Three Princeton Undergraduates Awarded Community-Engaged Population Health Microinternships

Feb. 7, 2024

During the winter break between the 2023-24 academic semesters, three Princeton undergraduates in the Medical Anthropology track gained real-world experience working with New Jersey-based organizations involved in population health programming and research. 

The New Jersey Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science (NJ ACTS) collaborated with the Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES) to develop and fund short-term projects with organizations that addressed community health needs while providing Princeton students with experiential learning opportunities. The students were selected for the microinternships through a competitive application process in fall 2023. 

  • Senior AJ Salcedo ‘24 conducted research to increase the currency, accuracy, and accessibility of health information and resources for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families on the official website for the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) within the Rutgers School of Public Health. He was supervised by CHIBPS Research Coordinator Kendra Lewis, MPH, and Deputy Director, Kristen Krause, PhD, MPH.

"The final deliverable I produced is essential not only in that it emphasizes preventative measures, but it also highlights the resources and organizations that exist to support those already living with conditions like HIV/AIDS and addiction. In making this information more accessible, this serves to increase awareness surrounding the public health issues that disproportionately affect the community." -AJ Salcedo '24

According to Ms. Lewis, AJ "worked diligently to update our website with current resources and information. Our lab services the LBGTQ+ community which is an already underserved population. These updates will ensure that our target population has easily accessible up to date information and resources for all their needs!"

  • Junior Tina Karimaghaie ‘25 worked with UrbanPromise Trenton gathering evidence-based information from current medical literature, academic research, and experts to provide families whose children are being advised to pursue treatment with behavioral modification medications with information that will assist them with navigating decisions and asking questions of health care providers about these medication interventions. 

“This experience was incredibly meaningful to me. As a Medical Anthropology major, I highly value viewing health as an individualized, holistic concept...My [project] with UrbanPromise Trenton addresses the crucial need for informed decision-making among parents/caregivers when dealing with a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, or Intermittent Explosive Disorder. The final deliverable aims to empower these individuals by providing a concise and accessible resource on the next steps following a diagnosis, including additional information on pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions. This project aims to bridge the gap between diagnosis and decision-making by providing a practical roadmap that parents even with time constraints can follow.” - Tina Karimaghaie ‘25

At the conclusion of her internship, Tina's supervisor, Sean McFadden, Executive Director of UrbanPromise Trenton, commented that "Tina's passion for the work speaks volumes" and that her efforts "will educate the community as well as give them opportunity and resources to make an educated decision."

“I think that our final deliverable (slide deck) will help us address how different sets and combinations of social determinants of health help shape whether or not a woman has postpartum depression. As a result, this research will help us aid in preventing postpartum depression by allowing us to see what specific factors, such as socioeconomic status and/or access to a social support system, have a higher influence on higher degrees of postpartum depression.” - April Yoo '25
 

One of the primary goals of the NJ ACTS consortium is to foster the education and training of the translational science workforce, including students conducting biomedical, clinical, and health-related research. Another goal is to engage patients and communities throughout New Jersey to ensure that efforts respond to their priorities.  

“NJ ACTS is proud to have partnered again this year with our colleagues at ProCES to offer meaningful opportunities to Princeton students who are committed to supporting the important population health-focused work of community organizations within our state,” said Bianca Freda, MPH, who is the manager of research and administration for NJ ACTS at Princeton.