Magdalena Ornstein-Sloan

MA, Columbia University, Teachers College. MPH, Hunter College. PhD, CUNY, The Graduate Center. During 15 years of work in the nonprofit sector and 20 years as a personal health care advocate, Dr. Ornstein’s experience encompasses individual and public-policy advocacy related to the delivery of long-term and end-of-life care. She is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) and has served on advisory boards of the New York State Office for the Aging Family Caregiver Council, New York State Caregiving and Respite Coalition, Caregiving Youth Research Collaborative, and American Association of Caregiving Youth. As a health geographer, her research focuses on the experiences of informal family caregivers, specifically related to caregiver interactions with the formal health care system. Special interests include brain injury and qualitative methods. She teaches environmental psychology at SLC and food studies and public health at The New School in New York City. SLC, 2015–

Undergraduate Courses 2017-2018

Psychology

Food Environments, Health, and Social Justice

Open , Seminar—Fall

With obesity and diabetes rising at alarming rates and growing awareness of the social determinants of health and disparities in food access, researchers and policymakers are rethinking the role of the environment in shaping our diets and health. This course takes a collaborative approach to investigating some of the key issues guiding this area of research and action. Students will critically review literature on food environments, food access, and health inequalities and explore how modes of food production and distribution shape patterns of food availability and inequities in the food system. Students will use photography and video to examine foods available in the neighborhoods where they live, review media related to the course themes, and use a time/space food diary to reflect on the ways in which their own eating habits are influenced by the social and material settings of their day-to-day lives. The course concludes with students writing letters to the editor/op-eds to a news outlet of their choice, with suggestions about how to move forward with action to improve food access, public health, and social justice in the places where they live. Students may have the opportunity to engage in community-based service learning and/or research, with the possibility of conference projects resulting from that experience.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Wherever You Go, There You Are: An Exploration of Environmental Psychology

Open , Seminar—Spring

This course explores the relationship between physical and social environments and human behavior. Utilizing qualitative methodologies (autoethnography and photovoice), we will critically explore human interactions from the body, the home, and the local to the globalized world, with a return to the individual experience of our physical and social environments. As a survey course, we will cover myriad topics that may include food (in)security and alternative food networks, informal family caregiving, urban/rural/suburban relationships, gentrification, urban planning, environmental sustainability, globalization, social justice, and varying conceptualizations and experiences of ”home” based on gender, race, class, and people with disabilities. Topics will ultimately be driven by student interest. Films and a field trip will be incorporated. Students are encouraged to participate in service learning through local community involvement facilitated by the Office of Community Partnerships, with the possibility of conference projects resulting from that experience.

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Related Disciplines

Previous Courses

Food Environments and Health

Open , Seminar—Fall
With obesity and diabetes rising at alarming rates, and a growing awareness of disparities in food access, researchers and policymakers are rethinking the role of the environment in shaping our diets and health. This course takes a collaborative approach to investigating some of the key issues guiding this area of research and action. Students will critically review literature on food environments, food access, and health inequalities and explore how modes of food production and distribution shape patterns of food availability in cities. Students will use photography and video to examine foods available in the neighborhoods where they live, review media related to the course themes, and use a time/space food diary to reflect on the ways in which their own eating habits are influenced by the social and material settings of their day-to-day lives. The course concludes with students writing letters to the editor/op-eds to a news outlet of their choice with suggestions about how to move forward with action to improve food access and public health and social justice in the places where they live.
Faculty

Care in Space and Place: An Exploration of Environmental Psychology

Open , Seminar—Spring

This course explores the relationships between physical and social environments and human behavior. Care, in the broadest sense of the term, will be utilized as a lens through which we examine conceptualizations of environmental psychology. Utilizing qualitative methodologies (photovoice and autoethnography), we will engage with an “Ethic of Care” to critically explore levels of human interaction from the body, home, and the local to the globalized world, with a return to the individual experience of receiving and providing care within our social environments. Topics to be considered will include food (in)security and alternative food networks, informal family caregiving, environmental sustainability, globalization, structural violence, social determinants of health, and social justice—but will ultimately be driven by student interest. Films and a field trip will be incorporated to provide experiential learning. Students are encouraged (but not required) to participate in service learning through local community involvement facilitated by the Office of Community Partnerships, with the possibility of conference projects resulting from this experience.

Faculty
Related Disciplines

Ethics and Advocacy

Seminar

Using a social justice framework, this course will provide a theoretical foundation for the exploration and application of ethical dilemmas relevant to the health care system in the United States. The ethics of advocacy, in its various forms, will be explored from different positions—from the patient and family level to health care institutions, funding mechanisms and public policy perspectives. Due to shifting demographics of who provides care, the “where” of health care and the resulting ethical dilemmas will be explored, as the majority of long-term care in the United States is provided in the community by family caregivers. In addition, as the medical model of disease has shifted to include the socialecological model—recognizing the importance of the social on all aspects of health, wellness, and illness—ethical dilemmas have changed, as well. The shift away from purely medical bioethics to a more socially informed version of health care requires different approaches to solving new problems encountered within the current health care system. This course is not intended to teach you a moral code. It will not teach you to act ethically, although it will likely make you think more about how you act and why. You will be challenged to identify ethical problems and explore various outcomes and solutions, making real-world decisions within a climate of moral ambiguity and competing priorities. Ethical dilemmas that you have or with which you are engaging in your field placements will provide possibilities for fertile conversations about these real-world dilemmas and how to effectively grapple with the range of possible outcomes.

Faculty

Care in Space and Place: An Exploration of Environmental Psychology

Open , Seminar—Spring

This course explores the relationship between physical and social environments and human behavior. Care, in the broadest sense of the term, will be utilized as a lens through which we examine conceptualizations of environmental psychology. Utilizing qualitative methodologies (photovoice and autoethnography), we will engage with an ethic of care to critically explore levels of human interaction from the body and home and from the local to the globalized world, with a return to the individual experience of receiving and providing care within our social environments. Topics to be considered will include food (in)security and alternative food networks, informal family caregiving, paid caregiving, environmental sustainability, globalization, structural violence, social determinants of health, and social justice—but ultimately will be driven by student interest. Field trips will be incorporated to provide experiential learning, and digital essays will be introduced as a method to apply course material.

Faculty