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2015 Global Health Case Competition

The Case

The participants of the 2015 Global Health Case Competition were prompted to develop a strategy to help Niger manage population growth by decreasing the birth rate through family planning. The strategy should consider issues involving health, economics, education, religion, culture, and politics, as well as the potential impacts that your strategy will have on these areas. The participants were given a grant of $25 million USD in seed funding to be spent over a five-year period. The teams' plans must have demonstrated self-sustainability after the five years. Successful projects included male head of households and involved local tribal and religious leaders.

The multidisciplinary teams of 4-6 members created 12-minute, in-person oral presentations with supporting slides to respond to the Request for Proposals (RFP) from the President of Niger.

The Case Topic: “Nigerian Population Growth: Addressing Extreme Poverty through Family Planning”.

The Winning Team


Emily Sheldon, School of Medicine

MPH candidate

Shellese Shemwell, School of Medicine

MPH candidate

Erin Hamilton, School of Medicine

MPH candidate

Ajay Sundaram, Peabody College

M.Ed. candidiate

Jieun Park, Peabody College

M.Ed. candidate

Kaya Zhu, Owen Graduate School of Management

MBA candidate

The Winning Presentation

See the winning presentation here



Team 1

Suarabh Jha

Naeha Haridasa

Sparsh Gupta

Mukhi Bhuputiraju

Lekha Reddy

Tushita Shrivastav

Team 2

Matthew Girgis

Emma Catlett

Haley Walker

Maani Kamal

Will Johnston

Richard Twardzik

Team 3

Christopher Gross

Michelle Wijaya

Gabriella Flynn

Joey Maloney

Robert Sacks

Jillian Balser

Team 4

Austin Hardcastle

Gabriel Rios

Jamal Pace

Daniel Kim

Frank Luo

Bo Kennedy

Team 5

Mary Virginia Harper

MEredith Huszagh

Megan Bullock

Emily Barker

Hillary Rosenjack

Team 7 

Le Vo Hong Linh

Haoyang Liu

Akshay Soni

Andrew Hey

Erin Graves

Mary Bayham

Grace Fletcher

Team 8

Niek Achten

Jiacheng Yan

Gillian Sills

Jake Lesser

Navya Nadimpalli

Swetha Malineni

Team 9

Joshua Cockroft 

Jessica Kaczmarek

Monisha Bhatia

Xueting Zhang

Guoyong Wu

Lausanne Miller

Team 10

Rui Wang

Eryn Block

Virginia Norder

Johny Daniel


Team 11

Jessica Hinshaw

Bhinnata Piya

Grant Yoder

Megan Lynch

Molly Wilson

Kevin Cyr

Team 12

Han Shi

Roger Fan

Karen Chan

Kalyn Rabuse

Frank Tota

Team 13

Emily Sheldon 

Shellese Shemwell

Erin Hamilton

Ajay Sundaram

Jieun Park

Kaya Zhu

Team 14

Kavya Sharman

Valentine Chukwuma

Lucy Stone

Alva Powell

Arfaja McLeod

Milarion Vegba

Team 15

Irene Wu

Savannah Hurt

Grace Kim

Frank Xue

Yunxi Qu


Team 16

John McDaniel

Pranjal Gupta

Abhishek Jaddu

Banita Giri 

Joanne Chou

Emelie Hall



Muktar Aliyu, MD, MPH, DrPH, is Associate Director for Research in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health and Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College. Dr. Aliyu attended medical school at the Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, and holds a MPH from the George Washington University and a DrPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He completed residency training in occupational medicine at Meharry Medical College and a fellowship in Preventive Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Aliyu is board certified in Occupational Medicine and General Preventive Medicine & Public Health. He currently serves as President-elect of the Tennessee College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Katie Barcy, M.Ed., is the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Global Citizenship Fellow in Community Engagement in Nashville, Tennessee. In this role, Ms. Barcy works with a variety of communities within Middle Tennessee to encourage the exploration of critical global issues to create and support well-informed global citizens who understand interconnectedness, respect and value diversity, have the ability to challenge injustice and inequities, and take action for the world’s children in personally meaningful ways. Her work includes bringing together networks of students, educators, advocates, and local organizations, among many others, to educate, advocate, and fundraise locally for UNICEF’s work to support children worldwide. Katie graduated from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College, with a Master of Education in International Education Policy and Management and a graduate certificate in Global Health. Prior to her work with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Ms. Barcy worked on public health capacity building in Guyana, social entrepreneurship in Guatemala, teacher training in Vietnam, and with international organizations in Western Europe.

Carol Etherington, MSN, RN, has designed and implemented community based programmes for people living in the aftermath of war and natural disaster, working with Ministries of Health and national staff in Bosnia, Poland, Honduras, Tajikistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Angola.  In her own country, Etherington has received two distinguished awards from the American Red Cross for her work as a volunteer in U.S. disasters. In 1975 she initiated the Victim Intervention Program in Nashville, one of the first police-based counseling programs in the United States, now in its 27th year. In national nursing associations, she has served at the local, state and national levels with a primary focus on ethics and human rights. Carol Etherington was the first nurse to serve on the U.S. Board of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF USA/Doctors without Borders), and was president of the US Board for two years.  She also is a volunteer with the Red Cross in time of disaster and participates in local and regional projects related to refugee and immigrant populations.

