Fellows, Interns & Volunteers

Sangath receives scores of researchers, experts, volunteers and interns visiting each year to learn about our work and develop new partnerships.


ANGELA LEOCATA
ANGELA LEOCATA

Angela is an undergraduate at Harvard University, where she studies Anthropology and Psychology and interns at the Harvard Laboratory for Youth Mental Health. She is interested in experiences of mental health for women specifically in South Asia and has returned to India each year since she was sixteen to engage with related projects. At Sangath, she interned with the SHARE project from May to August 2015 to develop the qualitative sub-study and support in-field interventions and returned as a Harvard Hanzich Global Health Fellow from May to August 2016 to analyze qualitative data and continue with intervention support. Angela hopes to pursue combined higher studies in Public Health and Medical Anthropology to better understand lived experiences of maternal mental health to inform interventions.

SYDNEY CHURCH
SYDNEY CHURCH

Sydney is from the UK, an undergraduate studying cultural anthropology at the 'School of Oriental and African studies' in London. Her opinion about Sangath is "not only is my time here at Sangath invaluable for learning more about research methods, but I am also allowed to participate in projects to a much greater extent than I expected whilst simultaneously furthering my interest in medical anthropology. I have been well guided throughout my time here and have found it a very enriching experience so far, not just because of what I have learnt but also because of the people I work with ".

SABRINA LIU
SABRINA LIU

Sabrina comes to Sangath from her position as a clinical research coordinator at the Harvard Laboratory of Adult Development in the US. She interned with the PASS project from September to December 2013, where she is working on a number of different activities related to the research arm, including data collection, compilation, and analysis for baseline and end-point assessments and helping to adapt training curriculum materials for local use. She also assisted with school health counsellor training through the SHAPE project. After Sangath, Sabrina plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology in order to continue doing research and clinical work in the fields of youth psychology and global mental health.

HEENA HALDONKAR
HEENA HALDONKAR

HEENA HALDONKAR
HEENA HALDONKAR

Heena Haldonkar Was studying in Goa College of Homscience and specialized in Human Development. She is currently doing an internship in Sangath under Dr Amit Dias for research on DIL. She is interested in conducting further research regarding children and adult mental health.

PAIGE ENDSLEY
PAIGE ENDSLEY

Paige is currently pursuing her MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in Epidemiology with the Global Health Certificate. She is completing her Master's Practicum at Sangath where she is working on the DIL project. Paige is hoping to gain quantitative and qualitative analytical skills as well as experience in global mental health research.

DIKSHA MANDREKAR
DIKSHA MANDREKAR

Diksha is studying Masters in Social Work at Don Bosco College, Panjim Goa. She is interested in working with children with developmental disabilities and working with youth and the elderly. She enjoys sketching, painting and loves playing badminton and handball.

RUTH FERNANDES
RUTH FERNANDES

Ruth Fernandes is studying Masters of Social Work at Don Bosco College, Panjim Goa. She is interested in working with children with developmental disabilities, orphaned children and with youth and adolescents and the elderly. She enjoys sports and loves playing and watching football, basketball, volleyball, etc. She is also interested in music, socializing, dancing and reading books.

Anja Waldmeier
Anja Waldmeier

Anja is a masters student in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology at the University of Basel where she is working on a research project about self-esteem and the study performance of students in India. She earlier worked as a tutor in statistics at the university.     Anja has done a five-week internship at the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2012 and a three-month internship in a psychosomatic clinic in Rheinfelden, Switzerland. Last semester she was part of a student exchange programme in Nantes, France. She also works in a coffee shop.  

Boby Xavier
Boby Xavier

Boby Xavier is currently a PhD research student in clinical psychology and psychotherapy at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He is studying the Indian caste system and its influence on study performance and self-esteem.     Having completed his graduation in English Literature, he did a masters in Christian Studies and also in Counselling Psychology. He has earlier worked as a counseling psychologist in Ashwas Counselling Centre in Kochi, Kerala, as a counsellor in schools in Kerala and Gwalior and as an assistant to a psychiatrist in Kerala’s St Joseph’s Hospital.

DIKSHA BRAHMBHATT
DIKSHA BRAHMBHATT

Diksha is an undergraduate at Yale University where she is an Anthropology major, a Global Health Fellow and a pre-medical student. She is interested in combining medical anthropology and psychiatry for a more holistic understanding of mental disorders, particularly in adolescents. At Sangath, she is working on the PRIDE project, helping to develop a transdiagnostic intervention for emotional and behavioral disorders in schools. At the Yale School of Public Health, she has worked on a texting-based breastfeeding intervention for mothers and conducted qualitative analysis. After graduating, she hopes to pursue an MPH as well as an MD/PhD in psychiatry and anthropology.  

