My approach to research is to go beyond deficit models that only focus on individual behaviors and barrier to health, while incorporating the concept of intersectionality which refers to the interconnectedness of social factors.  My scholarly interests are embedded in the acknowledgment that research and teaching are essentially interconnected.  The fervor I hold for scholarly research activities is mirrored in my teaching endeavors, and my teaching endeavors are enhanced by my scholarly research.


To integrate my commitment to both teaching and research, the goals of my research program are as follows:

  • develop a diverse and productive research agenda to inform culturally-relevant programs, interventions, and policies to reduce health inequities and improve health and wellness;
  • provide a strong scientific basis to expand knowledge about the lives and experiences of people in understudied communities (ethnic and sexual minority populations);
  • and train graduate and undergraduate students in research and public health practice.

“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose”

– Zora Neal Hurston