Five MPH 65 students in the Health & Social Behavior field of study were awarded the Rose Service Learning Fellowships to fund their MPH practicum projects this summer. In addition, three PhD PHS students in the Social and Behavioral Sciences field of study were awarded the Fellowships.
About the Fellowships
The Rose Service Learning Fellowships are funded by a generous gift from Dr. Deborah Rose, SM ’75 to support students and post-doctoral fellows at Harvard Chan to travel and engage in service learning projects. While most awards are for international travel, some awards are also made for U.S.-based projects, including in the Boston area. There are currently two funding cycles per year, in the fall and spring.
About the Students’ Projects
Vanessa Acosta | Massachusetts DPH YYASHN (Youth and Young Adults with Special Health Needs) Health Transition Toolkit
This summer I will be working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, within the Division for Children & Youth with Special Health Needs. The goal of the project is to create a Health Transition Toolkit for Youth and Young Adults with Special Health Needs (YYASHN) that will support their transition from pediatric to adult health care through the provision of resources and information.
-Vanessa Acosta, MPH ’22
Alexandra Gugliuzza | Boston Childcare Support Initiative: Building Provider Capacity and Promoting Early Childhood Health Equity
This summer I will be working in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Office of Community Health and early childcare educators in the Boston area. Childcare providers provide an essential service for many families in our community but due to enduring structural forces, risk of closure during the pandemic was especially heightened for Black and Brown providers. In this context, I will be serving and learning from providers located in neighborhoods of Boston with the highest concentration of Black and Latinx families to build collective capacity of childcare providers, provide programmatic assistance for mini grants to support costs of reopening requirements, and host training/education sessions tailored to the shared needs of providers.
-Alexandra Gugliuzza, MPH ’22
Veronica Handunge | Understanding housing barriers among justice-involved populations during the COVID-19 pandemic
This summer, I’m working with Justice 4 Housing (J4H), a grassroots organization with a mission to end housing discrimination and homelessness for formerly incarcerated and justice-involved individuals. My project is focused on supporting J4H’s data needs as well as their COVID-19 vaccine education initiative. I’m working with J4H on survey development and creating a report on housing barriers and discrimination that can support J4H’s advocacy work. I’m also participating in J4H’s outreach to individuals posting bail at the Nashua Street Jail with support of the Mass Bail Fund.
-Veronica Handunge, MPH ’22
Hannah Jin | UNRWA Nutritional Guidelines
-Hannah Jin, MPH ’22
Bethany Kotlar | Birth Beyond Bars: Caregiver Relationships and Reunification
My project is with the nonprofit Motherhood Beyond Bars, which serves pregnant and postpartum incarcerated people and their families to collect qualitative data to determine how families form temporary caregiving relationships for newborns of incarcerated mothers.
-Bethany Kotlar, PhD ’25
Brandon McBay | Understanding COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Among Pregnant Individuals in Chelsea, MA
This summer, I will be collaborating with individuals at MGH’s Chelsea HealthCare Center on work that seeks to qualitatively examine the perceived barriers and challenges to COVID-19 vaccination among pregnant and postpartum individuals in Chelsea, MA. The goal of this work is to better understand the nuances of vaccine uptake in an at-risk population embedded within community hit hard by the pandemic.
-Brandon McBay, MPH ’22
Samuel Mendez | Tribally-led MMRC Self-Assessment
Sam will be working with National Indian Health Board to develop a self-assessment for Tribes and Tribal organizations working to set up Tribally-led maternal mortality review.
-Sam Mendez, PhD ’24
Even Paglisotti | Partnership with SAYFTEE to Support TNB Youth and Caregivers
In partnering with SAYFTEE, Even looks forward to connecting and growing relationships with transgender and nonbinary youth, their families, and local youth-serving organizations. Their projects include co-facilitation of youth programming and evaluation of programming for caregivers of transgender and nonbinary youth. They will also curate and co-create caregiver psychoeducation resources, analyze needs of communitiy referrals, and network with other youth-serving organizations to strengthen connections and provide education and training on the needs of queer, transgender, and nonbinary young people.
-Even Paglisotti, PhD ’25