Before coming to HSPH, I worked for three years in Denver, CO at the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center conducting capacity building around HIV prevention, focused primarily on Native women and girls. I went to New York University for my Bachelor’s degree, and compared to that, I was expecting this transition to be a breeze. My transition was, honestly, rough, but just as at NYU though, it has become easier as I have found support and community. I have made amazing friends, have started working as a Student Ambassador at the HSPH Office of Diversity, am the Vice President of the HSPH Queer Student Alliance, been involved with the Women of Color Collective, and often speak up and ask questions in my classes, in order to get the most out of my experience. I chose the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), because I have witnessed how social determinants affect the health of many Native people. SBS offered a wide range of great courses, with much breadth and meaning to the work that I want to do. I love the department, and from the first time I heard Dr. Ichiro Kawachi speak at the Admitted Students’ Open House, I have felt like this is exactly where I am supposed to be. I want to bring the education I gained at HSPH back to Native communities, specifically the Navajo Nation or New Mexico Department of Health, and work on areas of health and population that are often stigmatized, including reproductive and sexual health, LGBTQTS health, and substance abuse. As a Dine’ individual, I hope to bring this information back to Native communities in a culturally appropriate and respectful way. While HSPH does not have a focus on Native American health, it has given me the resources and tools to target my education towards this important area of study.
Araceli Gutierrez is a returning two-year masters student. She holds a BS in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. As a Rappaport Public Policy Fellow, Araceli worked with Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health, examining how the implementation of provisions in Massachusetts’ payment reform could complement the Affordable Care Act’s community benefits provisions. She recently conducted a coordinated and participatory mixed-method viability evaluation to help identify the factors that impact the health of Bromley-Heath housing development residents. Prior to joining HSPH, Araceli conducted genetic and health disparities research at the Howard University Cancer Center in Washington, DC through the Georgetown-Howard Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s SOAR-Health training program. She examined the contributions to and associations between environmental socio-demographic and exposure variables, the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) harm avoidance personality trait and Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1800497 on smoking behaviors in African-American smokers. She presented during the Social Epidemiology poster session at the 2012 APHA conference. Araceli also conducted a policy scan and co-authored a resource guide for the Marin Community Foundation addressing the social determinants of health impacting underserved and immigrant communities in California’s Marin County. Her area of research focused on the availability and access to affordable and healthy food. Araceli’s main research interests are in Social Epidemiology, translational public health research and examining the triangulation between policy, research and the role of community in developing and adopting effective social policies. Araceli is an avid coffee drinker, frequenting coffee shops with pizzazz. She enjoys spending time with family, volunteering, traveling, reading, writing, board games and Krav Maga.
Hana is a doctoral student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS). Her primary interests are community interventions, health communications, and social determinants of health. Hana grew up in Japan. Prior to HSPH, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Waseda University in Tokyo, a Master of Education in Educational Media and Technology from Boston University School of Education, and a Master of Science from HSPH. Hana works as a strategic planner in the Public Health department at McCann Health, one of the largest global health communication agencies, where she has conducted health communication research and campaigns around the world. In addition to her current job, she has a wide range of international experience that includes working at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) India Country Office for HIV Prevention and interning at the National Social Marketing Center in the UK. Hana believes that we can truly make a difference by addressing four major disparities between public health and communications, research and practice, public and private, and public health and medicine. Her mission is to create healthier communities where people can maximize their lives, both in Japan and in developing countries, by bridging these gaps. Hana loves to write and cook. She is the author of No Matter What, Keep Going- What Harvard Taught Me for Life (in Japanese). She is also a scholar of the Joint Japan/ World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program.