Honolulu Community College will be holding its 4th Social Science Speaker Series Annual Colloquium featuring Dr. Helen-Maria Lekas, an Associate Professor of Sociomedical Sciences (SMS), a department in the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University’s Medical Center.

4th Social Science Speaker Series Annual Colloquium

Friday, February 13, 2015
1:30p – 3:30p
Norman W.H. Loui Conference Center
Building 2, Room 201

“My presentation will focus on how our place on the social ladder shapes our dispositions towards our health and the practices we follow to take care of our bodies,” explains Dr. Lekas.  “I hope to begin a discussion of how we need to move beyond simplistic notions often used in public health that if we just educate people about their health and even provide services and programs they will engage in health promoting or protective behaviors and certainly utilize health and other supportive services.”

“With examples from my NIH funded study called Bedside to Community, I will demonstrate how structural barriers and opportunities interface with agency and generate our dispositions to perceive and act in the world in certain ways.”

Since joining the faculty in SMS and as a member of the Center for the Psychosocial Study of Health & Illness, Dr. Lekas has served as a Principal Investigator on several NIH-funded studies exploring the structural-, interpersonal- and individual-level factors that undermine people’s health and wellbeing.

Dr. Lekas also has an interest in mindfulness meditation techniques and is hoping to bring such strategies in her intervention work with socio-economically disadvantaged patients.

The Social Science Speaker Series is now in its fourth year.  This tradition has brought scholars engaging in cutting-edge social science research in various disciplines and subjects to Honolulu Community College, a practice not uncommon on many college campuses, including community colleges.

“The intent to begin this series was to bring researchers to campus to talk about their original research; thus, creating learning opportunities that would be otherwise difficult to obtain.  This raises the level of academic rigor for faculty as well as students, staff, administration, and the public,” shares Dr. Fumiko Takasugi, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Honolulu Community College.

“As part of the liberal arts program at Honolulu Community College that also serves the community as well as our campus population, the event provides ‘diverse educational opportunities for personal enrichment,’ a prominent part of Honolulu Community College’s mission.”

The series was developed in conjunction with the philosophy and mission of the University of Hawai‘i Community Colleges.

Talk by Dr Lekas 2015dd