A survivor of Sierra Leone’s civil war decades ago who fled as a refugee at age 12, third-year PhD student Moiyattu Banya focuses her research on mental health services and interventions for adolescent girls and young women, particularly in West Africa. In recognition of her promise as a boundary pushing scholar in the field of global mental health, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) selected her as one of seven recipients of the 2023 Global Mental Health Visionary Innovators Shaping Tomorrow’s Advancements (VISTA) Awards.
NYU Silver PhD Student Jackie Cosse has been awarded the American Public Health Association (APHA) LGBTQ Health Caucus’ Walter J. Lear Outstanding Student Research Award for her APHA Annual Meeting submission exploring the varying ways that health is conceptualized by a diverse sample of LGBTQ+ adults.
Yuanyuan Hu was selected to attend the Gerontological Society of America’s (GSA) 2023 Diversity Mentoring and Career Development Technical Assistance Workshop for Early Career Fellowship and received an Early Career Diversity Fellows Stipend Award of $1,500. The award supports registration for and participation in the workshop, attendance for the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, and engagements that occur throughout the year.
PhD Program Honors Exceptional Scholarship with Robert Moore Award and Diane Greenstein Fellowship
At the end of each academic year, NYU Silver’s PhD Program presents the Robert Moore Award to a doctoral student whose defended dissertation meets high standards of scholarship and the Diane Greenstein Memorial Fellowship to a doctoral student who has completed an exemplary dissertation proposal.
Dr. Yangjin Park, PhD ’22, received the 2022-23 Robert Moore Award for his dissertation “Multiple Risk Patterns and Bullying Perpetration and Victimization among Children.” The $1,000 award, funded by NYU Silver’s Dean, was established in 2009 in recognition of the many contributions to the PhD Program and the School made by Professor Dr. Robert Moore, who passed away in 2008.
PhD Candidates Sabrina Cluesman and Cliff Whetung were co-recipients of the 2022-23 Diane Greenstein Memorial Fellowship, a $5,000 award established in 2001 by the family, friends, and colleagues of Diane S. Greenstein, an NYU social work PhD candidate who passed away in 2000 before she was able to complete the doctoral program. Sabrina’s dissertation research will examine the impact of gender minority stress and gender affirmation on HIV preexposure prophylaxis use by Black and Latinx transgender and gender-expansive youth and emerging adults. Cliff’s dissertation research will test the relationship between lifespan stress exposures and cognition among Native American and Alaska Native older adults. Both dissertations demonstrate great promise to advance knowledge in the social work profession and related fields.
Rising third year PhD student Fatima Mabrouk was selected as a fellow in the 2023-24 class of NYU’s Urban Doctoral Fellowship Program, which promotes collaboration and scholarly discourse among a select group of doctoral students engaged in urban research across the university. Her research is centered on historically underrepresented Black women social workers who experience racial microaggressions in urban not-for-profit mental health settings.
Second year PhD student Moiyattu Banya was selected to participate in the summer 2023 LEAD Global Training Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Participation in the program will strengthen her training and provide hands-on experience to advance her research on mental health services and outcomes for adolescent girls and young women in West Africa and particularly her home country, Sierra Leone.
Dr. Yangjin Park, a 2022 graduate of NYU Silver’s PhD Program who is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, has received NYU’s 2023 Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences category for “Multiple Risk Patterns and Bullying Perpetration and Victimization among Children.” A Research Assistant at NYU Silver’s Center on Violence and Recovery during his doctoral studies, Dr. Park is committed to reducing violence and trauma among vulnerable populations.
PhD Candidate Cliff Whetung, whose research is focused on inequities in cognitive health among Indigenous older adults, is one of 13 social work doctoral students selected for the inaugural Grand Challenges for Social Work Doctoral Award cohort. The fellowship provides mentorship and a $3,000 stipend, sponsored by a grant from The New York Community Trust, to support research that better connects the recipients’ dissertation or capstone projects to the people and communities they are studying.
In the wake of U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy’s advisory that highlighted the mental health crisis among the nation’s adolescents and young adults (A-YA), a systematic review lead authored by PhD student Aaron Rodwin found promising evidence that music-based intervention programs can improve engagement in treatment and mental health outcomes among A-YA.
First year PhD Student Brittney Singletary has been selected by the New York City Reducing Inequality Network (NYC-RIN) as a member of its fifth cohort of Inequality Fellows. Her research emphasis is on understanding cultural influences on complex trauma and adverse experiences in African American youth, and how cultural influences impact mental health outcomes, with a supplemental focus on suicidal youth and intervention development. As an Inequality Fellow, Brittney has been awarded a $5,000 stipend to apply to her research and professional development.
Second year PhD student Moiyattu Banya was selected as a fellow in the 2022-23 class of NYU’s Urban Doctoral Fellowship Program, a highly competitive fellowship that fosters collaboration and scholarly discourse among a diverse group of faculty and students engaged in urban research. Her research interests focus on the mental health of girls, young women and communities in African countries, as well as the mental health of refugee and immigrant African youth in the United States.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse awarded NYU Silver PhD Candidate Sabrina Cluesman a two-year, $76,378 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31) for her dissertation research. Her project will examine the impact of gender minority stress and gender affirmation on HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use by Black and Latinx transgender and gender-expansive (e.g. gender non-binary, non-conforming, genderqueer) youth and emerging adults ages 13-24 years.
PhD Candidate Cliff Whetung Awarded NIH Grant to Study Cognitive Inequities in Indigenous Older Adults
PhD candidate Cliff Whetung was awarded a two-year, $127,735 National Institute on Aging R36 Aging Research Dissertation Grant to Increase Diversity for his research on inequities in cognitive health among indigenous older adults. Cliff will test the Minority Stress and Cognition Model with Native American and Alaska Native older adults using restricted data from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from 2006 to 2018. He aims to shed light on the cognitive health profiles of these indigenous older adults and also to promote their equitable inclusion in future cognitive health research, policy, and interventions.
NYU Silver PhD student Daniel Baslock and PhD candidate Sabrina Cluesman have been awarded highly competitive scholarships to attend the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research’s (ICPSR) 2022 Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research at the University of Michigan. The prestigious program, held over the course of eight weeks, offers a comprehensive curriculum of intensive courses in research design, statistics, data analysis, and social methodology.
PhD candidate Ortal Wasser has received an Emerging Scholars in Family Planning Grant from the Society of Family Planning (SFP) to support her dissertation research on the financial burden of accessing abortion care in the United States and its associations with pre-abortion mental health.
Third-year PhD Student Yuanyuan Hu was awarded a $500 grant from the C.V. Starr Fund for Asian/Pacific/American Research to support her dissertation research on improving mental health services use among older Chinese adults through a mixed-methods study exploring integration of behavioral health and social services.
NYU Silver’s PhD Program was well represented at the sectional awards ceremonies at the American Public Health Association (APHA) 2020 Annual Meeting and Expo. Second-year PhD student Sabrina Cluesman, MSW, LCSW, received the APHA HIV/AIDS Section’s David Rosenstein Award for Best Student Abstract and 2020 graduate Lauren Jessell, PhD, received the APHA Public Health Social Work Section’s Public Health Social Work Student Award.
First year PhD Student Cliff Whetung was chosen by the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) for the ninth cohort of its Gerontological Social Work Pre-Dissertation Fellows Program.
NYU Silver third-year PhD student Laura Esquivel has been selected as a 2019 Science Alliance Leadership Training (SALT) Program Fellow by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). Each year, the fellowship provides exceptional PhD students in STEM fields with preparation and training to assume leadership roles throughout their professional careers.