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Meet the 2023 Student Ambassadors

Meet the 2023 Student Ambassadors

We are excited to welcome 22 students from around the world as Covidence student ambassadors.

The Covidence Community Team are pleased to welcome 22 students from around the world to our student ambassador program, an initiative to encourage more students to start their evidence journey with Covidence.

The Covidence student ambassadors are passionate about research and dedicated to the mission of creating trustworthy and actionable knowledge. Over a period of four weeks, the Ambassadors will plan, prepare and deliver a Covidence training event at their institution. Along the way, they will develop their own skills and share their experiences with Covidence’s global community of researchers.

Our student ambassadors receive a range of benefits including a letter of recognition and the opportunity to expand their professional network.

Let’s meet the team!

Louay Almidani

Louay Almidani is a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University, with a passion for evidence-based medicine and public health. He obtained his medical degree before pursuing a Masters of Science in Evidence-Based Healthcare at the University of Oxford. His research interests lie in the intersection of Ophthalmology, Public Health, and Evidence-Based Medicine, where he aims to develop new approaches to address public health challenges related to eye diseases.

Rocío Fuentes

Rocío Fuentes is a physiotherapist in Chile, specializing in respiratory and intensive kinesiology. She holds a Master’s degree in clinical epidemiology and is currently pursuing a PhD in biomedical research methodology at the University of Barcelona, Spain. She participates in and teaches courses related to systematic reviews and clinical epidemiology primarily. Rocío is currently an active member of the Students for Best Evidence group (Ibero-America), an initiative that disseminates content on evidence-based health.

Damilola Monsurat

Damilola Monsurat Odekunle is a registered urban planner, lecturer, and doctoral student at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos, Nigeria.  The core of her work interfaces with urban competitiveness and resilience, urban governance, local economic development, pro-poor management and governance, community development, urban housing, equity, social and environmental justice, and urban health. Damilola is particularly interested in understanding societal complexities, how these shape people’s lives, and resilience practices for manoeuvring such intricacies. She has worked on different transdisciplinary projects with various communities, researchers, the media, civil society organisations, government actors, and think tanks. Her research output has been presented at conferences and workshops in Africa and Europe, and published in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals.

Ezra Yu

Ezra is a research coordinator in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia, specializing in the impacts of the built environment on health outcomes, focusing on children’s development and cancer risk. Ezra is a proficient literature reviewer and has become a Covidence ambassador, leveraging his expertise to help his colleagues conduct thorough and efficient reviews. As a Covidence ambassador, he aims to help streamline the systematic review process and empower others to obtain reliable and high-quality results.

Nancy El-Shayeb

Nancy El-Shayeb is a PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She has a BSc. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Ain Shams University, Egypt, an MBA from the American University in Cairo and a Master of Clinical Nutrition from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Nancy has worked as a brand manager in the pharmaceutical industry, a lecturer at the German University in Cairo and a marketing communications manager at the American University in Cairo. Her research topic is health science communications with a focus on Infodemiology and managing the spread of misinformation on social media during pandemics. Nancy is passionate about everything digital, teaching and interdisciplinary research.

Xiaoting Shi

Xiaoting is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research interests include evidence synthesis, meta-research (i.e., research on research), causal inference, and regulatory science. She has worked on multiple review projects using Covidence. She hopes to help other students at Yale who are interested in evidence synthesis to learn more about Covidence. She believes that only high-quality evidence has the potential to guide clinical practices and inform policies.

Tony Ker

Tony Ker is a doctoral student and graduate teaching assistant at Sheffield Hallam University, where he recently completed a master’s degree in applied sport and exercise science. His research focuses on how the affective response (feelings of pleasure and displeasure) experienced during exercise can be accurately assessed using novel and non-cognitive methods such as EEG, MRI, and fNIRS. To support his program of work, he is currently undertaking a systematic review of measures of neural activity during exercise.

Mehnaz Munir

Mehnaz Munir is a medical doctor, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Global Health at McMaster University. Her special interest has been public health issues, particularly non-communicable diseases and occupational health, which are prevalent in developing countries, as well as the similarities and differences between these issues and those of other nations.

Ivan Jurak

Ivan Jurak is a Doctoral student in Statistics (Biostatistics) at the University of Ljubljana. He also holds a master’s degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Applied Health Sciences in Zagreb, Croatia, and a master’s degree in Health Sciences from Alma Mater Europaea ECM, Maribor, Slovenia. Ivan is a licensed physiotherapist and currently works as a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Physiotherapy Study Program at the University of Applied Health Sciences Zagreb, where he teaches and conducts research. He is a member of the Croatian Council of Physiotherapists, the Croatian Statistical Society, and the Croatian Biometric Society. Ivan’s research interests include biostatistics, data synthesis, and biomechanics.

Israa Ashkar

Israa Ashkar is a dentist from Bahrain. She obtained her Master’s degree in Endodontics & conservative dentistry in 2020 from CEU Cardenal Herrera University in Spain, later in 2021 obtained a Master’s degree in Dental sciences from the University of Valencia, Spain and is now currently a 2nd-year Ph.D. student at the same university. Her research interest is focused on Dental Sciences, particularly Dental Biomaterials.

Gerald Louw

Gerald Louw is pursuing his MLIS and is working in the Community and Health Sciences Faculty’s Library at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He works as a librarian. His responsibilities include supporting postgraduate students with the systematic search for literature to compile systematic and scoping reviews.

Ewan Murray

Ewan Murray is a Psychology Ph.D. student at the University of York. He has an undergraduate degree in mathematics, a PGCE in mathematics, and an MSc in Psychology in Education.

“Spacing out learning and making sure that information is actively retrieved from long-term memory are two powerful ways in which learning can be improved. Initially, my research will look at the role material complexity plays in the efficacy of spaced retrieval practice for mathematical learning.