MIZUKI TAKEGATA
MIZUKI TAKEGATA

Mizuki is a PhD candidate of Dept. of Midwifery and Women's Health, Division of Health Science and Nursing, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo, Japan. Her research interest is to develop antenatal care for enhancing psychosocial adaptation of mothers through the perinatal period.

DR. ABHIJIT NADKARNI
DR. ABHIJIT NADKARNI

Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni is an addiction psychiatrist conducting research aimed at developing and evaluating interventions for alcohol use disorders in low resource settings. He was a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK and is currently based in Sangath, Goa where he leads the Addictions Research Group. Having completed his medical degree and a specialized degree in psychiatry in Goa, India; he further pursued his post graduate training in General Adult and Addictions Psychiatry under the South London and Maudsley training scheme in UK. He then earned a Masters in Mental Health Services Research from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London and did his doctoral studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research interests encompass global mental health, and particularly alcohol use disorders. Having recently completed one of the largest cohort study exploring the progression of alcohol use disorders in India, he is currently leading programmes to develop and evaluate a lay counsellor delivered complex intervention for alcohol dependence in low resource settings and to develop a supportive psychosocial intervention for family members of people with alcohol problems. He is actively involved in the capacity building of mental health researchers and lay health workers. He teaches on the Global Mental Health MSc course at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Leadership in Mental Health course in Goa and a similar course hosted by the World Health Organisation-Eastern Mediterranean Region Office.

JOTHEESWARAN T
JOTHEESWARAN T

 Jotheeswaran Thiyagarajan is pursuing his PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's college, London, UK. He also holds post graduate qualifications in psychiatric research from the University of London.      His research interest lies in ageing and chronic diseases. His work through the COPE project involved developing packages of care that address relevant impairments (mobility, behaviour, mood, nutrition, hydration, continence) horizontally across underlying health conditions (dementia, stroke, heart disease, Parkinson's disease, arthritis).      He also investigated the feasibility of community-based intervention constructed for frail dependent older people.

NADJA VAN GINNEKAN
NADJA VAN GINNEKAN

 Nadja is a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She trained as a general practitioner (family physician) in the UK and has a Masters in Public Health.      She has experience in the field of community health research and evaluation in Senegal, South Africa and India.      She is leading the DELIVER project at Sangath to explore the roles of non-mental health specialists in mental health care delivery in India as part of her PhD.

SUNITA SINGH
SUNITA SINGH

 Sunita has done her masters in Population and Reproductive Health Research from Mahidol University, Bangkok. In the past, she has worked with several non-governmental organisations on issues of reproductive and maternal health.      She was one of the coordinators of a community monitoring project across nine states of India funded by Government of India. She is currently a Research Fellow under the PRIME project. Her PhD is linked with London School of Hygiene and Tropic Medicine on Maternal Mental Health.

DR LISA ARONSON
DR LISA ARONSON

 Dr Lisa Aronson was a Fulbright-Nehru lecturer affiliated with Sangath from August to February 2010. At Sangath, she worked with the school programme SHAPE; the "mothers" at the orphanage Konseisanv Balgram, in Verna, Goa; as well as an intervention for a future Sangath project addressing the psychological needs of children with emotional disorders belonging to socially disadvantaged rural families.      She has worked as a clinical child psychologist and social worker. Lisa directed the Child Evaluation Division of the Trauma Psychiatry Service at the University of California and the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She also served on the faculties of the Department of Psychiatric Medicine at University of Virginia School of Medicine, and the Graduate Center for Child Development and Psychotherapy.      She has worked with mental health professionals and paraprofessionals regarding trauma and bereavement following disasters. 

MIRAJ U DESAI
MIRAJ U DESAI

 Miraj was a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at Fordham University (New York, USA) and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association Minority Fellowship Program.      He worked with Sangath on the ARTI project, specifically helping to design and implement the qualitative research component. After spending four months in Goa, he returned to work with ARTI and collected data for his own PhD thesis focused on parents' experiences of children with special needs.    Miraj found his time at Sangath to be an “exciting, challenging, and life-changing experience.”  

MIRJA KOSCHORKE
MIRJA KOSCHORKE

 Mirja is a Psychiatrist and Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Fellow of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK. She completed her core psychiatric training in Oxford, UK, in 2008 (MRCPsych) and holds further postgraduate qualifications in Public Health and Development Management.     Her research interests lie in global mental health and the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.     She was a member of the Sangath Institutional Review Board and the coordinator of the qualitative component of the COPSI trial.

