Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland, is a landlocked country in southern Africa widely known for its HIV burden. About every 1 in 4 adults in the country are living with HIV and young women are disproportionately impacted by the epidemic. Eswatini is a beautiful country with mountainous terrains and breathtaking valleys, and Swazis have made an incredible amount of progress in managing the HIV epidemic and improving the health of orphans and vulnerable children living with the disease.

Charisse conducted research in Eswatini as a 2016-2017 Fulbright research grantee where she evaluated the roles and needs of HIV peer health workers (i.e., expert clients) in supporting the health and wellbeing of adolescents living with HIV. She later presented her research at the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2018.

Charisse earned her BSN from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing as a BSN-to-PhD Hillman Scholar in Nursing Innovation. She earned her first bachelor’s degree in health education and behavior at the University of Florida.