1. Can you tell us about the work you do at the FRC?
I am the lead graduate research assistant for the JUS Media? Programme, an NIH/Fogarty International Center funded transdisciplinary global health intervention, which aims to combat the impact of US media on the eating habits of youth and parents in Jamaica. I am lucky to be involved from the grant application process until today where I monitor a research team of 15 international collaborators across Jamaica and the U.S.
In Spring 2017, JUS Media? was piloted in Jamaica with an experimental efficacy study. Adolescent-mother dyads in Kingston received an interactive two-session workshop on Americanization, nutrition guidelines, and media literacy principles, supplemented with eight weeks of follow-up SMS/text messages teaching and prompting workshop topics. I was involved in the design and implementation of the SMS supplement, and the preparation of the questionnaires.
The second portion of the project include the launch of Healthy Families Partnership with national and local stakeholders. In Fall 2017, our team and myself traveled to Jamaica for the first stakeholders meeting. I provided operational support for the launch of this partnership, facilitated Media Landscape in Jamaica poster, compile meeting minutes, and ensure everything before, after and during the meeting proceeds smoothly. For this phase, I am closely working with Brenda Davis Koester (Assistant Director of FRC and Co-Investigator of the JUS Media? Programme) and we are currently preparing for the third partnership meeting in Summer 2018.
2. What are your goals once you graduate?
Upon graduation, I aim to pursue a career in international development and humanitarian programs. My goal is to design innovative and sustainable programs to be implemented in developing countries and make data-driven policy recommendations for refugee, immigrant and IDP (internally displaced persons) children and families.
3. What is your favorite food or meal?
My favorite cuisine is Italian - I love both cooking and eating a delicious sea bass cooked with bay leaf and some unexpected, non-traditional ingredients if you will. I learned this simple but flavorful recipe from the chef of L’altro Eden Restaurant when I visited Portofino, Italy. I love to see the harmony between the taste, smell, and colors while reminiscing about my Mediterranean heritage. *Cagla shares the recipe below, enjoy!
4. What are your favorite hobbies?
I love traveling, exploring different cultures, and meeting with new people in different parts of the world. I also love cooking, doing yoga, running, and listening jazz - especially live in a jazz club.