Duke-Margolis Scholars

Listed by Department


Rachel Holtzman (MPP'21, JD'23)

Rachel earned her BSPH in Health Policy and Management at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Prior to beginning at Duke, she worked at the National Health Law Program in Washington, DC where she assisted in policy advocacy related to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. Rachel also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal, where she worked with community leaders to facilitate maternal and child health projects. Rachel's interests include health equity, access to care, and ways to address the social determinants of health for low-income and underserved communities in the South.

Jasmine Masand (MPP'21)

Jasmine earned her BA in Government from Wesleyan University in 2015. Before joining the MPP program, she spent four years working for a social policy consulting firm, where she worked with government stakeholders and healthcare systems on Medicare quality improvement and value-based payment initiatives. At Duke, she plans to explore promising new models for care delivery reform and payment in Medicare and Medicaid.

Meril Pothen (MPP'20)

Meril earned her BS in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University in 2013. Aiming to understand the different facets of the U.S. health care system, she spent the last five years working in pharma, patient experience and tech, and hospital finance. At Duke, she plans to use her industry background to contextualize cost reform, value-based insurance design, and alternative payment models. She is committed to developing feasible, sustainable policies that bend the health care cost curve.

Julian Xie (MPP'20, MD'20)

Julian graduated from Duke University in 2015 with a BS in Economics and a minor in music. During his first year at Duke Med, Julian collaborated with fellow students to found Root Causes, a Duke Med student organization dedicated to healing the food system. In addition, Julian worked part-time at the Duke World Food Policy Center in his first year, a center led by Professor Kelly Brownell. He is currently in the Primary Care Leadership Track. His interests center on creating a better food system with sustainable production and equitable access for all.


Scott Boisvert (JD'20)

Scott earned his BS in Biology and BA in Global Health from Duke University in 2015. Before returning to Duke, he was a Hart Fellow working in Bulgaria with the Bulgarian Council of Ministers on Roma community health initiatives. He has also led global health endeavors in Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

Chuck Matula (JD'20)

Chuck earned his B.B.A. in Finance at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to Duke, he worked as a health care consultant in the Chicago-area. There he assisted state governments and private health companies in developing, implementing, and evaluating health care program reforms. As an undergraduate, he interned with the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President, where he worked on evaluating economic effects of policy initiatives.

Elaine Nguyen (JD'21)

Elaine earned her Sc.B. in Neuroscience from Brown University in 2015. Prior to coming to Duke, she worked in a research lab in Boston studying the genetics and neurodevelopment of eye movement disorders. She is interested in issues of access to medicines, drug pricing, health disparities, and how healthcare is affected by intellectual property law.

Thain Simon (JD'21)

Thain holds a B.S. Commerce from Santa Clara University, where he majored in Finance and International Studies, and an M.Sc. in Social Science of the Internet from the University of Oxford. Prior to enrolling at Duke Law, he worked in the technology and health care industries, most recently as a product manager at One Medical in San Francisco. Thain has also worked in corporate development at Blue Cross NC and looks forward to engaging with the Margolis Center at the intersection of law, business and health care.

Bennett Wright (JD'20)

Bennett earned his undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Baylor University. He worked during college researching improvements for medical devices, including devices used for gamma radiosurgery and kidney-stone removal. At Duke, he has researched ways to spur biomedical innovation through patent law.


Lauren Arrington (DNP'20)

Lauren earned her BA in History and Africana Studies from Brown University, her BSN from Georgetown University and her MSN in nurse-midwifery from Frontier Nursing University. Her previous and current professional roles include nurse midwife at the University of Maryland, St. Joseph Medical Center, Maternal and Newborn Health Advisor at Jhpiego, Post Abortion and Fistula Care Intern at USAID and faculty member at Sojourner Douglass College, School of Nursing and Jefferson University, Midwifery Institute.

Michelle Franklin (PhD)

Michelle earned her BSN (2003) and MSN (2009) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and achieved dual certification as both a family nurse practitioner and family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner. Prior to coming to Duke, she specialized in providing integrated primary care and mental health services to individuals of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout North Carolina. She continues to serve as adjunct faculty within the UNC-CH Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities and the UNC-CH School of Nursing.

Allyson Michels (DNP'21)

Allyson Michels, MSN, CNM, WHNP-BC, completed her nursing studies at Wichita State University and her midwifery education at Georgetown University. She has experience in the military as an interpreter for the Pashto-Afghan language, and as a nurse and a midwife providing prenatal, labor and birth, postpartum care and women's health care. Her travels, training, and experience provided the motivation to pursue a deeper understanding of healthcare and health policy and legislation in different cultures. During her studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Allyson emerged as a leader within her cohort and was energized by their time spent on Capitol Hill engaged in advocacy work in collaboration with the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Allyson is excited to be a Margolis Health Scholar and looks forward to furthering positive policy changes for the betterment of healthcare for women and their families.

