CUNY Institute for Health Equity

Our Team

Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, Ed.D., M.S.

Executive Director
Phone: 718-960-6928
Loction: Gillet Hall, Room 417B

Marilyn Aguirre-Molina is a professor of public health at Lehman College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She teaches in the M.P.H. and Ph.D. programs). In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she is the founding director of the CUNY Institute for Health Equity, and the deputy executive of the Office of Health Sciences Doctoral Programs. She joined CUNY after several years as professor of population and family health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, she served as the executive vice president of the California Endowment and as a senior program officer at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Preceding her work within philanthropy, she was an associate professor in the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Environmental and Community Medicine. In this capacity she taught within the MD/MPH program and engaged in applied community-based public health research that focused on ethnic/racial communities.

Aguirre-Molina is a native New Yorker. She received a Bachelor of Science degree (cum laude) in health sciences from Hunter College. In addition, she received an academic tuition scholarship to attend Columbia University where she received a Master of Science degree in Community Public Health and a Doctorate in Health Education and Administration.

Andrew Maroko, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences
Phone: 718-960-7452
Location: Gillet Hall, Room 325

Professor Andrew Maroko's research interest in health geographics centers on the spatial analysis of environmental health and equity issues. He received his Ph.D. in earth and environmental sciences, with a specialty in geography/GISc, from the CUNY Graduate Center. He earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Rutgers College. He now teaches in Lehman College's Department of Health Sciences /M.P.H. program, which is a consortial member of the CUNY School of Public Health. Professor Maroko is the associate director of the Urban GISc Lab at Lehman and is also active with the Research Core of the CUNY Institute for Health Equity. He writes about environmental justice, exposure assessment, pollution modeling, geo-statistical analyses, computational geography, urban health geographics, accessibility, and geovisualization.

Juan DelaCruz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Buisness
Phone: 718-960-8159
Loation: Carman Hall, Room 379

Professor Juan J. DelaCruz earned his undergraduate degree in international relations from the National Autonomous of Mexico University.and his Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research. In addition to teaching at Lehman, he holds a faculty appointment the CUNY Graduate Center's M.P.H. program. His research focuses on health economics, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS and its effects on human capital. Professor DelaCruz's latest research is on the effects of incarceration on HIV rates among Hispanics and African-Americans in New York. His research is transitioning toward the use of micro-data and community-based research to address health inequalities for minorities living in New York City.

Peter Arno, Ph.D.

Peter Arno Distinguished Fellow

Peter S. Arno, PhD, is a health economist and has recently joined the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He was Professor of Health Policy and Management at New York Medical College (NYMC; 2007-2013) and the founding director of the doctoral program in Health Policy and Management (2008-13) and the Center for Long Term Care Research & Policy at NYMC (2011-13). Before coming to NYMC, Dr. Arno was the director of the Division of Public Health and Policy Research in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center (1988-2007) and has had a distinguished career in health policy and health services research. He received his doctorate in economics at the New School for Social Research and was a Pew Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco; a scholar of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and a recipient of the Investigator Award in Health Policy from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. His book, Against the Odds: The Story of AIDS Drug Development, Politics & Profits (New York: HarperCollins), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Dr. Arno’s recent work includes studies on food insecurity and the elderly; economics of informal caregiving and long-term care; social and geographic determinants of obesity; regulation and pricing practices of the pharmaceutical industry and the impact of income support policies such as Social Security and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on population health and health disparities. Dr. Arno has testified before numerous U.S. House and Senate committees on areas related to his research.

Nika Lunn, M.A.

Deputy Director

Nika Lunn has extensive public health and program management experience and a diverse educational background. In 2004, Lunn earned her undergraduate degree in Russian from Columbia University. Upon graduation, she worked several years in the healthcare field, including jobs at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Manhattan Vision Associates, where she coordinated clinical research trials. Lunn moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 2006 to study communications at New Mexico State University. She earned her master's degree in 2008; her thesis focused on cultural communications. While in New Mexico, Lunn continued working in the health field as a health educator for the Wellness, Alcohol, and Violence Education (WAVE) program at New Mexico State University. There, Lunn mentored students, managed programs, and taught undergraduate communications classes. Lunn was instrumental in developing The CALL, the first 24-hour crisis hotline that served all of southwestern New Mexico. She trained volunteers for the CALL and ensured the continuity and quality of the crisis line.

Justin Brown, M.A.

Executive Research Associate

Justin T. Brown has a background in program development and intervention evaluation. He holds a master's degree in social-personality psychology from the CUNY Graduate School, where he is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the same field, but with a concentration in health. His research focuses on addressing health disparities among GLBT and ethnic minorities through asset-based approaches. Prior to his appointment at the CUNY Institute for Health Equity, Brown worked as an outside evaluator of various youth-based community programs, applying youth development principals to improve programmatic functioning. Additionally, he served as the program director for Boston Gay & Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS)/Urban Youth Institute (UYI), a program of Justice Resource Institute (JRI). While at Boston GLASS/UYI, in addition to daily oversight and associated administrative tasks, he served as part of a larger organization evaluation team conducting internal program redesign. Brown was also the co-investigator of a community-based participatory research-designed study exploring the health disparities faced by GLBT Youth of Color. He has conducted workshops on health-related issues, including sexual health and cultural competency; served on a number of planning and advisory committees; and has received various fellowships. As part of Brown's role at CIHE, he works collaboratively with the team to prepare grant applications, manuscripts, and various proposals. More specifically, he oversees daily research activities around the team writing process, conducting literature reviews, as well as identifying key contributors and researchers in the field of study.

Tyler Gumb

Administrative Coordinator

Tyler is the Administrative Coordinator for CIHE. His position entails handling the administrative work for the institute. As well as coordinating financial transactions, he handles the processing of new employees and oversees the Institute's Emergency Student Loan program. Tyler maintains the website and hopes to update the Institute's web presence and expand the set of resources it makes available online. Prior to joining the institute he worked for a team of financial consultants at Wells Fargo Advisors. He graduated from CUNY Queens College with a B.A. in English and plans to pursue graduate work in Psychology.


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