B.A., sociology and B.S., psychology, Eastern Nazarene College
My Love for Teaching
I enjoy exploring how the social arrangement of society has a significant impact on individual and population health. Race, Racism, and Health and The Social Determinants of Health are two courses I particularly enjoy teaching. Both significantly explore how people’s lives are significantly shaped by social factors (race, social class, geography, public policy decisions, social media, etc.) and how that impacts well-being (regardless of how we define well-being).
My Research Interests
My area of expertise centers on how the social environment has an impact on health over the life course. This includes experiences of racism and other forms of discrimination, socioeconomic resources, and patient-provider encounters in health care settings. In courses such as Race, Racism, and Health, The Social Determinants of Health, and Health in Life Course Perspective, my students and I explore how the social arrangement of society has a significant impact on individual and population health.
I am most intrigued by how social experiences become embodied or ‘get underneath the skin,’ eventually affecting various dimensions of well-being. I was originally drawn to this area as I was studying the experiences of middle-class Black Americans and became fascinated with how higher social class did not seem to protect their health as much as it did for middle-class white Americans.
I chose Lafayette because I want to be at an institution where teaching, research, and mentoring are priorities. I also value interdisciplinary studies since my research and teaching touch upon perspectives from various disciplines.
Personal Interests/Community Work
I serve as a member of the Phoebe Institute on Aging advisory board and on the scholarship subcommittee. Phoebe has several initiatives to support those in later life, their families, and their caregivers. This includes an annual conference. I also collaborate with Dr. Autumn Kieber-Emmons (MD, MPH; LVHN family medicine), Jaskaran Grewal ’23, and Narena Nerahoo ’24 on a project exploring cervical cancer disparities in the Lehigh Valley.
I have collaborated with Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Leonard Park Pool Institute for Health. Dr. Samantha Shaak, director of Community Innovation and Evaluation at LVHN Leonard Pool Institute for Health, has visited my classes to discuss its initiatives. Some of my students have also done summer internships with LVHN Community Health.