Sara Abelson

Sara Abelson

Sara Abelson

  • Lewis Katz School of Medicine

      • Assistant Professor

    • The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice

      • Senior Director of Training and Education

Dr. Sara Abelson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Health and Population Science at Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine and a Senior Director at The Hope Center for Student Basic Needs. She conducts applied research and leads education and training services focused on advancing upstream and structural approaches to enhance student success, mental health equity, and basic needs security in higher education. Current projects include efforts to 1) increase understanding and adoption of evidence-based interventions for improving student mental health and reducing basic needs insecurity, 2) document and serve the student mental health efforts and needs of community colleges and 3) help states and colleges strengthen and integrate their basic needs and mental health resources to enhance educational attainment.

An American Association of Colleges & Universities Cross Awardee and American College Health Association Barbato Award recipient, Dr. Abelson’s research and programmatic contributions have been featured in The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, NPR, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Journal of the American Medical Association, and Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Her chapter “Mental Health in College Populations: A Multidisciplinary Review of What Works, Evidence Gaps, and Paths Forward” was recognized with the 2022 Weiss Writing Prize as “the year’s pivotal publication in college mental health.” She has consulted and collaborated with the American Council on Education, Center for Community College Student Engagement, Association of Public & Land-grant Universities, Association of College and University Educators, National Center for Institutional Diversity, Steve Fund, and hundreds of colleges and universities to advance wholistic, equitable supports for student wellbeing.

Prior to The Hope Center, Dr. Abelson served as a Co-Investigator and Lead for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Projects with the Healthy Minds Network and as Vice President of the national nonprofit, Active Minds (2008-2016). She received her Ph.D. and MPH from the University of Michigan and her BA from Cornell University.

That our work helps higher education redesign systems, structures, and policies to achieve its potential to enhance equity, justice, and health for ALL.

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