Now in its third year, the University of Virginia’s 2018 Hannah Graham Memorial Award will support work to improve maternal health in Rwanda and women’s working conditions in Senegal.
Navya Annapareddy, a first-year student who aims to double major in biomedical engineering and media studies, will participate in a study on the preventable causes of maternal death in Rwandan hospitals.
Annapareddy will work with Dr. Paulin Banguti, an anesthesiologist, residency program director and researcher at the University of Rwanda, to help analyze the medical history of pregnant women with heart disease.
The goal is to use the analysis to recommend solutions to lessen maternal risk and promote a more maternal risk-conscious culture in Rwandan health care and the community at-large.
Jordan Beeker, a second-year student and prospective double major in global development studies and economics, will study women working in Senegal’s informal sector, a shadow economy which includes unregistered businesses like street vendors. Based at a policy analysis lab at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal, she will use data analysis to help provide a better understanding of the workforce and what it is like for women working in the informal sector.
The Hannah Graham Memorial Award supports year-long work to promote health and development and/or reduce violence against women and girls in French-speaking countries.
Graham, a second-year student, was the victim of a homicide in 2014 after disappearing from the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville.
Annapareddy and Beeker are the fifth and sixth recipients of the award, which was created by Graham’s parents in 2015 to honor the memory of their daughter and support work they say Hannah would have pursued were she still alive.
“Navya and Jordan are outstanding young women and epitomize the values underlying the award,” said John and Sue Graham. “We are delighted to be able to support their work in Rwanda and Senegal and are very grateful to all of the donors and to the hardworking UVA staff and faculty, who have made this possible.”
Faculty in UVA’s Center for Global Health and the Global Development Studies program advise and screen the candidates, and the award’s Board of Trustees interviews the short list to choose the recipients.
“I never imagined I would be able to explore maternal health from such an involved perspective, let alone a global one,” said Annapareddy. “I’m incredibly thankful for the support of the Graham family for allowing me to honor Hannah’s legacy while studying a topic so close to my heart.”
“I think the Hannah Graham Memorial Award gives students a wonderful opportunity to create change and have a first-hand experience abroad,” added Beeker. “I am very excited to honor Hannah’s memory and hope that my research in Senegal will greatly benefit our current understanding of the informal economy.”