University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School Of Global Public Health

Contact Information
Academic Resources
Current Projects
Community Resources
The Scholar Experience

Contact Information

Gillings School of Global Public Health

Voice: 919-966-3909
Fax: 919-966-2921

Dept. of Health Behavior & Health Education
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Eugenia Eng
[back to top]

Director: Eugenia Eng, Dr.PH

Eugenia Eng, Dr.P.H. is the Director of the training site at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health. A full professor, Dr. Eng received her Dr.P.H. in 1983 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Eng is interested in the integration of community development and health education interventions in the rural United States and developing countries. Her research currently focuses on the design and evaluation of lay health advisor interventions and the influence of sociocultural factors on reducing exposure to pesticides and STDs and early detection of breast cancer. Dr. Eng teaches community organization; cross-cultural aspects of health education practices; and health issues relevant to women, ethnic minorities, and developing nations. She has established academic partnerships with communities that have historically been denied resources with which to discover new knowledge about their strengths and assets; her goal has been to use these partnerships to further the development of interventions that promote individual wellness, community competence, and social change. These interventions have addressed specific public health problems by increasing breast cancer screening, reducing the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, and curtailing pesticide exposure for vulnerable farmworkers. More information.

UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, CB# 7426
Voice: 919-843-9562
Fax: 919-966-6264
1700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Assistant Director: Alexandra Lightfoot

Assistant Director: Alexandra Lightfoot, Ed.D.

Alexandra Lightfoot, Ed.D. is the Assistant Director of the UNC Training Site. Based at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, she serves as Assistant Director for the Community Engagement/Partnerships Core and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Unit. She is co-instructor with Geni Eng in the Community Capacity, Competence, and Power: Community-Based Participatory Research and Photovoice course at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She also coordinates program development and outreach efforts for the Community Engagement Core of the NC Translational and Clinical Sciences (TraCS) Institute. Dr. Lightfoot holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she received her degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy Research. Dr. Lightfoot has extensive experience fostering university-community partnerships, engaging diverse stakeholders, and generating effective participatory strategies to enhance community and university capacity. Prior to her work at UNC, she was an independent researcher and consultant, developing programs focused on eliminating disparities, creating opportunities, and promoting healthy choices and behavior to support the growth and development of youth, families and communities.

[back to top]

Academic Resources

Scholars will find at North Carolina an intellectual climate that nurtures collaboration in community-based participatory research (CBPR), public health practice, and teaching with faculty mentors from the UNC School of Public Health's academic departments of Epidemiology, Health Behavior and Health Education, Health Policy and Administration, Nutrition, Maternal and Child Health, and the Public Health Leadership Program. The KHSP is housed within the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP), which was established in 1985 as one of the original three CDC Prevention Research Centers. HPDP works to address pressing health problems by collaborating with communities to conduct research, provide training, and translate research findings into policy and practice. Strong partnerships with local, county, and state agencies have been developed throughout HPDP's history, linking Center research to community-based organizations, health agencies, medical practices, and workplaces throughout the state. The Center focuses on reducing health disparities through an emphasis on community-based participatory research to ensure that the community is involved in every stage of research. HPDP has just been awarded a five year renewal grant from the CDC and a central aim over the next five years is to strengthen existing collaborations, forge new partnerships, and build academic and community capacity for CBPR.

Other resources for KHSP scholars at the University of North Carolina include:
  • NC TraCS, the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute, funded through NIH's Clinical and Translational Science Award mechanism, is a new resource at UNC-Chapel Hill available to KHSP scholars. The Community Engagement Core (CEC) of TraCS is creating new opportunities in support of community-based research, such as trainings, symposia, workshops, a CBPR Summer Institute, and pilot funding for community-academic partnerships. The CEC, in collaboration with HPDP and Vanderbilt's Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, recently received funding from NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) to develp a pilot project, "Community Leadership and Reciprocal Development to Advance Community Engaged Research." The goal of this project is to expand and accelerate both institutions' capacity to advance community-engaged research, first by harnessing the expertise of existing community partners working with our respective institutions, and, second, by initiating a cross-CTSA partnership to share expertise, develop resources, and disseminate new knowledge and approaches.

  • The Interdisciplinary Certificate in Health Disparities trains future health professionals through 10-credit hour curriculum in public health, economics, and sociology to support long-term and sustained public health efforts to address and, ultimately, eliminate health disparities.

