June 16, 2022 at 10:39 a.m.

Welcoming Dr. Ana Abraído-Lanza to CSSW

Dear CSSW Community,

It is my great joy to announce that Dr. Ana Abraído-Lanza will join us on July 1st, 2022, as Professor of Social Work with tenure. Dr. Abraído-Lanza is a leading scholar in the study of Latinx health and behavioral science, an innovator in curriculum development, and an effective advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the academy. She was previously on the Columbia faculty, from 1998 through 2018, when she left to pursue a new opportunity at New York University (NYU). She is poised to once again make substantial contributions to the life of this University, and to the School of Social Work, which urgently needs to recruit additional scholars of Latinx well-being.

Dr. Abraído-Lanza is a scientist cross-trained in the social sciences and public health. She is a superb scholar of Latinx health in the US, and is an ideal addition to the faculty of CSSW as we seek to recruit faculty who focus on the well-being of Black and Latinx individuals and communities. Our senior search committee identified Dr. Abraído-Lanza as one of the top scholars in this area after a comprehensive evaluation of candidates across the nation. A major focus of Dr. Abraído-Lanza’s research is on analyzing the disparities between non-Latino whites and Latinos in the US, and exploring key cultural, social, and individual factors that promote health.

After completing her PhD in Social-Personality Psychology with a Health Concentration at the CUNY Graduate School in 1994, Dr. Abraído-Lanza completed a three-year post-doctoral fellowship with the prestigious Psychiatric Epidemiology Training Program at Columbia. She has held faculty appointments in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston and in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia, where she earned tenure and climbed the ranks to full professor . She was recruited to the NYU School of Global Public Health in 2018, serving as Vice Dean and Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences (with tenure). While at NYU, Dr. Abraído-Lanza maintained an active program of research focusing on cultural, psychosocial, and structural factors that affect the health of Latinos; and in particular, how ethnicity and culture (especially acculturation processes) relate to health beliefs and behaviors. Notably, her work on the Latino health paradox is widely cited. Furthermore, she has maintained a deep commitment to recruiting and retaining a more diverse faculty and student body in every institution and in every role that she has filled.

The recruitment of Dr. Abraído-Lanza will address a long-standing gap at CSSW in the study of the well-being of Latinx individuals and communities – which is critically important in NYC, with its large Latinx population, and beyond. Currently our faculty includes only one tenured/tenure-track faculty member who focuses on this area, Dr. Carmela Alcántara (with whom Dr. Abraído-Lanza already collaborates and publishes). With collaborators, Dr. Abraído-Lanza has published on the underlying, persistent causes of racism in our society, and on the importance of faculty diversity in higher education. She fits beautifully into the cluster hire that we have pursued as a School (with crucial funding from the Provost’s Office) for the past two years, focusing on disrupting systems that maintain anti-Black and anti-Latinx racism. Further, she takes a strengths-based approach to addressing these issues, consonant with a number of the other scholars we have recruited. This includes Dr. John Salerno, a new post-doctoral research scientist, who will join our community this summer to work on issues surrounding Latinx health. The cluster of outstanding new CSSW faculty also includes Dr. Brenda Jones Harden, Dr. Nkemka Anyiwo, Dr. Natasha Johnson, and Dr. Charles Lea – all of whom will join us on July 1st – as well as Dr. Rob Eschmann, who joined us last summer. We cannot wait to see the synergies that develop between these remarkable scholars.

Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Dr. Abraído-Lanza!

In community,