Deanna Giraldi

Studying: DPhil Social Policy and Intervention

Deanna is GCR President 2023 – 24

What you are studying and what is your research about?

I’m currently a first year DPhil in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention! My research focuses on the biopsychosocial impacts of exposure to gun violence in the United States with a particular focus on survivors, their families, and communities with shared identities. I also conduct research on ‘health in crisis’ more broadly, and I hold a research assistantship with the Sociology department that explores social mobility among the British business elite. 

Tell us about your journey to Oxford University:

A very windy path of seemingly disconnected studies and work experience! I earned two Bachelor degrees – one in political science and the other in biology – after studying the intersections of politics and healthcare in Cuba. This led me to pursue my Masters in Public Health at Yale where I concentrated on trauma and ‘health in crisis.’ During these years, I worked to develop mental health interventions for refugees in Costa Rica. Once the pandemic began, I shifted toward a major United States domestic crisis, namely increasing gun violence, and worked with Everytown for Gun Safety to conduct research on gun safety policy. Immediately before arriving in Oxford, I worked with the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington DC to conduct a range of social policy research, including consensus studies for the US Congress.   

What do you like about being at St Antony’s?

Being a graduate-only college that boasts the largest cohort of international students is one of our best facets! Another brilliant feature of St Antony’s is that we host a ton of events, both student-led and research centre-related. St Antony’s is home to seven research centres focused on Africa, Asia, Europe, Japan, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and Eurasia with specific programmes on North America, Burma, Morocco, Poland, Sudan, and Taiwan. As a result, the College hosts anywhere from 10-20 events per week during term time, between the GCR and centres, ranging from karaoke nights to sports days to panels with prominent academics and politicians. 

Why did you want to run for GCR president?

St Antony’s is not only home to a multitude of research centres, but also strives to be a home away from home for each of us. The GCR has the task of proposing and running events related to welfare, sport, academics, social life, and cultural and identity-specific celebrations. As GCR President, I have the responsibility of coordinating student event calendars, bringing student ideas and concerns to the college, and acting as a student voice in administrative meetings. The GCR is often a hub for new traditions, events, and initiatives as well as the engine behind the upkeep of ongoing ones!