What do you do at Kent State's College of Public Health?
I am a professor and the associate dean for Research and Global Affairs. I teach undergraduate, master, and doctoral-level courses. Most courses I teach focus on applying theory to developing, implementing, and evaluating community-based public health programs. I direct doctoral dissertations and advise MPH students. In my role as associate dean, I facilitate the research enterprise in the College, including pre and post-award activities, research compliance, and serve on university research-related committees. In addition, I develop research projects with other institutions abroad, faculty and student exchanges, and promote faculty and student research.
What is your latest research project?
We are working with a local community organization to provide a grief recovery program to Black men previously involved with the justice system. We use evaluation strategies to examine program effectiveness, facilitators, and barriers to program delivery.
Your favorite teaching moment?
My favorite teaching moment is when I receive an email from a former student that reads, "now I know why you taught me these things…." As much as I try to make course content relevant during class, sometimes the impact of what and why I teach what I do doesn't happen until the former student completes a project at work and it all comes into place. I know that moment is impactful because it prompts an email to me.
If you could have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick - and why?
Chess because it allows me to play against my children since they're not local and other people who play. It helps me focus because it demands concentration.
Spotify because I can access music and podcasts that I listen to regularly.
Freeform because it provides a mechanism for me to model what I'm thinking. I see things holistically, and visual imagery helps me see the interconnectedness of ideas.
What's your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?
To unwind, I hike with my dog on one of the trails we have in Northeast Ohio. Having immediate access to the trails is one of the best things about living in Northeast Ohio.
What is the last TV show or book that you read?
Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West. The author is Hampton Sides, and he focuses on the transformation of the American West during the 19th century.
Complete the following sentence: "Key elements of leadership include:”
Trust, building leadership of others, being visionary, and strategic implementation.
What is something that you are looking forward to, both personally and professionally?
I look forward to traveling more and reconnecting with people I have missed personally and professionally. I think many people feel this way, and getting back to in-person events will help us enhance our connections to others and provide a sense of normalcy.