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Newsletter 03.25.20


March 25, 2020

We hope you are well!


Letter from the GSGA President

Dear SPH Students,

We hope you are doing well during these trying times of a pandemic. Many of us are now experiencing graduate school rapidly transition from a classroom to an online setting. GSGA wants you to know that student safety is our number one priority. If you are experiencing any hardships or have concerns due to this outbreak, please reach out. We are here to support you through this difficult time. Please take appropriate precautions and follow CDC Guidelines to protect yourself from the coronavirus.

Additionally, I wanted to provide an update on the Fall 2019 GSGA Town Hall. We requested students to submit feedback so that the GSGA members can better understand what student needs are being met and what we still have to work on. A brief highlight of the feedback showed students supporting and appreciating the GSGA’s efforts in building a more inclusive campus environment, increasing social events, advocating for student issues to CUNY administrators and elected officials, and increasing transparency and opportunities across our student government. There was also critical feedback regarding the GSGA awards and the process students go through. We are working to continually improve and better serve the students of SPH.

As the Spring semester continues, we are working on creating more student opportunities, community engagement, campus development, improving GSGA processes, and much more.  While the GSGA had planned a busy Spring agenda, unfortunately due to the COVID-19 outbreak and campus closure, some of our planned projects and events, had to be postponed until further notice. Nonetheless, the GSGA is fully equipped to work virtually on other projects and initiatives that are important to our students and university. In the coming weeks, the GSGA will host another Town Hall where we will discuss our efforts throughout this semester, especially in response to the outbreak. We encourage all students to please join us!

Thank you for supporting your GSGA and its members.  We are very thankful to serve as your student leaders. On behalf of the entire GSGA, have a wonderful virtual Spring semester.

Pavan Lohia
GSGA President


Nominations for GSGA Elections

Submit your nominations today!


GSGA Spring Awards

**NEW DEADLINE: April 10, 2020**

Spring 2020 GSGA Awards are now open!

These awards are for all current SPH students! The awards offered through GSGA are meant to provide financial support to students seeking to attend public health related conferences, or pursue professional development opportunities, and also help those publishing research to journals. The various award types, details, and deadlines can be found by visiting the GSGA website.


Distance Learning

Blackboard Logo

Blackboard After Hours Support

To help provide students and faculty with Blackboard support when the campus Help Desks are closed and Blackboard administrators are unavailable, CUNY has contracted with Blackboard for overnight and weekend telephone support during the current remote teaching requirement. Click here for more information.


Laptop on a desk

Updates About Online Classes

As of March 19, 2020 CUNY courses are now conducted remotely. Stay updated by visiting the CUNY Continuity for Students page and the CUNY SPH Info for Students page.


University Student Senate

University Student Senate logo

University Student Senate Announcements

The Higher Learning Advocates has pulled together this sign-on letter to urge Congress to prioritize specific proposals to support students who’ve been impacted by COVID-19. Specifically, we recommend:

  • Allowing for direct emergency funds to cover basic needs;
  • Allowing for flexibility with the Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility Usage; and
  • Ensuring no penalty to Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Here’s a link to a campaign to tell Members of Congress to support today’s students through college closures and restrictions. Please share widely with your networks, including students– the goal is to have as many people contacting Congress as possible to make sure this is included in the final package.

USS Townhall Next Sunday March 29, 2020
University Student Senate is planning a Town Hall, where students can ask questions to the Chancellor and members of the Chancellery. We would love to get your participation in this, but we first would like to know what time works for you! Please VOTE HERE for a time and we will be following up with more details as we progress through the week.

USS Plan for Unresponsive Professors
Many students have informed the University Student Senate that they are dealing with unresponsive professors, that have not been helpful in the transition to distance learning. If you’re experiencing any difficulties with contacting your professors, please do the following:

  1. Reach out to some of your other classmates and see if the professor has been unresponsive to them too.
  2. Send an email to your campus Department Chair, Campus provost, and CC studentaffairs@cuny.edu
  3. Encourage your other peers to do the same!


Virtual Events

Free APHA Webinar: The Science of Social Distancing Part 1
Wednesday, March 25  |  3pm – 4:30pm  |  Sign up!

