Christina Nieves ’10 is a community research and evaluation specialist at the Center for Health Equity and Community Wellness in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. As a public health researcher, she conducts program evaluation and research on place-based approaches to reducing health inequities in East and Central Harlem.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Christina has worked to apply a health equity framework to the city’s pandemic response. In addition to her work, she is a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. Her research focuses on the roles of social identities and neighborhood characteristics on health outcomes. She also serves as a guest lecturer in public health to medical students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Q. Tell us about a job you did not get or take. How did this shape your career path?
A. After completing my master’s degree, I interviewed for a job at a health informatics company as a data analyst in Boston. At the time, a lot of my peers were starting doctoral programs, so I was feeling pressure to find a job to justify my choice of not following in their paths. I didn’t get the job, and I was really upset about it. Looking back, that job was a terrible fit for my interests and passions. After this rejection, I focused my efforts on moving back to NYC and getting a job that was a strong fit for what I was looking for. I ended up at the NYC health department and have been there ever since.