Leah Everist portrait
2018-2019 Luce Scholar

In May 2018, Leah Everist will graduate from the University of North Carolina as a Morehead-Cain Scholar with a bachelor’s degree in Health Policy and Management, minor in Anthropology, and certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management. Her interest in emergency planning and response began in Uganda, where she taught biology at a secondary school and helped developed a first aid course in the remote Ssese Islands. Her dedication to this field deepened at Doctors Without Borders, where she worked on a team that coordinated operations in Chad, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. She is currently working on a disaster response and resilience project in Puerto Rico, promoting sustainable rebuilding and community empowerment in the aftermath Hurricane Maria. Public health is another area in which Leah has had a diverse range of academic and professional experience. A doula at UNC Hospitals, Leah has a background in maternal and child health and worked in a business development role at Maven, a digital health company that uses telemedicine to bridge gaps in perinatal care. She is currently on a team of student consultants working with a refugee justice organization to improve interpretive services with local health providers, and is the co-director of Get Covered Carolina, an organization that trains Certified Application Counselors to help community members sign up for health insurance through the federal exchange. She has studied Chinese and Hindi, and built her French proficiency during a semester in Morocco and Switzerland, where she studied global health and development policy and published an anthropological paper on vaccine hesitancy in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In her final semester at UNC, she is teaching a course on emotional science and behavioral economics. Leah has volunteered for conservation organizations in Montana, the Grand Canyon, and high Caucasus Mountains of Georgia and Armenia, and tries to go hiking and camping as often as she can.