Jenny Huddart Scholarship Fund
To honor the memory of our dearly esteemed colleague Jenny Huddart, Initiatives Inc. established the Jenny Huddart Scholarship Fund at the Boston University School of Public Health in 2009. The endowment provides annual scholarship awards to a deserving student enrolled in the Masters Degree program at the International Division of BUSPH, with a preference for students from sub-Saharan Africa.
Jenny served as a member of the Initiatives team for over 20 years until her untimely death in 2008. She left a legacy of friendship and commitment to the improvement of health all around the globe.
Jennifer Huddart joined Initiatives in its infancy; the loss of her leadership, friendship, and humor was profoundly felt by our entire staff, international colleagues, and her many friends around the globe.
With more than 25 years of international health experience, Jenny specialized in assisting governments and NGOs in the developing world to strengthen the management of their public health programs, with a particular focus on human resource management, health systems management, supervision, and performance improvement. She helped design and implement projects in dozens of countries and provided expert technical assistance to improve the quality and sustainability of planning, supervision, and human resources management. She was a skilled trainer and curriculum developer for national and local cadres of health workers and managers who was widely recognized for the quality and innovation of the management tools, training curricula and case studies she developed.
Jenny, who was the kindest person many of us will ever know, was also our best friend, sister, mentor, colleague and intellectual leader. Her commitment to improving health care in countries throughout the world was matched only by her support for colleagues who were fortunate enough to learn from her unparalleled ability to simplify and explain complex concepts.
—Joyce Lyons, President, Initiatives Inc.
Jenny co-authored books on HIV/AIDS and family planning issues and published books and articles on human resource issues of health care systems in the developing world. She added AfDB, DfID, SIDA, USAID and World Bank contracts to Initiatives’ client list, and all along she quietly mentored many of her colleagues.
Although Jenny never revealed her achievements in a public way, she was extraordinarily accomplished and respected in the field of human resources management, specifically the concerns in large health systems about planning, recruitment, management and retention of health workforce. Her work is frequently referenced in professional papers and her guidance was sought by many international agencies including WHO, The World Bank, SIDA and USAID.
She was an extraordinary person who touched everyone she met and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from her. Jenny taught me the meaning of loving what you do and always meeting adversity with optimism.Veronika Knierim
She was a rare gem.Steve Mwanza
I knew Jenny as a friend rather than as a co-worker. Now as she rests in peace, I just want to remember our common talks, interests, conversations, family visits, friendship and her laughing when I incorrectly translate something wrong to her.Osama Samawi
I learned more from watching Jenny interact with people, listen, ask questions and gently nudge people into understanding a better approach, than I could have learned in a hundred years of school. Jenny had a subtle, but very effective, way of critiquing. She could make light bulbs go off without ever uttering a command, instruction or pedantic phrase.Rebecca Furth
Jenny was such a wonderful friend, colleague, and sister. I have never seen someone so dedicated to help others and try to make them happy as much as she could. She had a positive spirit and soul.Safa Halaseh
2016 – 2017 Recipients
Confidence Achilike is a medical doctor from Nigeria. She attended Ebonyi State University, graduating in 2012. She has previously worked as a Medical Officer-in-Charge of a primary health care center in Abuja, where she treated outpatients, supervised immunizations, and educated mothers on HIV, breastfeeding, and nutrition. Dr. Achilike has conducted public health research, working on a London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene study of post-partum hemorrhage treatment, and a study through the University of Calabar teaching hospital in Nigeria on health worker knowledge related to Ebola. She is a member of a theatre group, and has volunteered working with internally displaced people in Nigeria.
Cynthia Monyangi Kambuni is a medical officer from Kenya. She attended the University of Nairobi, graduating in 2013, and has worked as a Medical Officer in the Pumwani Maternity Hospital in Nairobi where she provided prenatal, postnatal and delivery services in addition to treating newborns with health problems. Ms. Kambuni won a research prize for her work on neonatal jaundice, and has completed a Field Epidemiology Training course. She is also a pianist and long distance runner.
