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Personal profile

Area of Expertise

I am a health disparities researcher whose primary goal is to reduce the observed rates of disparity for preventable chronic conditions, and subsequent negative health outcomes, in marginalized communities through innovative, culturally sensitive research. Specifically, I am interested in identifying barriers to health promoting behaviors in communities of color. My research, which targets modifiable risk factors and identifying knowledge gaps in health information among high-risk populations, advances the overarching public health objective of promoting health equity. This research stems from my interdisciplinary training in public health, health communication, health education and social epidemiology.
Before beginning my career in academia, I worked as a public health practitioner. My experiences as a practitioner afforded me an opportunity to manage grant initiatives with funding ranging from foundations to the federal government. My work in this capacity fostered an appreciation for transdisciplinary collaborative research. I carried that appreciation to the Transdisciplinary Center for Health Equity Research at Texas A&M, where I was able to collaborate with researchers across the university to investigate complicated health issues, like obesity prevention in racial minority youth. Similarly, during my postdoctoral work at the Center for Health Ecology and Equity Research I had an opportunity to work with researchers from various disciplines as a part of Auburn’s health disparities research initiative. There my work focused on the roles of racism-related stress and hypervigilance on health outcomes for African American women with systemic lupus erythematosus. I plan to leverage my transdisciplinary training to work with researchers throughout the University of North Texas system to investigate and address health disparities in Texas.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD in Health Education, Texas A & M University

MA in Speech Communication, University of Houston

BA in Public Relations, Louisiana State University