Category: Featured Scholar
I want to better understand the factors that influence obesity in the African-American community. I don’t want to just have the conversation; I want to create action in these communities.
The same questions we had in the late ’90s and early 2000s about health data are being brought up again, but in a different way.
To me, research is like putting together a puzzle. Just when you think you have solved it, there is that one piece that just does not fit. You rework the puzzle and learn through the process.
With any urban planning project, I’m always asking questions like ‘What does equity in planning look like here? Who are city developers and city officials catering to, and why?
These are some of the most common explanations Jennifer Kue hears from Southeast Asian American women about why they do not seek breast and cervical cancer screenings. A former refugee from Laos, Jennifer has translated information for family members ever since she learned to speak, read, and write in English.
Growing up in rural Stokesdale, North Carolina, on a farm, Sherrie Flynt Wallington felt like a lot was out of her reach. The nearest hospital was three hours away. Higher education seemed even harder to grasp. Teachers told her “a girl from a tobacco farm has no chance of getting into college.” But Sherrie defied the odds, eventually studying at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Howard University, and then Harvard, and today is committed to paying it forward by supporting other junior scholars, particularly those tackling health disparities.
Sandra Echeverría has an unshakable determination to help others. This commitment stems largely from her own experience seeing those she loved struggle daily to have a meal to eat. In their home country of Ecuador, Sandra’s family lived in abject poverty among conditions that led to disease and early death of a newborn younger brother and cousin. Now, Sandra lives out her desire to help others through researching health interventions and fostering relationships as a mentor to students and colleagues alike.
Mariela Fernandez is proud of where she came from. Nicknamed “the Valley,” four hours south of San Antonio, TX, Harlingen is many things at once. Harlingen residents navigate two worlds at the same time, constantly switching between English and Spanish. Although sizable, Harlingen has the type of small-town sentiment that produces lifelong residents. Mariela was one of the few who eventually did leave, but she has never strayed far from the path that all started at a Texas Visitor’s Center.
Linda Charmaraman grew up with parents who came to the U.S. with a dream of providing a good education for their children and a better life for their family. They left the comfort of familiar soil in Thailand for a life that was less than easy. Growing up in an underprivileged community in South Central Los Angeles, Linda did not think she had an opportunity to make a change. She eventually learned that she could use research to find loopholes in a change-resistant system. Linda uses data to influence policymakers and those who have the power to help youth that do not have a voice.
Brent Langellier has always been a stickler when it comes to social justice. It has taken many forms in his life, from providing food and water to deported immigrants in Mexican border towns in Arizona to majoring in Latin American Studies to researching health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities.