Journey to becoming a faculty member and why mentorship is at the core of everything, with Gwendolyn Francavillo

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In this episode, Sujani sits down with Gwendolyn Roberts Francavillo, a professor at the School of Health Sciences at Marymount University and an active leader and member of the American Public Health Association. They talk about mentorship, the various paths into academia, and how Gwendolyn is working with the APHA to support the education and professional development of public health professionals

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How Gwendolyn found her way to public health through her sociology degree and her experience working as a peer health educator
  • How Gwendolyn’s 24+ years of work experience in public health has influenced the way she teaches and mentors students
  • Gwendolyn’s areas of research that she focuses on including women’s health, public health ethics, and holistic wellness
  • The importance of taking care of yourself and Gwendolyn’s work with the American Public Health Association to help public health professionals connect and grow
    • What led to Gwendolyn forming the Learning and Professional Development Committee of APHA’s Public Health and Health Promotion Section
  • What a day in Gwendolyn’s life looks like and how she balances her work in academia and with the APHA
  • How collaboration, social support, and mentorship can help you learn and expand your career opportunities
  • The biggest challenges Gwendolyn faced through her career in academia and advice she has for others considering a career in academia
    • The different nontraditional ways to enter into academia and teaching

Today’s Guest:

Dr. Gwendolyn Roberts Francavillo is an experienced, tenured Associate Professor of Public Health in the School of Health Sciences at Marymount University. She has taught and conducted research at universities since 1998 with expertise in holistic stress management, public health ethics, wellness, sexuality, and global health. Dr. Francavillo has an interactive teaching approach to make any topic fun and engaging! A professional endeavor of hers is to establish an interest among her students in research methods and theoretical foundation. She was recently elected President-Elect of Marymount’s Faculty Council. Dr. Francavillo has a PhD and Master’s degree in Public Health, and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). One of her passions is teaching yoga to varied populations for over 20 years and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). She has received funding, published findings, and presented at national conferences. For APHA, for the PHEHP section, Dr. Francavillo is a Governing Councilor, Founding Chair of the Learning and Professional Development Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Membership Engagement Committee. Dr. Francavillo feels her calling is to help others embrace positivity, feel empowered to take responsibility for their own health, and be the best selves they can be!

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About the Show

PH SPOTlight: Public health career stories, inspiration, and guidance from current-day public health heroes

On the show, Sujani sits down with public health heroes of our time to share career stories, inspiration, and guidance for building public health careers. From time to time, she also has conversations with friends of public health – individuals who are not public health professionals, but their advice and guidance are equally important.

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