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Ford School recognizes 2022 Rebecca A. Copeland Fellows

January 3, 2023

The Ford School is proud to recognize Huda Bashir (MPP/MPH ‘23) and Brynna Thigpen (MPP/MBA ‘23) as the 2022 Rebecca A. Copeland Fellows. They were chosen for their commitment to public service and focus on promoting health equity.

Bashir is currently in the final year of her graduate studies, with a focus on General Epidemiology and Global Health Policy. Her personal background, coupled with her education and professional experiences, have provided her with a unique understanding of the social, political, and economic dynamics that impact disadvantaged communities often overlooked or unsupported by programs and policies at all levels.

She is passionate about understanding racial health inequities in Latin America, with a focus on Brazil and a particular research interest in infectious disease prevention, as well as maternal and child health outcomes. After graduation, Bashir plans to generate research and build relationships with stakeholders that fosters policy formulation which works to eliminate health disparities and improve the health outcomes of historically marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Thigpen is interested in the intersection of policy and business in health care. Originally from northern California, she first became passionate about public health while working with the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in Cameroon in 2015. Motivated by this experience, she worked at a free clinic serving migrant farm workers at her undergraduate institution, the University of California-Davis, before joining a global health advocacy group composed of members from across the University of California system.

She continued to work on global health and development projects in Senegal and Nicaragua, and in 2018, interned with Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's policy and representation team in Washington, DC. Most recently, she worked promoting immunizations in her role as a public health advisor for the CDC in Chicago. Following graduation from U-M, she hopes to pursue health policy reform to expand access and equity, control costs, and increase quality.

The fellowship was established by the Copeland family in fall 2021 in memory of Rebecca Copeland (MPP/MPH ’21). Rebecca passed just months after completing her dual master’s degrees at the University of Michigan and on the verge of beginning a career of tremendous impact in health policy. Rebecca was devoted to achieving health equity by improving health and health care for everyone through bold policy change and health system reform.