LUISA STRIK-LIEVERS
LUISA STRIK-LIEVERS

 Luisa Strik-Lievers is a child psychiatrist and neurologist, working in Milan, Italy. Her clinical interests lie in migration issues, mother-child interaction and developmental disorders. She studied the genetics of autism for her PhD and is a researcher in this area at the University of Milan.      She came to Sangath for a month to collaborate on the ARTI project and to learn a little bit about the way child psychiatry is approached in India.

SAMUEL WALDRON
SAMUEL WALDRON

 Having decided to take a career break and travel and work in India, Samuel found the Sangath website and was very impressed with the work we did. His background is in child mental health, and he was able to spend two weeks helping us develop some anti-bullying work in schools.     In his own words, "I felt it was a very worthwhile experience and it has been great to see how other countries approach similar problems to those faced in the UK. Met lots of great people too!"

JOANNA BARRET
JOANNA BARRET

 Joanna was a speech and language therapist on a career break when she volunteered at Sangath for two weeks in two of our projects.     One was assisting a unit for children with autism in communicaion strategies and answering their questions. The other was training school health counsellors on stratgies to help pupils that stammer.     She said, "The work has been very varied and it has been great to see how other cultures work. I would highly recommend Sangath as a great place to volunteer."

SABRINA SCHMELZLE
SABRINA SCHMELZLE

 Sabrina is a psychiatrist from Germany and was associated with Sangath as a volunteer. Having worked for 10 years as a clinician in Germany, she was immensely influenced by Dr Vikram Patel’s lecture and decided to become a student.      Pursuing her Masters in International health at the Charité in Berlin, she volunteered with Sangath as part of her sudies. She helped prepare manuals for training community health workers and health counsellors for the Vidharba project.     Sabrina’s main passion lies in improving the quality of life for people with mental disorders, especially the most marginalised ones and in preventing suicide. She loves travelling, meeting people from different cultures and their music, which actually makes her enjoy the cramped bus trips to the office.

REVATHI KRISHNA
REVATHI KRISHNA

 Revathi N Krishna works as an honorary consultant with the SHARE project. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Trauma Recovery Lab, Monash Injury Research Institute, at Melbourne's Monash University in Australia. Before moving to Australia, Revathi worked as a Family and Children's Clinician with a Community Mental Health Organization in the USA.      She holds as Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Morehead State University, USA and a triple-focus Bachelor of Arts from Bangalore University, India in Psychology, Journalism and English Literature.     Revathi hopes to gain expertise in mental health delivery in resource-constrained settings and gain a global mental health and public health perspective, not to mention, contribute to the well-being of her own fellow citizens in her time at Sangath and wants to ultimately pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology followed by an active research, mentoring and practice career as a world-class mental health professional.

AMANDA GRAVERSEN
AMANDA GRAVERSEN

 Amanda visited us from Denmark for six months. She studied Education Theory and Practice at an international institute for social educators.      At Sangath, Amanda participated in her second internship; she worked for the ARTI project. Amanda previously worked with adolescents who have different mental and physical disorders including autism for more than a year.      She enjoyed the experience, where she met people of diverse backgrounds and learned from them.

ANA EDUARDA RIBEIRO
ANA EDUARDA RIBEIRO

 Ana was a fourth-year psychiatry resident working at Magalhães Lemos Psychiatric Hospital in Porto, Portugal. Throughout her training, Ana focused her clinical interests in public mental health interventions and psychiatric epidemiology.      She came to Sangath for three months, along with her collegue and friend Mónica, to collaborate primarily with the COPSI trial and improve her knowledge in community interventions.    Both Ana and Mónica value and believe in the ability to make accountable medical interventions with limited resources.

ANUSHKA PATEL
ANUSHKA PATEL

 Anushka is originally from Mumbai but studied psychology at Carleton College in Minnesota, USA. She worked with several NGOs in the past but insisted that Sangath was one of the best, since it combined her twin passions of research in mental health with social service.      At Sangath, Anushka spent six weeks editing training manuals and materials for the website, participating in a workshop on psychoeducation and coding qualitative interviews.     Besides her experience at Sangath, Anushka has enjoyed exploring Goa’s lush beauty in the monsoon.

AURORA KAZI BASSETT
AURORA KAZI BASSETT

 Aurora was a junior at Stanford University, where she was an Urban Studies major. She was interested in urban health, particularly mental health, in the developing world, which is why she chose to work at Sangath.      She interned at for eight weeks under the Urban Fellows programme, working on various projects including qualitative research coding, editing of manuals and participating in the Inter-personal Therapy workshop.      Aurora plans to work on her senior thesis while she still has the support and expertise of Sangath’s staff. She says, “Living and working in Goa in the monsoon has been beautiful and educational and I hope I'll be back sometime soon.”

