Graduate Students for Public Health

Who We Are

Graduate Students for Public Health (GSPH) is a Registered Student Organization that strives to connect currently enrolled graduate students with the faculty and staff of the Department of Global and Community Health. GSPH also provides its members with networking, community service opportunities, and professional development activities.


GSPH is open to all graduate students in the Department of Global and Community Health.
Connect with GSPH on Mason360 for meeting dates, times, topics, and details.

GSPH Executive Board

Sumaiya Irfan, President

Sumaiya Irfan is a second year MPH student with a concentration in Epidemiology. Sumaiya graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.S. degree in Cell and Molecular Biology.

Sumaiya's interests are in environmental epidemiology and infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance. Sumaiya works as a research assistant at George Mason’s Institute For Advanced Biomedical Research in the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine. She is involved in the development of a new Lyme disease diagnostics test as well as in research investigating the impacts of pesticides on male fertility.

As president, Sumaiya is excited to create opportunities for GSPH members to learn from and connect with fellow students and faculty members as well demonstrate the multifaceted nature of public health.

Outside of work and school, Sumaiya enjoys bird photography and reading books and is currently watching The Bear on Hulu.

CJ Mandell, Vice President

CJ Mandell is a second year MPH student with a concentration in Community Health Promotion. TBorn and raised in Alexandria, VA, CJ graduated from the College of Wooster (Ohio) with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Spanish.

CJ is currently a graduate research assistant with the Department of Global and Community health where they focus on subjects including HIV prevention, LGBTQ health, and community engagement. CJ is interested in assuring accessibility to health services for the population with special attention to under resourced areas and groups. Maintaining that healthcare is a human right, CJ is an advocate for progress towards universal health care as well as health equity.

While serving as VP, CJ is interested in cultivating a supportive environment to form connections and expand knowledge about public health. They are looking forward to meeting other MPH students with similar interests and goals.

In their free time, CJ enjoys birdwatching, painting, and baking. They have recently learned how to make macarons and creme brulee.

Sadikshya Thapa, Treasurer

Sadikshya Thapa is a first-year Master of Public Health student concentrating in Epidemiology.  In 2022, she graduated with a double major in Psychology and Public Health with a concentration in Global Health at The University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Sadikshya is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Global and Community Health, focusing on global infectious disease. Sadikshya’s interests are in global health epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology, and women’s health.

As treasurer, Sadikshya hopes to support he GSPH members in planning and organizing events that will help both students and faculty to better support their needs in the field of public health.

Outside of school, she enjoys crocheting, watching movies, and reading.

Sandra Decaigny, Communications Coordinator

Sandra Decaigny is a second-year Master of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Promotion. She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a B.A. in Communications and a minor in Hospitality Management.

Sandra is the graduate Marketing Coordinator for the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. In addition, she teaches group fitness classes at Mason Rec. Sandra is interested in promoting health to others and is passionate about ensuring adequate access to health resources among all individuals. She wants to use the skills cultivated during her master's to aid in improving communities across the country through health and wellness programming.

In her role with GSPH, Sandra looks forward to working alongside other emerging public health professionals to promote the MPH program and foster community among the student population.

Sandra is an avid reader, and is currently enjoying the Sarah J. Maas books. Furthermore, she is a Soul Cycle enthusiast who is always ready to strap her cycle shoes on.



Connect with us on Social Media


Facebook: @GSPHatGMU
Twitter: @GMU_GSPH
Instagram: @GMU_GSPH

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