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Magazine June 2012

UCLA Public Health Magazine

June 2012

Attendees at Fielding Naming Ceremony June 2012
The UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health has a new name and a historic endowment, thanks to an extraordinary gift valued at $50 million from one of the school’s own faculty members, Los Angeles County founding public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding, and his wife, Karin Fielding.

Dean's Message

Linda Rosenstock smiling for the camera
We celebrate a new era with this issue of the magazine, our first as the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health. This issue also represents a milestone for me, as I convey my last dean’s message. It has been an honor serving as dean of the school, and I am tremendously proud of our collective achievements.
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Articles

Attendees at Fielding Naming Ceremony June 2012
The UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health has a new name and a historic endowment, thanks to an extraordinary gift valued at $50 million from one of the school’s own faculty members, Los Angeles County founding public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding, and his wife, Karin Fielding.
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young people with shovels ready to work
Yash La Casa Market in East Los Angeles underwent a major overhaul last fall as part of a five-year UCLA Fielding School of Public Health project designed to see whether a a two-pronged strategy can improve healthy behaviors while proving economically viable for the corner store owners.
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2012 Student Competition Participants
As part of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s 2012 Student Competition, five students were selected as finalists and invited to deliver a five-minute oral presentation at the 38th Annual Lester Breslow Distinguished Lecture April 18 on how they would either solve or creatively analyze or evaluate health disparities. The students, representing the school’s five departments, each received a $1,000 prize from Molina Healthcare Inc. A distinguished panel of judges selected two winners, Shemra Rizzo and Rebecca Wolfe, who each received a $5,000 prize courtesy of the Breslow Student Fellowship Fund and the new Fielding endowment.
Linda Rosenstock smiling for the camera
Having led the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health to unprecedented levels of achievement and prestige, Dr. Linda Rosenstock announced in September 2011 that she would step down after nearly 12 years as the school’s dean, effective July 1 of this year.
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Robin Jeffries accepts an award from Dean Emeritus Abdelmonem A. Afifi.
Robin Jeffries, Jennifer Tsiu, and Tyler Watson are just a few of the students who received student awards during the 2011–2012 academic year.

Research Highlights

Commercial aircraft at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) emit into nearby areas large quantities of ultrafine particles – small particles that are not regulated but have been shown to be more toxic than larger particles – according to a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health study published in the journal Atmospheric Environment.
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UCLA researchers may have found a key to identifying Parkinson’s disease patients who will progress rapidly toward motor decline, a finding that raises hopes for the development of new therapies and could help to identify patients who would most benefit from early intervention.
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Sexual minority stress, along with aging-related stress, jeopardizes the mental health of midlife and older gay men, according to a UCLA Fielding School of Public Health-led study published in the American Journal of Public Health.
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The growing diversity of the U.S. immigrant population underscores the need for improved cultural competence and an increased role for health care providers in facilitating the integration of the foreign-born population into the U.S. health care system, according to a research paper co-authored by Dr. Arturo Vargas Bustamante, assistant professor of health services in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
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Coffee may do more than keep us awake; a study led by Dr. Simin Liu, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, adds to evidence that the caffeine in one of the world’s most popular beverages may also contribute to better health. Specifically, Liu’s group has provided a new explanation for the association of caffeinated coffee consumption with lower type 2 diabetes risk.

Faculty Profiles

Jonathan Fielding at school's naming ceremony
Dr. Jonathan Fielding tells his staff that when it comes to improving the health of the 10 million people living in the nation’s most populous county, impatience is a virtue.
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Student Profiles

Nicole Vayssier with a group of people
Nicole Vayssier’s decision to focus on a global health MPH had much to do with her international background. “Having lived in many different countries, from a young age I was aware of the social and health inequalities that continue to exist among disadvantaged groups. I feel I should be part of finding the solution.”
Dayo Spencer-Walters in Sierra Leone by a sign
Dayo Spencer-Walters found herself inspired by her professors in the MPH program at the Fielding School Department of Community Health Sciences. “They were so passionate about what they were doing,” Spencer-Walters says, “and they all had extensive practical experience in the field, which helped to contextualize what they were teaching.”

News Briefs

head shot of Larry Brilliant
Dr. Larry Brilliant was honored by the school as a Global Health Champion at a June 4 event. Brilliant, a philanthropist, professor, inventor and computer networking pioneer who serves as president and CEO of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, has been a leader in the drive to eradicate smallpox, polio and needless blindness.
New faculty appointments at the Fielding School of Public Health.
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Alumni Hall of Fame

The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to honor alumni with outstanding career accomplishments in public health, as well as those who have volunteered time and talent in their communities in support of public health activities. The 2012 inductees exemplify the school's commitment to teaching, research and service.