Graduate Scholar Recipients

Meghan Barrier Elys Vasquez-Iscan
Alicia Chung
Carol McCarty
Emilie Sibbesson

Graduate Scholar Winners

Meghan Barrier
Meghan Barrier received a B.S. degree in marketing and international business from Penn State University. Upon graduation, she served an AmeriCorps term with the New York Restoration Project, working with community gardens in New York City and later worked on an organic farm in Floyd, VA. Meghan has been actively involved with the Roanoke Community Garden Association in teaching and creating a curriculum for a summer community garden project with the Boys and Girls Club, while also assisting the development of a new community garden in a low-income neighborhood. Meghan began working towards a Master of Public and International Affairs in fall 2010 focusing on environmental and food policy.

Alicia Chung
Growing up in a household of fresh vegetables and Caribbean spices, it was no surprise that Alicia Chung became a student of public health. After following a medical track in high school, she went on to pursue her BA/MPH at Tufts University in 2001. During this time, her interest in urban pediatric asthma flourished as part of her undergraduate work in Harlem, New York. After working on the training and development of various adolescent asthma programs at the Boston Public Health Commission, she came back to New York as a healthcare analyst. Ms. Chung is currently pursuing her doctorate in health education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently teaching an integrated fifth grade math, nutrition and exercise lesson plan at a Harlem public school, while planning her dissertation to teach an integrated nutrition curriculum to middle school students next year. She plans to apply her degree towards the design, implementation and evaluation of children’s nutrition and exercise programs in urban communities.

Carol McCarty
After working for over 30 years as a registered nurse, I enrolled in the University of Alaska Anchorage Master of Public Health program. I plan to begin work on my thesis project in the 2012 spring semester. My work as a nurse stimulated an interest in adequate nutrition as a powerful path toward disease prevention, particularly the chronic diseases that plague many older people and are now showing up in younger populations. My thesis work will target Alaskan youth. I hope to stimulate their interest in all-season growing of fruits and vegetables through plant science, food and nutrition science, and by the tasty reward at harvest time. I have lived in Alaska for 30 years, raising my family, and enjoying the splendor of our outdoors. I am grateful for the opportunities Alaska has offered me.

Emilie Sibbesson
A few months into my undergraduate degree, I abandoned the ancient Greeks and Romans to instead focus on the European Neolithic (new Stone Age). Seven years on, I have as an archaeologist studied this period from many different angles. My main interest was, and still is, to do with foodways during this part of prehistory. Having obtained a BA in archaeology from Newcastle University, UK, I went on to learn the techniques of archaeological pottery analysis at the University of Southampton. For my MA dissertation I studied the craftsmanship and use of some of the earliest pottery that has been found in the British Isles. These questions brought me back to issues of food preparation and consumption that I had considered in my first degree. I am currently pursuing doctoral research in Southampton; my thesis takes off as domestic food species are introduced into southern Britain around 6000 years ago.

Elys Vasquez-Iscan
My name is Elys Vasquez-Iscan and I am currently a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University in the Health and Behavior Studies Department where I am pursuing a doctorate of health education (Ed.D). In addition, I have a master’s degree of public health (MPH) from New York University where my focus was in international health. In 2003 I received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct independent research in Brazil. As a Fulbright Fellow I researched Brazil’s health infrastructure. Such research proved to be valuable in my domestic public health work. My undergraduate degree in sociology from Fordham University has been instrumental in my social and behavioral research projects surrounding health and nutrition in underserved populations. Furthermore, I have been teaching health and nutrition courses as an adjunct instructor for the City University of New York since 2007. In my spare time I fundraise and run marathons for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through its fundraising arm Team in Training (TNT).