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March 16, 2020

Student Spotlight: Natalie Fahsen

Natalie Fahsen (G’21) is a graduate studying Global Health and was a student fellow with the Global Health Initiative.

Tell us why are you interested in global health? 

Growing up in Guatemala and having the opportunity to study in Germany and the United States has allowed me to experience different realities. Seeing socioeconomic inequality in Guatemala and comparing it to the “luxury” of a more developed country created in me a strong urge to examine the ways that health disparities affect global populations. I am also very interested in understanding the power dynamics in the field of global health in order to successfully incentivize stakeholders and increase access to and quality of health care. 

What activities are you involved with on campus?

I invest most of my time in my graduate program and my part-time job. In my first semester at Georgetown, I supported Professor Wu Zeng in a systematic literature review on health care quality improvement strategies in developing countries. Through the Global Health Initiative (GHI) Student Fellowship, I am currently supporting Professor Myriam Vuckovic in the writing of a book chapter on population and health policies in urban areas. Beyond this research and attending classes, I try to go to as many campus-wide interdisciplinary events as I can. 

What are some global health events you have participated in on-campus/in D.C.? 

I have been able to attend several health-related events, not only at Georgetown but also outside of the University. There, I have been am able to connect with many global health professionals. Some of the topics of events that I have attended are HIV and tuberculosis, road safety, population aging, and urban health. As a GHI fellow, I also attend monthly GHI Fellows meetings. These are informal meetings with GU Faculty, where we learn about their current and past work. I find these especially enriching as they provide useful career advice and inspiration for future work. 

What is your favorite part about being at Georgetown?

The reason that I chose to complete my master’s degree at Georgetown University was the immense amount of resources and opportunities that are provided to students. I haven't always had this abundance of resources, which is why I have been trying to take advantage of every opportunity that I have been provided: from Research Assistantships to attending interdisciplinary events, from writing center appointments to career workshops, and from citation tools training sessions to panels with Georgetown alumni. 

Tell us about your educational and professional aspirations.

After graduating, I see myself working as a Consultant, Researcher or Program Manager at an international organization. My main goal is to achieve health equity within and between countries. Although I want to start my career in Washington DC, I would like to contribute to the strengthening of health systems around the world. Given my roots in Guatemala, I am mostly interested in working with health care systems in Latin America. I am excited to see where my global health career takes me.