Scholars

2010-2012 Cohort - Multidisciplinary Track



Carmela Alcántara
Dr. Carmela Alcántara received her PhD in Psychology (Clinical) from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor in August 2010. She will complete a full-time clinical internship at New York University-Bellevue Hospital Center in July 2010. Carmela obtained her M.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 2006, and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Latina/o Studies from Cornell University in 2004. She received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Pre-doctoral Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health to complete her dissertation, which integrates quantitative and qualitative methods to explore: (1) the extent to which acculturative stress, Latino/ U.S. American acculturation, anxiety sensitivity, and trait anxiety are predictive of lifetime history of ataque de nervios (ATQ) and padecer de nervios (NRV), and (2) the qualitative meanings of NRV and ATQ vis-à-vis acculturative stress profiles and lifetime psychiatric histories among Mexican immigrant mothers. Carmela’s research interests include: social determinants and correlates of anxiety disorders and co-occurring conditions; disparities in access, use, and quality of mental health care; cross-cultural equivalence/relevance of psychiatric categories; application of mixed methods; and mental health service and policy. As a Kellogg Health Scholar, she will explore pathways to disordered anxiety among Latina mothers with a focus on identifying structural and community risk factors, and developing quantitative indices of immigration context that impact maternal mental health status. Carmela will be at the Harvard School of Public Health.



LaKeisha Batts, PhD
Dr. LaKeisha Batts completed her Ph.D. in Immunology from The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine in August 2009. She obtained a B.A. in Biology from Rice University in Houston, TX in 2002. Her dissertation research focuses on microRNAs that regulate the development of T cells and their role in the asthmatic response. Her previous experiences include: observing health outcomes in a rural health clinic (Carterville Family Practice Clinic, Carterville, IL), investigating the pathogenic mechanisms of Candida albicans (yeast) in immune compromised individuals (Rice University, Houston, TX) and evaluating mechanisms of T cell death in African-Americans and Caucasians (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX). She is particularly interested in using her biomedical research background to investigate the influence of the immune system on breast tumor development in African-American and Caucasian women. She hopes to identify biomarkers that can be used as tools for diagnosis and therapeutic treatments. LaKeisha is at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center site in the Center for Research on Minority Health/Health Disparities Research, Education and Training Consortium.



Donna Almario Doebler, DrPH
Dr. Donna Almario Doebler received her DrPH in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and her MS in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh’s (PITT) Graduate School of Public Health. In addition, she obtained her MPH in epidemiology from George Washington University, and her BA in biopsychology from Vassar College. Dr. Almario Doebler’s work experience includes serving as a doctoral student researcher at PITT’s Center for Minority Health and a biostatistician at the Veteran Affairs Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion. She also was a research analyst at the Institute of Medicine and U.S. Government Accountability Office working on health policy issues that included perinatal HIV prevention, vaccine safety, and Community Health Center funding. Dr. Almario Doebler’s general research interests include quantitative approaches, such as multilevel modeling, structural equation modeling, and geospatial analysis, in understanding the context in which health disparities occur, and employing these methods to assist decision makers in developing effective and efficient policies in improving population health and eliminating health disparities. For her MS thesis, Dr. Almario Doebler developed U.S. Census-based neighborhood and block group socioeconomic deprivation measures for Pittsburgh using multilevel factor analysis. For her dissertation, she applied these measures in predicting low birth weight (LBW) and in understanding the context in which racial disparities in LBW risk occur in Pittsburgh. Dr. Almario Doebler plans to continue her research by validating the deprivation measures and examining the relation between racial segregation and neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation in predicting adverse health outcomes. Dr. Almario Doebler is an incoming Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh.



Kimberly Enard
Dr. Kimberly Enard received her PhD in health services research with specialization in health policy from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health. She has previously earned a MBA and MSHA, with concentrations in marketing, finance and management, as well as a BA in mass communications. Kimberly is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has nearly 10 years of experience in healthcare management, marketing, planning/business development and consulting – primarily developing and implementing communication and outreach initiatives targeted to diverse patient and physician populations while working in the hospital industry – and more than seven years of experience as a professional journalist in local and national markets. Kimberly is interested in evaluating differences in actual and perceived barriers to healthcare access/quality for racial and ethnic (R/E) minorities, examining concordance between patient-provider perceptions of care experiences that may impact R/E disparities in healthcare utilization, and conceptualizing, developing and evaluating the effectiveness of patient education and communication mechanisms that may reduce R/E disparities in actual and perceived healthcare access/quality. She is also interested in exploring the role of public-private partnerships in improving healthcare access/quality for vulnerable populations. Inspired by her experience in the hospital industry, Kimberly’s dissertation explores the impact of community hospital closures on the health of R/E minorities. She will be a Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.