Jacqueline Nikpour (PhD)

Jacqueline is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar and a PhD student at Duke University School of Nursing. Hailing from the Philadelphia area, Jacqueline earned her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania and spent the first portion of her career as an RN working with complex pediatric GI, endocrine, metabolism, and liver transplant patients at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As a researcher, Jacqueline is interested in innovative models of care that utilize nursing to make care more affordable and accessible for all people. Currently, Jacqueline is examining ways to utilize advanced practice nurses to address the opioid crisis while still effectively managing chronic pain. Jacqueline's previous work includes examining the utilization of school nurses, using dance as an intervention to improve physical activity among West Philadelphia families, and addressing adolescent tobacco use. 


Yun Boylston (EMBA'20)

Yun graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in biochemical sciences and completed her medical degree and pediatric residency at Baylor College of Medicine. She currently serves as the Managing Partner at Burlington Pediatrics/ Mebane Pediatrics. She is committed to improving the lives of children in North Carolina by championing the medical home and advocating for children in various capacities. Yun is a clinical preceptor for the UNC-CH School of Medicine. She serves as a Trustee for Cone Health System and is on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Pediatric Society.

Geoff Crisanti (MBA'21)

Geoff graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a B.B.A. in Finance. Prior to Duke, he worked within corporate strategy, business development, and payer client management across both Fortune 500 and startup healthcare provider organizations. His interests include designing value-based arrangements between payers and providers and addressing unmet behavioral health needs within low income populations. Geoff looks forward to engaging in conversations with individuals across the Margolis Center to further identify and implement viable solutions to today’s healthcare challenges.

Sravya Durbha (MBA'20)

Sravya's interest in transforming health care was precipitated by the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010: the same year she commenced her undergraduate degree in Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School of Public Health. Her love for health policy and its impact grew throughout her career as a healthcare consultant, during which time she worked with Medicare Advantage health plans, Health IT companies, and federal agencies such as the FDA and NIH. Exposed to the barriers within the current healthcare system, she is pursuing a business degree to design strategies to use data, technology, and innovation as a language to align incentives among healthcare stakeholders in the shared mission to transform healthcare. She is excited to work with the Margolis Scholars and the Margolis Center in shaping how entrepreneurship and innovation can play a role in driving health policy change!

Nathaniel Neptune (MBA'20, MD'21)

Nathaniel earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Cabarrus College of Health Sciences. Before Duke, he worked in a trauma ICU and post-surgical care unit and was heavily involved in youth mentorship programs. He is currently enrolled at The Fuqua School of Business and Duke University School of Medicine as a dual-degree MD/MBA student. While at Duke, Nathaniel has helped lead the creation of a new Clinical Immersion Elective course and served as a Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Mentor/Leader. His interests include addressing social determinants of health to promote health equity and healthcare redesign.

Yi Wang (MBA'21)

Prior to coming to Duke Fuqua MBA, Dr. Yi Wang was Assistant Professor at Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. Rooted in his training in biomedical bench research, pharmacy, and public health statistics, Yi approaches healthcare issues through both individual and population lens. He has expertise in population health data analytics such as epidemiological study and causal inference (natural experiment and randomized control trial). Trained in toxicology and biopharmaceuticals, he also has expertise in the biological mechanisms/pathways behind statistical inference drawn in epidemiological research.

Yi had the privilege of working directly with communities to improve population health in Indiana and was recognized as "40 Under Forty in Public Health" by de Beaumont Foundation. He created the Multilayer Data Community Action Tool (MDCAT), a data platform showing a clear picture of health burden and vulnerability related to environmental and social determinants of health in Indianapolis, Indiana, and led a team in collaboration with the City of Indianapolis and community organizations to advance the inclusion of health equity in the Indy2020 Urban Plan. The tool accounts for social and health disadvantages, providing critical information to assess vulnerability for communities. It utilizes data extracted from publicly available local governmental websites and can be easily replicated to other U.S. counties.

Yi received postdoctoral training in Epidemiology from Brown University after obtaining his PhD in environmental epidemiology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to becoming a population health scientist, he spent two years doing bench science in toxicology after earning his master’s degree in toxicology, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a business development associate after his undergraduate training in biopharmaceuticals.


Kelby Brown (MD'21)

Kelby Brown graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Evolutionary Anthropology in 2014, and then Duke Divinity School with a M.A. and certificate in Theology, Medicine and Culture in 2015. He completed a year-long internship with the Duke University Hospital administration before pursuing his M.D. at Duke SOM. He, his wife, and two daughters enjoy participating in community advocacy opportunities in Durham.