The first COVID-19 Conversations webinar will review how COVID-19 is transmitted, historical lessons from past pandemics, the state of the science on social distancing, and the targeted and layered nature of how social distancing practices are enacted.

PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship Information Session
Friday, March 27  |  5pm – 6pm  |  Online via Zoom  |  RSVP

Zoom meeting: https://zoom.us/j/464086275
Meeting ID: 464 086 275
+1646-558-8656 (New York)


Things to do while stuck at home

Pink Chris Martin John Legend Musicians

Watch couch concerts! Check out Pink, Chris Martin from ColdPlay, and John Legend perform on YouTube! #TOGETHERATHOME

More things to do!

  • Yoga
  • Watch a movie
  • Catch up on series!
  • Exercise at home
  • Do a scavenger hunt at home!
  • Play board games
  • Read a book you haven’t picked up for a while


Wellness Resources graphic


Student Wellness Counselor at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy
Sherry Adams is a licensed social worker available to provide virtual counseling to students at this time.  Sherry is also available to assist students in identifying and accessing their neighborhood specific resources.  Please email to schedule an appointment: Sherry.adams@sph.cuny.edu


Provides online emergency support to students during COVID-19. Offers referrals available in your community related to health, food, housing, transportation, and childcare.

NYC Human Resources Administration
Apply for Medicaid, cash assistance, SNAP, and childcare assistance at these HRA sites that also assist individuals in securing jobs.

New York State Unemployment Insurance


Food Bank NYC
Operates food pantries and soup kitchens, and directs you to SNAP enrollment sites. Visit website for most up to date information:

Meals for public school students
The week of March 15th there will be grab-and-go meals for students at every New York City Public School. The meals will be available at the schools’ start time. Visit schools.nyc.gov for most up to date information.


Commencement graphic


“In light of the current public health crisis, we recognize that our planned commencement ceremony at the Apollo Theater may or may not occur on schedule. Be assured that CUNY SPH will never take away [graduating students’] opportunity to celebrate this momentous achievement – if commencement doesn’t happen as planned on June 2, we will find another date when it’s safe and feasible for [graduating students] and their loved ones to take part. We will of course keep our [graduating students] updated on this developing situation. At this point, we are hoping for the best.” – Dean Ayman El-Mohandes


Census 2020

Census video cover

The Census 2020 is now live! Watch a short video here from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez teaching CUNY students what is the Census and how easy it is to fill it out. If you haven’t yet, complete the census today by clicking here.


Register to Vote

Register to Vote

Register to vote now

Deadline: April 3
Early Voting: April 18-26
Presidential Primary Election: April 28



**This conference has been postponed to April 28-30, 2021**

Are you passionate about public health issues? Do you have an interesting paper, project or research study to share? If you answered yes, then you should apply for the 2021 student poster competition!

More info

Accepting student poster abstracts for presentations on the following topic areas:

  • Air (tobacco, asthma, climate change.)
  • Water (drinking water, emerging contaminants, HABs, sugar-sweetened beverages)
  • Food (insecurity, breastfeeding, food safety and sourcing)
  • Housing/Built Environment (lead, walkable communities, complete streets)
  • Environmental Health- Innovations in Policy & Practice



Capsule logo

June 20-21  |  Austin, TX  |  Sign Up

Capsule is bringing together over 4,000 people to innovate solutions to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The ideas hacked over the event will relate to six challenge categories: Art, Education, Energy, Health, Food, and Cities. This is a truly exciting opportunity for students to be able to either propose a project, or work with colleagues from around the world to help move a project forward (submitted by others), or just volunteer to be a part of this record-breaking event.

Students can participate in three ways:
1) Submit a project to be hacked over the course of the weekend
2) Help move forward a proposal submitted by others
3) Volunteer to help this event be successful
If you have any questions about ASPPH’s partnership with Capsule, feel free to reach out to tseward@aspph.org.


CUNY SPH is now officially part of the Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Society as the Epsilon Chi Chapter.  Our official announcement and further details can be found on the GSGA website or by visiting the Delta Omega website.


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