ANUSHA RAJA
ANUSHA RAJA

 Anusha was a rising senior at Yale University where she majored in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology with a concentration is Neurobiology.      During her years of study, she has cultivated an interest in connecting medical anthropology and global health. She aims to understand how to apply medical anthropology research in medical facilities and in public health interventions. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a MD/PhD in Anthropology with dreams of becoming a phsyician-anthropologist professor.      As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, Anusha conducted independent medical anthropology research with Sangath on the DELIVER project. She looked at the attitudes and roles of non-specialist health workers in providing mental health care and loving the experience.

CHELSIE HOLLAS
CHELSIE HOLLAS

 Chelsie was a student at Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health where she studied Master's in Public Health degree in Epidemiology.      She interned with the COPSI team and visited Sangath for two months. Her background is in psychology and medical science and she hoped to pursue a medical degree after finishing her MPH.      As a public health student, Chelsie said she gained experience and knowledge in community-based interventions for mental illnesses and improve her skills in research. 

DIVYA KUMAR
DIVYA KUMAR

 A mental health professional with seven years experience in various clinical, community and rehabilitative settings in Delhi, Divya was a student of MSc Public Health in Developing Countries at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.      She has joined Sangath as an intern with PREMIUM for her summer project. Never giving up her hope to one day see a Utopian world, Divya was passionate about mental health issues and was always making efforts towards improving quality of mental health services in developing countries or just anywhere in the world. Divya loved reading, writing, driving, photography and sketching.

EVA GONSALVES
EVA GONSALVES

 She was a fifth-year psychiatry resident working at Centro Hospitalar Psiquiatrico de Lisboa, Portugal. She enjoyed the clinical work in community settings where she believed much can be done to improve the mental health, quality of life and well-being of psychiatric patients and families.      Eva came to Sangath for one and half months to collaborate primarily with the Dementia Project and improve her knowledge in community interventions with limited resources.

EKATA PHAL DESAI
EKATA PHAL DESAI

 Ekata was a management graduate from Xavier’s Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship, Bangalore; specialising in Human Resource Management.     She interned at Sangath for three weeks and assisted in conducting research for the COPE project. She believed that the internship helped her gain an insight and experience about how an NGO operates and also the condition of the elderly suffering from chronic diseases.

HANNAH MOGUL-ADLIN
HANNAH MOGUL-ADLIN

 Hannah was studying her second year at Yale University, and internined for two months at Sangath. She was majoring in Anthropology and planned to go on to study public health.      She was introduced to Sangath through reading papers by Dr Vikram Patel in her medical anthropology class, and was very excited to be working on the SHAPE project. She gained hands-on experience with community-based health interventions that she hoped to apply to her future work.

JOANN FERNANDES
JOANN FERNANDES

 Joann was a MBA student of Goa University specialising in Human Resource Management when she began her internship at Sangath as a part of an Independent Study Course on ‘Management of Not for Profit Organizations’.      It was Sangath’s commitment to child and adolescent development that first attracted her to the organisation. She believes that this internship will help her gain enriching insights and experience about the realities of running of a non-profit organisation.      Her guiding principle in life is, ‘When actions speak, words become inaudible’.

MELISSA CRANFORD
MELISSA CRANFORD

 Melissa was a medical student at Brown University. She is interested in mental health care issues among African American women and the design of programmes that make mental health services more accessible to them.      She spent four weeks of her summer at Sangath working on the MANAS project to gain a better understanding of integrating mental health services into the primary health care level.      The knowledge and experience gained went towards informing her project with African-American women in her college town- Providence, Rhode Island.

MONICA SANTOS
MONICA SANTOS

 Mónica was a medical doctor on her fourth-year of psychiatry training at Magalhães Lemos Psychiatric Hospital in Porto, Portugal. After a travel through India, encouraged by her Goan ancestors, Mónica joined Sangath for a period of three months to participate primarily in theCOPSI trial, in order to improve her knowledge about community mental health interventions.

NEIL KRISHNA AGGARWAL
NEIL KRISHNA AGGARWAL

 Neil was a resident psychiatrist at Yale University. After medical school, he completed his graduate coursework in the religion and anthropology of South Asia. He is interested in cultural psychiatry, psychiatric anthropology,and global mental health.

