For Immediate Release

June 9, 2008

New York, NY – The Social Intervention Group at the Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) today welcomed the 2008-2009 trainee cohort for the HIV Intervention Science Training Program (HISTP). The trainees will attend a week long training institute at Columbia University from June 9th – 13th.
HISTP is a training program funded by the National Institute of Mental Health aimed at increasing racial and ethnic minority (REM) investigators conducting HIV intervention and HIV-related health disparities research.  HISTP is innovative in its focus on studying the best approaches to mentoring REM investigators and incorporates technology – including distance mentoring via a web-based interface, online statistical consultation, and an online prevention and intervention resource library – to provide ongoing mentorship to REM investigators.  Through training, mentoring, and networking with a collective of senior REM scientists, HISTP promotes REM scientists to increase contributions to the empirical knowledge base.
“I am delighted to welcome our second cohort of trainees,” says Dr. Nabila El-Bassel, Professor of Social Work and Director of the Social Intervention Group. “The continuing spread of HIV among racial and ethnic minority communities has created an imperative need for the design of contextually and culturally congruent HIV intervention prevention models. Our mission is to facilitate the growth and development of a cadre of REM scientists who will focus their research on HIV-related health disparities and in HIV/AIDS and co-occurring mental health disorders.”
The 2008-2009 trainees are:

Rosalie Corona, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University and a Research Affiliate of the Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development and the Center for Cultural Experiences in Prevention. Dr. Corona’s research focuses on adolescent health promotion, particularly among Latino and African American youth.
Vera Lopez, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the School of Justice & Social Inquiry at Arizona State University. Dr. Lopez’s ongoing research interests include adolescent delinquency, drug use, and sexual risk taking.
E. Roberto Orellana, MSW, MPH, a research fellow at Columbia University’s Social Intervention Group.  His research experience includes an ethnographic/epidemiologic study of HIV/STI among different indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon jungle.
Michele Rountree, Ph.D, a tenure–track Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, School of Social Work.  Her scholarship focuses on the areas of health promotion, disease prevention, and health disparities as they relate to meeting the needs of marginalized populations.

In addition to Drs. Nabila El-Bassel and Elwin Wu at CUSSW, HISTP is supported by the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia Center for Homelessness Prevention Studies, and Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. In addition, a network of leading HIV scientific advisors and mentors across the country are actively involved in the development of the program and in the direct training and support of the trainees.

For more information, please contact Jeannie Hii at jy2223@columbia.edu or 212-851-2327.

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