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Two Scholars Receive Funding to Expand Research on Mental Health among Students of Color
2/4/2016 4:20:27 PM

The mental health of college students of color will receive expanded focus in a national research fellowship program this spring, Active Minds, Inc. and the Steve Fund – two leading mental health organizations – announced today.

Two researchers of the 2016 Emerging Scholars Fellowship, an Active Minds program dedicated to supporting undergraduate and graduate student research on mental health, will study mental health among students of color specifically. The Steve Fund, the nation’s only organization focused on promoting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color, is supporting two Stephen C. Rose Legacy Scholars: Alfred Delena and Heidi Tuason.

Delena, who was born and raised on the Pueblo of Zuni reservation in New Mexico and is a senior studying human biology at Stanford University, will examine the lived experience of well-being among first-generation, low-income undergraduate students of color at highly selective universities. Tuason, a third year PhD candidate studying community health sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, aims to uncover stories of mental health challenges and stigma in the Filipino community among students at UCLA.

“Active Minds is honored and excited to work with the Steve Fund to expand the research around how students of color experience mental illness,” said Founder and Executive Director Alison Malmon. “There is simply not enough knowledge on the mental health of this critical student population. We’re confident that Alfred and Heidi’s research will help bridge that gap.”

“By 2044, minorities will comprise the majority of Americans,” said Evan Rose, president of the Steve Fund. “The future success of our nation will depend on the mental health and emotional well-being of all student populations, and on colleges and universities providing support appropriately. Our partnership with Active Minds will help ensure universities have the research necessary to provide that support.”

Eight scholars were selected for the 2016 Emerging Scholars Fellowship, which provides an opportunity for students from a variety of backgrounds to complete funded, independent mental health projects and to be connected with a network of young scholars and national experts in the field of behavioral health. The Fellowship is a program of Active Minds, Inc., a leading national nonprofit organization working to change the conversation and perception about mental health on college campuses. The Steve Fund sponsored its inaugural scholar in 2015.

As part of the Fellowship, scholars will receive financial support to complete their work and be connected to leading experts in the field as National Program Mentors. Past mentors have included Robert Bernstein, PhD, Executive Director of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law; Daniel Eisenberg, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Management & Policy at University of Michigan and Director of The Healthy Minds Network; and Kaja Perina, Editor-in-Chief, Psychology Today. To learn more about the 2016 scholars and their projects, visit


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