May 27, 2016


In the News:

Congressional caucus briefed on health disparities among boys and men

Masculinity is important but it is not the reason boys and men of color or sexual minority males live shorter, sicker lives than their peers, said Vanderbilt professor Derek Griffith during a congressional briefing in Washington about health disparities among men and boys. “Poor men, men of color, and gay men tend to be invisible when it comes to health policy yet hyper-visible when determining risk and blame for poor health,” said Griffith, director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health at Vanderbilt University. The event, titled “Eliminating Health Disparities Among Men and Boys,” was sponsored by the American Psychological Association’s Working Group on Health Disparities in Boys and Men and the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus. The co-chairs of the caucus – U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., D-N.J., and U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., attended. MORE

NIH awards $11.6 million grant to Vanderbilt, Miami and Meharry for new center to study precision medicine and health disparities

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), the University of Miami and Meharry Medical College were recently awarded a five-year, $11.6 million grant to launch a new center that will enable research using precision medicine to eradicate health disparities, specifically those among African-Americans and Latinos. The Vanderbilt-Miami-Meharry Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population Health will leverage unique institutional assets and resources to develop novel methods and catalyze approaches to advance population health. MORE

Four from Vanderbilt receive Critical Language Scholarships

Two Vanderbilt students and two recent graduates will spend the summer abroad in intensive language programs as U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship recipients. Corbin Allender, a College of Arts and Science student and member of the Class of 2018, will study Chinese in Tianan, Taiwan. Ariana Fowler, a medicine, health and society major and member of the Class of 2017, is headed to Lucknow, India to study Urdu. Veronica Fulton, a political science, economics and French major and member of the Class of 2016, is studying Korean in Gwangiu, South Korea. Deya Maldas, a human and organizational development, music and economics major and member of the Class of 2016, will spend the summer in Kolkata, India, where she will study Bangla. The Critical Language Scholarship Program is part of a U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. MORE

Anthropology celebrates year of big wins for graduate students

Five Ph.D. students affiliated with the Department of Anthropology have landed significant grants this year, continuing a long trend of success for the department’s graduate students. Keitlyn Alcantara, a fourth-year Ph.D. student embarking on her dissertation research, has won a Fulbright to support bioarchaeological research in Mexico next fall. Emma Banks, a fourth-year Ph.D. student, has won an NSF grant to support cultural anthropological field work in Colombia. Kyle Harper, who will matriculate into the Department of Anthropology’s Ph.D. program upon completion of his M.A. at the Center for Latin American Studies, has won a Fulbright to support archaeological research in Brazil.  Toni Villaseñor-Marchal, a first-year Ph.D. student pursuing a specialty in bioarchaeology, has won an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to support three years of graduate education free of teaching or research assistantships. MORE

Policy Prescriptions: Melinda Buntin brings Washington expertise to Vanderbilt’s Department of Health Policy

Health care once seemed simple: You got sick, called a doctor, and paid the bill as best you could. Today health care accounts for nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. gross domestic product—about $3 trillion of economic activity annually. With a greater focus on how the health care system functions, particularly in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, Vanderbilt has adjusted its own research and teaching programs surrounding public health and health policy. [I]n 2013…Vanderbilt created the Department of Health Policy, which now houses the MPH program and is chaired by Melinda Buntin, professor of health policy, who previously served as deputy assistant director for health at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). MORE

Commencement regalia recycled for the first time; gowns made of plastic bottles

This year, for the first time, graduating Vanderbilt undergraduate students could recycle their regalia following Commencement. Oak Hall Cap and Gown provided Vanderbilt graduates with gowns made from 100 percent postconsumer plastic bottles. After the ceremony the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) collected caps and gowns to be recycled into new product once again. An average of 23 plastic bottles goes into making each gown, which means the Class of 2016 wore robes made of 38,000 plastic bottles that were diverted from landfills. MORE


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