Tevin Mathew, MPH

Vanderbilt University
Global Health

What inspired you to study public health?

Witnessing my dad’s fractured access to healthcare due to language barriers (and observing parallels to many Spanish-speaking immigrants) inspired me to study public health.

What has been the single most rewarding experience of your career/studies so far?

In the summer of 2023, I went to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to conduct public health research in partnership with a local NGO and to study K’iche’ (a prominently spoken indigenous language in Guatemala). I facilitated health education workshops for community members while supporting capacity building efforts for the NGO. Despite encountering several delays and setbacks, I was able to co-establish a local ethical review committee for the NGO to review my proposed study and to partner with future researchers. Additionally, studying K’iche’ allowed me to further understand the communities that the NGO serves, such as their relationship with food, the environment, spirituality, etc. and how these relationships contribute to their overall health and well-being. This experience is informing my continued engagement with the NGO.

What do you hope to accomplish in your career?

I hope to expand access to equitable health services for marginalized communities, especially Spanish speakers and the LGBTQ+ community, by narrowing the gap between community members and policymakers either within the United States or Latin American contexts.


Progress takes time, and you may not always see the fruits of your labor in your lifetime. So plant the seed, or cultivate what has already been sown.