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Resident Spotlight: Elena Pulgar (Spain)

Among our amazing residents this year is Elena Pulgar, a Fulbright scholar from Spain earning her Master of Public Health degree in Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. We asked her to share about her experience at I-House and its role in her professional development. Tell us about yourself. What are you working on? I’m passionate about mental health promotion, advocacy, and policy at a population level, both locally and globally. My main interests include gender-based violence prevention, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), forced migration and mental health, substance abuse, and adolescent health. I’m a Peer Educator volunteer with the Sexual Violence Response & the Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center (SVR) at Columbia University. As a volunteer, I’ve received formal Peer Educator training on preventing sexual violence and educating the graduate community about healthy intimate relationships and sexuality. I deliver and facilitate information from a cross-sectional and trauma-informed lens to survivors and co-survivors of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and other forms of gender-based violence. I am also an active member of Womxn 4 Womxn, a student association on campus that uses an Intersectional Feminism Framework to Improve Womxn’s Health by Empowering Womxn at Mailman through Healthcare Education, Networking, Political Analyses, and Relationships. What made you decide to live here? The strong sense of community, the cultural richness, and the emphasis on the professional and personal growth of the residents persuaded me to live in I-House. I first heard about I-House from alumni. When my friend was describing I-House, I instantly knew it was the perfect place for me. I could guess by then that living in I-House would be a transformative living experience.
Elena with friends at a resident event to celebrate Diwali
Do you think your experience living at I-House will help you accomplish your goals? Living in I-House is already helping me attain my goal to work in the field of Global mental health, through the events held every month that allow me to expand my network. To give you an example: recently, I-House brought a renowned speaker in the field of mental health, who turned out to be a professor in my master’s program with whom I would love to do my summer Practicum. What is your favorite spot at the House? My favourite spot at I-House is the rooftop. In summer I would have breakfast there while watching the sunrise, and it was just magical! Thank you, Elena! We are so glad to have you in our community!