Leos to accept Outstanding Student Paper Award from APHA Latino Caucus

October 24, 2016

Cristina Leos

Cristina Leos

Cristina Leos, MSPH, a student in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, will receive an Outstanding Student Paper Award from the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association (APHA). The award will be presented Oct. 30 during the APHA annual meeting in Denver.

Leos currently is in the third year of her doctoral studies in the Department of Health Behavior’s MSPH to PhD program at the Gillings School. She also is a Gillings Merit Scholar, a Gates Millennium Scholar and co-founder of MyHealthEd, Inc., a newly formed nonprofit dedicated to improving health education for youth through the use of technology.

The award, which comes with a $250 scholarship, celebrates a paper by Leos titled, “Stories of Race and Resistance: A Critical Race Theory Perspective on the Educational Experiences of Latino Immigrant Young Men in North Carolina.”

Leos wrote the paper for a UNC Gillings class on advanced qualitative research methods, taught by Clare Barrington, PhD, associate professor of health behavior.

“Cristina conducted a rigorous inductive analysis of text and visual images from the Envisioning Health study, which she interpreted using critical race theory as well as her own reflexivity,” said Barrington. “Her final product is a nuanced understanding of the racialized educational experience of these youth and the implications for their health and well-being.”

The Envisioning Health intervention, which provided data for Leos’ analysis, is led by Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, research assistant professor of health behavior at the Gillings School. The project uses Photovoice methodology with Latinx adolescents to understand their perspectives on barriers to health.

“I am immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this project,” Leos shared. “It was a great chance to apply my skills from the qualitative analysis class, but also was meaningful because I got a glimpse into the complex lives of these young men. I am honored to be selected for this award and am eager to share this important work with others.”


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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu

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