I have been using Covidence to run a meta-analysis looking at how effective spaced retrieval practice is in enabling people to learn mathematics.”

Dr. Geldine Chironda

Dr. Geldine Chironda, PhD, is a post-doctoral research scientist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, School of Nursing and Public Health, South Africa. She has worked extensively in the clinical area (Zimbabwe) as well as in the education of health professionals for New York University and the University of Rwanda (jointly Human Resource for Health program). She has experience in systematic literature reviews, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method research. Her research interests are in the management of patients with kidney diseases, medical surgical issues, and family health. Geldine participates in the research supervision of Masters and PhD students. She is one of the founding members of IFNA African Chapter (2022) which focuses on promoting family-focused nursing practice, education, and research in Africa. Dr. Chironda is an Editorial board member for Rwanda Medical Journal and a peer reviewer in various national and international journals.

Dr. Nitesh Kumar

Dr. Nitesh Kumar MD, MBA, is a healthcare professional with 10+ years of experience in pharma, R&D, and medical devices. Holds a B.S. in Medical Neuroscience from Illinois Wesleyan University and a dual MD-MBA from Windsor University School of Medicine and Davenport University- Donald W. Maine College Of Business. Currently interested in medical research in neurological surgery, orthopaedic surgery, HEOR, Global policy, AI, the future of healthcare, and Remote patient monitoring, surgical outcomes to name a few. Aims to optimize productivity, contribute to medical literature growth, and deliver exceptional patient outcomes with future goals of bridging the sentiment gap between American healthcare executive leadership with frontline workers and KOLs (Key opinion Leaders i.e., doctors, PA, nurses etc.)

Rodrigue Ndabashinze

Rodrigue Ndabashinze is a medical doctor from Burundi currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Global Health and Infectious Diseases at Moi University. His research interests include performing high-quality global health research for policy decision-making, especially in Low and Middle-Income Countries.

Neha Minocha

Neha Minocha is a dentist from India and completed her Masters of Public Health from the University of York, United Kingdom in 2022. Her research interests include Behavioral Economics, Health and Social Behavior, Systematic Reviews, Qualitative Research, Mental Health Research, and Epidemiology. She is passionate about medical writing and advocating mental health among young individuals.

Bereket Gebremichael

Bereket Gebremichael is a public health expert from Ethiopia and a doctoral student at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Nutrition and Health with a concentration in Nutritional Epidemiology. His research focuses on early-life nutrition and health outcomes in later life. Before starting his doctoral study, he had worked as a lecturer and researcher at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and as an independent public health consultant with national and international partners. Bereket is passionate about nutrition, maternal and child health, and evidence synthesis. Bereket was a recipient of a Covidence global scholarship award in 2022.

Saikat Panda

Saikat Panda is an early-career public health researcher from India. He works as a research associate at YR Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education. He is interested in exploring the intersection of digital technologies and community health from a socio-behavioral lens.

Ishika Mahajan

Ishika is pursuing Honors at the Centre of Cancer Biology, University of South Australia and SA Pathology. Her degree is in Biology and computer science, and she aims to enter a Ph.D. program next year. She has won over 35 awards in leadership and STEM research and has been educated at Harvard University and the University of Adelaide by the age of 21. She is the Media and Communications Officer of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Society of Australia and currently works as an Integration Developer at the corporate level. She has earned various scholarships that have allowed her to work in labs, research centres, and industries worldwide. Her current research focuses on finding therapeutic targets for Glioblastoma (Brain cancer). She is very passionate about science communication and promoting STEM among young girls through various industrial, corporate, digital, and community platforms.

Afaf Bouqoufi

Afaf Bouqoufi is a final year PhD Candidate in Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Ibn Zohr, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy. She is based at the Laboratory of innovation research in health sciences, Team of therapeutic innovation, Translational Research and Epidemiology.  Her research interest is in Maternal health and Childbirth, She is studying the problem of self-medication and Phytotherapy among pregnant women. Her research interests focus on the areas, Pharmacology, epidemiology and toxicology.

Bilal Ahmad

Bilal is a researcher with four years of experience working on mental and public health projects in Pakistan. He has expertise in qualitative and quantitative data analysis using NVIVO and STATA. Bilal worked at IOP, in the NIHR Global Health Research program “Smoking Cessation Support for People with Severe Mental Illness: IMPACT 4S Study,” a research project by the University of York. He is skilled in systematic reviews, using Covidence, Rayyan, and spreadsheets for data screening and extraction, and R and RevMan 5.0 for meta-analysis. His proficiency in these tools can be attributed to the training he received from Dr. Gerardo (Lecturer, Department of Health Sciences, University of York). He has contributed to two systematic reviews exploring the prevalence of weight in people with SMI and co-authored a scientific paper on mental health laws in Pakistan and public perceptions of behavioral modification in the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan.

Omar Mayyas

Omar Mayyas is a qualified individual who holds a Master’s degree in Health Education from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Nursing at York University, Canada. Omar has dedicated his academic pursuits to understanding and expanding the field of nursing education. His passion lies in exploring innovative methods for healthcare professionals to serve their patients better.

With a research focus on virtual simulation for nursing education, Omar brings a multidisciplinary approach to his work. Through his academic training and practical experience, he understands the importance of providing students with a diversified education that prepares them to excel in the workforce. Omar’s work has the potential to revolutionize nursing education by improving the quality of the learning experience and, as a result, benefiting both students and patients. He is committed to pursuing his research and looks forward to making a lasting impact in healthcare.

We hope that this program will enrich the knowledge and skills of our Ambassadors and encourage more students to use Covidence. We look forward to providing updates on the Ambassadors’ progress over the coming weeks and we wish them every success.

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