The Charger Blog

Public Health Professor Recognized for Commitment to Cultivating Diversity

Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, is committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) across the University community. He was recently recognized by his alma mater for his dedication to DEIB initiatives and to public health, and he’s looking forward to creating new opportunities for Chargers to advance this important work.

February 27, 2022

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Dr. Alvin Tran earned a Master of Public Health from Emory University.
Dr. Alvin Tran earned a Master of Public Health from Emory University. All photos taken by Lien Ho.

As part of his diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) work at the University of New Haven, Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, endeavors to build bridges across the University community, enabling those involved in this important work to collaborate.

An assistant professor of public health and assistant provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the University, Dr. Tran was recently recognized by his alma mater, Emory University, for his commitment to public health and DEIB initiatives. The Emory Alumni Association recently included him as part of its 2021 “40 Under 40” class of young graduates who “make their alma mater proud” by making an impact in areas such as research, leadership, and public service.

“I am an incredibly proud alumnus of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, so receiving this honor was deeply meaningful,” said Dr. Tran, who also serves as director of the University’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health program and interim director of the Master of Public Health program. “I had outstanding faculty members who went above and beyond to support me, and they continue to serve as my mentors to this very day. The mentorship and opportunities I offer my current students is modeled after this exemplary experience I had at Emory. I’m honored to receive this recognition.”

Image of Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, and his parents at his graduation from Emory University.
Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, and his parents at his graduation from Emory University.
‘It’s important to work together’

Dr. Tran’s own training in public health focused on community-based participatory research and community engagement. He strives to keep the University community engaged in and dedicated to DEIB-related initiatives.

While DEIB work is critical and meaningful for Dr. Tran, he also acknowledges that it isn’t easy. He has been a leader in the University of New Haven’s DEIB efforts for the past two years, making great strides, such as the creation of the JEDI student ambassador program. Still, he says, there is much more he hopes to accomplish.

Image of Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, and his father.
Alvin Tran, Sc.D., MPH, and his father.

“The approaches from my training aim to harness the power of collective action of all members of a community to address public health concerns, including issues related to discrimination,” he explains. “What has encouraged me recently is seeing more members of the University community feeling empowered to initiate and lead DEIB efforts for their programs. The conversations have started, and I am seeing more action being taken to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.”

That action includes new collaborations, programs, and opportunities for Chargers to get involved. Dr. Tran is looking forward to a joint collaboration this semester between the University’s Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Office of the Provost to develop a series of workshops focused on using chosen names and respecting gender pronouns.

Dr. Tran is also a member of the planning committee for the University’s next Lavender Graduation ceremony, which celebrates and honors the accomplishments of graduating members of the University’s LGBTQ+ community.

Dr. Tran, who hopes to attend Emory’s “40 Under 40” awards ceremony this spring, endeavors to get as many Chargers involved in DEIB work as possible. He encourages all members of the University community to share with him their own ideas for collaboration.

“It’s important to work together and to build upon each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” said Dr. Tran. “Working alone on these initiatives can be draining and may lead to burnout. It means a lot to me knowing there are people in this community who genuinely care about doing DEI work and have taken action toward instilling positive change.”