A native of Illinois, Lillian Hiemenz award winner Ellen O’Neal got her Bachelor’s degree at Marquette University in Wisconsin and a Masters in nurse-midwifery At Georgetown University. Her work has taken her to a wide variety of settings including Ghana, Congo-Brazzaville, Haiti and, recently, Cote d’Ivoire. Now pursuing her Doctoral degree in the field of epidemiology with a concentration in reproductive health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, she hopes to pursue research on the effects of natural disasters and armed conflict on maternal morbidity and mortality.