Emily Lyles, B.A. '10, M.P.A. '12, student in the M.A. in Global Affairs and Human Security program, has been selected for a prestigious and competitive internship with the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, May 1-June 15.
Her internship project is an examination of the extent to which certain psychotropics (mental health drugs) in the Interagency Emergency Health Kit are reaching field destinations in emergencies. These kits are requested by "operators"—organizations providing health-related humanitarian assistance—and are intended to meet primary medical needs in the earliest phase of a humanitarian disaster, before specific needs and capacity have been identified. Most of the suppliers are nongovernmental organizations, U.N. agency divisions or pharmaceutical corporations.
"In particular, my work in the M.P.A. at UB instilled a passion for program monitoring and evaluation," Lyles says. "In this context, my goal is to work in evaluating mental health services in the response efforts I mentioned. Last fall, I had the opportunity to perform an internship with Management Sciences for Health (an international NGO in Arlington, Va.) developing a monitoring and evaluation tool for two of their pharmaceutical management programs."
Lyles will also have the opportunity to perform other technical tasks, as they arise, regarding mental health. "Essentially, I will be doing things as an intern that are what I hope to do as a career once I finish my education," she says. "The WHO is the highest level at which I can work in this field based on my interests. It really is a dream come true—plus Geneva in the spring is supposed to be beautiful!"