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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / October 2023 / Capellan Selected for GEPA Postdoctoral Appointee Award for Excellence in Equity and Inclusion

Capellan Selected for GEPA Postdoctoral Appointee Award for Excellence in Equity and Inclusion

Jahaira Capellan, PhD, MS, RN, FNP-BC is this year’s recipient of the GEPA Postdoctoral Appointee Award for Excellence in Equity and Inclusion. The award recognizes postdoctoral appointees in the School of Medicine and Dentistry for their outstanding efforts to advance equity and inclusion through their research and professional practice.

Jahaira Capellan, PhDJahaira Capellan, PhD

Capellan is a UR CTSI TL1 Population Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow conducting a mixed-methods study to research the role of parenting behaviors, styles, and feeding practices of Spanish-speaking Puerto Rican parents and their relationship to their children’s appetitive traits, food consumption, and weight status, and how these practices might help prevent the development of chronic diseases.

“I would like to thank my mentorship team for supporting me during my time as a postdoc,” Capellan said. “Their belief in my work has been instrumental in this recognition. Special thanks to my community partners for continuing to allow me to serve our community.”

Susan Groth, PhD, WHNP-BC, FAANP is one of the mentors who nominated Capellan for the award.

“Through her unyielding commitment to advancing equity and inclusion, she has uplifted underserved communities and empowered individuals to advocate for their own health and well-being,” Groth said. “Jahaira demonstrates genuine care for the welfare of others and is dedicated to dismantling barriers to research and healthcare access.”

Edith Williams, PhD, founding director of the Office of Equity Research, submitted a letter of support for Capellan for this award.

“I have had the privilege of witnessing Jahaira's impact and relentless pursuit of improving the health of the Latinx population,” Williams said. “Her commitment spans multiple domains, encompassing research, pioneering institutional initiatives, providing healthcare, and engaging in numerous service-related efforts, all of which have collectively contributed to fostering a more just and equitable society.”

The Population Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship from UR CTSI provided critical support at a key time.

“The TL1 Fellowship has had a profound impact on my career, providing opportunities that have been instrumental in shaping my professional journey,” Capellan said. “It has offered me the opportunity to re-enter academia after facing a challenging period. Losing my PhD advisor to Leukemia and being diagnosed with a serious health condition of my own had temporarily derailed my academic research aspirations. However, the TL1 fellowship has not only provided financial support, but also a platform for me to re-engage with research and academia. Through this program, I have had the privilege to connect with accomplished individuals in the field of childhood obesity and gained insights and guidance.”

Capellan will be honored at the Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs Awards and Philosophy Meeting on Monday, October 30 at 3:00 p.m. in the Flaum Atrium.

Michael Hazard | 10/30/2023

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