Ms. Michelle Daukas
Specialization: Public Health
Home institution in US: Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Host Institution in India: National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD), New Delhi  
Start date/Month in India: August 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Ms. Michele Daukas is a 2012 graduate of Cornell University, New York where she received a B.S. in policy, analysis and management with a minor in global health. As an undergraduate, Ms. Daukas developed a strong interest in water, sanitation and hygiene. She attended the 2009 World Toilet Summit, where she was inspired by the world’s leading sanitation innovators. In the summer of 2010, Ms. Daukas had the opportunity to travel to Dhaka, Bangladesh to design national mass media public health campaigns with Dhansiri Communications Ltd. While at Dhansiri, she collaborated on projects for the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC). While studying violence against women at Cornell, Ms. Daukas became passionate about improving menstrual hygiene for women worldwide. During the spring of 2011 Ms. Daukas studied abroad in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where she gained a deeper understanding of the economics, politics and culture of South Asia. Upon her return from London, she helped to implement Cornell’s first “Days for Girls” event, a collaboration to create reusable menstrual pads for women worldwide. Ms. Daukas continues to be passionate about understanding barriers to water, sanitation and hygiene and designing sustainable solutions.

Ms. Daukas’s Fulbright research project, “Impact of Peer-to-Peer Education Campaign on Menstrual Hygiene,” will focus on the critical public health issue of menstrual hygiene education and examine whether a peer-to-peer menstrual hygiene education campaign is more effective than traditional menstrual hygiene education methods in improving menstrual hygiene knowledge and uptake of proper practices. Although education has been shown to be just as effective as product supply, much of the research on menstrual hygiene has focused on product supply. She will work under the guidance of Dr. Dinesh Paul.