Department's Gilbert Gonzales honored with the inaugural Chancellor's Research Award in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

August 26, 2016

Chancellor presents top prizes, including new award for excellence in equity, diversity and inclusion research, at fall assembly

by Jan Read | Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, 6:30 PM

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos presented seven faculty research awards, including two new awards for efforts that advance understanding of diversity, at the fall faculty assembly on Aug. 25.

The newly established Chancellor’s Research Awards for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion recognize excellence in research, scholarship or creative expression that advance understanding of equity, diversity and inclusion. Three faculty members were honored with the two new awards.

Each of these awards carries a stipend of $1,000, and the recipient receives an engraved pewter julep cup.

One of the awards went to Gilbert Gonzalez, assistant professor of health policy, for his research documenting that LGBT couples and their children were less likely to have private health care insurance due to historic barriers associated with adding same-sex partners to employer-sponsored plans. Using data from large federal surveys and quantitative research methods, he conducted numerous studies on health and access to care for LGBT families and same-sex couples.

His publication in JAMA Internal Medicine documented disparities in physical and mental health outcomes between lesbian, gay and bisexual adults and their heterosexual peers. He and his co-authors found high levels of distress in these groups, including heavy alcohol and tobacco use, compared to their heterosexual peers. Gonzalez and his co-authors hypothesized that discriminatory environments and public policies stigmatize LGBT people and engender feelings of rejection and low self-esteem, which in turn can shape their health and health-related behaviors.

“His work sheds a much-needed light on the chronic stress associated with being a member of a marginalized minority population,” Zeppos said. “I applaud the potential his work holds for bettering our society.”

For the full Reporter article, click here.

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