  • The Ethnicity, Culture, and Health Outcomes Program (ECHO) was jointly established in 2002 by the UNC School of Medicine and School of Public Health to focus on eliminating health disparities through research, training, education, and culturally-sensitive service. Its community engagement program, Centers for Community Research, is located in the regions of Greensboro AHEC and Area L AHEC and has several projects that were developed in collaboration with SPH faculty and KHSP Scholars.

  • The Carolina Center for Public Service (CCPS) is a pan-university center created as a result of the Chancellor's Intellectual Climate Task Force. The Center serves as a resource to faculty, students and staff supported by the Carolina Center for Public Service Database, which catalogues outreach/engagement efforts by location, department/school or service areas of interest. CCPS co-sponsors the monthly CBPR Seminar Series with KHSP and HPDP.

  • The Sheps Center for Health Services Research is a pan-campus UNC-CH center that works with UNC-CH faculty to conduct timely and policy-relevant work to enhance the health of North Carolinians, especially minorities, the uninsured and low socioeconomic populations. This center is composed of 10 constituent programs and works closely with the state of North Carolina, housing licensure and hospital administrative data for the state. One of its programs is the NCMHD-funded EXPORT Carolina-Shaw Partnership for the Elimination of Health Disparities, which includes a CBPR Core co-directed by Dr. Eng.

  • The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center houses the NCI-funded Carolina Community Network with a CBPR Training Core co-directed by Dr. Eng, and members include KHSP Scholars and community partners, United Voices of Efland-Cheeks and The Partnership Project of Greensboro.

  • The North Carolina Institute for Public Health is the service and outreach arm of the UNC School of Public Health. Its mission is to bring public health scholarship and practice communities together to inform and stimulate scholars and to empower practitioners for the common purpose of improving the public's health and human well-being. The Institute's Emerging Leaders in Public Health Program prepares minority scholars to become public health leaders and is co-sponsored with the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School with funding from the WK Kellogg Foundation.

  • The Minority Student Caucus, founded in 1977, is a vehicle for bringing concerns of minority students to the attention of UNC School of Public Health (SPH) leadership, working to attract more students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to the School, and organizing the annual Minority Health Conference to highlight health issues among racial and ethnic minorities.

  • The Minority Health Project to Eliminate Health Disparities has organized the annual Summer Public Health Videoconference on Minority Health since 1994.

  • Special Assistant to the Dean for Diversity, appointed in January 2006, develops strategies to increase recruitment and retention of minority faculty and assists with increasing racial and ethnic diversity in student enrollment throughout UNC SPH.
[back to top]

Current Projects

The following new or continuing research projects, which include the CBPR approach as an essential component, are led by KHSP faculty, and join KHSP Scholars to the research team:
  • The Black Church and CVD: Are We Our Brother's Keeper? This study is investigating the, as yet unaccounted for, burden of CVD outcomes for rural African American men in Orange County, NC by: (1) documenting the cultural tools of 26 rural Black churches' sacred role and their associations with the secular role of providing service to benefit men; (2) identifying and describing interruptions or deviations from the standard course of CVD screening and care, and perceived reasons from the points of view of men; and (3) comparing men's adherence to CVD care between an intervention and comparison church, before and after piloting a church-based Navigator protocol, which builds on elements of the church's sacred and secular roles, in partnership with a health department nurse. United Voices of Efland-Cheeks is the community partner.

  • Project GRACE: A Participatory Intervention to Reduce HIV/STIs in African American Rural Youth The long-term goal is the development, testing, and dissemination of culturally relevant and sustainable interventions that reduce the risk of HIV and other STIs in African American youth.

  • A Partnership Approach to Reducing HIV Disparities among Latino Men The intervention is based on the social cognitive theory and the theory of empowerment education. Participants in the HIV prevention intervention, relative to their peers in the delayed-intervention comparison group, are anticipated to demonstrate (a) increased self-reported use of condoms during sexual intercourse and (b) increased self-reported utilization of HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) counseling, testing, and treatment services.

  • Greensboro Cancer Care and Racial Equity Study This project explores and documents potential explanations for racial disparities in breast cancer mortality among African American and White women, who received treatment at the Moses Cone Regional Cancer Center at Greensboro, NC. The Partnership Project, Inc., a community-based organization, is the community research partner.

