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GSGA Newsletter 06.22.2023


GSGA Newsletter

June 22, 2023

Hello SPH students,

Happy Summer and Happy Pride! As we enter into this new season of celebration and change, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for helping us make SPH a better place for our students. 

The GSGA is honored to have served you over the past school year, and we are proud to have advocated for our student body. We are humbled to be able to engage with students, share different perspectives and stories, and learn fascinating things together. Although it is bittersweet that some of us have graduated, and others are moving onto new endeavors, we are nevertheless tremendously excited to be welcoming the next cohort of student leaders (and some familiar faces!), who are included below.  

Our newsletter will be on hiatus until the Fall semester, but we’re looking forward to resuming communications with you and continuing to help you make the most of your time here at SPH. As always, you can keep up with us on social media, visit the GSGA website, and send us an email if you’d like to do so. 


Doris Chiu – President

Zaire S. Ali – Vice President + USS Delegate

Natalie Echavarria – Treasurer

Tess E. Baldwin – Communications Officer

Victoria Sunseri & Cara Frances  – Masters Senators

Amena El-Harakeh & Shari Jardine – Doctoral Senators

CUNY SPH 3rd Annual Virtual Lavender Graduation


June 22nd  |  Starting at 6 PM  |  RSVP here

You’re invited to join us for the 3rd annual Lavender Graduation here at CUNY SPH. This is a day to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally students and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to the University. You can read more about the history and symbolism of the Lavender Graduation ceremony here

CUNY SPH is excited to continue this tradition for a third year. Our faculty speakers will include Dr. Justin Brown, Executive Director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at the Graduate Center and Dr. Emalinda McSpadden, co-chair of the CUNY LGBTQ Council.

CUNY Votes for the 2023 New York State Primary Election

Here are some upcoming deadlines for the upcoming New York State primary. Early voting continues through Sunday 6/25. 

The last day to request an absentee ballot in-person is Monday 6/26, and the deadline to postmark the application is 6/27.

Tuesday 6/27 is Election Day! Polls are open from 6 AM to 9 PM.

You can learn more about the candidates and ranked choice voting, find your poll site, and access FAQs about the voting process with NYC Votes here

Welcome to the 2023-2024 GSGA student leaders!

Graduate Student Government Association

President – Zaire Ali
Vice-President – Shari Jardine
Treasurer – Antionette Wearing
Masters Senators – Bryant Tufino Flores, Valerie Michailovich, Nimra Rahman
Doctoral Senators – Amena El-Harakeh, TBD
Advanced Certificate Senator -TBD
USS Delegate/Alternate (2) – TBD by the elected GSGA members

Governance Council

Ex Officio – Zaire Ali
EOGHS Rep. – Rachel Thompson
EPI/BIO Rep. – Justine Maffei
HPAM Rep. – Bryant Tufino Flores
Master’s Program Rep. – Malika Christopher
Doctoral Program Rep. – Rachel Thompson
Alternates – Malika Christopher, Rachel Thompson

Committee for Equity & Inclusion

Nimra Rahman & Antionette Wearing

Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee

Zaire Ali & Nimra Rahman

We’re also looking for a new Communications Officer

This is an appointed position by the existing GSGA leadership, and the Communications Officer serves on the Executive Council as well. You can learn more about this position here

If you or anyone else you know who will be a student in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 is interested in public relations, healthcare communications, social media, event planning, and/or writing (including putting together newsletters such as this one!), please feel free to drop us a line at GSGA@sphmail.cuny.edu.

SPH Events

Faith-Based Leadership Breakfast

June 27th |  9AM – 11 AM  |  RSVP

Join the Office of Cannabis Management, Manhattan Community Board 10, and the CUNY SPH Harlem Health Initiative for a leadership breakfast to discuss the New York State Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA).

The state has recently released its Social and Economic Equity (SEE) Plan, and it is important to consider how the cannabis industry can be developed in a responsible and equitable manner. Educational efforts are key to this, and faith-based leaders are encouraged to get involved, as they play a vital role in the community and can help determine how the Office of Cannabis Management can most effectively serve Harlemites. 

Impossible Heatwaves: Should Everyone Have the Right to Remain Cool During a Global Climate Crisis?