Dr. Sarah Otaru (2015-2016)
A medical doctor from Nigeria, Dr. Otaru has served as a physician on the front lines, taking in patients to provide primary health care assistance while also attending to medical and surgical emergencies. Her experiences providing clinical services led her to realize that “public health offers population-based solutions to curb the tide of diseases plaguing Nigeria and other parts of the world.” After completing her Master of Public Health, Dr. Otaru plans to return to Nigeria to be a leader in the development and implementation of infectious disease programs, particularly in resource-poor settings.
Dr. Salma Abdalla (2014-2015)
Dr. Abdalla attended medical school in her home country of Sudan, where she realized during a health education program for young girls that “what I do as a doctor plays a small role in the actual well-being of people.” Understanding that the best way to help her community might be to change the structure of the health system, Dr. Abdalla embarked on her Master of Public Health program to be an agent of change. Her future goals include starting an organization focused on the sexual and reproductive rights of women in Sudan.
Dr. Hubert Zirimwabagabo (2013-2014)
Dr. Zirimwabagabo came to the BU School of Public Health graduate program from Rwanda, and was most interested to learn about program monitoring and evaluation along with health care financing mechanisms. His years of clinical field experience have fueled his desire to improve the Rwandan health case system. Dr. Zirimwabagabo is currently the Associate Director of the Guinea Worm Eradication Project at The Carter Center in Atlanta.
Dr. Anthony Akinbami (2012-2013)
A Nigerian physician, Dr. Akinbami’s interest in public health was awakened when he realized that many of the medical crises he was dealing with were most likely preventable, coming from communicable or infectious diseases. His plan after graduating from the Master of Public Health program is to work with national policymakers “to design systems that allow the average person access to basic health care.”
Dr. Michael Esang (2011-2012)
Dr. Esang is a Nigerian medical doctor who was working as Principal Medical Officer in a general hospital in northern Nigeria before coming to Boston to pursue his Master of Public Health at Boston University. In his words, “It is [the] complex interplay between human behaviour and the environment that is my main focus in public health, together with the protective role public health plays in our lives and its potential in shaping our behaviour.”
Dr. Esang completed his Master of Public Health in 2013 and is currently a research assistant at Boston Medical Center.
Dr. Ehimen Aneni (2010-2011)
Dr. Aneni is also from Nigeria. His mother was a nurse, and he has had a lifelong interest in medicine. During his residency, he found that he was unhappy with the state of the health sector in Nigeria, and applied for a Master of Public Health program “to learn how to bring health to the people and not to wait for them to come to it.”
Upon completion of his Master of Public Health, Dr. Aneni worked as an analyst at the BU Center for Global Health and Development, and he is currently a resident physician at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Florida.
Recipients of Practicum Support (2010)
Prior to the establishment of the fully endowed Huddart Scholarship, funds in Jenny’s name were used to support the practicum travel costs for two MPH students
Dr. Paul Ashigbe
Dr. Ashigbie, a Ghanaian pharmacist, spent two months in the summer of 2010 in Geneva, where he worked in the WHO Division of Essential Medicines. At WHO, he contributed to the completion of a 13-country study on national-level pharmaceutical policy issues.
Ms. Sabourin’s spring 2010 practicum took place in Zimbabwe, where she joined the staff of an orphan’s support program for children who lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS. Ms. Sabourin graduated from the BUSPH MPH program in the fall of 2010.
To make a tax-deductible donation to the Jenny Huddart Scholarship Fund:
Payable to “Trustees of Boston University.” Please note “Jenny Huddart Scholarship Fund” on the memo line, or attach a note to that effect. Mail it to:
Gifts and Records
595 Commonwealth Ave, Suite 700
Boston, MA 02215
Go to this BUSPH secure online giving page and provide the requested information. Choose “Other Fund,” and in the “Comments” field, enter “Jenny Huddart Scholarship Fund.”