Society for Applied Anthropology 2019
UC Merced Research Week Presentation
University of California Global Health Day
UC Merced graduate students and faculty members from the Department of Public Health attended the sixth annual UC Global Health Day on April 22 at UC San Diego. The system-wide conference on global health showcases the research, training, and outreach taking place across the University of California. Two second-year PhD students Zahra Goliaei and Andrea Lopez presented. Zahra’s poster presentation was on food insecurity among recently arrived Afghani Refugees in San Joaquin Valley California and Andrea was a panelist for the session Immigration policy as a social determinant of health: From national policy to local implications for immigrant health. Faculty member Denise Payan’s mentee Kara Faktor also presented her work on perceptions of foreign medical aid among Honduran healthcare providers. The event will next be held at the UC Santa Barbara campus.
UC Smoke and Tobacco Free Fellowship Awards
UC Smoke and Tobacco Free Fellows presented at the end of the year Certificate Celebration on May 3 in Oakland, CA. Tobacco related diseases are the leading cause of death world-wide, in the United States and in California, the University of California is committed to preventing this and established UC Smoke and Tobacco Free Student Fellowships. Each campus receives support for one-year student projects. With guidance from Professor Nancy Burke, Andrea Lopez and fellow graduate students Tashelle Wright and Jazmine Kenny conducted a need assessment to determine smoking/vaping behaviors at UC Merced. They conducted a web-based survey and focus groups. The team found the majority of students do not smoke traditional cigarettes, 10% are current e-cigarette users, and 36% reported currently using marijuana. Students also reported high levels of anxiety, stress, and depression. These rates were higher among e-cigarette and marijuana users compared to non-users. Future work in this area might explore marijuana use as a coping tool for mental health as oppose to recreational use. The fellowships are part of the UC Systemwide Smoke and Tobacco Free Task force, which is committed to help foster the next generation of leaders addressing smoking and maintain smoke and tobacco free environments.