Francesca M. Mendez

Leaving my home in NYC was by far one of the most challenging decisions I have made, but my time in Ithaca these past four years has contributed to my academic, professional, and personal development. As a freshman, I discovered that I needed a field that merged my passion for social justice, diversity, and reduction of health disparities with health care. After meeting with Dr. Deborah Wuest and taking her Introduction to Health Promotion course, I immediately discovered that the Public and Community Health major was the right fit for me. Being raised in Spanish Harlem exposed me to the pathological consequences of institutionalized discrimination and marginalization.  It is pivotal to acknowledge that health outcomes and decisions are impacted beyond biology.

Through the mentorship of my academic advisor and role model, Dr. Kari Brossard-Stoos, I was able to develop my planned interdisciplinary combination (PIC) emphasis on the Sociology of Pathology.  This program furthered my understanding of where exactly these concepts intersect and impact us ALL.  I was able to synthesize and apply this work with a meta-analysis I presented at the James J. Whalen Academic Symposium: Do Physiological Responses to Perceived Racism Amongst African-American Men Increase Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Disease?  Upon graduation, I will be interning at the Icahn School of Medicine until I start my MPH at New York University Langone School of Public Health in the Fall!  My ultimate career goal is to work in research program management, specifically working with urban populations.  I am humbled and privileged to have graduated from this institution that has opened a plethora of opportunities.

  • Dean’s List
  • Ithaca Achievement Program Scholar
  • Ithaca Opportunity Grant
  • Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)
  • Emerging Scholars Program
  • James J. Whalen Academic Symposium Finalist
  • Patient Care Advocate Leader, Cayuga Medical Center
  • Emergency Preparedness Assistant, Tompkins County Health Department
  • Microbiology research with Dr. Kari Brossard-Stoos
  • CNY Medical Reserve Corp Volunteer