2008-2010 Cohort - Community Track

Yvonne Owens Ferguson, PhD
Yvonne Owens Ferguson completed a PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education (HBHE), with a certificate in International Development, at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill School of Public Health in 2006. Dr. Ferguson also earned her MPH in the same department in1999 and holds a BS in Biology from Spelman College. Her research examines HIV/AIDS related knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among people of African descent in sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. For her dissertation research, Dr. Ferguson conducted a process evaluation to assess nursesí implementation of an infant feeding counseling protocol delivered to HIV-infected mothers within the context of an HIV/AIDS clinical trial in Lilongwe, Malawi. As a 2002 NIH Minority International Research Training Fellow, Dr. Ferguson conducted HIV/AIDS behavioral research in Cape Town, South Africa. Using Critical Race Theory as a framework, Dr. Ferguson has published research examining the gender ratio imbalance and its relationship to HIV/AIDS risk among African American women at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Ferguson worked on minority womenís health policy issues for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has received awards from the NIH, UNC University Center for International Studies, American Public Health Association and the Society for Public Health Education. Dr. Fergusonís community-based research experience spans over 10 years and her interests include public health disparities, HIV/AIDS and social theory. Dr. Ferguson will continue to pursue her community-based research interests at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill site. More Information

Keon L. Gilbert, DrPH
Keon L. Gilbert completed his Doctorate of Public Health (Dr.PH) in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh in 2009. Dr. Gilbert holds a joint Masterís degree in African American Studies and Public Affairs from Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana) and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Wabash College (Crawfordsville, IN). During his post-doctoral training, Dr. Gilbert is working with the Our We Are Brotherís Keeper Project. This is a rural church-based lay-health advisor intervention focusing on improving the quality of life for African American men who have experienced a heart attack or stroke. He will work with a research team and community members, applying integrated methods to: understand rural churchís readiness to engage in health promotion research; understand the process to recruit and engage African American churches, pastors, leaders, and African American men to participate in health promotion activities. Dr. Gilbertís involvement includes data collection, development and implementation of the intervention and evaluation. Dr. Gilbertís key research interests include the application of quantitative and qualitative methods in his work in areas such as social capital, community capacity, organizational readiness, community based participatory research, and with populations such as African American men. More Information

Betty Izumi, PhD
Betty Izumi received her PhD in 2008 from Michigan State University where she worked and studied with the CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems. She received her Masterís in Public Health (2000) and her Registered Dietitian credential (2001) at the University of California, Berkeley, and her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics (1998) at the University of British Columbia. Broadly, her interests include nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and community-based food systems. As a postdoctoral research fellow with the Kellogg Health Scholars Program (University of Michigan), Betty works with the Healthy Environments Partnership, an on-going CBPR project designed to examine and address aspects of the social and built environments that contribute to disparities in risk of cardiovascular disease in Detroit. She is currently involved in two multi-level CBPR projects: (1) Lean and Green in Motown, a study designed to assess how changes in the built environment (e.g. food stores) influence health related behaviors and outcomes and (2) Walk Your Heart to Health, a project designed to increase active living and improve heart health among Detroit residents through walking groups led by community health promoters. More Information

Caree Jackson, PhD
Caree J. Jackson earned a PhD in Foods and Nutrition in August 2008 from the University of Georgia, where she also received a MS in nutrition in 2004. Caree received a BS in biology from Howard University. She is also a registered and licensed dietitian. Currently, Careeís research involves creating innovative interventions to combat the problem of obesity in the African-American community. Caree is the author of, Lilí Red Ridin Thru ĎDa Hood, a childhood obesity prevention live theater show and follow-up program for low-income African-American children. Her program has received funding from the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation and has been professionally produced for thousands of children in Atlanta, GA, Athens, GA, Boston, MA, and Philadelphia, PA. Careeís dissertation research focused on the development of a theater-based intervention that effectively conveys messages about healthy eating and physical activity to at-risk African-American adolescents. Her research interests include community nutrition, health disparities, and disease prevention. She focuses on demonstrating the effectiveness of using novel approaches such as media and arts programs to promote healthy lifestyle behavior. Caree is a Kellogg Health Scholar at the Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy site. She is currently working in partnership with the Union Baptist Head Start Center in Baltimore, Maryland to design a culturally appropriate nutrition and physical activity intervention for Head Start children, parents, and staff members. More Information

Latrice Pichon, PhD
Latrice Pichon completed her PhD from the Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health (Health Behavior) at San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego in August 2008. Dr. Pichon also holds a Master in Public Health from San Diego State University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology Pre-Medicine from Xavier University of Louisiana. Dr. Pichon is completing her Kellogg fellowship at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health training site. During her postdoctoral training, Dr. Pichon will be working on YOUR Blessed Health (YBH): an HIV/AIDS education program being conducted in forty-five African American faith-based organizations (FBO) in Flint, MI. YBH is a partnership between YOUR Center and the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. She will be participating in the overall evaluation of YBH as her secondary project, and will examine how YBH is mobilizing faith-based organizations to address HIV/AIDS in an urban, African American community as her primary project. She will use a mixed methods approach to examine key factors associated with the community-mobilization efforts. Dr. Pichonís general research interests include examining the social and physical environmental factors that contribute to health disparities among ethnic/racial minority populations using multi-level frameworks and a community-based participatory approach. More Information

Amanda Tanner, Ph.D.
Amanda Tanner, PhD, MPH, completed a doctorate in Health Behavior with a minor in Sociology at Indiana University in 2007 in the Department of Applied Health Sciences, where she also received her MPH in 2003. She received her BA in Psychology and Womenís Studies from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota in 2000. Amanda's global research focus is on sexual and reproductive health issues. As a W. K. Kellogg Community Health Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health she has worked with her primary mentors Dr. Jonathan Ellen (Johns Hopkins University Schoolf of Medicine) and Sheridan Johnson (Baltimore City Health Department), to identify strategies to address the HIV-related health disparities in the city--both in terms of health outcomes and health policy. In addition, Amanda has been working the Healthy Teen Network and the Baltimore City Health Department to develop a strategic plan to reduce the unintended pregnancy rate among Baltimore's adolescents. In her first year, Amanda has learned a great deal about the complexities of conducting CBPR work in Baltimore and the challenges of affecting policy change. More Information

M. Taqi Tirmazi, PhDs
M. Taqi Tirmazi is a W.K. Kellogg Postdoctoral Fellow at Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy. Presently, he is conducting a community based participatory research project aimed to examine the contextual factors associated with the preconception and inter-conception health of African American youth in Baltimore City, Maryland. Taqi received his PhD in Social Work from Howard University, School of Social Work in May, 2008. His dissertation research examined the impact of demographic, social, educational, and environmental factors on the acculturation and psychosocial adaptation of immigrant Muslim youth in the United States. While at Howard University, Taqi was a research associate on a community-based participatory research study which examined the impact of social and physical determinants on the mental health of urban Black youth. Taqiís previous research experiences pertain to maternal depression among African-American mothers, hip hop and youth development, elderly Muslims and mental health, socialization of adolescent Muslim girls, and acculturation of immigrant Muslim youth. In addition, Taqi was a Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies scholar at Utrecht University, in the Netherlands where he conducted a comparative study on the ethnic and religious identity of Muslim youth in the Netherlands and United States. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies from California State University Monterey Bay and a Master of Social Work from Howard University. His work experiences include early childhood education, social work case management, and sports and recreation. More Information