SPHHS Students Selected for National Program on Diversity and Equity in Leadership

From left to right: Camille Collins Lovell, Emily Lucero and Stevaughn Smith
From left to right: Camille Collins Lovell, Emily Lucero and Stevaughn Smith

Camille Collins Lovell, Emily Lucero and Stevaughn Smith were selected to represent the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Student Leadership Institute in recognition of their exceptional leadership and commitment to diversity and equity.

The 2021 institute launched at a two-day event held on Friday, April 9, and Monday, April 12, and the cohort will continue to interact throughout the year. Participants will focus on becoming more authentic and inclusive leaders, and learn how identities, unconscious biases and privilege affect the ability to lead and influence diverse stakeholders. They will then be aided in using their knowledge to create a more inclusive environment at their institution.

“The event facilitators shared their own experiences navigating public health careers as people of color and as LGBTQ+ professionals that were relevant and inspiring,” says Collins Lovell. “Conversations with other students from across the country were a window on a new generation of public health professionals who are focused on the potential and responsibility of our field to address inequities, both in the health of people we serve, and within the institutions where we work. It’s clear that actively recruiting and maintaining diversity of experience and identity in our classrooms, on our staff and faculty, and in our future workplaces is an essential part of addressing inequity.”

Camille Collins Lovell is a Ph.D. student in the department of health promotion and policy working with Aline Gubrium and Elizabeth Salerno Valdez on community-based participatory research to understand social and structural determinants of disparities in adolescent sexual and reproductive health. She is interested in how community-based research can inform local, state, and federal policy to address health inequities. She intends to conduct dissertation research on the reproductive health and rights of undocumented Latinx dairy farmworkers near the U.S.-Canadian border.

Emily Lucero is pursuing her M.A. in speech-language pathology. She is a member of the department of communication disorders committee for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – a committee she joined prior to her official matriculation in the program. In nominating her, assistant professor Megan Gross noted “she has been an eager volunteer, assisting in a variety of our DEI initiatives, including the development of new programming.”

Stevaughn Smith is a master’s of public health student in the epidemiology program working under the direction and mentorship of Luis Valdez and Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson. His work explores the relationship between social determinants of health and chronic disease outcomes among low-income Latinx populations. The goal of this work is to develop evidence-based intervention strategies and prevention methods.