New Connections Holds Eighth Annual Symposium
New Connections hosted its Eighth Annual Symposium, June 11–13, 2014. The theme for this symposium was “Career Paths: The Visible and Invisible Politics of Moving Forward.” It served as a forum for early- and mid-career researchers to network, share research ideas, and hear from senior researchers and mentors. The symposium agenda included an address from co-chairs Margarita Alegria, PhD, and Ruth Zambrana, PhD, a variety of scientific and professional development sessions, an RWJF information session, sessions featuring New Connections grantees/alumni, and an awards recognition ceremony.

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Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College Hosts 2014 Summer Institute
Meharry Medical College will host the annual 2014 Summer Institute on Health Policy on June 16–27, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.

The Summer Institute on Health Policy is a two-week, rigorous training program that offers intensive, accelerated coursework related to health policy, public health, health economics, law, and public policy. Courses are taught by nationally-renowned scholars, researchers, executives, and public officials who bring a wealth of knowledge on how to tackle real-world health policy challenges.

“Public Health, Public Policy, and the Law” will be taught by Bill Purcell, former Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County mayor who currently practices law at a Nashville-based firm, Jones Hawkins & Farmer, PLC.

Famed economist Julianne Malveaux, PhD, will teach “Race, Class, Health and Health Policy.” Malveaux is an economist whose thoughts on race, class, gender, health disparities, and their economic impact can be heard on numerous cable news and talk radio shows. She has been a regular contributor to academic life, having most recently served in 2007 as the 15th president of Bennett College.

New Connections Provides Professional Development Services
New Connections has provided several services to its network of 1,200-plus scholars. In March, the program hosted the webinar “Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing Your Article But Were Afraid to Ask,” which discussed the process for successful publication. The webinar was conducted by the authors of Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation: Sonja Foss, PhD, of the University of Colorado Denver, and William Waters, PhD, of the University of Houston-Downtown.

In May, New Connections hosted the webinar “Building a Competitive Research Program: What They Never Told You—But You Really Need to Know.” This webinar presented strategies for early career researchers to build a competitive research program. It was led by Cheryl Anne Boyce, PhD, who has more than 15 years of experience as a federal project officer at the National Institutes of Health.

Summer Medical and Dental Education Program Welcomes 2014 Scholars to the University of Texas School of Dentistry and Medical School at Houston
On May 27, the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) welcomed the arrival of its first 2014 scholars at the University of Texas School of Dentistry and Medical School at Houston. Houston is one of 12 university sites across the country that will collectively prepare more than 900 students in this summer’s cohort for possible health care careers. This year SMDEP celebrates 25 years of “shaping careers, changing lives” of its more than 22,000 alumni. Their ranks include physicians, dentists, public health professionals, and leaders who have made significant contributions in health care and public policy. A host of anniversary events are scheduled throughout the year to commemorate the program’s milestone achievements.

New Connections Selecting its Eighth Cohort
The national program office is in the process of selecting its eighth cohort of grantees. Finalists will be notified in the summer. This cohort’s grants are scheduled to begin on September 1, 2014.