REBECCA HOCK
REBECCA HOCK

 Rebecca was a PhD student at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States. She studied in the department of mental health with a focus on psychiatric epidemiology.     She was at Sangath for 10 weeks and worked primarily with the MANAS team on both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Rebecca greatly enjoyed her experience at Sangath and thought the best part was working with the Sangath staff as well as with other interns.     In her own words, “It is great to meet people who come from different backgrounds but have common interests.”

NEHA JOSHI
NEHA JOSHI

 Neha was a student of media studies from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune. Originally from Goa, she spent six weeks interning at Sangath in the communication department.      She spent this time editing psychology manuals, helping with marketing and working on the website. She planned to specialise in journalism and thoroughly enjoyed her internship at Sangath.

ALOK SHARMA
ALOK SHARMA

 Alok was a student of MBA from Goa Institute of Management. He earlier earned a BE from Lingayas Institute of Management and Technology, Faridabad and had worked as Marketing Engineer with ABB Ltd for four years.      He helped out with marketing and fundraising for Sangath during his internship.

ANKUR MISHRA
ANKUR MISHRA

 Ankur was pursuing a PGDM programme at Goa Institute of Management. Electronics & Communication.     He studied to be an engineer from Jaypee University of Information Technology, Solan, and had worked in different KPO’s in different areas. At Sangath, he worked on administration and induction policies.

ASHWIN S GADGIL
ASHWIN S GADGIL

 Having completed his graduation in mechanical engineering from Government Engineering College, Ujjain, Ashwin began pursing a PGDM programme at Goa Institute of Management.      He worked in the aeronautical industry for four years and worked on the human resources and recruitment policies of Sangath.

GAYATRI IYER
GAYATRI IYER

 Gayatri studied PGDM from Goa Institute of Management and had done her bachelors in Journalism and Communication Studies from Manipal University.      She interned with Sangath as a part of her course's corporate social responsibility project. Working for the marketing department, her work primarily focused on building a wider network base for Sangath and organising a fund-raising event.      She believed that working for Sangath would give her an insight into the working of an NGO and share its objective of serving the society.

HARSH JAIN
HARSH JAIN

 Harsh was a management student at Goa institute of management, on a six-month internship with Sangath. He looked into aspects of managing and  improving the file handling system of Sangath along with implementation of MIS reports.      He previously worked with Aarushi NGO  and was responsible for recording books through JAWS software for blind children. He has professional experience of 30 months in the IT sector.

VEDANT DANI
VEDANT DANI

Vendant studied MBA from Goa Institute of Management. He has a BE from University of Technology, Bhopal and had worked as Planning Engineer with L & T for three years.  At Sangath, he worked on the file management and MIS.

SHIVANGI KHATTAR
SHIVANGI KHATTAR

Shivangi Khattar is a graduate student at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Clinical Psychology department. She is the Student Ambassador for the Child and Family Concentration at Columbia University. She is very passionate about global mental health and stigma, especially autism research in developing countries. At Sangath, she is visiting to especially conduct a follow-up on the PASS trial conducted in 2014, with Dr. Gauri Divan and Vivek Vajaratkar. She is interested in exploring the sustainability and perceived benefits from the parents about the PASS intervention, in order for PASS to be scaled up in the future. After her M.A, she hopes to pursue her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the U.K. or U.S.A. to then return to start her practice in India.

URVITA BHATIA
URVITA BHATIA

Urvita Bhatia is a psychologist and epidemiologist. She trained in Clinical Psychology in India before going to the UK to completea MSc in Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is now based at the Addictions Research Group at Sangath, Goa, India where she coordinates the Grand Challenges Canada-funded project called Supporting Addiction Affected Families Effectively (SAFE). The focus of the project is to develop a psychosocial treatment for family members affected by addiction. She is a Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance Research Training Fellow and her Fellowship project involves the preliminary evaluation of the SAFE intervention through a Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial. Her experience includes working as apsychologist in a range of settings, researcher and intervention facilitator for the South Asian Hub for the Advocacy, Research and Education in Mental Health (SHARE) project in Sangath (India), visiting researcher at the Mental Health Innovation Network (Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and Department for Mental Health and Substance Abuse at the World Health Organisation), and science information assistant at MQ: Transforming Mental Health (UK).

NATHALIE
NATHALIE

“Nathalie is a recent MPH graduate from Cambridge University and spent the last year working as a life-course epidemiologist in Canada. Her thesis and subsequent research explored early life predictors of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, suicide, depression and alcohol abuse. In the summer of 2016, she interned with Sangath as part of the SAFE and CONTAD programs in order to gain experience in a more applied environment. After Sangath, Nathalie began medical school at McGill University, Canada, where she hopes to continue applying research and clinical knowledge to the field of global mental health."