Ms. Aditi Srivastav, a second year student in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior’s (HPEB) PhD program in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, has been selected as one of only 15 2017-2019 recipients of the University of Chicago-Chapin Hall’s prestigious Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-Being. The aim of this fellowship program is to develop a new generation of leaders interested in and capable of creating practice and policy initiatives that will enhance child development, health and well-being, while improving the nation’s ability to prevent all forms of child maltreatment. The fellowship includes substantial funding that supports two years of dissertation work.
[Photo: Ms. Aditi Srivastav]
This honor will advance Ms. Srivastav’s extensive knowledge and skills in bridging policy and research in the area of child health and welfare. It is also a clear indicator of her status as an emerging leader in the field.
Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Ms. Srivastav has spent the past two years building her expertise in this specialized area. She began with a bachelor’s degree in American Government (University of Virginia) and a Master of Public Health with a focus on health policy (George Washington University). Before beginning her doctoral program at the Arnold School, she spent several years working in the federal health policy arena, focusing on issues such as the Affordable Care Act, hospital policy, and pediatric health issues.
Most recently, she managed the adverse childhood experiences portfolio at AcademyHealth. This latest experience helped Ms. Srivastav realize her passion for children’s health and well-being and led her to the Arnold School to pursue a Ph.D.
As a Doris Duke Fellow, Ms. Srivastav has proposed to work on understanding how to effectively communicate with policymakers about adverse childhood experiences through her dissertation research. Given the extremely competitive nature of this fellowship, the few individuals who are selected must be innovative and yet grounded in their discipline’s approach to these issues.
“We are working to change the way many of our social institutions, such as education, justice, and health, work by addressing economic inequalities, safety, and relationships between people,” explains Ms. Srivastav. “But in order to do that, we have to change the conversation from individual behaviors to their environmental and social circumstance to create lasting change.”
It was this mindset that first drew Ms. Srivastav to work on addressing adverse childhood experiences and helped her secure such a coveted fellowship. Her success also stems from her ability to make a strong link between research and policy, a key component of the fellowship criteria.