Lisa Chow, A09

Lisa worked for the La Maison Française, organizing lectures, conferences, and concerts related to French culture. Though La Maison Française is part of NYU, they are only partially funded by the university and must raise all its operating costs. Lisa co-organized an event called Blurring Borders: Reimagining Strangers, a conversation among three authors on immigration, writing, cultural stereotypes, and perceptions of their respective countries: Haiti, Venezuela, and France via Iran. Every step in Lisa’s career and education has been guided by a desire to facilitate cross-cultural dialogue. She was committed to this path and enthusiastic about using knowledge and skills from the NCORE conference to further her work and professional development. Lisa Chow requested funding to attend NCORE, a forum for building skills, alliances, and knowledge. Lisa’s career has been all about connecting with people and continually gaining a greater understanding of them. NCORE would give her the opportunity to hear from leaders and connect with peers from other universities to inform her work in cross-cultural organizational and communication skills.

Teresa Czepiel, SG12

Teresa Czepiel has practiced yoga, dance, somatic movement, and meditation for over 20 years and planned to take the Embodyoga 300-hour Teacher Training at Yoga Center Amherst in Amherst, MA. This teacher training session helped Teresa advance her therapeutic yoga practice as an occupational therapist to better serve the needs of Veterans. This training further ed Teresa’s career through a deeper understanding of how to use yoga with Veterans who face challenges such as depression and chronic pain, and also how to train other healthcare professionals to do so. As evidence supports the efficacy of yoga in improving anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. Soon after graduating from Tufts Boston School of Occupational Therapy, Teresa joined VA Boston, where she developed an adaptive yoga group for Veterans with spinal cord injuries. Veterans reported positive outcomes in stress and pain management, decreased anxiety, and increased body awareness, as well as overall well-being. In 2016, she was invited by VA senior leadership to step into a new role as Integrative Health and Wellness Coordinator. She was considered VA Boston’s Subject Matter Expert in Complementary and Integrative Health (CIH) approaches including yoga, Tai Chi, and meditation for Veterans and employees. Teresa was deeply passionate about the work she does with Veterans and is eager to expand her practice to better serve their needs.

Kenia Estevez, A14, AG16

Kenia Estevez sought funds to subsidize the cost of becoming a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Massachusetts. Kenia graduated from Boston College in 2016 with her Masters in Mental Health Counseling and has been working in the field for a few years. Kenia used the funds from the Professional Development Fund to cover the costs of taking the LMHC exam and after passing the exam to cover the fee to receive the license itself.  At Tufts, Kenia majored and minored in Clinical Psychology and Child Development. As she always knew she wanted to help people and was drawn to the mental health field. During her time at Boston College, her work focused on social justice and included courses on how to work with marginalized people in the context of trauma. She interned at the Alzheimer’s Association in Watertown, MA doing Latino Outreach which included reaching out to large Latino communities and providing culturally competent services and Alzheimer’s education. Kenia’s clinical internship took place during the 2015-2016 academic year at Franciscan Hospital CBAT unit in Brighton, MA where she treated children between the ages of 5-14 who had severe behavioral and emotional issues by providing individual and group therapy sessions. This funding greatly changed the trajectory of Kenia’s career because it helped to widen the scope of people she can reach with her services. Before she was licensed, she was limited to seeing clients with Masshealth insurance only. However, after achieving her license, she was able to see clients with various insurances, therefore increasing the impact of her work while also helping her to advance in her career.

Amanda Fencl, A07, PhD18

Amanda Fencl used the funding from the Professional Development Fund to attend a 2-week intensive workshop for graduate students and junior faculty hosted by the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research (IQMR). IQMR attendees present their research design, receive constructive feedback on that design, and learn new methods to incorporate into existing and future research. During the 2 weeks, Amanda participated in sessions on combining qualitative and quantitative methods with the overall goal of causal inference, computer-assisted text analysis, and managing and sharing qualitative data. After her research experiences as an undergraduate, Amanda was able to become a full-time researcher with the Stockholm Environment Institute, an internationally ranked and renowned environmental think tank. Six years later, she left the job to pursue a Ph.D. in the fall of 2013, with the goal to learn how to design, implement, and lead her own research projects. As a 5th-year Ph.D. Candidate, Amanda has much of her data; she learned from drinking water system managers about drought and climate change through a 2015 online survey and semi-structured interviews in the summer of 2016. As a researcher, the problems Amanda was interested in demanded a mixed-methods approach, while much of her training has been quantitative. Thus, the in-depth qualitative methods sequences offered at the IQMR were extremely helpful.

Caitlin Quinn, A11, SG17

Caitlin Quinn currently worked as a remote consultant for the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization. She was passionate about her work because she got to collaborate with other HIV researchers around the globe and had the ability to make a large impact on HIV research and policy. Caitlin requested funds to cover her conference registration and lodging for the 22nd International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the leading annual conference for experts in HIV research. That year’s conference highlighted new research findings and addressed gaps in HIV prevention for vulnerable populations affected by the HIV epidemic. Caitlin was the lead author of a quantitative analysis characterizing men who have never tested for HIV in sub-Saharan Africa and offering new insight on how to reach men with HIV testing, which has been submitted as an abstract for the AIDS 2018 conference. She also co-authored four other abstracts submitted to the conference. The costs, however, associated with this conference are high and as a consultant, Caitlin was not considered an official employee of the World Health Organization and needed to cover the costs of flights and incidentals, in addition to the conference registration ($1080) and lodging for the week ($1200) herself. Thus, the Tufts University Alumni Association Professional Development Fund allowed Caitlin the opportunity to present the posters for her accepted abstracts and demonstrate and promote the HIV Testing Services mobile application to other HIV experts who used the tool in global HIV programs. Caitlin's career goal was to reduce inequalities in access to HIV testing, care, and treatment services, especially for vulnerable populations like female sex workers, men who have sex with men, adolescents, and pregnant women. This conference gave her the opportunity to do so as well as network with global HIV experts and work face-to-face with her supervisor and WHO colleagues.