University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

School of Freshwater Sciences

UWM grad student interns at World Health Organization

Katie Gajeski
UWM graduate student Katie Gajeski is interning at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

UWM graduate student Katie Gajeski has been awarded a prestigious World Health Organization (WHO) internship.

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system, and provides leadership on global health matters. Gajeski, a Biological Sciences master’s student co-advised by Shaw Associate Scientist Michael Carvan of the School of Freshwater Sciences and Professor Reinhold Hutz of the Department of Biological Sciences, is spending three months working at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Gajeski’s research at UWM focused on the risks and benefits of fish consumption in Milwaukee’s north side African American population. At WHO, she’s working with internationally recognized epidemiologist Ruth Etzel, developing interventions aimed at improving children’s health as it relates to environmental contaminants.

Gajeski says she looks forward to learning how to use existing research-based knowledge to solve real-world health problems. “I’ve done the research side, and now I’ll get to see the applied side,” she says. “Knowing how to develop and implement an intervention is an important skill to learn.”

“This is an outstanding opportunity for Katie and the result of lots of hard work,” says Carvan. “There is little doubt Katie will do well in Geneva. She conducted her thesis work independently and with exceptional skill and drive, and she will put this enthusiasm and independence to good use as she learns to navigate in a foreign country and work in this new environment.”

The Children’s Environmental Health Sciences Core Center funded Gajeski’s master’s research as a part of the Center’s Community Outreach and Education Core’s work, and is also funding the WHO internship. The Center, supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a cooperative effort between UWM, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the Children's Research Institute of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.