Powell awarded Rockefeller Foundation grant; will deliver congressional briefing

May 11, 2016

Wizdom Powell, PhD, associate professor of health behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been awarded a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, in Bellagio, Italy.

Dr. Wizdom Powell

Dr. Wizdom Powell

Powell will use the residency, scheduled from April 11 to May 9, 2017, to further her research, “Transforming Social and Health-care System Landscapes to Address Gendered Health Inequities Among Vulnerable Males.”

As a clinical psychologist and population health disparities researcher, Powell is recognized nationally for the impact of her work about the social determinants of health inequities among boys and men of color. Her work, which focuses upon the “gender paradox” that men are more likely than women to experience premature death, despite having more social power than women, investigates the roles of gender, socioeconomic status, socio-environmental processes (e.g., racial discrimination) and other factors in the mental and physical health status of African-American men.

Among her honors are selection as a White House fellow and special adviser on military mental health policies during the Obama administration (2011-2012), the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Professional Service Award (2014) and UNC’s Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty (2015).

“It is quite an honor to be selected for this academic writing residency – and to use it to focus on transforming social and health-care systems to improve health equity,” Powell said. “This opportunity to retreat and convene with leaders from around the world comes at a critical career juncture. What an incredible gift of time and resources!”

The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency Program offers academics, artists, thought leaders, policy makers and practitioners a serene setting conducive to focused, goal-oriented work, and the opportunity to establish new connections with fellow residents from a wide array of backgrounds, disciplines and geographies. The program, which supports the Rockefeller Foundation’s mission “to promote the well-being of humanity around the world” and the Foundation’s strategic goals “to build resilience and advance more inclusive economies,” has a proven record of generating important new knowledge to address some of the world’s most complex issues.

On May 24, Powell also has been invited to deliver a briefing on health disparities in boys and men to U.S. congressional representatives in Washington, D.C.


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

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