News Release

14 Selected as 2011 Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars


May 26, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has selected 14 individuals as the 2011 Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars. These Scholars will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about health policy and the policymaking process during an eleven-week placement in a congressional office, where they will participate in seminars and site visits organized by the Foundation, and complete a health policy analysis project.

The Foundation established the Barbara Jordan Scholars Program in memory of former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan — the first African American woman elected to Congress from Texas and a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees when the modern day Kaiser Family Foundation was established in the early 1990s.

“These talented Scholars will have the opportunity to critically examine a variety of health policy issues, at a time of great debate about health care,” Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said. “This group of students honors the legacy of Barbara Jordan with its passion and commitment excellence and to public service.”

The program introduces rising college seniors and recent graduates with an interest in issues affecting racial and ethnic minority and underserved communities to the federal legislative process and current issues in health policy. In addition to working on Capitol Hill, Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in seminars and site visits organized by the Foundation to broaden their knowledge of health care issues. Under the guidance of the Foundation’s staff, the Scholars will also write and present a policy memo that provides an in-depth analysis of a health care issue.

This year’s Scholars were chosen from more than 200 applicants. Cara James, Ph.D., is the director of the Barbara Jordan Scholars Program at the Foundation. The program operates in partnership with Howard University, which provides administrative support and houses the scholars in D.C.

More information about the Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars Program is available online.

The 14 Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholars for 2011 are:

Jennica Allen
Hometown: Boston, MA
School: Tufts University
Major: Child Development and Community Health

Cara Buchanan
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV
School: Columbia University
Major: Hispanic Studies

Ashley Crawford
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
School: Davidson College
Major: Biology

Alyzza Dill
Hometown: Chicago, IL
School: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Major: Health Policy and Management

Hannah Grow
Hometown: State College, PA
School: The Pennsylvania State University
Major: Spanish and Health Policy & Administration

Jelani Harvey
Hometown: Miramar, FL
School: Columbia University
Major: History

Gary Kersey
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
School: Morehouse College
Major: Spanish

Deon Peoples
Hometown: Spencer, OK
School: University of Central Oklahoma
Major: Community Health

Yvonne Perez
Hometown: Bronx, NY
School: Brandeis University
Major: Health: Science, Society & Policy

Jason Sherer
Hometown: Lansing, MI
School: Hampton University
Major: Cellular and Molecular Biology

Christina Swoope
Hometown: Alpharetta, GA
School: The University of Georgia
Major: Genetics

Cheeduoa Thaoxaochay
Hometown: Fresno, CA
School: Stanford University
Major: Anthropology

Denise Vasquez
Hometown: El Paso, TX
School: University of Texas, Austin
Major: Biology

Emanuel Zamora
Hometown: Ontario, CA
School: Whittier College
Major: Biology


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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.