Several Hostos students interested in health issues attended an Ivy League event at the 7th Annual Health Disparities Conference at Teachers College, Columbia University, on March 6 and 7.

The theme for the conference was “Research, Practice and Policy for Bending the Arc of the Moral Universe Towards Justice in the Era of Health Disparities, the School to Prison Pipeline, Mass Incarceration and the New Jim Crow.” For many of the students in the Community Health and Gerontology programs, it was the first chance to participate in an Ivy League event.

This conference is part of a global 21st century civil rights movement for “equity in health for all as a social justice and human rights issue.” This year, Hostos Professor Iris Mercado from the Education Department in the Health Education Unit made an oral presentation of her research focusing on “the Latino Food Groups,” which promotes culturally competent nutrition education for the U.S. Latino population. In addition, Professor Elys Vásquez-Iscan from the Hostos Education Department also attended with several of her students from the Community Health Education Program and the Health and Aging Program. 
The students networked with various renowned health professionals and academics.  For them, the experience was educational, transformational and motivational.
“When Hostos students attend conferences like this, they gain a broader perspective of health and social issues that can be presented in the classroom.  This prompts students to change their cognition of their surroundings and perceive social and health issues through a worldview that is more global and comprehensive,” said Professor Vásquez-Iscan.

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.
Recently named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) 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 CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.