Erika Larson, M.Ed., is a Program Coordinator in the Office of Active Citizen and Service at Vanderbilt. She is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt’s Peabody College where she earned a Master’s of Education in International Education Policy and Management. Prior to Vanderbilt, Ms. Larson studied political science and social and environmental justice at the University of Colorado-Boulder and worked as an Alternative Breaks Coordinator at the Volunteer Resource Center. She was part of the INVST Community Leadership Program, which trained her in grassroots organizing, group facilitation, and strategic communication in the context of social change. Her team won the 2013 Case Competition.

Todd Lawrence, M.S., specializes in Global Health and International Development, with a focus on community mobilization. Most recently, Mr. Lawrence worked for the Carter Center in South Sudan supporting the South Sudan Guinea Worm Eradication Program from 2010-2012. Prior to this, Mr. Lawrence worked with the Global Health Council in Washington, D.C. where he managed the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial program, one of the first campaigns in the movement against HIV/AIDS, from 2005-2010. He also organized community health workers as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia from 2002-2003.

Siradji Mahamane , is a visiting scholar from Niger. There he works for the Inspectorate of Secondary Learning in the Ministry of Education and has been involved with public schools for over twenty years. As a teacher trainer, he is passionate about helping teachers to develop professionally, and he conducts workshops, training sessions, and classroom visits in order to assist English teachers. Additionally, he assists the pedagogical inspector in measuring teachers’ professional progress. 

Gregory Melchor-Barz, Ph.D., M.A.,  is a medical ethnomusicologist who has engaged field research in Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania. He received the PhD from Brown University and the MA from the University of Chicago. A former opera singer, Barz is an associate professor of ethnomusicology and anthropology at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University while holding the position of senior professor at the Odeion School of Music at the University of the Free State (South Africa). He was recently named the Alexander Heard Distinguished Professor at Vanderbilt University. He is currently engaging collaborative research regarding music and HIV/AIDS in South Africa while developing a project related to music, health, and healing in the Philippines.

Troy Moon, MD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH). He did his residency training at Tulane/Ocshner Clinic Foundation, and subsequently completed his Pediatric Infectious Disease fellowship at Tulane/LSU in New Orleans. He recently served 6 years with the VIGH partner organization Friends in Global Health, based in Zambézia, Mozambique, as the Clinical Director overseeing an HIV care and treatment scale-up program. Dr. Moon co-directs the Foundations in Global Health course within the Vanderbilt MPH program and has taught at the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. 

Margaret Tarpley, M.L.S., currently serves as the Education Officer and Senior Associate in Surgery at Vanderbilt University’s Department of Surgery. She is also a mentor for Vanderbilt’s MPH program. She worked with a Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health Team for a CDC-PEPFAR project in Nigeria and has also served as the Project Manager in the for a Picker Institute, Inc. 2006 Challenge Grant: A Proposal for a Cultural Sensitivity Initiative for Medical Education.

Marie Martin, M.Ed., is Assistant Director for Education and Training and is responsible for curricular and academic program development in global health both at Vanderbilt and abroad. Prior to VIGH, Marie worked for three years at the Global Education Office at Vanderbilt, developing international service-learning programs. She earned her M.Ed. from Vanderbilt in International Education Policy and Management and has served as a Fulbright scholar to Japan for international education. Mrs. Martin is currently a doctoral candidate in Public Policy and Administration and her academic interests include international education, public policy and agenda-setting, and global health funding trends.



The VIGH Student Advisory Committee is grateful for the generous support of the many Sponsors of the 2015 Global Health Case Competition, without whom, the Case Competition would not have been possible.


Case Competition Committee and Volunteers

Paula McIntyre, School of Medicine (Co-Chair)
Elizabeth Rose, School of Medicine (Co-Chair)
Aditya Karhade, School of Engineering (Marketing Sub-Committee)
Blair Pettit, Peabody College (Marketing Sub-Committee)
Caleb Hayes, School of Medicine (Fundraising Sub-Committee)
Christina Alexander, Peabody College (Logistics Sub-Committee)
Cristin Quinn, School of Medicine (Fundraising Sub-Committee)
Devin Pinaroc, College of Arts and Sciences (Logistics Sub-Committee)
Elizabeth Rose, School of Medicine (Logistics Sub-Committee)
Jarrod Smith, College of Arts and Sciences (Marketing Sub-Committee)
Jun Li, School of Engineering (Fundraising Sub-Committee)
Nikiruka Arinze, School of Medicine (Logistics Sub-Committee)
Paula McIntyre, School of Medicine (Case Writing Sub-Committee)
Ruchi Roy, College of Arts and Sciences (Logistics Sub-Committee)
Scot Aiello, Peabody College (Case Writing Sub-Committee)
VIGH, SAC Presidents:
Aditya Karhade, School of Engineering
Else Sharp, College of Arts and Sciences