Winners of Eck Institute for Global Health case competition to compete at Emory University

Notre Dame’s winning Global Health Case Competition team, which includes two master of global affairs students and two Notre Dame undergraduate students, will participate in Emory University’s international Global Health Case Competition on March 14, 2020 against approximately 30 teams from other universities.

Six teams competed in the University of Notre Dame’s 2020 Global Health Case Competition. Hosted by the Eck Institute for Global Health, the competition challenged graduate and undergraduate students to develop a plan for delivering vaccinations for measles and Ebola via drones in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Each team presented to a panel of global health experts and were then evaluated based on their plan.

“Each of the six student teams showed a remarkable level of talent, strategic thinking, and enthusiasm as they tackled the sort of global health challenge which professionals deal with every day,” said Bernard Nahlen, director of the Eck Institute for Global Health and professor of biological sciences. “Their ability to quickly come together to propose a path forward to address a range of technical, political, and financial issues in a complex operating environment was truly impressive.”

For this year’s competition, teams were given a week to review the case study on the DRC and prepare a presentation for the panel of judges. Each team also had a faculty advisor to help guide their analysis and presentations.

“I really enjoyed being able to work with faculty experts on campus who had experience on the topic we were studying for the competition,” said Carriedo, graduate student in the Keough School’s Masters of Global Affairs program. “That interaction allowed us to see if the ideas and solutions our team was coming up with were useful and applicable to a professional in the field.

“I was also able to apply skills that I have learned from my graduate coursework in the Integration Lab, including theory of change, stakeholder analysis, and policy writing skills,” Carriedo commented. “Those tools allowed us to ask the important theoretical questions.”

The University of Notre Dame’s 2020 Global Health Case Competition winning team (left to right): Margaret Elliott, Juliana Couri, Belen Carriedo, and Hugo Flores.

Teammate Hugo Flores, MGA ’21, was able to apply his prior work experience as a physician in Mexico to the case.

“I knew that the technical aspects of any health problem are only 10% of the challenge. The rest is about being able to engage with the different stakeholders: government, community groups, and people on the ground,” said Flores. “Our team decided to focus on the roots of the conflict, and the problem of rebuilding trust with the community. In this way our recommendations focused on what could be sustainable.”

The teams of students who participated in the 2020 Global Health Case Competition included:

  • Joseph Afuso, Abigayle Batkoff, Amy Bernard, Karlyn Harrod, Margaret Kurop, and Dianna Perez
  • Christian Arega, Christina Dulal, Fei Fu, Quinton Hayre, and Haley Kempf
  • Louise Medina Bengtsson, Meghan Figueras, Anne Foley, Maddeline Johns, and Md. Sultan Uz Zaman
  • Rebecca Chase, Ainur Kagarmanova, Axell-Giovanni Komlan, Anabel Konesco, and Samuel Rudloff
  • Belen Carriedo, Juliana Couri, Margaret Elliott, and Hugo Flores
  • Michael Barrett, Christopher Canizares, Dana Hergenrother, Lauren Hollmer, Caroline Mohammed, and Farai Musariri

The team of Rebecca Chase, Ainur Kagarmanova, Axell-Giovanni Komlan, Anabel Konesco, and Samuel Rudloff was voted Students’ Choice for Best Presentation for the competition. 

“Working on an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students proved to be incredibly advantageous for me as an undergrad. I learned so much from my teammates during our brainstorming sessions and from their constructive dialogue,” said Couri, an undergraduate student in anthropology and preprofessional studies and an international scholar at the Keough School’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. “This experience will help me not only when our team competes at Emory, but also with my future education, and hopefully in my career. It was a great opportunity, and I definitely encourage other students all across campus to consider joining next year.”

A team of five students won the Students’ Choice for Best Presentation.

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This article was adapted from a story originally published at on February 27, 2020.