Brown students, alumni present at APHA annual meeting

Public Health; Research; Students

The American Public Health Association’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago featured a number of poster presentations by Brown School MPH students.  

Presenters included Irene Taranhike and Jeffrey Wilhite, both MPH ’16 candidates, who collaborated on a poster about off-field violence by players in the National Football League. They found the NFL’s average penalty for players who committed assault against spouses or girlfriends was $1600 lower than the penalties for players who committed other assaults.

The difference in penalties, though not statistically significant, could be contributing to the incidence of attacks on domestic partners, Wilhite said. “There needs to be an increase in uniform penalties for domestic abuse and assault,” he said.

The APHA meeting, Oct. 29-Nov. 2, was Wilhite’s first. “It was a great networking opportunity,” he said. “It was my first time going to a conference of that scale. There were a million things you could stop and pick up on, an onslaught of information.”

Ramya Ramadas, MPH ’17 candidate, also presented her poster, “Acculturation, Stress and Depressive Symptoms Among Urban Emerging Latino Adults.” Among her findings: young Mexican-American males were more likely to experience depression as they became more acculturated to the U.S. The research was done as part of her honors thesis as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley.

At the Brown School, Ramadas is focusing on health policy analysis. She said attending the conference connected her to the breadth of the field of public health. “It was very eye-opening,” she said, “to go to the talks and see various facets of public health and how much there is.”

A number of Brown School alumni also presented their research at the conference, covering topics such as malaria prevention efforts in Angola and HIV prevention for adults over 50.

“Attending national meetings like this is an important part of professional socialization for our students,” said Matthew Kreuter, Kahn Family Professor of Public Health and Associate Dean for Public Health at the Brown School. “When they actively participate by sharing their own work, that’s even better.”