Water Institute Students

Darcy Anderson

Darcy is a PhD candidate and Royster Society fellow who joined UNC and the Water Institute in the fall of 2017. Darcy holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and community health from Tufts University and a Master of Public Health in global health from Emory University.

Darcy’s research interests are founded in understanding and improving implementation of WaSH programs in low- and middle-income countries, and the complex collaboration of communities, policy makers, behavioral scientists, engineers, economists, and many others necessary for effective WaSH service delivery. She applies mixed methods and implementation science and quality improvement frameworks to understand how components of the WaSH system can best work together to improve health and wellbeing in low-resource settings. Her dissertation focuses on mechanisms for improving implementation of rural WaSH programming in Nepal, including identifying and leveraging effective innovations and supporting women in community-based implementation roles. She also collaborates on the Water Institute’s trials of continuous quality improvement to address challenges with implementation of point-of-use water treatment and safe storage in sub-Saharan Africa. She currently leads the impact evaluation of a safe storage trial conducted in Burkina Faso.

In addition to her work on implementation and program quality in rural WaSH, Darcy works with the Water Institute on environmental health in healthcare facilities. She led development of a model and practitioner-friendly toolkit for assessing environmental health costs in healthcare facilities, and applied these tools in the field with data collection in a network of facilities in urban Malawi.

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/darcy-anderson-522b7419a/

Researchgate – https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Darcy_Anderson

GoogleScholar – https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=O9Ou8VEAAAAJ&hl=en

Sarah Bates

Sarah is a Research Assistant at the Water Institute and a first year MSPH student in the department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. As a civil engineering undergraduate at Villanova University, she worked with Profugo, a grassroots non-profit, to investigate water scarcity concerns in a community in Kerala, India. Through this experience, she developed an interest in water security and sustainable water resource management, which she hopes to explore further through her research at the Water Institute.

After graduating from Villanova in 2017, Sarah spent three years at AECOM working as a Water Resources Engineer. She designed Green Stormwater Infrastructure to reduce combined sewer overflow as a consultant for Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City, Clean Waters initiative. Her work at AECOM also focused on hydraulic and hydrologic modelling, and stormwater compliance.

Katharine Conaway

Katharine is a new MSEE student at UNC. She holds a BS in environmental engineering from the University of Alabama. While at UA, she worked in a drinking water lab and participated in an investigation of environmental alternatives to road salts which led to a publication (Terry et al., 2020). Her current research interests include WaSH in developing countries, AMR, waste-related inequities in the US, and climate change.

Terry, L. G., Conaway, K., Rebar, J., & Graettinger, A. J., 2020. Alternative Deicers for Winter Road Maintenance—A Review. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution231(8), 1-29.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-020-04773-x

Timothy Purvis

Timothy is a research assistant at the Water Institute, working primarily on the monitoring and evaluation of water supplies. He is interested in water quality and distribution for rural communities and displaced peoples, with particular focus on communities in the Levant and Central Asia. During his undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, Timothy also worked on technology development, including the prototyping systems for the rapid detection of E. coli in water, and the detection of microplastics in water samples.

Raymond Tu

Raymond Tu is a senior undergraduate student from Ontario, Canada. He is enrolled in the BSPH program with a major in Environmental Health Sciences and minors in chemistry and biology. Over his three years at the Water Institute, he has focused his work on the environmental health conditions in resource-constrained settings, such as refugee camps and healthcare facilities in low- and middle-income countries. He is also working on evidence mapping and risk assessment projects with the US EPA for chemicals such as uranium, vanadium, and arsenic. He hopes to be involved with community-driven work in health equity and global health as a public health and medical practitioner. Aside from his research, Raymond loves watching Jeopardy, drinking lattes at Epilogue, and playing his tenor saxophone.

Abby McNaughton

Abby is a junior undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Studies. She has been working with the Water Institute for one year as a Communications Assistant. She is especially interested in sustainable food and textile systems and environmental justice. In her free time, she loves to sing, cook, and spend time with her friends and family.

Don Fejfar

Donald (Don) Fejfar is a junior Biostatistics BSPH student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Don spends much of his time at UNC playing sports, specifically as captain of the Men’s Water Polo Club and president of the Sports Clubs Executive Council. He also works as the Planning Coordinator for the Minority Health Conference and as a student Board of Trustees member of MedWorld nonprofit. During his free time, you can often find him on the soccer field or basketball court playing pick-up, reading, watching TV, or catching up with his friends at UNC or from home.

Don’s passion for water extends beyond his time in the pool – much of his time is devoted to research with The Water Institute at UNC and the Center for Galapagos Studies, where he has been investigating water quality and security for 3 years. At The Water Institute, he has studied water, sanitation, and hygiene in homeless shelters and orphanages worldwide and the determinants of household water quality in Southern and East African countries. At the Center for Galapagos Studies, Don worked on a study on Isabela island assessing microbial water quality and water access in households in Puerto Villamil.

Don’s work has been supported by various prestigious awards including the Mingma Norbu Sherpa Public Service Award, the Morehead-Cain Foundation Global Perspectives Summer Funding, and the Undergraduate Research Consultant Team Award, which he received in conjunction with his research team.

Interested in Becoming a Water Institute Affiliated Student?

Being a Water Institute affiliated student is a valuable and exciting experience that presents numerous opportunities for growth.

Students affiliated with the Water Institute are registered students at UNC and have active interest in water-health-environment linkages through their own research. Typically, Water Institute students work in water, sanitation, or hygiene research, with faculty advisors affiliated with The Institute. We encourage Water Institute affiliated students to pursue an interdisciplinary outlook on their work, maintain high academic standards and actively network among their fellow Water Institute affiliates. As a Water Institute student affiliate, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Collaborate with other students, share your research ideas and receive feedback in a safe environment.
  • Contribute to ongoing Water Institute research, thereby constantly expanding the comprehensiveness of your own research.
  • Volunteer and receive complimentary registration at Water Institute hosted conferences, which provide excellent learning and networking opportunities with hundreds of professionals from around the world.
  • Be a part of a community that has a shared passion for improving health and promoting development through water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH).

If you are interested in working with the Water Institute, please fill out this form.