As the pandemic began and through the events of 2020, many of you reached out to us concerned about our members' sense of wellbeing. Through virtual socials, feedback via surveys, and individual proactive outreach, you expressed care for the mental health challenges that many of us have come to experience. You told us, in so many words, that we must do something to support our community's mental health in these times.
Three HAMH members--Karen Dechman, Bianca Allison, and Marie-Christine Nizzi-- have stepped forward to work diligently alongside HAMH Board on a project designed to support alumni mental health--not just alumni in this group, but alumni across the Harvard University Alumni Association.
The mission of Harvard Alumni for Mental Health Taskforce (HAMHT) is to support the mental, social and emotional health of Harvard alumni, by developing human-centered programs, designed for and by the alumni community.
1. Identifying the mental/social/emotional needs of Harvard alumni
2. Creating an advisory board composed of alumni interested in operationalizing the mission of HAMHT
3. Facilitating the development of a variety of programs to support Harvard alumni
We need your help to reach as many alumni as we can. If you haven't already done so, please fill out the quick survey below and share widely with your Harvard friends and classmates.
Help us support alumni mental health!
Bianca is a graduate of Harvard College (BA '10, Eliot House) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (MPH '16). She is a board-certified pediatrician who practices primary care at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is particularly passionate about promoting both preventive and therapeutic mental health services for adolescents and young adults. As a new mother herself, she has a growing interest in supporting parents to prevent burnout.
Bianca is also a health services researcher, whose research interests are primarily centered on adolescents, and especially methods to promote risk reduction in sexual and reproductive health, including prevention of STIs and teen pregnancy.
Talk to her about parenthood, long-distance friendships, podcasts, yoga, sourdough bread, crafting, and literature (both fiction and non-fiction). Bianca believes that everything passes quickly for better or for worse, so it's worth striving to be optimistic, present, and kind.
Marie-Christine is a GSAS Alumna. She earned a first Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University (Paris, France), before completing her Ph.D. in Psychology at Harvard University, and her Clinical Internship in Neuropsychology at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. At Dartmouth, she currently leads a project aiming to better support the experience of free will in paralyzed patients.
An international and interdisciplinary scientist, Marie-Christine builds on her multicultural experience to inform her research on the self. How do we form our identities in diverse cultural contexts? And how can we build a more resilient sense of self when facing adversity? She was named "2018 Harvard Horizons Scholar" for her work with U.S. Veterans and face-transplant recipients.
As a clinician, Marie-Christine works with expats., with people who have a history of trauma or loss, and with those who simply seek to grow into their best self. Specific areas of expertise include working with parents who have a baby in the NICU and with adults battling a terminal illness. A trained Neuropsychologist, she also has experience conducting neuro-cognitive assessments in both English and French.
Tell her about your favorite cross-cultural experience or which aspects of your identity are most meaningful to you. In Harvard Square, her favorites include L.A. Burdick and Toscano!
Vice President, Remote Employee Engagement and International Development, Pacific Acquisitions
Harvard University CSS, 98
Derek Bok Prize Recipient
Member: Coronavirus Taskforce, Harvard Alumni for Mental Health, Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, Harvard Faculty Club, Harvard Club of New York, Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Former Board of Directors: Travelers' Aid Society, Bird Treatment and Learning Center Alaska, Harvard Club of Washington, DC, Washington DC Researchers for Advancement
Former President: Harvard Club of Virginia, Anchorage Midtown Community Council
Former Advisor Fulbright Scholarship Program
Former Alumni Interviewer Harvard University
Current Volunteer: Chicago Coronavirus Care-mongering
Past Volunteer: Iditarod Race, The White House
Former Director of Development Research, United States Holocaust Museum.