June 28th |  1PM – 2:30 PM  |  RSVP

Join the Pandemic Response Institute for a livestream event that will explore how cities around the world are using maximum temperature policies as a tool to tackle the pressing issue of heatwaves and climate change, and how these policies could be adopted. This event will feature a discussion with eminent leaders from the U.S. and around the world, who will share global best practices, innovative solutions, and successful initiatives in keeping their communities cool. It will be moderated by our own Dr. Ilias Kavouras. 

A thought-provoking and informative discussion, this is meant to inspire action and collaboration among city leaders, businesses, community organizations, and other important stakeholders and help explore the right to remain cool in the midst of a global climate crisis. 

Other Upcoming Events

Lifesaving Interventions: The Power of Local Health Care Workers on the Global Scale

June 29th  |  1PM – 2:30 PM  |  RSVP

Join Dr. Abhay Bang as he discusses the creation of two health interventions that were undertaken to reduce childhood mortality in the state of Maharashtra in India, and how community-level interventions were able to achieve successes. This talk will also include an exploration of the subsequent creation of a national program in India and how this has impacted the global health landscape.

Food and its (Dis)contents

July 10th  |  4 PM – 6 PM  | How to attend

Join our colleagues at the CUNY Graduate Center for two distinctive talks where scholars will focus on the role of food in transnational contexts, along with the formation of Hispano-Asian Culture and Identity. 

Panel talks will include Culinary Racial/Ethnic Discrimination and Resisting Racism through Food Allegories, and Oishii Peru: Peruvian Food in the Land of the Rising Sun (this talk will be conducted in Spanish). 

Book Talk: Minding the Climate: How Neuroscience Can Help Solve Our Environmental Crisis

July 11th |  4 PM  | RSVP

Join Anne-Christine Duhaime as she discusses her book “Minding the Climate: How Neuroscience Can Help Solve Our Environmental Crisis.” Dr. Duhaime, a practicing board-certified pediatric neurosurgeon, is deeply interested in environmental issues and the relationship between brain and behavior.

Duhaime’s reading will be followed by a discussion with Sharon Weinberger, national security and foreign policy editor at The Wall Street Journal. A Q&A session will follow. 

Trends in Vaccination Law and Judicial Challenges

July 26th |  1 PM – 2:30 PM  | RSVP

Join Act for Public Health and the Network for Public Health Law for an exploration of the recent legislative and judicial trends related to vaccine law and policy, including the expansion of non-medical exemptions and shifts in the authority to impose vaccination requirements, especially for school attendance. The federal and state vaccination requirements that prevented infection and death for millions of people in the U.S during the pandemic have also led to legislation and litigation limiting governmental authority to impose these life-saving public health measures.

Speakers will discuss vaccination measures that have been enacted to slow the transmission of COVID-19, such as more equitable vaccine access through expanded scope of practice laws for qualified providers to administer vaccinations. The webinar will also provide a glimpse inside the legislative experience of public health advocates in one state given the changed vaccination policy landscape.  

GSGA End of the Year Survey


You’re invited to take the GSGA’s End of the Year Survey. This anonymous survey is meant to help us assess students’ attitudes towards the SPH experience and to provide the opportunity for students to provide feedback on their experiences to improve the school and its offerings. 

You can take the survey using this link. 

Thank you to everyone who takes the survey, it’s a helpful way for the GSGA to make improvements and help tailor future experiences for students. 

NYS Open Meetings Law

Pursuant to the New York State Open Meetings Law, SPH students and members of the public have the right to attend meetings of the Graduate Student Government Association without voice. The dates of upcoming meetings will be included in the Fall 2023 newsletters.

Should you like to attend our meetings and observe, you may do so. Our meetings are currently being held virtually, so if you would like to sit in on one of these meetings send an email to GSGA@sphmail.cuny.edu at least 24 hours before the time of the meeting and we will send the Zoom link.

A full list of SPH events can be accessed here.

Keep an eye out for updates as more events are added – you can also view up and coming events and public health news on our Twitter and Instagram pages, and join our private student group on Facebook.


GSGA Facebook Group

GSGA Instagram

GSGA Twitter

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