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Introducing Summer Institute Participants (Batch 1)


by Nicole VanKim

Guest Blogger, Reporting from the Summer Institute 2011

I wanted to use this opportunity to introduce participants of this year’s Summer Institute. As I have mentioned before, a variety of academic disciplines are represented and all the participants are doing great work in improving our understanding of LGBT health.

Here are (in alphabetical order) six of the Summer Institute participants:

Edward J. Alessi is assistant professor of social work at Rutgers University. He received his Ph.D. in Clinical Social Work from New York University and his M.S in Social Work from Columbia University.  He is interested in lesbian, gay, and bisexual mental health issues, particularly the connection between social stressors and psychiatric disorders.

Robert Coulter works at the Center for Research on High Risk Behaviors in the Health and Human Development Division at Education Development Center. He is also a part-time graduate student in social and behavioral sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. In addition, Robert serves on the Massachusetts Commission on GLBT Youth, which recommends and advocates to all branches of state government effective policies, programs, and resources for LGBT youth to thrive.

Nicholas Eaton is a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota. His research primarily concerns the conceptualization, assessment, and intersection of psychopathology, personality, and other individual differences. In particular, he examines how to classify mental disorders empirically so that they most accurately reflect the data.

Shandu Foster is a graduate student in the doctoral program in Sociology at Indiana University. He received his BA in Sociology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from Hunter College. His interests are broadly defined in the areas of medical sociology, social psychology, race, gender and sexuality. Shandu was a recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health – Career Opportunities in Research fellowship.

Kristi E. Gamarel is a doctoral student at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in the Social Personality Psychology Department. She currently works at the Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies & Training. Her research focuses on understanding and documenting the perspectives of socially-disadvantaged group members (with a particular emphasis on LGBT youth and young adults) and examining psychosocial and contextual factors that influence health promotion among populations affected by HIV/AIDS.

Eric Anthony Grollman is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Indiana University. His research focuses on the role of sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and gender on individuals’ health and worldviews. His recent research examines the physical, mental, and sexual health consequences of discrimination and prejudice. He strives to stress the importance of examining the intersections among race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Eric is also a blogger for the Kinsey Institute. Read his blog here.

Come back next week to learn more about other Summer Institute participants!

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