Public Health Fellows & Interns

Media Coverage

The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives trains future health professionals through Public Health Fellowships and student internships. 

Public Health Fellows  

The Public Health Fellows position was created in 2011 to reflect the emerging public health approach to college student health. Since 2011, Public Health Fellows have enhanced Cornell Health’s outreach and educational efforts, and have made significant contributions to campus health initiatives. 

Public Health Fellows:

  • utilize “near peer” student connections to promote and deliver innovative strategies to address student mental health and well-being, alcohol and other drugs, sexual violence, and hazing, as well as other emerging student health issues
  • contribute to the work of the Skorton Center by facilitating educational outreach efforts and contributing to research and evaluation projects

While the position is a term appointment for one academic year, a unique set of circumstances may occasionally lead to Fellows being offered a second term. For more information about the Public Health Fellowship, please contact Laura Santacrose, MPH, Assistant Director for the Skorton Center.

Meet our current fellows:

The primary responsibilities of the Public Health Fellows and Senior Public Health Fellows include facilitating various health outreach programs to student organizations (including Notice and Respond: Friend 2 Friend, Thrive, Intervene, and sexual violence prevention and hazing prevention and education programs). Additionally, Garrett Heller, Allyson LaRosa and Grace Robbins coordinate the Greek Health and Wellness Initiative and Jessie Bonney-Burrill coordinates the Cornell Social Consultants (CSC) Program to foster a positive sexual and social culture on campus.

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Grace Robbins, ’16, Senior Public Health Fellow

Grace majored in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and minored in Global Health, Inequality Studies, and South Asian Studies. As a student, she took part in Alternative Spring Breaks and Students Against the Sexual Solicitation of Youth to serve Girls Educational and Mentoring Services. Her experiences working with survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, in conjunction with experiences serving high need communities in Cleveland, OH, Chicago, IL, and Olevolos,Tanzania sparked her passion for public health. Her time conducting independent research in western Nepal about women’s experiences with menstruation and taking part in a team capstone project to address sexual assault on Cornell’s campus strengthened her resolve to learn more about community-based culture change approaches in public health. She is excited to use her time as a fellow to grow as a young professional in the field and give back to the Cornell and Ithaca community. Following this fellowship, Grace plans to pursue an MPH.
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Jessie Bonney-Burrill, '14, 
Senior Public Health Fellow

Jessie majored in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. As a student, she was a member of the Cornell Women's Resource Center Executive Board, president of VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood at Cornell, a facilitator for FemSex, a sexuality education workshop, and a Campus Tour Guide. After graduating, Jessie became a Harm Reduction Specialist working at The Southern Tier AIDS Program. She is excited to be back on campus as a Public Health Fellow. Her interest in Public Health sprang from her experiences as a peer sexuality educator throughout her teenage years and deepened during her studies at Cornell.
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Allyson LaRosa
‘17
Sigma Delta Tau Alpha Centennial Public Health Fellow

Allyson majored in Human Biology, Health & Society and received a minor in Global Health as an undergraduate at Cornell. During her time as a student, she was a research assistant, a tutor for Friends of Farmworkers, and a member of both Greek life and a professional medical fraternity. Her interest in public health began through both her experience abroad working for an NGO in Tanzania and the coursework required her to receive the Global Health minor. Through these opportunities, she was able to see the importance of creative solutions in helping to improve health concerns, on both large and small scales. She looks forward to applying these experiences to the Public Health Fellowship throughout the upcoming year. Following this opportunity, Allyson plans to go on to medical school to become a clinical physician.
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Garrett Heller,
‘17 
Public Health Fellow

Garrett majored in Human Development in Cornell's College of Human Ecology. One of his most formative experiences during his time as an undergraduate was working for Cornell’s Intergroup Dialogue Project (IDP), a social justice education program dedicated to helping Cornellians develop a framework for understanding social identities and inequalities while also instilling valuable communication and facilitation skills. This sparked a passion for social justice and diversity/inclusion work, reinforced his love for using education as a platform for change, and offered an opportunity for Garrett to give back to Cornell, particularly as an IDP staff member in the Spring of 2017. As a Public Health Fellow, Garrett is eager to continue giving back to Cornell and make sure that the vast array of communities present on this campus are considered in addressing public health concerns. In the future, Garrett plans to attend law school and be an advocate at the institutional level.
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Anne Laurita, PhD
‘17
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Anne received her B.S. (’13) in Human Development from the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. Her major concentration was Social and Personality Development, and she completed a minor History of Art in the College of Arts and Sciences. Anne then received her M.A. (’15) and Ph.D. (’17) in Developmental Psychology, both at Cornell University. Her program of research addressed the neural, cognitive, and behavioral markers of close social relationships. Her dissertation project utilized functional magnetic neuroimaging to investigate how mental representations of adult attachment figures reflect the structure and function of underlying neural networks. Anne also served as a live-in Graduate Resident Fellow in Alice H. Cook House on West Campus, Cornell’s residential college system. Throughout her education, Anne has always been intrigued by translational research and became particularly interested in college health through an internship with the Skorton Center in 2016-2017. Anne hopes to pursue a career integrating college health initiatives with current methods in public health and psychology research. 
 

Read about our the paths of our former Public Health Fellows (pdf). 

GPHS student interns 

The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives has partnered with the College of Human Ecology to provide students in the Global and Public Health Sciences major with a student internship opportunity within Cornell Health. 

GPHS students who are interested in applying for the Skorton Center for Health Initiatives student internship should contact Laura Santacrose, MPH, Health Initiatives Coordinator.