Iridian Guzmán '19 Receives Stouffer Fellowship for Graduate Studies

May 15, 2019

Iridian Guzmán ’19 has received the Elsie M. Stouffer ’24 Fellowship, which provides funding for graduate study leading to a career in public service in Latin America.

The $20,000 fellowship is the result of a generous gift Stouffer made in 1982 – four years before she died in 1986. The fellowship is open to senior women who are fluent in French, Spanish, or Portuguese, and plan to pursue graduate studies and a career in public service in Latin America. Guzmán has a native proficiency in Spanish.

A biology major from Chicago, Guzmán will begin her studies for a Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology at Emory University in fall 2019.

“During my graduate program I hope to gain the professional and academic skills required for me to become a leader in public health,” Guzmán says. “I look forward to collaborating with a group of public health researchers working to identify how common genetic mutations in mothers impact their children’s health outcomes in the Latinx population.”

Following graduate school, Guzmán plans to work within a public health agency in Mexico to acquire experience and skills, along with a network, which will ultimately give her the knowledge and resources she needs to establish her own public health organization in Mexico. She aims to focus her organization’s efforts on monitoring and improving child and maternal health in rural and indigenous communities.

“Iridian has developed the academic, personal, and professional background to succeed in graduate school and in a future career in public health through the College’s globally informed curriculum,” says Tess Kulstad, assistant professor of anthropology. “Most importantly, she has further solidified her persistent commitment to social justice and health in Latin America and the United States.”

Guzmán has deepened her knowledge and interest in public health through internships and off-campus study. She read, analyzed, and synthesized literature on obesity and diabetes disparities among U.S. Latinos as a public health intern at the Northwestern University Department of Preventive Medicine in Chicago in the summer of 2017.

During the 2018 spring semester, she participated in the Institute for the International Education of Students’ Santiago Health Studies off-campus study program in Santiago, Chile. There she familiarized herself with health system structures and observed a variety of hospital departments within urban and rural communities.

Upon her return from Chile, she devoted her summer to an IMPACT internship in which she observed, researched, and identified improvements in patient care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

On campus, Guzmán is a co-leader for the College chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, secretary of Crecemos Unidos, and a tutor in the Spanish Lab. She is also a member of the Biology Student Educational Policy Committee, Student Organization of Latinx, and Minority Association of Pre-medical Students. In addition, Guzmán has been recognized as a QuestBridge Scholar and a Gilman Scholar.

More than 40 alumni have received funding for graduate studies through the Stouffer Fellowship. The award is administered through Global Fellowships and Awards in the Center for Careers, Life, and Service.

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