Howard Brown Health Welcomes the 2024 Shapen Fellows

(May 24, 2024 – Chicago, IL) – Every summer, Howard Brown Health supports a group of up to six undergraduate fellows through the Gregory Shapen Public Health Fellowship program. The program was established in June 2020 after a $1 million gift from George and Juanita Shapen, which was the largest private gift received by Howard Brown in its history at that time.

Our Shapen Fellows work with teams across Howard Brown during the summer on projects relating to LGBTQ+ health. This year’s class of Shapen Fellows are:

Ari Zweibaum

Ari Zweibaum (she/they) is an undergraduate student heading into her senior year studying psychology and LGBTQ+ studies at the University of Michigan. She volunteers as a research assistant at the University of Michigan’s Research on Anti-Racism and Gender Equity (RAGE) Lab. They are extremely passionate about advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and equity in all forms, including mental and physical healthcare. She hopes to create more accessibility and public awareness among transgender and gender-diverse individuals.

Grace Courter

Grace Courter (she/her) is an undergraduate student at Loyola University Chicago majoring in Public Health and Education. She is deeply passionate about public health and global health equity and is dedicated to addressing disparities among marginalized communities and promoting well-being on a global scale. Courter is enthusiastic about catalyzing impactful change for LGBTQ+ health and empowering individuals to prioritize both personal and community well-being.

Ifeyinwa Allanah

Ifeyinwa Allanah (she/her) is a psychology major at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She is a research student at the Health Psychology Lab and her interests include women’s and pediatric clinical psychology, relationships, and mental health. She has also done work related to sexual and gender minority Muslim health. She looks forward to her commitment as a Shapen Fellow and the work she will be doing for LGBTQ+ public health and community medicine.

Naima McRoberts

Naima McRoberts (she/her) is a third-year student at Oberlin College majoring in psychology and Africana studies and concentrating on global health. At Oberlin, she is a member of a health psychology lab, studying the impact of poverty and inequality on health behaviors. Currently, McRoberts is working for a chronic pain patient-led advocacy organization called Tight Lipped, assisting with maintaining their database. McRoberts is inspired by Howard Brown’s commitment to impact and values-driven work in the healthcare sphere and is excited about the opportunity to get involved in their mission through the Shapen Fellowship.

Pietro Juvara

Pietro Juvara (he/him) is studying Gender and Sexuality Studies and Law, Letters, and Society at the University of Chicago. He has an interest in public health, focused on HIV/AIDS and research on how medical stigma is produced and reinforced by various legal and social mechanisms. Juvara was drawn to the Shapen Fellowship because of how important he believes it is for the legal and political side of public health to be synergistic with the clinical side.

Sophia Hwang

Sophia Hwang (she/her) is a rising senior studying biology and Spanish at Denison University. She is passionate about utilizing science to advance social justice efforts and has a research background in the consequences of sociopolitical oppression, particularly as it gives rise to disproportionately high rates of Type II diabetes in Latinx/Hispanic and South Asian communities. She is passionate about reducing language barriers in medicine. As a Shapen Fellow, Hwang hopes to expand her understanding of health as a sociopolitical issue, while being involved in projects to improve the well-being of the LGBTQ+ community and other underserved populations in Chicago.

By supporting paid internship opportunities for underrepresented LGBTQ undergraduates, the Shapen Fellowship encourages the professional development of future leaders with interests in LGBTQ health. For more information about the Gregory Shapen Public Health Fellowship, you can visit its homepage on the Howard Brown Health website.


Rooted in LGBTQ+ liberation, Howard Brown Health provides affirming healthcare and mobilizes for social justice as an agent of change for individual wellbeing and community empowerment. Howard Brown envisions a future where healthcare and transformative social policies actualize human rights and equity for all. Howard Brown offers primary care, behavioral health, and social services at 10 clinics across the city, regardless of ability to pay.

Media Inquiries:
Wren O’Kelley, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing


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