The Workforce Development Fellows are a team of students who were educated about opioid overdose prevention and supported several substance use prevention/treatment community organizations.
Summer 2020 Fellows:
Justin Mortensen is in his last year of the undergraduate public health program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. After graduation, he plans to pursue his master’s in public health with a focus on health policy and management. Some topics of interest that Justin has is in US health insurance reform and LGBTQ+ health disparities. In addition to the fellowship for the C3-OD2A, he does work with the Hawaiʻi Executive Office on Aging as a Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteer and a Medicare counselor.
Elizabeth Giron is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. She plans to pursue her Masters in Social Work. With prior experience as an advocate for domestic violence prevention, she hopes to widen her array of experiences in the community prior to choosing a specialization. Some topics of interest include sex and gender-based violence, criminal justice reform, and behavioral mental health in youth and adolescents.
Shaira Mae Padron is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and a Minor in Public Health at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. After graduation, she plans to gain clinical experience as a Registered Behavior Technician and enter a graduate program in clinical psychology. Some topics of interest include health disparities in minorities, mental health amongst immigrant populations, and youth mental and behavioral health.
May Roque has recently earned her Bachelor’s of Social Work degree at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and then continuing on to pursue her Master’s of Social Work in the Advanced Standing position. Her chosen specialization is in Health with a focus on working with the aging population. She has particular interests in Gerontology, wanting to dedicate her time to working in Hospice Care settings, contributing to the health and wellbeing of older adults, and oppressed and marginalized populations.
Kyra Jones is in her 2nd-year of the MSW program at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her chosen field of specialization is Behavioral Mental Health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College (while also graduating with honors). In addition to her current position, as a research fellow with C3-OD2A, she has held other research positions in Native Hawaiian & Indigenous Studies. She presented her very first research project at the 1st Annual Lāhui Hawaiʻi Research Center Student Conference at UH Mānoa in 2017. The study examined the cultural practices that affect Hawaiians from a psychological perspective (including their effects on statistical rates of drug abuse, suicide, and help-seeking behaviors) and re-examined the principles which form the basis for optimal mental health in the Hawaiian culture.
Cassandra Dimailig graduated in May 2020 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is continuing her education as a Master’s of Social Work Candidate in the Advanced Standing Program, specializing in Health, with a focus in Disabilities. Her topics of interests include: children & families, low-income households, immigrant families, and people w/ disabilities.
Karissa DeWeerd is an MSW student at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her chosen specialization is Behavioral Mental Health. Karissa graduated from the University of Sioux Falls with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Social Science in 2017. Her research interests include sex and gender-based violence, juvenile justice, justice system reform, and behavioral mental health in youth and adolescents.
Taryn Adams-Leon recently earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work in May 2020 at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is continuing on to get her Master’s Degree in Social Work in the Advanced Standing Program and is specializing in Children & Families. Her topics of interest include working with elementary and middle school-aged children, children with disabilities, and immigrant families. However, the most appealing factor to Taryn is the opportunity to aid in any trials or tribulations that may occur during these years as well as be there to celebrate their successes and triumphs.
Janice Burnside is currently majoring in Public Health at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with a keen interest in Epidemiology. Her past experience includes work as an INBRE Associate Student researching the identification and isolation of endomycorrhizal fungi in Hawai’i, a Supplemental Instruction Leader for microbiology at Windward Community College, a Supplemental Instruction Leader for psychology at Windward Community College and the Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua, and regulatory work with the College of Nurses of Ontario, specifically with nurses and substance use disorders. Her topics of interest include health equity, communicable diseases, mental health, and domestic violence.
Jonah Saribay is a second-year BSW major, but prior, his life revolved working for years in the industry as a culinary student. Jonah switched gears and left the industry after realizing his passion for community work. He completed his Associate’s degree in Human Services with Honolulu Community College and continued his undergraduate journey with the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. His interests include children and youth advocacy, mental health, low-income populations, and homelessness.
Christina Reinhofer, who also goes by CJ, is a BSW Candidate at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is currently in her second year. After she graduates with her BSW, CJ plans to pursue a Master’s in Social Work. Some of her topic/population interests include mental health, substance abuse, child welfare, gerontology, military members, as well as oppressed and marginalized population(s). While she has not chosen a specialization or focus quite yet, she is thankful for the experiences MBTSSW has given her so far and is very excited for what the future holds!
Piper Kublick is currently a second-year MSW student at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. After completion of the program with a specialization in Child & Family, they are driven to work within the community to strengthen and support our ʻohana in need of a helping hand. Piper’s current interests and experiences center around human trafficking, indigenous populations, at-risk youth, youth resiliency programs, and trauma-informed practices. This year they will be interning with the Hawaii State Judiciary within the Family Court and is ecstatic to become involved with another important facet of social work service.
Hina Antone earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is continuing her education to get her master’s degree at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In addition to working as a research fellow with the C3-OD2A team, Hina accomplished her first publication as a co/author with Dr. Rachel Burrage and two other students. Published in the Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, titled: A Culturally Informed Scoping Review of Native Hawaiian Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Literature. Hina’s focus is on the well-being of native Hawaiian Kupuna and the aging population. Her interests include the positive aspect of intergenerational interaction between Keiki and kupuna and its benefits in care homes; health disparities in rural communities, oppressed marginalized populations, palliative care, advocacy, and research.
Kaitlyn Siegfried is a MSW student at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is specializing in behavioral mental health. Kaitlyn graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa with a BA in psychology. Her research interests include at-risk youth, youth development, the LGBT population, and program evaluation research.
Alec Cornejo is currently a Master of Social Work student specializing in Health at the Myron B. Thompson School of Social Work. He earned his Bachelor’s of Social Work Degree in Spring 2020, also earning a certificate in Women’s Studies. Alec spent his undergraduate program with the Youth Outreach Program, better known as YO!. As a Social Work practicum student, Alec practiced Motivational Interviewing in an Outreach and Drop-in center environment with at-risk youth and homeless youth. After earning his MSW, Alec plans on pursuing a career as a Clinical Health Social Worker, primarily in a hospital setting assisting and mediating care plans for individuals and families.