Start Center - Strategic Analysis, Research & Training Center
START Center

Meet START’s New Research Assistants

Meet START’s New Research Assistants

The Strategic Analysis, Research, & Training (START) Center is thrilled to introduce the eight newest team members joining the University of Washington and our Center this fall. These talented graduate students will work closely with our current research assistants and faculty team.


Oluyinka Awobiyi

Oluyinka Awobiyi is a second year MBA Candidate at the Foster School of Business focusing on Marketing and International Business. She launched her career as a financial analyst at Greenwich Trust Limited, a boutique investment bank in Lagos Nigeria and transitioned to a Brand Management position at British American Tobacco (BAT) in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. Oluyinka is passionate about generating ideas to develop and advance the economic potential of businesses in emerging markets, which motivates her involvement in business forums, case competitions, community engagement, and research focused on emerging markets. Post- MBA, she intends to pursue her career at innovative technological companies with significant investments in emerging market economies.


Barbara Burke

Barbara Burke is a Global Health Implementation Science Ph.D student in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington. After receiving her Masters in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from the University of North Carolina, she worked as a Regional Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Advisor at Ipas.  During her time at Ipas, Barbara provided technical support virtually and in person for monitoring, evaluation and research for abortion and family planning programs with health system, community and policy interventions in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria. Barbara’s interests include social determinants of reproductive health outcomes, global health, and evaluation.


Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen is pursuing an MBA in the Foster School of Business, as well as a PhD in the Department of Electrical Engineering. After receiving his MS in engineering, he worked in the semiconductor industry as a Design Engineer. He designed the state-of-the-art Bluetooth systems that were used in many smart phones and tablets, such as the iPhone. As part of his PhD dissertation, Andrew is working on brain-computer interface (BCI) system designs to make efficient implantable neural stimulators. A second interest of his is 5G wireless communication technology. His work leverages radar design concepts to enable next-generation wireless system that will provide more than 100 times the speed and capacity of any existing standards. Andrew is interested in entrepreneurship where he hopes to use his expertise in technology to help create universal healthcare systems.


Dianna Hergott

Dianna Hergott is a PhD student in Epidemiology at the University of Washington. She received her MHS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from Johns Hopkins. She joins the START team after spending the past five years living and working abroad on public health projects, in Equatorial Guinea and Central America. In Equatorial Guinea Dianna worked with Medical Care Development International (MCDI) on their malaria control projects on Bioko Island. At MCDI, she worked with the M&E team to manage and analyze data from the National Health Information System, annual Malaria Indicator Surveys, and various malaria control strategies and investigative studies. In addition, Dianna worked with Sanaria, Inc. and Ifakara Health Institute to set-up the first ever clinical trial in the Equatorial Guinea using Sanaria’s PfSPZ Vaccine. Most recently, Dianna worked in Guatemala where she was a contractor for CDC-Central America Region’s influenza division. Her main focus was on evaluating and improving the influenza surveillance systems throughout Central America. Dianna’s research interests include immunoepidemiology, vaccines, and infectious disease.


Darya Li Kappe

Darya Li Kappe is an MBA candidate at the Foster School of Business. She received her BA in Business Administration with a focus on International Business from Seattle Pacific University. Darya has extensive experience in project management within the life sciences and public health arenas. Her interests include health economics, business development, and health intervention implementation in low and middle-income settings.



Brenda Kharono

Dr. Brenda Kharono is a Master of Public Health student in the UW Department of Global Health. Brenda holds a Medicine and Surgery degree (MBChB) from Makerere University, College Of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda. After which she joined Uganda Martyrs Hospital, Lubaga for her one-year medical internship in Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pediatrics, Surgery and Internal medicine. As a medical student and currently a doctor involved in HIV research, she witnessed the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other preventable diseases on the family and community at large.


Shadae Paul

Shadae Paul is a second year, concurrent Master of Public Health and Master of Public Administration graduate student at the University of Washington. Her area of study is maternal health, child health, and international development. After earning her BA from the University of Maryland, College Park, she worked and conducted research on improving health outcomes for women and children in the South Pacific, Africa, and South America. Shadae is interested in improving community-based health practices in low-and-middle income countries and exploring methods to integrate the arts and humanities into modern approaches to public health.


Deanna Tollefson

Deanna Tollefson is a PhD student in Global Health Implementation Science at the University of Washington. After receiving her MPH from Emory University, Deanna worked as an epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen TB surveillance across Africa and Asia and encourage national TB programs to use data for decision-making. In this position, Deanna also served as lead coordinator for CDC’s TB prevention and control projects in China. Deanna is interested in working with global health implementers to design, evaluate, and scale-up evidence-based interventions to improve livelihoods in resource-limited settings.