PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Every year in April, Brown celebrates National Public Health Week with opportunities that highlight the impact of the University’s public health researchers. This year, the week includes special episodes of School of Public Health’s “Humans in Public Health” podcast, a conversation with Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, deputy coordinator for the White House national mpox response, and Public Health Research Day, a festive and inclusive poster conference — all aligned with the national theme of Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health.
Nearly 150 researchers presented during the poster conference, more than double the number in 2022. Undergraduate, master’s, Ph.D. and post-doctoral students gathered in Alumnae Hall to discuss research topics that ranged from health inequities to the impact of climate on health to the benefits of harm reduction approaches.
The session is considered the week’s flagship event, said Jennifer Tidey, associate dean for research at SPH.
“Public Health Research Day is our opportunity to celebrate the research that our undergraduate, master's and doctoral students are undertaking at the School of Public Health in a wide variety of important areas,” Tidey said. “We are thrilled to recognize the dedication of our students, trainees, faculty, staff and Rhode Island Department of Health partners to enhancing public health practices locally, nationally and internationally.”
The conference also gives students practice communicating the significance of their work to non-scientists — a skill that Tidey said is critical to the practice of public health.
Along with awards for outstanding undergraduate, master’s and doctoral research posters, SPH offered a new award for the student research poster that demonstrated significant efforts to center the needs and concerns of the community being studied. This was judged by guests from Rhode Island community organizations and community-based research staff from SPH. All awards will be announced on April 17.
“Students often choose research topics that are personal to them, so they learn about the process of doing research in a community they belong to,” said Jesse Yedinak, assistant dean of education at SPH. “Others are able to share what they learned through building relationships with a diversity of communities and cultures. When students design a study in partnership with a community, they understand the strengths and history of the community, not just the barriers or negative health issues.”
Here's what five School of Public Health students shared about their research projects and the communities involved: