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Student Life
May 19, 2014

Students Present at National Health Conference

Health Promotions Students Talk About Health Disparities

Six St. Francis College students studying Health Promotions and Healthcare Management headed uptown to Teachers College at Columbia University this semester to present their work at the 2014 Health Disparities Conference.

The students worked in pairs to tackle real world problems and offer possible solutions. Their work was selected after a vigorous selection process and presented to many of the 1,200 health educators who attended the conference.

Eleny Xydous ’14 and Grace Vixama ’15 presented the poster on Health Disparities in Suicide Prevention Programming for College Students. The two advocated starting a local chapter of the non-profit Active Minds, which is focused on raising mental health awareness among college students through peer interaction.

Miguel Flores ’14 and Taylor Watson ’16 presented, Health Education Career Projection, an attempt to catalog the types of jobs that are connected to the health care industry and health education. The two then assessed career opportunities in this emerging field.

Nicole Somma ’14 and Brittany Mansfield ’15 looked at the New York Times story, Invisible Child: Dasani's Homeless Life, about a homeless little girl living in Brooklyn, New York. They then researched all the organizations and agencies in nearby Brooklyn that were set up to help people like Dasani and her family. They found hundreds of programs that could help the family.

Health Promotions and Healthcare Management Professor Michele Montecalvo advised each of the student groups and coordinated their trip to the conference.

“What makes this experience so extraordinary is that most undergraduates never have the opportunity to present their work publicly, especially at a national level conference, said Professor Montecalvo. “These six students are future leaders in public health, and I was honored to have them take part.”

The conference is coordinated yearly by Dr. Barbara Wallace, am esteemed researcher in the field of Health Education and Health Disparities and Dr. Chris Emdin an innovative science advocate and researcher in the lyrically fused fields of hip hop, social media and education.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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