CUNY BA Alumnus Michael Clark Named HIV League Scholar

The HIV League, a nonprofit organization working to empower the HIV Community through scholarship, wellness, and education, just selected their 2018 cohort of Scholars to receive an HIV League Scholarship. These four Scholars have shown how promising they are as students living with HIV through their educational accomplishments, leadership, and service.

Alex Aldana, an undocumented queer activist, is looking to continue their undergraduate studies in Southern California, while Tranisha Arzah, a Peer Advocate for youth, trans women, and women of color, will start her educational career in Community Health and Education. Michael B. Clark is beginning his Masters of Public Health with a focus on Social and Behavioral Health after extensive research and community-based work in East Africa with queer refugees, and Drew Hockman will be starting his Master of Social Welfare with many years of experience working in HIV-related work in Minnesota. These four Scholars are joining the existing two HIV League Scholars, Nicole Begay and Kristefer Stojanovski, in leading the way of what a student living with HIV can do with their educational pursuits.

The HIV League Scholarship is the only national scholarship specifically for students living with HIV. The HIV League is ecstatic to work with the 2018 HIV League Scholars who have already shown an unlimited amount of potential as leaders in their local communities, the global community, as well as the HIV Community. Please read more about them below along with visiting www.hivleague.org to learn more about The HIV League and their scholarship for students living with HIV.

Michael B. ClarkMichael B. Clark

Michael B. Clark is pursuing his Masters of Public Health at New York University, with a focus on Social and Behavioral health. His primary interest is how stigma impacts the health and HIV vulnerability of marginalized populations, with much of his research being with sexual minority refugees and migrants in East Africa.

While in Kenya as a Fulbright US Student Researcher, Michael helped LGBT refugees create the Refugee Coalition of East Africa, an organization which advocates for research and representation in the larger human rights mechanisms in Kenya and Uganda. Many of the people he works with experience stigma through multiple intersecting identities: as a sexual minority, a refugee, being gender non-conforming, living in poverty, as a sex worker, and often as living with HIV. Michael’s research and advocacy seeks to find the power though those intersections.

A recent graduate from City University of New York’s Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies with a BS in Public Health and Human Rights, Michael’s research began in 2016 while conducting research on similar populations in Uganda through grants from the Fund for Education Abroad and the US Department of State-funded Benjamin Gilman scholarship. Since then, he has continued research and advocacy for sexual and gender minorities in East Africa and in the United States. Michael’s interest in displacement comes from the traumatic resettlement his family experienced as a members of the Pit River Tribe of Northern California.

Prior to academia, Michael served as a combat medic in the US Army and was a personal trainer and competitive bodybuilder. Although currently living in New York City with his partner Christos and their two dogs, Bacon and Eggs, he considers the Pacific Northwest his home. Online, he tweets @HealthLGBTQ

Michael is honored to be a HIV League Scholar, and looks forward to continuing his work to reduce stigma and improve health.