Northeastern students awarded prestigious fellowship, scholarship
Jeffrey and Batt

Northeastern students Christina Jeffrey (left) and Emily Batt received prestigious awards to improve people's health. Photo by Lauren McFalls.

April 21, 2010

Two Northeastern students received prestigious awards to help improve people’s health: The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, which will support research and outreach addressing health-care disparities in underserved communities, and a Steamboat Foundation scholarship, which will support research on how changes in biological cell networks lead to cancer.

Christina Jeffrey, who is pursuing a master’s degree in public health at Northeastern, will join 200 other Albert Schweitzer Fellows across the country in creating and implementing service projects that help meet the health-care needs of underserved communities in the United States and Africa.

Jeffrey’s work will focus on people living in Northeastern’s neighborhoods. She received a $3,000 stipend to support her work out of the Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury, Mass.—which partners with Northeastern in serving the people from the community, particularly those who live in public housing. Through surveys and focus groups she’ll try to establish the main socioeconomic factors that affect patients’ health.

“Depending on the feedback we receive, we’ll design a program to meet their needs,” said Jeffrey, adding, “We want to make an immediate impact that will improve the living conditions for people in public housing.” She plans to launch a career in youth development or immigrant health-care reform and says that the Schweitzer Fellowship will help her develop the research and leadership skills to make a difference in people’s lives—now and in her future career.

Emily Batt, who is pursuing a degree in physics, is one of 13 undergraduate students from across the country participating in the Steamboat Foundation’s 10-week Summer Scholars Program. She received $12,000 from the foundation, which supports students who show potential for becoming leaders in their chosen field.

Every year, one student is selected from each of the foundation’s partnering universities to complete an internship with one of the foundation’s other grant partners, in fields ranging from media to health care to hospitality.

Batt will work at the Center for Cancer Systems Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where she will generate models of the interactions between RNA and DNA to help explain how biological cell networks lead to cancer. The student researcher plans to apply to graduate school after completing her undergraduate degree.

For now, she’s excited to have the opportunity to work in the emerging field of network science, which attempts to map the relationship between just about everything—from cancer cells to human mobility to Internet usage. Northeastern is currently the world leader in network science research.

For more information, please contact Jason Kornwitz at 617-373-5729 or at


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