Meet the 2019 Bezos Scholars!

Contributed by
GIFT KITI
2013 Bezos Scholar
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Student Stories

Scholar Spotlight: 2013 Scholar Gift Kiti

What are you up to right now? What projects and new ideas are exciting you personally / academically / career-wise?
I am currently doing my Masters in Public Health at UC Berkeley to graduate in May 2020. Through my Master’s program, I have learned a lot about the healthcare landscape in the US and globally. For my thesis project, I am looking at the association between continuous labor support during childbirth and person-centered maternity care among women in Migori County, Kenya. Research has shown that having additional support (i.e. partner or mother-in-law) during labor or delivery could result in a better quality of care/ childbearing experience for the mother. I'm really enjoying looking at the literature on this topic and running the analysis.

I am also working on a manuscript for my summer internship project whereby I was validating the Livestock Epidemic Preparedness Index for a data-modeling and risk analytics company called Metabiota in San Francisco. Alongside my Masters, I continue to be actively involved with the healthcare clinic- Zawadi Healthcare Services, I founded 2 years ago in Mombasa Kenya as I continue to seek solutions for its sustainability. I am also involved with the marketing of the spice company- Chibundiro that I co-founded with my sister and continue to seek out new opportunities for its scaling both locally and internationally. After graduation, I am hoping to work in data analytics/healthcare consulting where I will continue to sharpen my data and problem-solving skills then find ways of using the knowledge to create an impact in my community.

Have you been keeping in touch with your Bezos Scholar alum, and if so — how?
I mostly keep up with Bezos Scholars by following them on social media and seeing what they've been up to. I still do keep up with most of the ALA alumni like Ntemena and Franklyn, we talk on phone or in-person once in a while. I was able to interact with other alumni like Andy, Joseph, and Michael through TED 2018 in Canada. I would really like to make it to one of the Bezos alumni get-togethers someday.

Which influential books, albums, podcasts, or films would you personally recommend to the BSP community of curious minds? 
I would recommend Becoming by Michelle Obama if you haven't read it yet, it's a really beautiful story. And Unbowed by Wangari Maathai the Nobel Peace Laureate who, despite adversity, passionately advocated for the environment. For podcasts, I listen mostly to 'The Daily' or 'Skimm This' if I don't have much time. I also watch Trevor Noah's videos on Instagram as he unpacks current issues.

Who or what are you finding inspiration in right now? 
I am inspired by the many people who have defied the odds and made it to where they are today because they persisted such as Kipchoge Paul (the first person to run a marathon under 2 hours) and Lupita Nyong'o who still continues to inspire me because I used to watch her acting on local Kenyan TV and now I watch her in the theatres and on Netflix.  

Anything else you want to share with the BSP community? 
This life is short, be kind to yourself and to those around you. Also, if you have any ideas about making healthcare sustainable in underserved populations, if you love spices, or if you are interested in visiting Kenya, hit me up, let's have a chat!

Contributed by
GIFT KITI
2013 Bezos Scholar
Categories
Student Stories

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