Shahrzad Yavari

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My commitment to overcoming health disparities and solving the health issues around the world inspired me to pursue my Masters in Public Health with a focus on population and reproductive health at University of California, Los Angeles. During my graduate studies, I looked for opportunities where I can learn valuable skills and knowledge that are aligned with my career goals, improve my communication skills, learn new perspectives, and build my professional network by working with a mentor.

Through the Bixby Research Mentorship Program, during the Winter and Spring quarters of 2013, I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Marjan Javanbakht on a research project to improve sexual health in the Los Angeles County. I worked closely with Dr. Javanbakht on her current study, called SHAYP, which is to understand the factors that place young people at increased risk for pharyngeal gonorrhea. I was involved in participant recruitment at the Central Health Clinic in Los Angeles and I learned a lot from conducting research on the field. I practiced my data management skills by cleaning, coding and formatting variables related to the study by using SAS-programming. This process significantly improved my skills in understanding public health research on the field by working with people, and data management through the data analysis portion. This mentorship provided me with an opportunity to develop my research skills and to learn from Dr. Javanbakht, a great mentor and epidemiologist in the field of sexual and reproductive health.

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