2020 Interns

Sahiti Pottlapelli 

Sahiti is a rising senior at Tulane University from Southern California. She is earning a dual degree by majoring in Communications and Economics. On campus she is involved with student government, the sustainability committee, and is a community service fellow. Sahiti is interested in reproductive health and is excited to join the ACTIONS team.

2019 Interns 

Brittany Ferrell, RN, Washington University in St. Louis MPH candidate, 2020 

Brittany Ferrell is a community activist, organizer, and registered nurse from St. Louis, Missouri. Just a year before graduating from University of Missouri-St. Louis with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Brittany fully committed herself to organizing during and after the Ferguson Uprising following the murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August of 2014. During that time Brittany co-founded Millennial Activists United (MAU)-- Black and queer women-led organization that facilitated intentional civic engagement and strategic political action during the Ferguson Uprising.

Brittany worked as a registered nurse working in the high-risk labor and delivery unit of a local St. Louis hospital. Though she devoted an incredible number of hours, days, and nights of her life to the Ferguson Uprising of 2014, which is well chronicled in the documentary Whose Streets, Brittany earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 2015.

Today, Brittany is an Olin Fellow pursuing her Master’s in Public Health in the Brown School with interests in reproductive health and the intersection of race, class, and health. Brittany is a transformative member of the St. Louis community in her own right, a force of nature for social justice. While currently sitting on the board of St. Louis’ first and only Black owned equal access midwifery clinic, she is also a prison abolition organizer with the city’s Close the Workhouse campaign. She began working as a Fellow with the Black Future Lab in the beginning of 2018. More recently, Brittany took on the title of first-time filmmaker in her creation of You Lucky You Got A Mama, a documentary film that explores Black pregnancy in America. In her commitment to the overall well-being and power building for all Black people, Brittany believes it is not only our duty to fight for our freedom – it is also our duty.

Rachel Applewhite, Harvard School of Public Health MPH candidate, 2019

Rachel Applewhite is a Master of Public Health Candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she is studying Global Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. Her passion to pursue her MPH and continue working in the field of maternal health and reproductive justice evolved during her service as a Community Health Promoter with the Peace Corps in Peru. Rachel  is dedicated to working at institutions that are aimed at improving the health of vulnerable populations and increasing their access to health services both nationally and globally. Additionally, she has conducted quantitative and qualitative small-scale research in Somaliland and has taken various courses on mix-methods research, program evaluation, and reproductive justice.  is excited to be working with Dr. McLemore and her team at UCSF and Roots of Labor Birth Collective this summer to continue researching ways to improve access to reproductive health care for people of color in the US.

Olga Smith, RN, UCSF MA candidate, 2020

Olga Smith is a California native who graduated with her associate's degree in nursing in 2001 from Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. After a notable career at some of the highest ranked quaternary children's hospitals in the country, she joined the team at Benioff Children's Hospital in San Francisco, CA in 2016 where she continues to provide evidence based, patient centered care.  She acquired her BSN online through West Coast University in 2016.  She is currently in the Master's Health Policy Program at UCSF school of nursing, on track to graduate in 2020.