Mar 28, 2017
Ashley Ferguson & Sasheenie Moodley
Global Grants Scholarship Featured Speakers

Today’s meeting will include a special recognition of two graduating college students who will be receiving Rotary Global Grant Scholarships totaling $120,000 USD for advanced study outside of the United States.  We are pleased to welcome these two exceptional students preparing for rigorous graduate programs in the UK, studying science (cancer research) and public health (HIV/AIDS policy and prevention).  Members and guests are especially encouraged to invite their school-aged children to this special meeting so that the girls and boys can hear from this inspirational pair of graduating UVA students. 


Name: Ashley Ferguson

Hometown:                 Ashburn, Virginia

Degree pursuing:         Master of Philosophy in Medical Science at the Medical Research Council Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge in the lab of Christian Frezza, Ph.D.

Coming into high school, my parents encouraged me to ditch my plans to try and be cool for a position at the Loudoun Academy of Science.  During my high school cancer research project, I stumbled onto Otto Warburg’s theory of cancer metabolism and have been hooked on the way a cancer cell takes up and uses energy ever since.  After building up my ability to deal with experimental failure in my independent research at UVa, I am ready to ask in my master’s next year:  “How can we target different cancers using the metabolic features that make them all the same?”



Name: Sasheenie Moodley

Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa / Atlanta, GA

Born and raised in Johannesburg (South Africa), Sasheenie Mooodley moved to the USA in 2011. Enthusiastic and dedicated, she is currently studying at the University of Virginia (Virginia, USA) as a Jefferson Scholar and Echols Scholar. Sasheenie graduated in May 2016 from the University of Virginia with a BA in Global Development Studies. This year, she will finish her Masters in Public Health with a focus on Health Policy, Ethics and Law from the University of Virginia. At the University, she is the Editor-In-Chief of the Conflux Journal, sits on the student board at the Center for Global Health, and is an active peer mentor in the Jefferson Scholars and Echols Scholars programs. Sasheenie’s hobby is roasting marshmallows by the fire with friends in her lawn room.

Sasheenie will go on to complete an accelerated 3-year PhD in the UK in Global Health Policy and African Studies.

Her research focuses on facilitating peer support in urban townships in South Africa where there exists high HIV/AIDS prevalence. Knowledge is power, but shared knowledge is powerful and can combat health challenges in developing and developed communities. She seeks to explore knowledge sharing as a tool to maintain individuals in the continuum of HIV care, thus promoting HIV testing and prevention. Current HIV researchers and advocates have successfully slowed the progression of HIV/AIDS since its peak in 2005. Now there is a need to improve access to HIV/AIDS treatments through effective development and implementation of policy.