Public Health students featured in The Nation’s Health
Several of Dr. Darrow’s students were recently recognized in an article highlighting events that took place during the National Public Health Week mid-April 2014. You can read more about our Student Public Health Association activities on page 8 and 12 of The Nation’s Health article. Link: 2014 National Public Health Week-SPHA
The impact of our students’ community involvement is significant.
Social Work students’ work with Project Upstart is a clear example. Project Upstart seeks to ensure a successful educational experience for homeless children and youth in South Florida by collaborating with parent, schools, and the community through opening doors to academic opportunities, removing barriers, and promoting a healthy sense of self with hope for bright tomorrows. The main goals are:
- Identify and enroll all homeless children and youth in school
- Coordinate available resources within the school system and community agencies
- Provide access to the same services as all other children.
Every year, there is a specific “Prom Project” which focuses on helping Miami Dade Public School System (MDCPS) homeless students prepare for their Prom, including providing them with prom clothing, shoes, makeup, jewerly, etc. This year, several of our students volunteered for this project and specifically helped with the event. You can see below two of our students posing with MDCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. On the left is Herna Bien-Aime, an undergraduate social work students, majoring in political science and international relations, and on the right is Laura Harvey, a social work student who will graduate in Summer 2014.
Racha Sankar, who received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics & Nutrition, and currently a Master’s student, published a book called The Healthy Numbers: Easy Guides to Healthier Middle Eastern Cuisine (Vj Publishing House, LLC, 2013).
Juan Oves, our current Stempel Public Health Association (SPHA) President, was selected for the Health Professional Student Leadership & Mentoring Program.
The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA), working with the National Hispanic Health Foundation (NHHF), selected 50 talented Hispanic medical and public health students to a one year “GE-NHMA Health Professional Student Leadership and Mentoring Program” funded by the GE Foundation. The goal of this program is to increase the number of Hispanic physicians and public health professionals in primary care.
Bandar Alsaif, a recent MPH graduate and current Ph.D. student, received the following recognition from the American Heart Association (AHA) for his work as a volunteer mentor for the Association’s Blood Pressure Monitoring Program – Check. Change. Control.
Nadine Mikati, a Ph.D. student in Dietetics & Nutrition, and Raed Bahelah, a Ph.D. student in Epidemiology, were named AGILE Scholars by the FIU University Graduate School (UGS).
The Academy of Graduates for Integrative Learning Experiences (AGILE) seeks to enrich the graduate student learning experience by enhancing students’ cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills through a series of self-paced, structured, and accessible interdisciplinary workshops, dialogues, and experiential opportunities, which include:
- Integrative learning through interdisciplinary dialogues and community meetings with peers and mentors
- Interpersonal skill enhancement through professional development, leadership, and communication seminars
- Intrapersonal skill enrichment through the integration of scholarly work and service or community engagement efforts
AGILE is designed to create a synergistic learning community of graduate scholars whose participation in a coordinated, co-mentored, and self-paced program will include the following components:
- Interdisciplinary Mentoring
- Community Meetings
- Professional and Academic Development Seminars
- Leadership Academy and Speaker Series
- E-portfolio/Self-reflective Professional and Academic Progress Plan
Nadine Mikati was also selected to receive the Florida Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (FAND) President’s Scholarship for 2014. She will be honored at the FAND annual meeting this July. Nadine has also received a scholarship from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) last October.
Check out photos of three of our students who volunteered and played key roles in the 2013 State Fall Classic for Special Olympics Florida in Orlando.
The School of Social Work recently announced the following honors:
- BSSW Student Intern of the Year: Aimet Noriega (nominated by Lourdes Ferrer, MDCPS)
- MSW Foundation Interns of the Year: Rocio Lopez (nominated by Spring R. Lite, MDCPS) & David Quesada (nominated by Richard Mayora, Broward Health)
- MSW Advanced Clinical Intern of the Year: Kaeron Williams (nominated by Michelle Rogers, Family Central Inc.)
- Field Instructors of the Year
- Jennette Vernezobre, MSW, South Miami Hospital
- Caroline Yeardley, LCSW, Mujer, Inc.
Sahar Ajabshir, first year Ph.D. student in Dietetics & Nutrition won first place in the University Graduate School’s Scholarly Forum in the Health Sciences competition.
