About Me

Hi, my name is Sara. I am a MPH graduate of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at The Johns Hopkins University.  I served in the Peace Corps as a Non-Formal Education Volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa from 2011-2013. I also worked at the Santa Clara County Public Health Department as an infectious disease epidemiologist.

I am starting a PhD in public health at the University of California, Irvine this September.

Let’s rewind!

Before Peace Corps, I graduated from the  University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Education.

Music is still an integral part of my life, however my time in the Peace Corps oriented me towards public health.  In West Africa, they often say, La Sante Avant Tous, which means health before everything else. If people have poor health, they can’t go to school or work. I want to help promote public health and find out why things aren’t working and contributing to poor public health practices.

Playing Viola at the Swearing-In Ceremony for New Volunteers at the US. Ambassador to Burkina Faso's Residence in Ouagadougou

Sara in Sheffield, England, UKMe and the Chief of the Women (pagb-naaba) at the International Women's Day Celebration (8 Mars)


7 responses to “About Me

  1. Hi Sara… I am your 4th (5th?) cousin on your dad’s side. Your grandmother is my great-grandfather’s niece (I think I have that right!) My sons & I will be eagerly following your adventures over the next two years. What you’re doing is amazing and we wish you much success. Good Luck!

    Toni (Kushner) Nee

  2. linda marcuccilli

    Hi Sara! I attended the medical sociology course taught by your mom at wsu and heard a great lecture on economics presented by your dad! Your parents are awesome people and i see you are following closely in their footsteps! I look forward to reading about your journey with the peace corps and only wish the best of luck, great experiences, health and happiness as you make your mark in this world!! All the best, Linda Marcuccilli

  3. Michael Edelstein

    Dear Sara, my name is Michael, i am moving to
    Burkina for 3 months to work with WHO. I am also Jewish, and keen to meet up others for the odd friday night dinner/chagim etc… Drop me an email, would be great to meet up!

  4. Hi Sara……Jalysa and I were checking out your blog when I did a google search for Tansagex as she is schooling me on how to make liquid soap!! Hope you are doing well in the US of A!! Crystal

    • Hi Crystal!

      Thanks for checking out my blog! I hope all is well in BF. Things are going well. I’m really enjoying my Biostats and Epi classes. Applying to MPH programs is a bit of a pain, but hopefully I will get into a program that wants me as much as I want to be there.

      Stay cool during mini-hot season!

  5. Good Day Sara,

    Sorry to bother you. My name is Ray Blakney and I am a RPCV from Mexico. I am working on a 3rd goal project with the PC regional offices and the main office in DC to try to create an online archive to keep the language training material made all over the world from getting lost. I have created a sub-section on my website with all the information I have been able to get to date (from over the web and sent to me directly by PC staff and PCV’s). I currently have close to 100 languages with ebooks, audios and even some videos.

    The next step for this project is that I am trying to get the world out about this resource so that it can not only be used by PCV’s or those accepted into the Peace Corps, but also so that when people run across material that is not on the site they can send it to me and I can get it up for everybody to use. I was hoping that you could help getting the word out by putting a link on this on your site at:


    so that people know it is there. There should be something there for almost everybody. It is all 100% free to use and share. Here is the page:


    Thanks for any help you can provide in making this 3rd goal project a success. And if anybody in your group has some old material they can scan or already have in digital form, and want to add to the archive, please don’t hesitate to pass them my email. Thanks and have a great day.

    Ray Blakney

  6. Hi Sara, great blog. I was a volunteer in Benin for three year and was recently hired to help out with the West Africa Food Security Partnership Program. Can you recommend any blogs of fellow PCVs that were involved with Food Security projects? Thanks!

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