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!


Week Two of the Summer Institute: Data Analysis Course

by Nicole VanKim

Guest Blogger, Reporting from the Summer Institute 2011

Our very own Dr. Scout finished off the first week of seminars with a talk on the landscape of federal policy around LGBT health research. This week of the Summer Institute is the Intermediate Data Analysis Course. Led by Saundra Schneider and Niccole Pamphilis from the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, this week’s focus is on quantitative methods to look at LGBT health. We started the day off with a mini-introduction to quantitative methods and spent the afternoon reviewing project proposals that we had submitted last week. Everyone has really interesting projects and I will be sure to post more information on those projects in the next couple of weeks.


Powering through the first week of the Summer Institute

by Nicole VanKim

Guest Blogger, Reporting from the Summer Institute 2011

The first week of the Summer Institute has been an amazing jumping off point for the upcoming three weeks. In the past few days, we have covered numerous topics in the seminars including identifying populations, conceptual frameworks, research methods, research ethics, and how to write research papers. These topics provide many of the participants with some of the foundational pieces needed to effectively approach our research and in many ways, help to equalize the playing field for all of us in the room. For example, some participants come to the institute with very strong skills in conceptual frameworks and a lot of writing experience, while others may be stronger in the area of methods. Getting us all on the same page helps us to strengthen our respective weak spots. The data lab each afternoon has been filled with the low murmur of keyboard strokes, mouse clicks, and conversation about data nuances as we studiously explore our various datasets in preparation for setting up our research proposals. I am very excited to see what everyone’s project is going to be and look forward to hearing presentations on the final day of the institute.

Apart from the exciting happenings of the Institute, I will be enjoying my first weekend in “Beantown” with the major heat wave headed this way.


Summer Institute 2011 kicks-off

by Nicole VanKim

Guest Blogger, Reporting from the Summer Institute 2011

Today kicked-off the second Summer Institute in LGBT Health! This year, I join 17 other fabulous participants who come from a variety of academic backgrounds, including sociology, demography, anthropology, social work, human development, psychology, and public health. Over the next four weeks we will be attending seminar sessions in the morning and data labs in the afternoon, as well as a full week of a data analysis course next week. Topics covered in the seminar are partially guided by the recent IOM Report on LGBT Health, thus providing us with a clearer framework and more concrete guide for current and future work to improve the health of our communities. These seminars are led by Dr. Judith Bradford, who is one of the authors of the IOM report, and Dr. Aimee Van Wagenen as well as a great line-up of guest lecturers. The data lab, led by Sari Reisner,  provides the opportunity to pursue our own interests in LGBT health as that time is spent working on specific projects that will hopefully result in a manuscript or abstract and can give us a better sense of the landscape of LGBT health.

Besides the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Institute, this marks my first trip Boston and I really look forward to exploring and experiencing more of “the city on a hill”.

Stay tuned for more information over the next four weeks as I delve deeper into the Summer Institute!

Scholarship Opportunity

Blogger Nicole VanKim Takes On Boston

by Gustavo Torrez

Program Manager

For the next four weeks you all with get a front row seat as blogger Nicole VanKim takes on Boston attending the Summer Institute put on by the Population Center at the Fenway Institute.

The Summer Institute provides participants with foundational training in interdisciplinary theory, knowledge and methods for conducting population research in sexual and gender minority health. Held over four weeks at Fenway Health and Boston University, the Summer
Institute will include:

  1. A dynamic Cornerstone Seminar in LGBT Health and Social Life that will overview key topics, methods, and perspectives in the interdisciplinary study of LGBT Health
  2. An intermediate-level statistics and quantitative Data Analysis Course
  3. Hands-on training in analysis of LGBT population health data in the Interactive Data Lab

Nicole VanKim is an epidemiology student and National Institutes of Health predoctoral fellow in obesity prevention at the University of Minnesota. Here’s her snazzy picture here!

Blogging Scholar and Student Nicole VanKim

Her current work explores health inequities among 2-year and 4-year college students, particularly in the area of weight and weight-related behaviors such as physical activity, nutrition, and unhealthy weight control behaviors. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Nicole was a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow with the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Bureau at the New Mexico Department of Health. While there, she developed New Mexico’s first LGBT health report and a statewide heart disease and stroke burden document. Nicole believes health is a social justice issue and as such she has worked with various health programs and community partners on epidemiology-based projects that highlight health inequities and social determinants of health. Nicole received her MPH in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota.

Shortly, you’ll be able to follow her posts at nvankimn.

Action Alerts

Call for Applications: The 2011 Summer Institute in LGBT Health

Aimeeby Aimee Van Wagenen

Guest blogger / Program Manager of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health

Call for Applications:

The Summer Institute in LGBT Health, open to postdoctoral trainees, doctoral students and advanced Masters’ students, provides participants with foundational training in interdisciplinary theory, knowledge and methods for conducting population research in sexual and gender minority health. To be held July 18-August 12 in Boston, the Institute includes a 3 week seminar that will overview key topics, methods, and perspectives in the study of LGBT Health, a one week intermediate-level statistics and data analysis course, and hands-on training and supervision in work on an independent analysis project with LGBT population health data.

The Summer Institute is part of The National Mentoring and Training Program of the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health at The Fenway Institute and is co-sponsored by the Boston University School of Public Health.  Please visit http://training.lgbtpopcenter.org to learn more about the program and how to apply.

There is no cost for tuition and slots are available for free housing in Boston University dormitories during the Institute.

Applications are due April 18, 2011.

Applicants are encouraged to contact Aimee Van Wagenen (summerinstitute@lgbtpopcenter.org) for further information.