Frank Jefferson, Jr.
B.A., June 2009
Summa cum Laude
Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship
Harriet Brows Scholarship
Frank Jefferson, Jr. completed his degree with undergraduate and graduate courses from Baruch and Hunter in Urban Affairs, Public Administration, and Political Science, under the mentorship of Professor Joseph Viteritti, Urban Affairs, Hunter College.
In his own words…
As a CUNY Baccalaureate student and Thomas W. Smith Fellow, I have consistently strived for academic excellence. The knowledge base I have acquired through my undergraduate studies has prepared me well for my graduate studies and my long-range career goals.
After dedicating fourteen years to raising money in support of public health, I am eager to become a leader for public health. To that end, I will begin this fall working toward a Master’s in Public Health in Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
I owe this success to the CUNY Baccalaureate program. Through this program I designed an Area of Concentration (AOC) in Public Policy. This concentration has solidified my interest in and passion for the political, economic and cultural factor that influence the policy-making process. As a part of my AOC, I designed in consultation with Prof. John Chin at Hunter an independent study project to examine the ways in which religion and religiosity impact gay men’s health. The evidence overwhelmingly points to a direct, if harmful, corollary effect. My project paid special attention to the role of the Black Church and found it to be deeply implicated in advancing the stigma that pervades African-American communities and, thus, the disproportionate rates of HIV infection among black men. In the end, this project helped me to respect the complex and overlapping public health challenges that permeate sexual minority communities. I look forward to further studying these problems (and finding solutions) at Mailman.
My professional mission is to help create and sustain healthy communities and the organization that serve them. Once I complete my graduate work in December 2010, I want to work for a foundation that invests in public health programming, interventions and innovations, one where I can extend to organization the expertise, tools and resources needed to eliminate health inequities. Foundation work, ultimately, will integrate perfectly this determined aspiration and my lived experience.
To help me gain entry into the foundation community, Thomas Aschenbrener, president of the Northwest Health Foundation, has offered me a graduate practicum at his foundation. This opportunity will serve me well as I engineer this transition.
The Health Policy and Management Policy degree track at Mailman will help me acquire the research, program design/evaluation and policy analysis training I will need to be an effective foundation officer.