Congratulations to our 2022 Graduates!

May 17, 2022

Eight students who worked for SIG projects ranging from the overdose epidemic to expanding the field of social work globally graduated from the Columbia School of Social Work this year. Congratulations!

Congrats to 2022 grads Deidra Brooks, Aida Castro, Yuan "Tony" Chang, Olivia Cordingly, Alanna Fox, YG Lee, Jiayu Liu, and Starr Marie Williams!

SIG's work would not be possible without the contributions of students who bring fresh insight and perspective to the work and make global science, health, and equity possible. Thank you.

A brief background on each of the student's focus areas is below. 

Deidra Brooks, MSW          

Deidra focused on researching medical mistrust and creating a cultural adaptation of the HEALing Communities Study, aimed to reduce overdose deaths by 40% in New York. The adaptation was for criminal justice involved individuals. She will continue to work with SIG. 

Aida Castro, MSW 

Aida worked on the UNICEF project to expand the global field of social work.  Of this experience, Aida shares:

"The UNICEF Project and Lyudmila Kim, my continuously inspiring supervisor, have rounded and deepened my understanding of Social Work. I have honed my quantitative research skills, illustrated stories with data, and critically analyzed performance and outcomes. Due to SIG and the UNICEF Project, I have found a home in macro practices and aspire to continue using these skills to better people's experiences locally and afar. Thank you, SIG! Thank you, Lyudmila!"

Yuan "Tony" Chang, MSW     

Tony worked on the UNICEF project to expand the field of social work globally, WINGS China, and the  Pharmacy Study, which is part of the HEALing Communities Study.

Of his time at SIG, he shares "It is a great honor to work with SIG as my final year field placement. And I sincerely appreciate all SIG members' support during this year!"

Olivia Cordingly, MSW   

During her time at SIG, Olivia has worked on the AEGIDA and BRIDGE projects, studies based in Kazakhstan. She will continue to work on AEGIDA under Drs. Victoria Frye and Brooke West. Olivia shares, 

"I have really appreciated my time at SIG and am excited to continue to work on projects here. In the last year I have learned an incredible amount about creating interventions, data analysis, research design and paper writing. I have also had the honor of working with so many amazing researchers that I have been able to form lasting relationships with."

Alanna Fox, MSW       

Alanna worked for Project ASPIRE, a program dedicated to innovative approaches and responses to the Syrian Refugee crisis, including Women ASPIRE and Providers ASPIRE.

YG Lee, PhD

YG was the UNI Project Coordinator. UNI was a research project based at the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA) that focused on testing the efficacy of peer-driven intervention designed to increase the number of men who have sex with men in the HIV continuum of care. Stay tuned for another update from YG.

Jiayu Liu, MSW     

Jiayu worked on both HEALing Communities Study to reduce overdose by 40% and Project WINGS to address intimate partner and gender-based violence against women.

Starr Marie Williams, MSW

Starr has worked on both the Elevating Social Work's Role in the Multidisciplinary Approach to Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Engagement in and across systems project funded by SAMHSA and the UNICEF project in Europe and Central Asia Building Capacity to expand the field of social work globally. Starr helped develop a community advisory board and protocols as well as literature review and drafting curricula for a webinar series and will continue to work with SIG to see the project through.