Medical Center Faculty Among Public Voices Fellows Chosen in Inaugural Program

Twenty Columbia University faculty members—including 17 at the medical center—have been chosen as inaugural fellows in the Columbia Public Voices Fellowship program, a collaboration of Columbia’s Department of Medicine and the OpEd Project to cultivate national thought leaders among scholars, scientists, and clinicians who can influence the larger public debate beyond the walls of academia. The program was created through the support of Robert L. Burch.

Columbia Public Voices fellows will participate in workshops to learn how ideas spread, when and why minds change, how credibility is built, and how impact is created and measured. The program also introduces participants to high-level media insiders and connects them with journalist mentors for dedicated coaching throughout the year. The combination of seminars and mentorship is intended to provide fellows with the tools to communicate their scholarship and ideas in all areas of the public sphere—in print, on television and radio, via social media, and through other channels.

“Columbia faculty are research leaders and experts on important issues including the biomedical sciences and health care,” said Henry Lodge, MD, the Robert L. Burch Family Professor of Medicine at CUMC and director of the Health Sciences Communication Project, which oversees the fellowships. “We are delighted that this partnership will help bring their expert voices and perspectives to the larger world.”

The program also will introduce the fellows to the experts and resources of the CUMC Office of Communications, which publicizes the work of medical center faculty.

The OpEd Project, which aims to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas heard in public discourse, has worked with other universities (Dartmouth, Northwestern, Princeton, Stanford, Yale) and organizations (Ford Foundation) during the past three years.

The 20 Columbia fellows who complete the one-year program will join a national network of fellowship alumni, allowing for continued knowledge-sharing and innovation after the fellowship ends.

The work of fellows at other OpEd Project programs has been published in a wide range of media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, the Atlantic, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Al Jazeera, and USA Today. The fellows have appeared on CNN, CNBC, and NPR.

The 20 Columbia fellows, chosen for 2014–15 through a competitive application process:

Manan Ahmed, PhD, assistant professor of history (Morningside)

Larry Amsel, MD, MPH, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry (P&S)

Joan Bregstein, MD, associate professor of pediatrics (P&S)

Robert S. Brown Jr., MD, MPH, the Frank Cardile Professor of Medicine and medical director of the Transplantation Initiative (P&S)

Maria Hamm de Miguel, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine (P&S)

Elsa-Grace Giardina, MD, MS, professor of medicine (P&S)

Deepthiman Gowda, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine (P&S)

Tal Gross, PhD, assistant professor health policy and management (Mailman)

Hilary Hallet, PhD, assistant professor of history (Morningside)

Michael Kazim, MD, clinical professor of ophthalmology and surgery (P&S)

Dana March, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology (Mailman)

Sharon Marcus, PhD, the Orlando Harriman Professor of English and Comparative Literature and dean of humanities (Morningside)

Thelma Mielenz, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology (Mailman)

Sumit Mohan, MD, MPH, FASN, assistant professor of medicine (P&S)

Michelle Odlum, BSN, MPH, EdD, Provost’s Postdoctoral Research Scientist (Nursing)

Elizabeth Oelsner, MD, MPH, instructor in medicine (P&S)

Michael Rosenbaum, MD, professor of pediatrics and of medicine (P&S)

David Seres, MD, ScM, PNS, associate professor of medicine in the Institute of Human Nutrition (P&S)

M. Katherine Shear, MD, the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry (P&S)

Anne Skomorowsky, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry (P&S)