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Three Alums Awarded Community Health Fellowship

The Office of Fellowships is thrilled to announce that three recent Northwestern alums—Mary Stoa (WCAS ’20), Pooja Kanthawar (SESP ’17), and Mary Cormier (WCAS ’20)—have received the Project Horseshoe Farm Fellowship! Next year, Mary Cormier will be based at the fellowship's new location in Pomona, California, and Mary Stoa and Pooja will work in Alabama.

Mary StoaMary Stoa graduated in 2020 as a biological sciences major with minors in Spanish and religious studies. Throughout her time on campus, Mary participated in GlobeMed, engaging in lessons and discussions on global and local public health issues. She also served as the fundraising chair on Northwestern’s crew team, working to make the club more financially accessible to lower-income students. As the VP of service for Alpha Phi Omega, Mary organized service events at which APO members volunteered and learned the importance of sustainability when responsibly engaging in service with community organizations. Originally from Spokane, Washington, she is eager to begin a new journey in Greensboro, Alabama. Mary hopes to become a physician, and she is excited to apply a holistic and community-based approach to impact the social determinants of health with Project Horseshoe Farm.

Pooja KanthawarPooja majored in social policy and minored in Asian American studies. As an undergraduate, she participated in the Global Engagement Summit Institute program in Jinja, Uganda, an experience that fostered her interest in community development. Pooja also interned at the American Public Health Association to learn about the role of healthcare and education policy in public health. After graduating, Pooja spent a year in Japan as an assistant language teacher as part of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program. Currently, she lives in London, Kentucky, and works as a medical scribe. After her year in Alabama, Pooja hopes to use a community-based approach and create sustainable development in underserved populations in her practice as a physician.

Mary CormierMary Cormier is a 2020 graduate from Glenview, Illionois, who majored in neuroscience with a concentration in biological sciences. On campus, she was an educator in Peer Health Exchange, through which she facilitated a skills-based health curriculum for freshmen in high schools on the north and west sides of Chicago. She was also involved in the special recreation department of the Evanston Park District, coaching the Special Olympics basketball teams each year and working at special recreation camps over the summers. Mary is eager to learn how community health organizations can address social determinants of health and promote health equity, especially at a time when inequity is exacerbated by the global pandemic. She is excited to build a relationship with the community Project Horseshoe Farm serves in Pomona and learn the organization's role within the community.

Project Horseshoe Farm works to build on the strengths of local communities, improve the health and quality of life for vulnerable populations, and prepare citizen service leaders. The Community Health Leaders Fellowship funds recent college graduates to pursue a bridge year dedicated to community service.

Mary, Pooja, and Mary will join four previous Wildcats as alums of the fellowship. In 2016, Rafa Ifthikar (WCAS ’16) was the first Northwestern graduate chosen for the program. The following year, Timothy Huang (WCAS ’17) and Kevin Wang (WCAS ’17) were selected. Finally, Priya Garigipata (WCAS ’17) joined the cohort in 2018.

Contact Jason Kelly Roberts to learn more about the Project Horseshoe Farm Fellowship program.