Welcome || New Emergency Food Assistance and Food Security Study Students

Nathan Ruhde and Uva Desari

The Swetland Center continues to grow as we welcome two students to the Emergency Food Assistance and Food Security Study. Learn more about Nathan Ruhde and Uva Desari below!

Nathan Ruhde, MPH Candidate

1. What project will you be working on and what is your role?

I will be working on the Emergency Food Assistance and Food Security study as a Research
Assistant. I will help the leaders of the study create a code book for their human subjects data. I
will also help them code the data and also assist in manuscript preparation.

2. Where are you from?

I am from Aurora, IL, which is a suburb of Chicago.

3. What is your background in?

I did most of my undergraduate work in global health, economics, and qualitative research.

4. What excites you about joining the Swetland Center?

I am excited to learn more about all of the ways the Swetland Center has a positive impact on
the Cleveland community.

5. What is your favorite outdoor space in Cleveland or a place you want to explore?

I would love to explore Brandywine Falls.

6. What is a piece of advice you have been given or quote/statement that is significant
to you?

Build bridges between yourself and other people and other things you care about because even
if you don’t need to use that bridge in the moment, you never know when you or someone else
might need to use it in the future.


Uva Desari, MPH Candidate

1. What project will you be working on and what is your role?

I will be working on the Emergency Food Assistance and Food Security Study (EFAFS) at the
Swetland Center under Owusua Y’s mentorship. My initial role will be that I will be translating
interviews which will be used for the larger goal in the project. I’m excited to learn and take
part in researching health inequities community members face and addressing their
nutritional health to some degree through her role on the team.

2. Where are you from?

I am currently an IGS Student at Case Western Reserve University pursuing a B.A. in Chemical
Biology and Masters in Public Health, but I’m originally from Bay Area, California. At home, I
enjoy hiking, trying new coffee shops with my dad, and serving my community in some
capacity.

3. What is your background in?

My background includes clinical research at Case Western School of Medicine on a Microbiology project. I also work for the Cuyahoga County Youth Work Institute in connecting with Youth Development Programs and focusing on a Mental Health SAMHSA Grant. Most of my work comes from health policy background and being an advocate for my community through different avenues such as work and volunteering. 

4. What excites you about joining the Swetland Center?

I am excited to serve my community in some capacity and studying the connecting between
health and environment. More specifically, I’m excited to work on my project about increasing
food security in the greater Cleveland area by learning about health inequities. I hope to take
what I learn and translate that to formulation of ways to mitigate food insecurity. I’m eager to
connect with individuals who have both similar and different public health goals than me and
broaden my perspective. 

5. What is your favorite outdoor space in Cleveland or a place you want to explore?

I love watching sunsets and sunrises at Edgewater Beach – it feels like home. I also enjoy trying new coffee shops with my friends and I’m excited to try more!

6. What is a piece of advice you have been given or quote/statement that is significant to
you?

“Sometimes, it’s more about discipline than motivation.”
I consider myself to be driven but I’ve definitely faced adverse moments where I felt incapable. Pushing through these situations taught me dreams don’t work unless you do, and that I’m more capable than I initially envisioned.