Assistant Professor, Health Behavior and Health Systems
Education & Experience:
I received my PhD in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies from Texas Woman’s University, my MA in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and my BA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Communication Arts. My tenure at UNTHSC began in 2011 in the Center for Community Health to project manage an infant mortality coalition initiative. I began teaching for the School of Public Health in 2013, and am an Assistant Professor in Community Health. My academic experience has included teaching in public health, women and gender studies, and mass communication. My academic administrative responsibilities have been in directing a women’s resource center and associate directing a research institute on women and gender. My academic experience has been at TCU, Indiana University-Bloomington, Loyola University Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Experience outside academe has been predominantly in broadcast television in Boston, Chicago and Indiana.
Teaching Areas & Public Health Interests:
Utilizing my broad experiences in Public Health, Mass Communication and Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies, I teach from a transdisciplinary perspective. While my focus is Maternal and Community Health, my classroom offers a co-learning environment in which all students, including myself, ask questions that incorporate a variety of disciplines and fields of knowledge. This transdisciplinary approach illustrates the interconnectedness of the Social Determinants of Health and the determination that both public health practitioner and researcher should not stop at the “what” but continue with “why” and “how are an individual’s lifestyle factors impacted by other dynamics in which she/he lives, works, serves and plays”? And, the last question, “what are the actions for change” brings action into the research or practice endeavor. My teaching areas are qualitative research methods, participatory approaches to community health, and communication health strategies. I am also interested in historical accounts of public health in the U.S., specifically focused on women’s groups who were instrumental in initiating public health social change.
Professional Activities & Awards:
I have been a member of the American Public Health Association, CityMatCH (Maternal and Child Health), Texas Healthy Babies Coalition, Texas Breastfeeding Taskforce, the National Women’s Studies Association, and Motherhood Initiative. Currently I am chairing the local academic task force for Partnership2Gether, a joint commission of the Jewish Agency/Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Texas. I have been a reviewer for various public health qualitative research journals. For the past few years, my focus has been on community grassroots organizations working toward social change at the local level. As such, I am involved in many organizations in Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
My research interests address health disparities and inequities specifically related to women’s and family health. My research has focused on issues of the social injustice of infant mortality, breast cancer prevention in underserved communities, and HPV education and awareness. I am interested in media representations of the social categories of sex/gender, race and ethnicity and the impact of these representations on health in both society and cultures. With an initial university grant, the Healthy Moms-Healthy Babies-Healthy Community (H3) infant mortality coalition began in 2011. This CBPR coalition, currently with over 60 community members, meets monthly to create avenues for change in communities in which infant mortality is highest. The coalition, led by community members, creates a unified vision to work for Life Course health and reduce infant mortality. As my research has evolved, I am now including stories from women and groups of women from around the world. The focus of these PhotoVoice stories is to capture the dynamic ways that rituals of birth and infant mortality are interconnected with the Social Determinants of Health.
This page was last modified on April 17, 2018