On November 24, 2020, President Eileen Davidson made the following announcement to the Ursuline School Community:
“I am excited and proud to announce that Adria Armbrister, PhD has joined the school as our first Scholar-in-Residence.
Dr. Armbrister is an international project manager with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. She is partnering with teachers in several departments to share with students her international experience and expertise in economic and social development, global health, and ethnic equality. Our Scholar-in-Residence program is funded by an E.E. Ford Foundation grant.
Dr. Armbrister received a B.A. in History-Sociology from Columbia University and has earned three Master's degrees: Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University, and a Master of Arts in International Relations & Economics from Johns Hopkins. She then completed her PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia.
Dr. Armbrister has extensive experience in education, ranging from Adjunct Professor at New York University to lecturer at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Her career also includes almost a decade in program management at the Inter-American Development Bank in Lima, Peru, in Bogota Colombia, and in Washington, DC.
Not surprisingly, given this international experience, Dr. Armbrister is professionally and colloquially fluent in spoken and written English (native), Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, and has studied French.
She is currently the founder and Executive Director of Nzoku Consultores. Her clients include the Global Health Council, UNICEF Ethiopia, Econometria, and the Pan American Health Organization. She provides strategic guidance to support policy changes and implement programming to improve outcomes among populations worldwide.
Dr. Armbrister has been invited to speak as a panelist or presenter at various conferences around the world. Additionally, she has published articles in Social Science & Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of the National Medical Association (JNMA), Handbook of Health Psychology, Cambridge Handbook of Psychology, Health and Medicine.
A proud alumna of The Ursuline School, Class of 1994, Dr. Armbrister is excited and honored to return to Ursuline. She said, "During my term as Scholar-in-Residence, I will support courses in the Global Scholars program, Social Studies, English and Personal Development, all departments and courses in which the faculty have already taken important steps to diversify the curriculum and to engage students in critical thinking exercises around equity and justice. My goal is to bring even more perspectives and experiences to this ongoing work."
Dr. Armbrister has already met with our Global Scholars and led a student discussion on the "Impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous and Afro-descendent Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean." The students were immediately engaged in the topic; they had read several articles to help them analyze the issues and think about how public health policy must help those who are vulnerable.
Dr. Armbrister has also met with two Middle School Personal Development classes; her dynamic yet welcoming approach immediately put the classes at ease and lively discussions ensued. The 6th grade class (pictured above) explored how to be an ally and opportunities to be an advocate. The 7th graders talked about society's expectation of a girl's image. Our English Department and Social Studies Department look forward to partnering with Dr. Armbrister soon.
Our partnership with this extraordinary Scholar-in-Residence will continue through the balance of this academic year. Dr. Armbrister's involvement will enrich our academics, lift up understudied perspectives, and help Ursuline as we strive for a more inclusive academic experience.”