Underserved Communities

Sofiya Alhassan

Sofiya Alhassan

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
Director of Pediatric Physical Activity Laboratory

Email: alhassan@kin.umass.edu

Special Areas of Interest: Physical activity in the prevention of pediatric obesity. In particular, the utilization of community family-based physical activity interventions to reduce early onset cardiovascular disease risk factors in ethnic-minority children. Her research agenda also includes examining; the interrelationship between physical activity policy in preschool settings on preschool-age children physical activity levels, as well as, environmental and family influence on various health behaviors in ethnic-minority populations.

Elena Carbone

Elena Carbone

Associate Professor of Nutrition
Director of Community Research and Engagement, Commonwealth Honors College

Email: ecarbone@nutrition.umass.edu

Special Areas of Interest: Dr. Carbone works with communities to examine how low income, culturally diverse populations (adults and children) with limited literacy skills attend to and process health information related to obesity prevention, diabetes management, and cancer control. She uses primarily a qualitative approach (individual interviews, focus groups, and observations) to collect her data. She is also interested in the use of new technologies to enhance pedagogical practices.




Lorraine Cordeiro

Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Email: lcordeiro@nutrition.umass.edu

Special Areas of Interest: Dr. Cordeiro conducts research both in the U.S.A. and internationally. The primary focus of her research is on household food security and adolescent nutritional health. She is currently investigating the associations between food security, food practices, and health risks among Cambodian women in Massachusetts.

Tameka Gillum

Associate Professor of Community Health Education

Email: tgillum@schoolph.umass.edu

Special Areas of Interest: Dr. Gillum’s research interests are in exploring and addressing intimate partner violence (IPV)/dating violence (DV) within racial/ethnic minority and sexual minority populations, development and evaluation of culturally specific prevention and intervention efforts, health clinic based intimate partner violence interventions and the health effects of IPV/DV victimization. She has conducted this research both domestically and in Africa. Dr. Gillum is a community psychologist who conducts community based research and utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods in her research endeavors. She serves on the editorial board for the international journal, Violence Against Women, and is a steering committee member of the national Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC).

Giang Pham

Giang Thuy Pham

Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders

Email: gtpham@comdis.umass.edu

Special Areas of Interest: The Bilingual Development in Context Lab investigates language development among bilingual children, particularly children who speak a minority first language such as Vietnamese or Spanish and who learn English early in childhood. Using a Dynamic Systems approach to development, we examine interactions between first and second languages as well as between language, cognitive, and social systems across varying timescales and ability/disability levels.


Lindiwe Sibeko

Assistant Professor of Nutrition

Email: lsibeko@nutrition.umass.edu

Special Areas of Interest: Dr. Sibeko’s research interests are in women and child health, focusing on pre- and postnatal nutritional health in low-income populations, on optimizing infant and young child feeding practices in vulnerable settings, on elucidating the role of breastfeeding in healthy child development and on the prevention of childhood obesity in underserved communities. Dr. Sibeko is also interested in examining socio-cultural influences on household food security. Her global health research has focused on maternal and child health issues, primarily in the area of nutritional status assessment, infant feeding practices and the role of breastfeeding in the prevention of pediatric HIV infections.


Lisa Wexler


Lisa Marin Wexler

Associate Professor of Community Health Education
Director, Division of Community Health Studies

Email: lwexler@schoolph.umass.edu

Special Areas of Interest: Dr. Wexler's research has focused on suicide prevention, community health worker training for rural, ethnically distinct communities, and youth substance abuse prevention. She is interested in expanding her work locally in relation to protective factors for youth substance abuse and violence and resilience/health promotion, with a particular interest in marginalized and ethnic minority youth. In a similar vein, Lisa is interested in service research focused on substance abuse recovery and psychological resilience after acute or on-going trauma.