Guttman faculty Dr. Nicole Kras has co-authored “How New England Island Residents View the Influence of the Natural Environment in their Lives“ with Dr. Jennifer Keenan. The article was released online by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers in October 2020, ahead of its scheduled printing. The specific focus on adults residing on islands in the northeastern United States is significant because this population is “likely to have a high exposure to natural environments” due to their locations, which are “highly immersed in natural landscapes.” In their responses to a questionnaire, “residents identified benefits and challenges of being isolated on an island, expressed feelings of gratitude for living there, and shared concerns about the environment (as related to the island). Findings also show that the natural environment plays an essential role in these individuals’ social, emotional, and physical health.” In November 2020, Dr. Kras presented these findings and their important implications at the Conference on Environmental Psychology: Norwegian Network for Environmental Psychology and the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, held virtually from Lillehammer, Norway.
The Careers in Public Health Panel Discussion organized by Dr. Kras also took place remotely in November 2020. The panel featured Dr. Angela Ghesquiere, City Research Scientist at the New York City Department of Social Services’ Office of Evaluation and Research; Dr. Anuradha Srivastava, Director and Co-Founder of the Public Health Program at Queensborough Community College, CUNY; and from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy: Director of Admissions Dr. Meg Krudysz, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Alumni Relations Dr. Lynn Roberts, and Student Career Program Manager Ms. Laura Maltz.
Students taking the Fieldwork and Integrative Seminar II and Introduction to Urban Community courses in the Human Services Program posed the questions they had developed to the panelists. All students in attendance also participated in a public health trivia game. The event was supported by a grant from The League for Innovation in the Community College. Another public health panel discussion will be held in the spring of 2021.
Dr. Kras joined the College faculty as Assistant Professor in 2018 and is presently the Program Coordinator of Human Services. She holds a Ph.D. in Adult Learning and Development from Lesley University, a Master of Science in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study as a Classroom Teacher Specialist from Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Kras also received a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from Albertus Magnus College, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a concentration in child development and mental health. Dr. Kras currently serves as the Immediate Past-President for the New England Organization for Human Services (NEOHS) and as a Council for Standards in Human Services (CSHSE) self-study reader. Her research currently centers on nature-based learning in higher education, the influence of the natural environment on the lives of New England island residents, and human services program design.