Kristina Mullen

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20202021 Forum on Choice

Kristina Mullen

Economics; Health, and Societies

CAS, 2021

Kristina Mullen is a rising Senior (C’21) double majoring in Economics and Health and Societies, minoring in French and Francophone Studies from Princeton, New Jersey. Her research interests lie at the intersection of her two majors, as explored through her Health Care Markets and Finance concentration, including the policy implications of economic decision making in the health care sector. On campus, she serves as a Writing Tutor at the Marks Family Writing Center, Consulting Committee Chair for the Penn Undergraduate Biotechnology Society, Co-President of the Club Field Hockey Team, and Intern for the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the Lauder Institute. During the summer of 2019, Kristina traveled abroad to Tours, France and lived with a host family, refining her French language skills and deepening her love for French culture. Her summer 2020 health care consulting internship strengthened Kristina's understanding of health economics and the industry. 

Type 1 Diabetes Health Advocacy: Poster Children and Performativity in Pediatric Research Funding

Founded in 1970, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF), emerged from parent dissatisfaction with the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) perceived lack of research-orientation. Parents’ choice to dissociate from the ADA reflected the urge to differentiate between Type 1 and Type 2 populations. Today, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) spearheads research and advocacy efforts for Type 1 Diabetics through aggressive funding campaigns, implicitly hinged on the idea that Type 1 Diabetics, especially pediatric patients, are more deserving of financial support as opposed to Type 2 Diabetics whose diagnosis reflects “lifestyle choices.” This project will explore key advocacy moments since JDRF’s inception to investigate how performative demonstration, like the biennial Children’s Congress, creates poster children who incarnate the notion of innocent suffering, reinforcing Type 2 Diabetes’ stigma.