About Our Lab

Research background:
I am an Assistant Professor of Public Health at UT Southwestern Medical Center. My work aims to identify strategies that promote food security and food equity in under-resourced communities by increasing access to nutrient-rich foods and making healthy choices easy and attainable for all families.

I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin where I identified barriers and facilitators of fruit and vegetable consumption in Eastern Travis County as well as the differential impacts of COVID-19 on household food security and parent food purchasing. I finished both of my graduate degrees at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Throughout my doctoral studies, I worked in the Division of Behavioral Medicine where I developed a grocery-shopping intervention for parents interested in buying healthier food for their families using the NIH Stage Model of Behavioral Intervention Development to create an ecological momentary intervention delivered to parents smartphones. 

Throughout my career I have mentored over 20 undergraduate and masters research assistants that have gone on to law school, medical school, graduate programs in public health, clinical psychology and business, the healthcare industry, and more. I am recruiting 5 students that live or attend college in the Dallas area to assist with research 8-15 hours per week.

Current project background:
This project will identify pantry clients preferences for nutritious no prep ready to eat meals. Previous research conducted with clients at the pantry indicate clients have a desire for healthier foods that are easy to prepare and eat. Pantry clients have reported physical limitations, time constraints, and other barriers that make it challenging to prepare meals. We think nutritious no prep meals may be one solution, but as a community-engaged research team, we want to know what people actually think about them and if they would prefer something else!

Students may be asked to assist with:
- Promoting the study and recruiting participants at Crossroads Community Services (4500 S Cockrell Hill Rd, Dallas, TX 75236)
- Running participant appointments and collecting data at Crossroads
- Creating meal kits
- Designing recipe cards
- Working with data in Microsoft Excel
- And more!

If this sounds like something you're interested in, please click "next" and complete a brief application!