  • EXPORT II: Carolina-Shaw Comprehensive NCMHD Research Center This Center takes advantage of the existing close relationship between Shaw University and UNC-CH by combining the research and teaching resources at UNC with Shaw University's expertise in strengthening African-American communities and training minority leaders. This expanded inter-university partnership will jointly conduct cutting- edge health disparities research that leverages the infrastructure developed during the previous grant period, namely, the DC2 church network and the Shaw University Center for Survey Research - the largest survey research center based at a historically black university. The Carolina-Shaw Comprehensive NCMHD Center will be structured to maximize the exchange of scientific and programmatic activity between UNC and Shaw University.
[back to top]

Community Resources

Collaboration in public health practice and research can be found not only through the interdisciplinary work of faculty, but also through the long-standing partnerships we have established with health agencies and community-based organizations. The Scholars are guaranteed ample opportunity to engage and be engaged by a wide range of collaborators, who will become the Scholars' network of colleagues. In addition to working with the partners and organizations listed below, opportunities are available to work on sustainable agriculture and environmental and social justice issues with other community-based organizations.

The North Carolina Kellogg Health Scholars Program — Community Track partners with the following organizations. More information about these organizations can be found on the "Community-Based Partner" section of this website.
  • Strengthening The Black Family Inc. is an urban, non-profit community-based networking organization incorporated in 1987 with the purpose of improving the quality of life of African-American families in Southeast Raleigh. STBF is a coalition of more than 30 community groups & numerous individuals each sharing in the common goal.

  • United Voices of Efland-Cheeks, Inc. is a rural non-profit community-based organization, incorporated in 1997 and located in northern Orange County. The group consists of 80% community residents with 20% agency participation. United Voices has been instrumental in the design of the Efland Cheeks Community School park and has worked with the Orange Co. Sheriff's department to develop a community police substation at the Efland Cheeks Community Center.

  • The Partnership Project is an urban, non-profit community-based organization that offers training, provides consultation, and organizes in the Greensboro area in the following arenas: undoing racism, anti-racist organizational development, internalized oppression, and White organizational culture.

  • Project GRACE is an academic-community partnership aimed at eliminating health disparities in African American communities through community-based participatory research (CBPR) in Edgecombe and Nash counties in North Carolina.

  • Las Mujeres Mejorando el Futuro is an organization of Latina women working toward social change that envisions building capacity among community-dwelling Latina women in Chatham County by developing leadership and advocacy skills through educational opportunities and research.

  • Chatham Social Health Council, founded in 1991, is a community-based nonprofit organization in the large rural North Carolina County of Chatham striving to prevent HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

  • Concerned Citizens of Tillery is a social and environmental justice organization located in rural Eastern North Carolina, made up of residents and several community organizations, including Black Workers for Justice and the NC Student Rural Health Coalition.

  • Chatham, Orange, and Wake County Health Departments carry out the core functions of public health in their respective counties.

[back to top]


2009-2011 Cohort: Chris Heaney, PhD, MS

2008-2010 Cohort: Yvonne Owens Ferguson, PhD , and Keon L Gilbert, DrPH

2006-2008 Cohort: James Amell, MSW, MPH, PhD, , and Dionne Smith Coker-Appiah, PhD, MA, EdD

[back to top]

The Scholar Experience at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Scholars spend the first year at UNC in a research clerkship, selecting among existing projects, to familiarize themselves with all aspects of CBPR. They are quickly integrated into the projects and assume significant roles in carrying out aspects of the study. In the second year the scholars propose and carry out an independent research project to develop their own competencies and advance the mission of the selected community organization. Scholars can select academic mentors from different departments around the University and community mentors from a range of long-term CBPR partnerships. For the research clerkship, scholars are expected to apprentice with partners in ongoing projects. A scholar may select a community organization of his or her choice for the independent research project. The UNC site emphasizes the importance of writing for publication and scholars are encouraged and supported in their writing efforts. Scholars at UNC have the opportunity to gain valuable skills in writing NIH grants in the CBPR way, involving academic and community partners in all aspects of the grant writing process.

UNC is the only site that requires a Teaching Clerkship, where scholars co-instruct a course with UNC faculty. Scholars find this opportunity very useful. Not only are they able to develop their teaching skills, highly valued when applying for academic jobs, but they also leave the program with a syllabus in hand.

Scholars are encouraged to build relationships with current and former Kellogg Health scholars and to take advantage of the KHSP network. The UNC Training Site draws on the expertise of former scholars in arranging professional development sessions for current scholars. Sessions facilitated by former scholars have addressed publishing, promotion and tenure issues, opportunities outside of academia, CBPR partnership-building, among other topics.

[back to top]