Graduate Scholar Recipients

Michele Battle-Fisher Melody Wilding
Katherine Fuji Jarmin Christine Yeh
Helen Elizabeth Kendall
Mehran Madani

Graduate Scholar Winners

Michele Battle-Fisher
Michele Battle-Fisher is an Instructor of Public Health at Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine and a PhD student at The Ohio State University College of Public Health. Her doctoral advisor is Dr. Phyllis Pirie. Her research addresses aspects of health disparities among underserved populations. She utilizes mixed methods in her research, particularly bioethical inquiry, social network analysis, ethnography and narrative analysis. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Ethical Solutions, and an Associate Expert with Bioethics Beyond Borders. In addition, she is working collaboratively in exploring issues of cervical cancer literacy among at-risk women and daughters in South Africa. In the upcoming years, she intends to expand work in exploring the impact of social networks on patients in all phases of Chronic Kidney Disease and continue work in quality of life research. In addition, she plans to utilize social network and qualitative analyses to examine the diffusion of knowledge of living organ donation and related donation issues. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Hastings Center in August 2010.

Katherine Fuji
Born in Connecticut, educated in US and Germany, fields of study and work included Management, Spanish and German; teaching staff of University of Baghdad, Iraq, later Assistant Prof. of Modern Languages at Xavier University in Ohio. Became an Accredited (hospital) Admitting Manager after the choking death of my mother, worked as a volunteer and Heimlich Institute Research Associate teaching multilingual material to save lives—including ones own if alone- from food choking. Did medical library research for writer and columnist on improving health; multilingual work in various fields including international business (ThyssenKrupp North American HQ). Was lecturer in several Japanese universities and currently teaching in Hokkaido, northern Japan, at Hokkaido Information University in Ebetsu. Concurrently associated with the Department of Global Health and Epidemiology, Graduate Medical School of Hokkaido University in Sapporo on projects dealing with health, aging and safety. Special interests are aging and related topics, effect of culture on business and globalism. Hobbies are music, languages and cultures, world religions, teaching and learning more.

Helen Elizabeth Kendall
Helen Elizabeth Kendall is a PhD researcher at School of Food Agriculture and Rural Development Newcastle University, England. She holds a BA. (hons) in Sociology from Leeds University (UK) and an MSc International Marketing from Newcastle University. She is the current recipient of a Food Standards Agency (FSA) postgraduate scholarship, her research focuses on the everyday domestic food safety practices of adults over the age of 60, and is being undertaken in the North East of England. She is particularly interested in the interplay between the array of factors that impact upon older adults ability to handle food safely throughout the food provisioning process from purchase to disposal. This research uses a compliment of traditional (questionnaire, in-depth interviews) and novel techniques (activity recognition, microbiological sampling and video documentation) to understand actual everyday food interactions of the cohort. Her work has informed a recent grant proposal to the FSA and if funded, she will be employed to continue the research work conducted to date with more diverse populations in the UK.

Mehran Madani
Mehran Madani is currently a Doctor of Design Candidate at Washington State University (Interdisciplinary Design Institute). He holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from University of Toronto where he received the 2002 UTAP Award (a Scholarship from the Department of Architecture, Landscape and Design – University of Toronto). He also was honored to receive the prestigious ASLA 2006 research award, for his study which conducts a novel interdisciplinary study demonstrating a link between built environment affordances, quality of life, social transactions, and possible changes in older adults’ social lifestyle and public health. Prior to joining WSU (IDI), he had been working in professional fields of landscape architecture and urban planning as a landscape designer and project designer at NAK Design Group (Toronto, Canada) and at Urban Arena in Newport Beach, California.Mehran has also published different articles in Urban Land Magazine, Landscape Architecture Magazine, Research Book of the Danish Design School, and the Environmental Design Research Association regarding the influence of the built environment affordances on the public life and public health of older adults. His recent research deals with some contemporary phenomena of “Social Conurbation”, “Manmade Social Environment”, “Drive-thru Communities”, “Social Transaction Vs, Social Interaction”, “Public Place Vs Public Space”, “Community Vs Neighborhood”, “Therapy by Design Thinking and Creativity Reclamation”, and new definition of “the Built Environment” as manmade physical environment plus manmade social environment.

Melody Wilding
Melody Wilding, LMSW, is a specialist in health & aging policy. As a non-profit communications consultant, she has helped organizations advance their missions by designing customized promotional materials, building websites, and executing comprehensive social media plans. As a Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education Scholar, Ms. Wilding coordinated a network of 33 graduate schools and over 2500 students nationwide and initiated the creation of a comprehensive virtual networking portal for students. Ms. Wilding graduated from Columbia University’s School of Social Work in 2011 and is an active member of the member of the Committee on Leadership In Aging. Ms. Wilding has developed aging-competency training materials for social workers and has worked on advocacy campaigns to support Medicaid home care services. She has also worked with older adults clinically in an assisted living and psychiatric setting. Ms. Wilding graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University in 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology.

Jarmin Christine Yeh

I am a medical sociology doctoral student at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and work as a researcher at the Institute for Health & Aging at UCSF on projects related to Alzheimer’s disease, interventions for caregivers, and issues related to mobility and active modes of transport to combat obesity across the life course.

My personal research areas of interest include the linkages among social justice, place, space, and health for older adults. I believe that in the study of all aspects of health, place and location matter and understanding the mode of human interaction at the environmental level is crucial. I am interested in dedicating my work toward exploring why and how the processes of social inequality intersect with the built environment to influence human behavior, especially for minority older adults, and how health is fundamentally affected.

I have a leadership capacity serving the National Center on Senior Transportation’s Coalition on Mobility Needs of Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Elders, the American Society on Aging’s Network for Multicultural Aging (NOMA) and Students to Emerging Professionals (STEP) constituent groups. I am an alum of the American Society on Aging’s New Ventures in Leadership program and past planning co-chair of the American Public Health Association’s Healthy Communities for Healthy Aging Forum. I also worked at The New York Academy of Medicine’s Social Work Leadership Institute from 2006-10 managing the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education which is a national initiative to grow the workforce of social workers to care for older adults. I have Masters degrees in social work and public health from Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley.