Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Global Learning Award Will Fund Student–Faculty Research on Health Disparities in Puebla, Mexico

Fri, October 19, 2018
Global Learning Award Will Fund Student–Faculty Research on Health Disparities in Puebla, Mexico
Global Learning Award recipients (from left) Hannah McDermott, Tim Mercer, Christina Ciaburri, Veronica Remmert, Claire Stephenson, Andrea Sandoval Flores, Peter Ward (not pictured: Ricardo Ainslie)

A University of Texas at Austin team of researchers co-led by Mexico Center director Ricardo Ainslie will receive funding to examine health and housing of low-income communities in Puebla, Mexico, thanks to a President’s Award for Global Learning. The $25,000 award is one of a select few such awards supporting travel to conduct research, social impact, and entrepreneurship projects in seven world regions during summer 2019.

The Mexico project, titled “Health and Housing: A Comprehensive Needs Assessment of Low-Income Communities in Puebla, Mexico,” will assess health needs, determinants, and resources in underserved regions of Puebla, focusing on aspects of the built environment, such as housing, water, and air quality. It will be an interdisciplinary project, led by faculty members Ainslie (LLILAS Benson Mexico Center, Educational Psychology), Timothy Mercer (Dell Medical School), and Peter Ward (LBJ School of Public Affairs) in collaboration with student team members Hannah McDermott (Educational Psychology, in the role of graduate student adviser to the team), Christina Ciaburri (Psychology), Veronica Remmert (Biology), Andrea Sandoval Flores (Engineering), and Claire Stephenson (Business).

The faculty will offer a course in spring 2019 to train and prepare the students for a three-month stay in Puebla during which they will carry out research in four underserved communities (two informal urban settlements known as colonias, and two rural communities).

“Poor and underserved communities in the state of Puebla, Mexico, experience significant health disparities and poor health outcomes as a result of inequity within the built environment, health systems, and perpetuated by access to care issues,” said Ainslie. “To help create sustainable and long-lasting social impact in public health, we are seeking a broad and nuanced understanding of the health needs, built environment, health systems environment, and perceptions of health in these four underserved communities in Puebla. This information will inform both local and national partners' efforts to improve the health system and health outcomes.” 

The President’s Award for Global Learning is a signature effort of the International Board of Advisors, a select group that advises UT president Greg Fenves and senior leadership on ways in which the university can enhance its presence and impact around the globe. Learn more about the award and its other recipients in this UT News article.

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

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