Mentor of the Year Award

December 6, 2022

The Mentor of the Year Award is presented each year to faculty on the Columbia University Irving Medical Center campus in recognition of their outstanding guidance and support provided to students, fellows, and colleagues.

Delivette Castor, PhD
2022 Junior Mentor of the Year

Picture of Delivette Castor, Ph.D.

Delivette Castor, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor (in Medicine and Epidemiology) Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, and the Department of Epidemiology, the Columbia University Medical Center. She is also the Director of the section on Health Equity in Dissemination and Implementation Sciences in the Division of Infectious Diseases. Her work focuses on how to equitably introduce and scale up evidence-based infectious disease interventions in public health programs in low- and middle-income country settings (LMICS) and marginalized populations in the US. Her current research involves; the introduction of novel HIV prevention for women, novel HPV technologies, COVID-19 transmission in the household, and the social determinants and long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2.

Delivette supported the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program for a decade through implementation research and evaluation. In addition, she supported the introduction and scale-up of HIV prevention and treatment interventions, including combination HIV prevention, test and treat, voluntary medical male circumcision, and Pre-exposure prophylaxis globally. She earned her doctoral degree in 2006 at Columbia University.

Rebecca Schnall, PhD, MPH, RN
2022 Senior Mentor of the Year

Photo of Rebecca Schnall, PhD, MPH, RN

Dr. Schnall is a nurse scientist and informatician who has committed to mentoring the next generation of nurse scientists. She leads an independent research program focused on understanding the information needs of vulnerable patient populations and developing informatics tools to promote health and prevent disease.

The fundamental question underlying her program of research is “How do we capture information and deliver it to consumers from underserved communities so that they can access it and make informed decisions about their health?” Dr. Schnall’s program of research has focused on understanding the information needs of vulnerable patient populations and developing informatics tools to reduce health disparities for persons from underserved communities. In addition, her research has impact on healthy policy, as the consumer health informatics tools that she develops and evaluates have high potential to improve cost-effectiveness, enabling more streamlined efficient health care on a wide scale and in the most underserved communities.

Dr. Schnall uses a tailored approach to mentoring combined with an ongoing feedback loop, both of which she believes are required for effective mentoring and mentee success. Dr. Schnall focuses on ensuring mentees progress toward tailored goals throughout a long-term mentoring relationship, contributing to research through analysis and dissemination. The overall goal of her mentoring program is to encourage new and junior investigators with a special emphasis on faculty from diverse backgrounds to launch independent academic careers in patient-oriented research. Further, Dr. Schnall has an exemplary record of mentoring undergraduate, masters and pre-doctoral and post-doctoral students and has a strong commitment to mentoring junior scientists in their path to independence. Through her extensive mentoring activities, she is helping to develop the next generation of researchers with a focus on nurse scientists.

Jennifer J. Manly, PhD
2022 Senior Mentor of the Year

Photo of Jennifer J. Manly, PhD

Jennifer J. Manly, Ph.D. is a Professor of Neuropsychology in the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Her research focuses on mechanisms of inequalities in cognitive aging and Alzheimer’s Disease.

In order to do this research, her research team has partnered with the Black and Latinx communities in New York City and around the United States to design and carry out investigations of structural and social forces across the lifecourse, such as educational opportunities, racism and discrimination, and socioeconomic status, and how these factors relate to cognition and brain health later in life.

Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Alzheimer’s Association. She has authored over 220 peer-reviewed publications and 10 chapters. Dr. Manly was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2021. She served on the HHS Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care and Services from 2011 – 2015 and is a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging.

Cristiane S. Duarte, PhD, MPH
2022 Senior Mentor of the Year

Photo of Cristiane S. Duarte, PhD, MPH

Dr. Duarte is the Ruane Professor for the Implementation of Science for Child & Adolescent Mental Health at Columbia University - New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), where she is the Director of the Center for Intergenerational Psychiatry and Co-Director of the Washington Heights Youth Anxiety Center Clinic.

Her research seeks to generate population-based knowledge about development of psychopathology of relevance to diverse, often underserved and marginalized, children. Her interest centers on the role of adversities, cultural risk and protective processes, including intergenerational influences, relevant for the development of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Duarte’s research program informs new prevention strategies targeted to break the cycle of disadvantage among marginalized children in the USA and globally. She leads and participates in research collaboration in the continental USA, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Finland and Mozambique. Her research program has been supported by the US National Institute of Health, private donors and foundations.

The scientific focus of her research program on adversity and marginalization has attracted students and trainees from racially or ethnically minoritized groups which have been traditionally underrepresented (URM) in science. She is, for example, an active mentor in the Department of Psychiatry June Jackson summer program, geared towards introducing psychiatry to first year URM medical students as well as a mentor in the Tow Bridge to PhD Program. She also serves in executive committees of three NIH research training programs. She has received several awards for her research, mentoring and service, such as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Mentor Award (2015 and 2022), the Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Psychiatry Klerman Award, the Columbia University Faculty Service Award, The Saks Fifth Avenue’s Women in Mental Health Award.