Dr. Diana Hernandez, assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, was named an alumni member of the Graduate School Diversity Advisory Council at Cornell University. The council provides the leadership of the Graduate School with feedback and guidance on diversity and inclusion plans and initiatives focused on graduate and professional students, postdoctoral scholars, and other key constituency groups. Previously limited primarily to faculty and students, Dr. Hernandez is one of the first external members of the council.
Dr. Hernandez studies the impacts of policy on the health and socioeconomic well-being of vulnerable populations. Her community-oriented research examines the intersections between the built environment (housing and neighborhoods), poverty/equity and health with a particular emphasis on energy insecurity. Much of her research is conducted in her native South Bronx neighborhood. Dr. Hernandez is currently a principal or co-investigator on several projects related to structural interventions in low-income housing such as energy efficiency upgrades and new finance and capital improvement models in public housing and post-Sandy resilience among public housing residents. In addition to teaching at the graduate level, Dr. Hernandez has taught undergraduate courses on Health Disparities and Cultural Competence.
In 2010 and prior to joining the Columbia Mailman School faculty, Dr. Hernandez received her PhD in sociology with a concentration in social inequality from Cornell. This past August, Dr. Hernandez gave a keynote address at Cornell to the summer success symposium hosted by the graduate school titled “Navigating a Meaningful Life and Career.”