mobile health initiative on its intended clientele.

“My proposed project will analyze the impact of a prenatal mobile health initiative on participants’ empowerment,” she says. “The initiative aims to decrease neonatal deaths through pregnancy education, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it may have inadvertent benefits, as participants have sought out mobile phones to participate and have asked if additional health services are also available.

“By drawing upon semi-structured interviews, the project will examine if and how this program serves as a catalyst for female empowerment.”

Hannah, a Foundation Fellow, is living in an apartment with several other young Indian women while in Jaipur, where her practice of the language will be helpful.

“I anticipate that even rudimentary Hindi will give me insight into India that I cannot glean as an American relying only on English,” she says. “Once in Mumbai, in addition to my formally proposed project, I look forward to working with my affiliate organization on daily tasks and shadowing the doctors who run the mobile phone initiative. Outside of work, I’m eager to explore India by train and eat a daily mango.

Hannah, whose career plans include working on global health issues (specializing in maternal/child health or infectious disease), has conducted research in the stem cell lab of Dr. Steve Stice and has worked with CURO—the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities at UGA—and Roosevelt at UGA, the student-run think tank where she served as executive director.

Away from UGA, Hannah studied abroad in England and Spain and interned with the Carter Center in Atlanta, Freedman Consulting in Washington, D.C., and Strand Life Sciences and Organization for Rare Diseases in Bangalore, India. She was also a Virtual Student Foreign Service intern for the U.S. Department of State.

After her Fulbright year, Hannah plans to attend medical school, enrolling in a joint M.D./M.P.H. program.

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