On May 15, Katrina F. Mateo, a PhD student in the Community Health and Healthy Policy track, successfully defended her dissertation, “An evaluation of a web-based tool to improve feeding practices and the home environment among parents of low-income minority preadolescents at-risk for childhood obesity.” Her dissertation committee was chaired by Dr. Emma Tsui, with Drs. Terry Huang, Katarzyna Wyka, and May May Leung serving as committee members.
“The day before my defense, I actually looked back at my Personal Statement that I submitted with my application to CUNY SPH back in December 2014,” Mateo says. “I laughed because I ended up achieving exactly what I set out to do – use my time in a doctoral program to focus on an urban community-engaged obesity prevention project. I also had opportunities to work with almost every faculty member I mentioned in my statement (and others) and was continually inspired and challenged by diverse classroom peers from across the public health spectrum. When I think of my doctoral journey at CUNY SPH, I will remember above all my incredible and brilliant committee members, faculty mentors, and colleagues in the program.”
Dr. Mateo’s doctoral training and research was supported through a number of CUNY SPH awards, including the Dean’s Fellowship Award (supporting her two years of full-time coursework), the Dean’s Travel Assistance Award (supporting her attendance and presentation at the APHA Annual Meeting in 2018 and 2019), the Community Health & Social Sciences (CHSS) Student Scholarship Award (supporting her attendance and presentation at the Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health in 2018 and 2019), and the Dean’s Dissertation Award (supporting dissertation-related costs in 2019). In addition, she served on the Student Bridging Committee (2016-2017) as well as the Graduate Student Government Association as a Doctoral Program Senator (2017-2018, 2018-2019).
After graduation, Dr. Mateo will continue in her role as Deputy Director of Research & Operations at HITLAB, a healthcare innovation technology lab offering digital health research, teaching, and advisory services.