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A look at some of the news happening at the Fielding School.
FIELDING SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE WELL AWARE of the importance of regular exercise — in fact, many have participated in initiatives designed to encourage people to become more active. But given the pressures and demands that come with graduate school and adult life, implementing exercise into their own routines can be challenging.
The FSPH Run Club has emerged as an increasingly popular tool to help students stay well. “Many are initially hesitant to come out because they’re worried about grades and tests,” says Alvan Cheng, a PhD student and Run Club co-founder along with fellow master’s students Michele Wong, Alison Ryan and Amanda Landrian. “But it’s a good break from studying, and a place where people from different departments can get together and be active.”
Since its creation in the spring of 2016, Run Club has grown from its four initial founding members to nearly 30, with about 20 students regularly participating in the group’s weekly workout. “We get people of all different levels,” Cheng says. “It’s been really cool to see how much participants have improved.”
One such student is Saanchi Shah, who says the extent of her physical activity since she joined the club went from just walking to and from class to now participating in the 2017 LA Marathon and Charity Relay. Shah ran 13.1 miles as part of the Fielding School’s Race to Health, which raised more than $20,000 for the third year in a row in support of student fieldwork.
“I had never imagined that I would be able to do something like run in the LA Marathon and Charity Relay,” Shah says. “The first day I went to Run Club I was really embarrassed. I could barely jog. I would get tired really quickly, but I just kept going.”
Over the past year, Run Club has grown from a social gathering into a support system that has helped to spark sustainable lifestyle changes for a number of Fielding School students while maintaining the sense of fun and community that inspired its creation.
“Without the support of Run Club, I wouldn’t have been motivated enough to run in the relay,” Shah says. “I used to think I didn’t have time, but after Run Club I feel so much more energetic and charged to study, like I can get more done in less time.”
DR. HILARY GODWIN, professor of environmental health sciences and associate dean for academic programs at the Fielding School, recently led an initiative to introduce the FSPH Community Fruit and Veggie Stand, located in the Office of the Dean. To promote healthy eating and sustainable practices, community members who have extra fruit or vegetables from their home gardens bring them in to share with others. People looking for a healthy snack are free to stop by during business hours and help themselves to any of the items in the bin.
AS PART OF NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH WEEK 2017, April 3-7, the Fielding School’s Students of Color for Public Health organized a week of events around the theme Public Health Awakened. With a series of vibrant and engaging lectures and activities throughout the week, students leading the effort sought to illustrate the effects of the current political climate on “the health of communities we are from, study and work with.”
DR. ZEYAN LIEW, a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Epidemiology at the Fielding School, was named a winner of the 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Postdoctoral Research. The award “recognizes individual research accomplishments that show clear potential to have meaningful and enduring implications in their field.” Liew was one of four winners among 18 finalists selected from the 1,314 postdoctoral scholars across UCLA’s campus.
TAL GOZANI has joined the Fielding School as assistant dean for development and alumni affairs. Previously, Gozani served as senior vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. In that role, she advised the federation’s Board of Trustees, led several high-profile volunteer committees, and cultivated relationships with major individual and foundation donors. Gozani has also served as curator at the Skirball Cultural Center, and as philanthropic advisor at the Righteous Persons Foundation. A proud Bruin, Gozani pursued her doctoral studies at UCLA, earning Candidate of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in history. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from UC Santa Cruz.
NEARLY EVERY DAY at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the office common area shared by the Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research and the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity, which are part of the Fielding School and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, FSPH staff, faculty and visitors gather to engage in a 10-minute aerobic exercise activity set to music.
The daily tradition is a tribute to work pioneered by the late Dr. Antronette (Toni) Yancey, FSPH professor of health policy and management, founding co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity, and a renowned advocate for the health benefits of incorporating brief sessions of physical activity into daily routines. Yancey introduced the mid-day activity to the centers in 2007, and since her passing in 2013 center staff have continued the daily tradition.
“As long as I’m here, we’re going to do this every day,” says Maria Trejo, project assistant for the centers, who has led the activity since 2015. “We’re going to continue in her honor, because she really wanted to spread the word and get people moving. It’s the least we can do — exercise for our own benefit.”
All members of the Fielding School community are welcome to join any day the center is open, at approximately 2:30 p.m. in CHS A2-125.