Tod Hamilton, PhD
Dr. Tod Hamilton completed his PhD in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in the Spring of 2010. As a doctoral student, his primary areas of study were social demography, health, and migration. He also holds a MA in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Hamilton’s research examines the pathways through which race, ethnicity, and nativity impact various aspects of health in the U.S. and in other countries. His current work evaluates nativity differences in adult health among blacks within the United States. Specifically, this work evaluates: 1) the factors that explain initial differences in health and health trajectories among subgroups of black immigrants within the U.S.; 2) the role that country of origin conditions play in explaining the health of black immigrants; and 3) the factors that explain divergent generational patterns in health among black immigrants in the U.S. The goal of this body of research is to determine whether nativity differences in health among blacks can shed light on the persistent health disparities between blacks and whites in the U.S. As a Kellogg Health Scholar, Dr. Hamilton plans to expand his research on nativity differences in health among black immigrants by exploring the degree of health selection among black immigrants. Using micro-level and macro-level data from the major sending countries of black immigrants, this work separates the initial health of black immigrants into two components—the portions that are unique to immigrants’ countries of origin and those that may be attributed to their host country. Dr. Hamilton is incoming Kellogg Health Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health.



Rebecca Hasson, PhD
Dr. Rebecca Hasson received her bachelor’s, masters and doctoral degrees from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. During her graduate career, Rebecca worked in both the Physical Activity & Health and Energy Metabolism laboratories. Her previous work focused on developing and validating objective techniques to assess habitual physical activity in children and adults as well as examine the metabolic and psychological responses to acute exercise. Rebecca is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Southern California (USC) in the department of Preventive Medicine. At USC, she is assessing ethnic differences in cancer-related metabolic risk factors and the role that strength training plays in improving these metabolic risk factors in African American and Latino youth. Throughout her academic career, Rebecca has been extensively involved with American Public Health Association affiliate organizations. She is currently President-Elect of the Society for the Analysis of African American Public Health Issues (SAAPHI) and works with fellow researchers and policy makers on the Joint Policy Committee of the Societies of Epidemiology. Rebecca is also the Health and Wellness Advisor for City Scholars Foundation® and the Center for Lifelong Learners in Los Angeles, California. As a Kellogg Health Scholar, Rebecca will integrate her research interests and professional experiences to examine the physiological responses to poverty and oppression that contribute to health inequalities in underserved populations. These training experiences will uniquely prepare her to be an active and promising academic researcher and leader in the field of minority health. Rebecca will be at the University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley.



Dolly John
Dr. Dolly John completed her PhD in Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She has a MPH in Community Health from the University of Texas, Houston and BA degrees in Mathematics and Chemistry from Washington University. Dolly has worked on local, state, and national level research studies, mostly examining the health and health care of racial/ethnic minority and low-income populations in various health care systems such as Medicare, using quantitative and qualitative methods. Her research interests focus on reducing health care and health inequities, especially those arising from the contexts of work and immigration. Dolly’s dissertation examines how work (e.g., occupational class) and immigration-related factors (e.g., nativity) relate to health services use (e.g., routine preventive care) and health (including mental health) of Asian Americans using an explanatory mixed-methods study. Building on her dissertation research, she hopes to examine how individual and contextual factors related to work, immigration and racism/discrimination may contribute towards explaining socioeconomic and racial/ethnic health and health care inequities. Dolly is an incoming Kellogg Health Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health.



Stacy M. Lloyd, PhD
Dr. Stacy M. Lloyd completed her PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in May 2010. During her tenure, Stacy also received an MPH in Public Health Genetics. She is a proud graduate of Prairie View A&M University, where she received her B.S. in Biology in 2004. The primary goal of Stacy’s dissertation research was to elucidate a possible biological explanation for the disparity in breast cancer morbidity and mortality between African American and Caucasian women. Therefore, she investigated some of the relationships between the Cytochrome P450 1B1 Leucine 432 Valine polymorphism, the 2-hydroxyestrone 16a-hydroxyesterone estrogen metabolite ratio, mammographic density, race, and breast cancer risk. As a Kellogg Health Scholar, Stacy will continue to examine breast cancer morbidity and mortality in African American women, but looks forward to building upon her current research by also examining the role genetic variation may play in determining biological responses to external stressors. She will be at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.



Lucinda Nevarez, PhD
Dr. Lucinda Nevarez completed her PhD in social work at the University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work in the summer of 2010. Prior to receiving her PhD, Dr. Nevarez earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and her Masters of Social Work from the University of Houston. While working on her doctorate, Dr. Nevarez was a research assistant at Baylor College of Medicine where she conducted research and published two manuscripts on the risk behaviors of young fathers. She has also held various Graduate Research Assistantships at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, through which she has participated in community projects and assisted in faculty research initiatives. Dr. Nevarez has a background in medical social work and case management. She served as a medical social worker for the Women and Infants Transmission Study at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, and later at Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Nevarez’s dissertation examines the relationship between discrimination and depression in Mexicans and Mexican Americans. Her research interests include investigating the role of culture, ethnicity, and internalization in health behaviors. She is also interested in examining the psychosocial factors that influence health disparities and impact the health behaviors and practices of oppressed communities. Dr. Nevarez is an incoming Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.



Jay Pearson, PhD
Dr. Jay Pearson received his PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan. He holds a BS in Community Health Education from North Carolina Central University and an MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education from The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. His research interests include examining the development of socio-economic status as a research construct, the conceptualization and measurement of race/ethnicity, immigration/trans-nationalism and the health effects of alternative social-cultural orientations, social discrimination, and high effort coping. In his most recent position is a research scientist in the Population Study Center at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Dr. Pearson designed and implemented empirical investigations to test components of a theoretical model he developed during his dissertation research and has subsequently published. This model proposes a socio-structural and cultural explanatory framework for health inequities. Dr. Pearson is an incoming Kellogg Health Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley.