2023 Graduate Student Contribution to Community Life Award Recipients
David Arango, originally from Medellín, Colombia, moved to Tampa, FL at a young age. He will receive an MPH in Global Health. His passion for global health was influenced by his undergraduate research and learning experiences in Japan, Canada, Panama, Vietnam, and the United Kingdom. David holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Health at the University of South Florida. While at Brown, he was elected to be part of the Brown University School of Public Health Graduate Student Council (SPH-GSC) and served as the SPH-GSC Chair of Academic and Student Affairs where he advocated for students at SPH. David assisted in developing student events for to celebrate diversity and build community which led him to create the Students for Latinos/Latinx in Public Health, the first cultural affinity group at SPH. His vision for the organization was to promote and discuss public health topics relating to the Latinx population through research and community engagement. As an SPH Student Ambassador, David mentored SPH students in the MPH program. He was selected as a Graduate Community Fellow for Health and Wellness where he introduced mindfulness practices to graduate students. He participated in the Sheridan Teaching Seminar, Sheridan Course Design Seminar, Brown Executive Scholars Training (BEST) Program, Emerging Infectious Disease Scholars (EIDS) Program, and Research Matters. David will be conducting global health research in Mexico this upcoming summer and hopes to continue field work to promote health equity worldwide.
Joe Colleyshaw hails from Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK. Before coming to Brown, Joe received an MA in Modern History and Russian from the University of St Andrews, UK, in 2015 and an MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies from Leiden University, The Netherlands, in 2016. He defended his dissertation with distinction in the Department of Slavic Studies in May 2023, also being awarded the Dr Pranas A. Sveikauskas Award for outstanding dissertations. His work examines the rehabilitation of the late Russian Empire under the Rule of Tsar Nicholas II in Putin’s Russia. Joe was awarded the Open Graduate Education Program Award, receiving a concurrent MA in Political Science in 2021. Within his department, Joe has helped ensure a distinctive sense of community amongst graduate students, advocating for professional development within the program whilst serving as the Graduate representative at departmental meetings. He first joined the Graduate Student Council(GSC) in 2018 as a representative, before joining the executive board first as Treasurer, 2020-2022, and then President 2022-2023. As Treasurer, Joe oversaw the expansion of financing for recognized groups. During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped release emergency funds from the GSC to support fellow graduates experiencing food insecurity and financial hardship. As GSC President, he advocated for reviews of DIAP and OEID processes, increased support for professional development and bi-directional feedback between graduate students and faculty. During his time on the GSC, Joe has advocated for greater integration of graduate students onto Brown’s campus. After graduation, Joe will be a Dean’s Faculty Fellow within the Slavic Studies Department, where he will explore the contemporary culture of Russia and Ukraine and how they relate to their distinctive and shared pasts.
Kathryn Thompson, born in Meridian, MS, grew up in Lake Mary, FL. Before arriving at Brown, she received a Bachelor of Science in 2014 and a Master of Health Administration in 2017 from the University of Central Florida. Kathryn will receive her doctoral degree in Health Services Research from the department of Health Services, Policy and Practice in the School of Public Health. Her dissertation focused on achieving health equity for Black mothers on Medicaid and her work aspires to increase the awareness about the challenges to Black mothers, the effects of structural racism on maternal health outcomes, and to explore the research questions surrounding access to health services, birth equity, and quality of care for vulnerable populations. Kathryn is committed to teaching and mentorship, with a focus on maternal and child health, health policy, Medicaid policy, social determinants of health, and disparities in public health. She gained valuable teaching experience as an instructor, graduate teaching assistant, and course facilitator at Brown and at Wheaton College. She served as an International Research Mentor and a College Admissions Coach and has been involved in various service and leadership roles. Her dedication to advocating for graduate students has been instrumental in fostering a vibrant and inclusive academic environment. One of Kathryn’s most notable leadership positions was President of the Graduate Student Council (GSC) where she assisted in creating a supportive environment for graduate students, ensuring their voices were heard on matters such as housing, food insecurity, affinity organization funding, and support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kathryn was an executive board member of the Nabrit Black Graduate Students Association, a Hassenfeld Institute Summer Scholar, and a DIAP Community and Nora Kahn Piore Award recipient. In the fall, Kathryn will start as an Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health in the departments of Community Health Sciences and Health Law, Policy, and Management.
Huy Đức Trần
Huy Đức Trần, from Stoughton, MA, will receive his Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health after completing an Sc.B in Biology under the Physiology and Biotechnology track. As a graduate student, Huy has continued his commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the community through support of the Campus Life Student Advisory Board (CLSAB), a board of undergraduate students who help to inform the work of Campus Life. In this role, Huy guided his work in building trust with students and supporting their personal experiences while constructively providing feedback to administrators. In addition to his leadership with the CLSAB, Huy advocated for the experiences of graduate students of color as a representative on the Brown Center for Students of Color Student Advisory Board where he participated in discussions on the strategic plan and provided feedback on center leadership searches and recent renovations. Huy also supported incoming graduate students of color in their transition to Brown during orientation, facilitation workshops on cultivating healthy social support networks and coordinating the two-day event. At the School of Public Health, Huy's work has centered on health equity. As a Hassenfeld Summer Scholar, he supported community-based research around healthy eating among local immigrant communities, drawing on his experiences in courses where he designed text messages and resource pages on prenatal care for pregnant individuals. For his thesis, he used spatial analysis methods to explore how social and structural factors such as greenness and race shape park use and access across areas in RI, with pregnant individuals as an important subgroup. Huy has served as a Teaching Assistant for courses related to Social Determinants of Health and Race, Racism, and Health and in his final semester, Huy participated in the Brown Executive Scholars Training Program (BEST). In the future, Huy hopes to draw from his experiences and his family and communities’ rich histories to work as a physician and an administrative leader in higher education. In particular, he hopes to advocate for more equitable spaces and pathways for Vietnamese-American and first-generation students and support those who aspire to become physicians.