Eugenio María de Hostos Community College students and faculty members played key roles at the 6th Annual Health Disparities Conference, which was held at Teachers College, Columbia University, on March 7 and 8.

This international conference featured presentations on evidence-based and state-of-the-art prevention, intervention, and treatment models for reducing and eliminating health disparities, as well as initiatives to promote health and educational equity. It also focused on the dual goals of closing gaps in health and academic achievement.

Professor Vásquez-Iscan of the community health and gerontology units in the education department at Hostos presented the findings from an ongoing online investigation of HIV/AIDS prevention strategies among sexually active young adults. Professor Iris Mercado, also of the community health unit, presented a poster session on the Latino food plate, entitled "The Latino Way Food Groups."

The Hostos students who volunteered at the conference are currently enrolled in Professor Vásquez-Iscan's nutrition class (Health T215).  Some are majoring in nursing, and others are in the community health and early childhood education programs. Their experience at the conference was both educational and transformative, and they had the valuable opportunity to interact with a diverse group of professionals concerned with improving the health of underserved communities.  

"The conference was very enlightening. Meeting people with such knowledge and so much to share really broadened my views on health and nutrition,” Hostos student Khadija Akhter said. “I even learned a bit more about my own health. Overall, the experience was something I enjoyed and would gladly volunteer for in the future.”

Dr. Barbara Wallace, the director of the conference, expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the Hostos students and faculty who participated in this event and said, “It is only because of your dedication to the role of volunteering that we are able to claim success.”

Hostos student Kettlyn Ubiera said the conference was a great learning experience that made her “aware that only through the sharing of knowledge can positive social change be achieved."

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services. More than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.

Hostos offers 29 associate degree programs and five certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY's four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation's leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.