2006-2008 Cohort - Community Track



James William Amell,
MSW, MPH, PhD
Jim Amell, MSW, MPH, PhD

Current Position:
Assistant Professor, Colorado State University, School of Social Work

Training Site:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Education:
PhD, Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MPH, Maternal and Child Health, University of Minnesota
MSW, University of Minnesota

Research Interests:
Health and mental health, community education/practice, community-based participatory research, quantitative and qualitative research methods, assets based social work, home and community based long-term care, and public health.

Kellogg Health Scholars Program Project:
As a W.K. Kellogg Community Health Scholar at the University of North Carolina,  Dr. Amell worked collaboratively with the Men as Navigators (MAN) for Health Project.   The Men as Navigators for Health (MAN for Health) Project, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a community-based participatory research project designed to improve the preventive health behavior of African American and Latino men as well as men’s use of preventive health services in three North Carolina counties. His goals for as a Kellogg Health Scholar were to bridge his practice and research experiences in order to become an applied, community-based participatory researcher, and to re-frame the direction of his research via qualitative input from community members and leaders. He published a paper with colleagues titled, “Correlates of dietary intake among men involved in the MAN Health Study” in the American Journal of Men’s Health and another which was accepted for publication titled “Understanding African American men’s perceptions of racism, male gender socialization, and social capital using photovoice” in Qualitative Health Research.

Current Activities: 
Dr. Amell is currently an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University’s School of Social Work. He is working on a CBPR project in rural Eastern Colorado with CSU faculty members and community members and leaders to assess the community health and social welfare needs across Washington County in order to develop a community intervention.  He maintains ties to his CBPR scholarship in North Carolina and will be assisting Strengthening The Black Family, Inc. in a case study project  to examine, in part, CBPR relationships between a community based organization and University as well as community partners.  He continues his strong commitment to teaching CBPR principles and Action-Oriented Community Assessment to his undergraduate and graduate students so they can begin to think about how to practically enter communities, build trust with community members, as well as engage community members in a strengths-based community change process.

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Shawn David Kimmel, MA, PhD

Shawn David Kimmel, MA, PhD

Current Position:
Founding Director of Center for Community-Driven Policymaking (CCDP), Detroit, MI

Training Site:
University of Michigan

Education:
PhD,  American Studies, University of Michigan
Dual MA, American History & Philanthropic Studies, Indiana University

Research Interests:
Community-driven approaches to policy research, organizing, and analysis; History of social movements and their influence on policymaking; Community-based participatory research; Community organizing; social justice/nonprofit organizational development

Kellogg Health Scholars Program Project:
As a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Michigan, Dr. Kimmel researched best practices for strengthening the capacity of community-based organizations to integrate policy research and advocacy into the design of community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects. As part of this work, he explored the ways policy-related research in collaboration with community partners could build capacity to mobilize community-academic partnerships to reduce health disparities and achieve health equity.  This work was organized into his KHSP project, "Toward Strategic Measures for Building Community-Partnered Capacity for Policy Change," which was pursued in collaboration with members of the Board of the Detroit Community-Academic Urban Research Center (URC), and the Steering Committee of the REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) Detroit partnership, which is dedicated to decreasing health disparities related to diabetes.  Dr. Kimmel also assisted with the planning and implementation of the first phase of the Detroit URC's Neighborhoods Working in Partnership (NWP) project.

Current Activities: 
Currently Dr. Kimmel is the Founding Director of the nonprofit Center for Community-driven Policymaking (CCDP), and of CD Policy Consulting, LLC.  Both organizations are located in Detroit and are dedicated to working with communities and organizations to strengthen their power to drive policymaking for sustainable development & health equity.  The CCDP is especially committed to strengthening the capacity of Detroit’s residents, community organizers, urban planners, and community-based researchers, as well as the city’s nonprofit organizations, businesses, and local government agencies to work together to create a healthy, just, and sustainable Detroit for all its residents.

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GiShawn Atara Mance, MS, PhD

GiShawn Atara Mance, MS, PhD

Current Position:
Visiting Assistant Professor at American University                      

Training Site:
John Hopkins University

Education:
Ph.D, Clinical Child Psychology, DePaul University Chicago, Illinois
M.A., Clinical Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois
M.S., Community Psychology Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida

Research Interests:
Youth and mental health

Kellogg Health Scholars Program Project:
As a W.K. Kellogg Community Health Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Mance worked collaboratively with Dr. Darius Tandon and Dr. Freya Sonenstein on the Health and Opportunity Partnership (HOPE) project. The HOPE project used a community-based participatory approach to integrate health promotion strategies to reach out-of-school youth ages 18 to 24 who are also disconnected from the workforce and enrolled in a job training program. Using Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS) as a framework, Dr. Mance partnered with the youth to develop a contextually- and culturally-appropriate mental-health intervention to reduce depressive symptoms. As a means to disseminate her work, Dr. Mance presented at numerous national conferences (e.g., Society for Community Research and Action, Society for Prevention Research, American Public Health Association). Dr. Mance is the first author on a manuscript that details the adaptation process of SPARCS utilizing a CBPR approach. The manuscript, The Cultural Adaptation Process of an Empirically-Validated Intervention for African American Young Adults Using Community Based Participatory Research, was submitted for publication.

Current Activities:
Currently, Dr. Mance is a Visiting Assistant Professor at American University in Washington, DC. She continues to collaborate with the HOPE project as she establishes herself as an independent researcher.   Ultimately, she hopes her work will not only make contributions and inform the disciplines of psychology and public health, but also impact local, state, and national policy for mental health services of low-income, underserved youth of color.

