Global Adolescent Health—A Trans-Disciplinary Perspective

Global Adolescent Health—A Trans-disciplinary Perspective is led by Colette Auerswald (School of Public Health), Ndola Prata (School of Public Health), Jane Mauldon (Goldman School of Public Policy), and Eric Stover (Berkeley School of Law & Human Rights Center).  Although morbidity and mortality in childhood formerly exceeded that in adolescence, these have now reversed themselves, due to strong gains in childhood health and neglect of the needs of adolescence necessary to maintain those childhood gains.  Adolescent health is not only determined by well-documented factors at the individual level, such as behavior, and proximal factors, such as family, school and peers, but also by as yet less well-delineated structural factors (including culture, economic inequality, stigma and human rights). These modifiable, multi-level determinants, the ways in which they intersect to mold youth health, as well as how they can be harnessed for interventions that will improve the health of adolescents are the focus of our initiative.  The colloquium on Global Adolescent Health will provide the leadership and scaffolding for an exchange of ideas across disciplines and schools, foster training, and lead to the development of a long-term, innovative interdisciplinary research and interventions agenda in global adolescent health for which UC Berkeley is uniquely placed to play a leadership role.

Photo taken by Alex Goodell for Village Health Works, Kigutu, Burundi.

Fall 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015.
Li Ka Shing Center, Conference Room 545; 4-5 pm.

The Mindful Teen: Promoting Mindfulness and Resilience Among Adolescents

The UC Berkeley Global Adolescent Health Colloquium invites you to a talk by Dr. Dzung Vo.  Dr. Vo will be discussing mindfulness: its scientific benefits, how it can support adolescent positive youth development and resilience, as well as resources including (but not limited to)The Mindful Teen book.

Dzung X. Vo, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, and clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine, Vancouver, Canada. His medical practice, teaching, and research emphasize promoting resilience in young people to help them thrive in the face of stress and adversity. He co-developed (with Dr. Jake Locke at BC Children’s Hospital) a mindfulness training program called MARS-A, or Mindful Awareness and Resilience Skills for Adolescents. MARS-A is a developmentally appropriate adaptation of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), for youth with chronic stress, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety. Dr. Vo is the author of The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time (New Harbinger, 2015). Dr. Vo also serves on the Board of Directors for the BC Association for Living Mindfully (BCALM) and the Mindfulness in Education Network (MiEN).

Dr. Vo has been practicing mindfulness regularly since 1999, and has experienced the transformational power of mindfulness practice firsthand. All trees have roots, and Dr. Vo’s root mindfulness teacher is the Vietnamese Zen Master, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and author, Thich Nhat Hanh. Dr. Vo has also been deeply inspired by the pioneers of the mindfulness movement in the West, including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Zindel Segal, Daniel Siegel, and many others. Dr. Vo hopes to share the benefits of mindfulness to diverse youth in a universal, secular way that is appropriate for anyone, of any religion, or no religion at all.

The talk will be followed by a wine and cheese hour.


Monday, October 26, 2015.
David Brower Center; 5-6:30 pm.

A New Global Agenda for Adolescent Health: Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing

Speakers/Performers: George Patton, Chair of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing; Susan Sawyer, Co-lead, University of Melbourne, Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing

Please join us as we host guests from the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing. Talk: 5-6 and followed by reception.

Sponsors: Center for Global Public Health, UC Berkeley Global Adolescent Health Colloquium, School of Public Health

Event Contact:

Spring 2015

Thursday, February 5, 2015.
Sutardja Dai Hall (Banatao Auditorium); 9am-2pm.
Making Cents, Making Change: Economic Innovations to Improve Youth Health and Wellbeing 
Our focus is on adolescents in low-resource settings both in the global south and domestically. Our guest speaker will be Fred Ssewamala, Associate Professor of Social Work and International Affairs and the Director of the Columbia University International Center for Child Health and Asset Development.

The conference will include Bay Area leaders of programs for youth and UC, Berkeley faculty who are at the forefront of economic interventions for youth.  Breakfast and lunch are provided.

Please submit your abstract regarding adolescent health and wellbeing for our lunchtime poster session!! Undergraduate, graduate, fellow, faculty and community posters are welcome. Limited funding is available to support poster printing.

Conference registration and information are available at:

Spring 2015: Date TBA
Youth as Change Agents Film Series: “If You Build It,” a full-length documentary film that chronicles the students, projects, and work of the Studio H high school design/build program. Made by acclaimed filmmakers Patrick Creadon and Christine O’Malley, along with executive producer Neal Baer, “If You Build It” tells the stories of 13 students from Bertie County, North Carolina, who dreamed up a beautiful solution that would change the face of their hometown, then went out and built all 2,000 square feet of it.

Speaker: Neal Bauer (producer--confirmed) and Faculty at Studio H in Berkeley (latter to be confirmed).
Location and time TBA.

Faculty Luncheon Series.
Please contact Coco Auerswald (, Hildy Fong ( or Seren Pendleton-Knoll ( if you are faculty member interested in being on the mailing list.

Fall 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014:
Alice Achan: Director & Co-founder of Pader Girls Academy in Uganda
We will also report back on the input we received regarding the colloquium series at our accelerator conference at IIS in April 2014.
Wellman 311, 11-12, followed by Colloquium luncheon.
Link to Pader Girls’ Academy Video:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014:
Youth as Change Agents Film Series: “Map Your World: The Revolutionary Optimists” regarding the use of technology by young change agents in Kolkata to improve the health of their community. The screening will be followed by a panel with the filmmakers and panel of youth engaged in community-based projects in Northern California locally.
Li Ka Shing 125; 4-7pm.