Students from UNH and Rivier University Top Annual Poster Session

Zachary Ahmad-Kahloon and Ashley Hall were the winners of the student poster session awards at the annual meeting in April. The judges of the 14 poster presentations used criteria including relevance of subject; rigor of project methodology; voice projection and audience engagement; and use of graphs and images. The outstanding presentations showcased Hall’s and Ahmad-Kahloon’s passion for community health and social justice.
 
Zachary Ahmad-Kahloon is a prevention specialist in the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP), a crisis center at the University of New Hampshire. He began volunteering as an advocate in 2010, and joined the SHARPP staff four years ago. While working at the center, Zak has pursued graduate studies in the university’s MPH program, from which he graduates in May. He also is active in campus activities related to his interest in the intersection of sexual violence prevention and social justice. He chairs the UNH President’s Commission on the Status of LGBTQ+ People and serves on the advisory boards of the Association of Title IX Coordinators (ATIXA) and the Leadership Council of the Campus Advocacy and Prevention Professionals Association (CAPPA).

Zak’s poster project, done in conjunction with the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, examines the disconnect between the high rates of sexual and domestic violence experienced by LGBTQ+ People and the lower than expected rates of service utilization. Through interviews and data analysis, he identified a need for funding, reconsidered shelter models, and relationship building cross-agency. He hopes that the results of his project will serve as a foundation for future work with other underserved populations in New Hampshire.

Ashley Hall graduates in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health from Rivier University. As a student, she held several part-time jobs and was active in student affairs and student government, including serving as president of the Student Public Health Association, a peer mentor, a student ambassador, and a Student Government Association senator. She also volunteers every year at the Special Olympics in Boston. She plans to pursue graduate studies in public health and eventually hold a position as an infection preventionist in a hospital. 

Ashley’s poster project, co-authored with Ashley Conley, developed from an internship at Catholic Medical Center (CMC), where she was mentored by Conley, the hospital’s director of infection prevention. Her project focused on evaluating current hand hygiene compliance at CMC, which is critical to ensuring a healthy work environment and safe care for all patients. The aim of the project was to increase hand hygiene compliance to more than 90%. The project included a quiz, hand hygiene observations, completing the World Health Organization Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework, and leading educational programs. The information gathered was used to develop a hand hygiene program utilizing the Influencer Behavior Change Model by appointing hand hygiene champions to monitor compliance and address missed hand hygiene opportunities among co-workers.
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