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Intersectional Summer Program Brings Emerging HIV Scholars to Northwestern

Meet the 2023 Summer Intensive Program Scholars. Bryce Takenaka, PhD students, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health. Isaac Payton, MBA, MSN, APRM, PMHNP-BC, PhD, student at the University of Florida, College of Nursing. Jonathan López-Matos, doctoral candidate in the Health Psychology and Clinical Science Doctoral Program at CUNY-GC. Justino Flores, PhD student, Clinical Psychology, George Washington University. Loxley Seager, PhDs student, social and behavioral sciences, George Washington University. Milken Institute School of Public Health. Maria Jose Bustamante, PhD students, clinical psychology, Boston University Addictive Behaviors Lab. Maria Sobrino, PhD student, basic and applied psychology program at the City University of New York. Roman Johnson, PhD, research associate, Massachusetts General Hospital.The second annual Summer Intensive Program in Intersectional BIPOC SGM-focused HIV Science was held at Northwestern University from July 31 to August 11, 2023. Eight BIPOC, sexual and gender minority scholars from across the United State were selected to attend the program. 

Sponsored by the Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing (ISGMH) at Northwestern University, the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research, and the Southern AIDS Coalition, the Summer Intensive is led by ISGMH Associate Director Jagadīśa-devaśrī Dācus, PhD.

The program was designed to support intersectional and cross-training activities that focus on behavioral and data science to address disparities and inequities in HIV and health outcomes for BIPOC SGM persons. Topics covered in the two-week curriculum included the following:

  • HIV
  • Research methodology (translational research, SGM measurement, policy and BIPOC SGM research)
  • Conceptual frameworks (intersectionality, LGBTQ health disparities, BIPOC health disparities, public health critical race praxis)
  • Data analysis (qualitative data, quantitative data, mixed methods data)
  • Research ethics
  • Current topics in HIV research on SGM populations (SGM identities, health disparities, mental health, HIV and BIPOC SGM persons, HIV and BIPOC MSM, HIV and BIPOC transgender women)

"We had three goals in mind when we designed the sessions for this program: optimizing opportunities for enhanced training, scholarly development, and encouraging peer networking and conversation," said Dācus. "To achieve these, we have endeavored to create a program experience that emphasizes a diverse array of topics and includes a diverse instructional faculty who are early stage, mid-career, and senior investigators in HIV science as well as instructional faculty who are community based and nonprofit leaders in HIV prevention policy, programming, and practice."

Participants of the two-week program gained knowledge and skills to incorporate into their education and careers. Lectures were led by Northwestern faculty and participating academic and community collaborators from Chicagoland and from across the country.