Meet the Leaders

Sarah Messner & Jonathan Platt

Sarah Messner & Jonathan Platt

Dartmouth College, B.A., Creative Writing; School for International Training, Graduate Certificate, Conflict Transformation Across Cultures; Princeton Seminary, Master of Divinity

At Dartmouth, Sarah studied Creative Writing and specialized in environmental nonfiction. She helped manage the Dartmouth Organic Farm, studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and lived for a term in Tegúcigalpa, Honduras. After graduation, Sarah received a fellowship to study sustainable agriculture and social justice in rural communities. She worked as a campus minister at Dartmouth, and an environmental educator at the Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee, Vermont.  She then moved to Rwinkwavu, Rwanda, to work with Partners in Health (PIH), where she helped to develop an agricultural training center and cooperative program to address systemic malnutrition. Sarah completed her Master of Divinity at Princeton Seminary, where she studied the intersection of religious cosmologies, health, and the environment. She is a Kripalu-certified yoga instructor and has led two semester study abroad programs in India, including extended time in Ladakh. Sarah has led Putney’s Global Action Rwanda and Global Action India programs.

University of Wisconsin–Madison, B.A., Anthropology; Columbia University, MPH, Epidemiology; Columbia University, PhD, Epidemiology (candidate)

After finishing his undergraduate studies, Jonathan spent two years in Malawi with the Peace Corps, where he observed the complex social, environmental, and bio­medical factors that contribute to individual and community health. With a district health team, he implemented a study to understand the effects of traditional African medicine use among HIV­-positive patients. Since returning from Malawi, Jonathan has worked in Washington, D.C., at the New York Department of Health, and the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Jonathan is currently a PhD candidate in Psychiatric Epidemiology at Columbia University where he studies gender disparities in anxiety and trauma disorders. Jonathan speaks French and Portuguese and has led Putney’s Community Service Ghana program.