Leslie Nickels MEd, PhD Fellow - Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

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Leslie Nickels MEd, PhD Fellow

For more information about this program please contact:

Karol Dean
Program Director, Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellowship kdean@hmprg.org

Christina Esparza-Cassidy
Schweitzer Fellows Program Coordinator cesparzacassidy@hmprg.org

Shannon Sweetnam
Director of Development and Communications ssweetnam@hmprg.org

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Leslie Nickels MEd, PhD Fellow

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Named by her family and friends, this Fellowship honors the rich legacy of service, mentorship, and scholarship of Leslie Nickels, MEd, PhD. Dr. Nickels’ career began as an audiologist, but she soon found her way to public health studying industrial hygiene at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The seeds of her career were sown in the early 1970’s when she saw a film about the building of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. She was horrified when the film’s narrator indicated the project’s budget anticipated nine workers would die during building. Although none did, the expectation of worker deaths associated with a monument construction was inconceivable to her and pivotal to her career path.

Dr. Nickels championed the important role of government in worker health and safety protection, the need to empower workers, and working with the practice community. Her distinguished career spanned four decades and included roles at the UIC School of Public Health, Chicago Department of Public Health, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Department of Labor, World Health Organization, International Labour Organization, and South Africa National Institute for Occupational Health. She was a beloved professor, mentor, as well as a great friend and former board member of Health & Medicine Policy Research Group.

2023-24 Leslie Nickels, MEd, PhD Fellow

Fatima Rasoul, Loyola University, Social Work

Fatima proposes to develop a program to provide social supports for refugee and immigrant mothers. Her program foci are maternal education and mental health support to promote maternal and child health, as well as providing support to diminish the bureaucratic barriers preventing access to social welfare programs.