Sahar made an oral presentation of her research project “Estimation of Vitamin D levels: Validation of a FFQ and skin color in young adults”. Joel Exebio also won in the same area, achieving third place. His presentation was also in the area of Vitamin D.
Cool sustainability practicum project
One of the Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) students, Denise Cacho-Juan, conducted her practicum at FIU’s Office of Sustainability during Summer 2013 and one of her practicum assignments was the “Go Green Room Project.” This involves stressing the importance of living green in dealing with efficient use of energy, water, and other resources, and improvement of student productivity, elimination of waste, pollution, and environmental degradation. Check out the Project video.
The following students received the prestigious Starr Scholarship for 2013-2014 from the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work:
- Rachel Clarke, HPDP
- Marie Colas, DN
- Marie Cruz, EOH
- Kemesha Gabbidon, HPDP
- Liliana Gonzalez, DN
- Suzette Pierre Ste-Rose, HPDP
- Ezra Richards, EPI
- Ailin Rodriguez, HPDP
Student shining at the APHA’s Annual Meeting
Ph.D. student Meredith Wilcox presented a study entitled, “Predictors of endoscopy use in medically underserved communities of north Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, 2009-2010,” at the American Public Health Association (APHA)141st Annual Meeting and Exposition held in Boston, MA from November 2-6, 2013 in Boston, MA.
Jerica Coley, who will graduate in fall 2014, is a true academic and athletic achiever. She scored 3,073 points in her career at FIU, led all Division I in scoring as a junior and a senior, won two Sun Belt Conference player of the year awards, had her jersey’s number (#22) retired, was one of five finalists for this year’s Nancy Lieberman award given to the nation’s best point guard, scored over 40 points three time this season, finished her career on a 63-game streak scoring in double figures, and ended her collegiate career number 5 on the all time Division I women’s career scoring list.
Diana Sheehan’s article was accepted for publication.
The article, entitled “Latinos in the United States on the HIV/AIDS care continuum by birth country.region: a systematic review of the literature,” has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of STD & AIDS. Sheehan is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Epidemiology.
Great Epidemiology class assignment
As part of their class assignments in the course, “Tobacco Use: Causes, Consequences, and Control,” Ph.D. students Ziyad Ben Taleb, Raed Bahelah, Rehab Auf, Kelly Winter, and Diana Sheehan published six “Letters to the Editor” in leading journals in the field of Tobacco Control and Public Health, such as Addiction, The Lancet Oncology, the American Journal of Public Health, and the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Nikki Chuck was awarded the American Public Health Association (APHA)-Student Assembly (SA) Annual Meeting scholarship.
She is a campus liaison for APHA-SA at FIU. A piece focusing on Nikki’s experiences at the APHA Annual Meeting was recently published in “News and Views,” the APHA SA Newsletter (p.11).
Two of our Health Promotion & Disease Prevention (HPDP) students also published short pieces in the American Public Health Association Student Assembly’s Winter 2014 Newsletter.
- Anamica Batra’s “Using LinkedIn” (p. 4)
- Jonathan Ryan Batson’s “Decriminalization of Marijuana a Public Health Issue” (p.12)
Two Stempel students were recognized during the Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony as “Worlds Ahead Graduates” by FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.
When a senior in high school, Marie Whitehead became pregnant so she looked for a job instead of applying for college. At age 31, being diagnosed with breast cancer, pushed Mary to think about her unfulfilled dreams, including a college education.
Read about how Mary returned to school, underwent 5 surgeries coupled with chemotherapy and radiations, cared for her aging mother, raised children, obtained two bachelor’s degrees and now a master’s in public Health. Read her full story (under Ceremony 3).
Luana Faria, who graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work, arrived in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant, with her family, when she was 9 years old. Because of her immigration status, she could not attend the universities of her choice. At church she met the Prosper family, who supported and believed in Luana. In the fall, Luana will be pursuing a master’s in social work at FIU. Read her full story (under Ceremony 3).
Check the video Luana’s sister made of this special day:
Two great achievements for Claudia Serna, DDS, RDH, MPH, and a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Claudia was elected Section Councilor for Oral Health, American Public Health Association. Claudia also wrote an article for the APHA Oral Health Winter 2014 Newsletter entitled “The Use of Social Media in Dental Public Health.” See the article on page 17 and 18 here.