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Caryn Rodgers, PhD

Caryn Rodgers, PhD

Current Position:
Instructor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Prevention Intervention Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY

Training Site:
Johns Hopkins University

Education:
PhD, Clinical Psychology, St. John’s University, Jamaica

Research Interests:
Adolescent health promotion in low income urban communities

Kellogg Health Scholars Program Project:
As a W.K. Kellogg fellow, Dr. Rodgers collaborated with Dr. Tina Cheng at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on a violence prevention intervention for middle school students. Dr. Rodgers partnered with parents of middle school students to adapt an evidence based violence prevention intervention for parents of middle school students in a community with high rates of community violence.  The program called “Steppin' Up” is a middle-school mentoring program intended to increase interest in academics and reduce aggression and violence. “Steppin’ Up” is funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Rodgers collaborated with parents to develop a violence prevention curriculum for parents of middle school students. She developed a Parent Advisory Group, modified an evidence-based parenting curriculum, and conducted parenting groups. One of the aims of the pilot intervention was to train parents in communicating with their child around violence and conflict management and to increase parental monitoring. She worked on several manuscripts during this time including one titled, “Adapting an evidence-based intervention for an urban, under-resourced community:  Lessons learned from a parent advisory group”. 

Current Activities: 
Dr. Rodgers is currently an Instructor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Prevention Intervention Research Center in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Rodgers will continue to partner and work with communities, families, and youth to further understand protective factors that promote resiliency, strength and adaptive functioning, as well as risk factors that may impede successful outcomes in low-income urban youth of color. With these findings, she intends to develop and promote effective prevention and intervention programming to increase adaptive and successful outcomes for low-income urban youth and families of color.

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Dionne Smith Coker-Appiah, PhD, MA EdD
Dionne Smith Coker-Appiah, PhD, MA EdD

Current Position:
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical School

Training Site:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Education:
Ph.D, Counseling Psychology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
M.A. Ed, Counselor Education, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC

Research Interests:
Adolescent dating violence, Adolescent mental health, Adolescent sexual health, Child/Adolescent exposure to interpersonal violence, Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), Low income and minority populations

Kellogg Health Scholars Program Project:
As a Kellogg Health Scholar, Dr. Coker-Appiah collaborated with Project GRACE: A Participatory Approach to Address Health Disparities. GRACE is an acronym for Growing, Reaching, Advocating for Change & Empowerment. The project’s current focus is on reducing the spread of HIV in two rural counties in North Carolina: Edgecombe and Nash. The Project GRACE Consortium guides the research and is comprised of a collaborative partnership that draws on the strengths of community, academic and community partners who are all committed to on-going planning, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot intervention to reduce the spread of HIV.  Dr. Coker-Appiah was involved in on-going discussions related to understanding social determinants of health as they particularly relate to HIV/AIDS prevention in rural African American communities. In addition, she co-authored several manuscripts that focused on multilevel factors affecting sexual practices and HIV risk among young adults, and intervention development.

Current Activities: 
Dr. Coker-Appiah’s current research is entitled: Project LOVE: Letting Our Voices Empower. This project uses CBPR to explore adolescent knowledge, perceptions and beliefs about dating violence and its impact on mental and sexual health. A socio-ecological model is also used as a framework to guide the exploration of the role of multilevel factors (individual, peer, family, community, societal, political) that influence dating violence prevention. Phase two of this project will begin in the Spring of 2009, which will expand the research to include adidtional rural, urban, and international samples. Dr. Coker-Appiah continues to present her research at local, regional, national, and international venues.  She is also very interested and active in working with graduate/professional students who are interested in pursuing similar research programs.

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Larkin Louise Strong, MPH, PhD
Larkin Louise Strong, MPH, PhD

Current Position:
Instructor, Department of Epidemiology, Division of OVP, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX,

Training Site:
University of Michigan

Education:
PhD, Health Services, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA.
MPH, Health Services, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Research Interests:
Dr. Strong's research interests revolve around how aspects of neighborhood environments contribute to health, with a specific emphasis on opportunities for physical activity, access to healthy foods, and issues of environmental justice. An important component of her research interests involves working in partnership with communities to investigate and address health issues of local relevance.

Kellogg Health Scholars Program Project:
During her fellowship, she worked with the Healthy Environments Partnership to develop and evaluate a neighborhood walking group pilot program situated in community- and faith-based organizations in Detroit. Part of the evaluation focused on the experience of the organizations that hosted the walking groups and identified lessons learned for use of a participatory process to pilot community interventions. Larkin also worked with the Community Action Against Asthma partnership, which focuses on improving the health of children with asthma in east and southwest Detroit. Using longitudinal data from a prior intervention study, she examined the relationship between perceptions of and activism in neighborhood environments with various health outcome measures in caregivers of children with asthma. She also helped prepare for an upcoming intervention that will examine the effects of air filters and air conditioners on children’s asthma health status above and beyond the effects of a community health worker household intervention.

Current Activities: 
Dr. Strong is currently at instructor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.  Among other projects, Dr. Strong is directing The Mano a Mano Cohort Study, an ongoing prospective, population‐based study of individuals of Mexican origin and their household members residing in Harris County, TX, and contiguous counties in the Houston area.   This study was initiated in 2001 by the Department of Epidemiology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to establish a sample of 50,000 participants of Mexican origin and to follow them over time to: improve understanding of risk factors for cancer and other chronic diseases; and use this information on behavioral and genetic risk factors to develop chronic disease prevention strategies to improve the health of individuals of Mexican origin locally and nationwide.

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