Six Students Win New GC Interdisciplinary Fellowships

(From l. to r.) Nicholas Freudenberg, Keville Frederickson, Amy Kwan, Alice Tzou, Matthew Block, Margarett Alexandre, Kimberly Libman, Cidna Valentin, and Gillian Dunn

A new Graduate Center Initiative on Globalization, Health and Social Justice, sponsored by the doctoral programs in nursing science and public health and supported by the Graduate Center and the CUNY Dean for Health, has awarded fellowships to doctoral students in psychology, sociology, nursing, and public health.

The interdisciplinary initiative is headed by Keville Frederickson, professor of nursing at Lehman College and executive officer of the Graduate Center’s Doctoral Program in Nursing Science, and Nicholas Freudenberg, distinguished professor of public health at the CUNY School of Public Health and executive officer of the CUNY Doctor of Public Health Program. The initiative aims to support research projects that enhance the understanding of the relationships among globalization, health, and social justice. Each fellow has selected a faculty mentor who will help complete his or her project. “These fellowships,” said Frederickson, “will create a network of Graduate Center students and faculty who can contribute new knowledge on globalization and health.”

The six research projects funded by the initiative focus on prevention strategies, prodemocratic cultural institutions, food activism, obesity, and post-disaster health care reconstruction. Other components of the initiative include a planned Spring 2013 interdisciplinary course on globalization, health, and social justice; a report on the global health footprint of New York City; and several new funding proposals. Freudenberg noted that “this initiative will further strengthen the Graduate Center’s scholarship in globalization, inequality, urbanization and social justice.”

The six graduate fellows are: Margarett Alexandre (Nursing Science), Matthew Block (Sociology), Kimberly Libman (Environmental Psychology), Amy Kwan (Public Health), Alice Tzou (Sociology), and Cidna Valentin (Clinical Psychology). Gillian Dunn (Public Health) serves as a graduate research assistant for the initiative.

  • Margarett Alexandre will study how health care workers in Granbois, Haiti, improve the quality of prevention services.

  • Matthew Block will examine how democratic social experiments in Kerala, India, influence well-being, and assess which cultural institutions have the greatest impact on the development of public participation in governance.

  • Amy Kwan will explore the current landscape of youth food activism in New York City and Cape Town, South Africa. Analyzing the role of young people in food activism, Kwan will investigate how technology and new media (social and visual) influence the burgeoning American and South African food movements.

  • Kimberly Libman will extend her dissertation research on food policy in New York City and London to Cape Town, South Africa, where she will interview policy makers and researchers to elicit their views on global, national, and local influences on policies related to obesity, food insecurity, and diet-related disease.

  • Alice Tzou will compare the prevalence and perceptions of obesity by contrasting genetically similar Chinese-American children with their peers in China. Tzou hypothesizes that U.S. education counteracts efforts to educate students against obesity.

  • Cidna Valentin will examine the relationship between health care providers and patients in post-earthquake Haiti. As the Haitian government and the international community reconstruct the Haitian health care system, Valentin’s investigation into patient perspectives on health services aims to better inform health education, practice, and policy.

The results of these projects will be synthesized in the Fall of 2012 and a report of the findings made available.


Nursing Science: 212-817-7987;

Public Health : 212-817-7986;

Submitted on: MAY 15, 2012

Category: Nursing Science | Psychology | Student News