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For additional information on programs and activities, please contact the EXPORT Center.
The EXPORT Center
Clemson University
407 Edwards Hall

Box 340712
Clemson, SC 29634-0712
Telephone: (864) 656-0779
Fax: (864) 656-0769

Home > Centers > The EXPORT Center > Core Areas > Research Core

Research Core

The Research Core provides the context to implement research studies and interventions that examine, reduce, or eliminate health disparities among minorities and underserved populations. This core serves as an umbrella for all research projects and works collaboratively with the Administrative, Outreach, and Training Cores to ensure that the EXPORT Center's research goals are achieved and aligned with the overall EXPORT Center goals.


Research Core Director:

Dr. Veronica Parker, 2003-2007

Dr. Barbara Logan, 2007 - Present


Research Studies and Special Projects:


Rural South Carolina’s Views on Sociocultural Factors
Investigator: Moreen Joseph, Ph.D. (P.I.) (Clemson University)

This is a qualitative study designed to identify factors affecting lifestyle choices among normal-weight and overweight rural African American men and women, aged 45 to 65. The researchers are exploring participants’ knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding nutrition and physical activity through focus groups and in-depth interviews. Other factors such as education, family size, income level, marital status, culturally-ingrained eating habits, and ethnicity-influenced eating traditions were also examined. Preliminary results suggest that both overweight and normal-weight women have limited knowledge of portion sizes. However, normal-weight women are more precise in their estimates of what constitutes an appropriate portion size. In addition, both overweight and normal-weight women acknowledge challenges in maintaining healthy eating habits and physical activity routines.

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Examining the Effectiveness of School-Based Interventions for the Prevention of Obesity
Investigator: Katherine L. Cason, Ph.D. (P.I.) (Clemson University)

Although the United States is experiencing a twin epidemic of childhood obesity and adolescent type-2 diabetes, numerous studies have been inconclusive in determining the effectiveness of school-based interventions. This project examines the immediate and long-term effects of school-based nutrition and physical activity education on the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors of elementary-level students in a rural, underserved, minority community. Students in the experimental condition participate in Jump Into Food and Fitness (JIFF), an educational heath and fitness program designed for children, ages 9 to 11. Results from a pre- and post-test analysis indicate that students in the experimental condition scored significantly higher on measures of food and physical activity knowledge, attitudes, skills and behaviors than they did prior to the intervention. They also scored higher than those in the control condition, who received no intervention outside of regular class activities, and they had maintained the improvements at a five-month follow-up.

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Physical Activity Levels Among Students and Staff of an Historically Black College
Investigator: Karen Kemper, Ph.D. (P.I.) (Clemson University)

As obesity and physical inactivity continue to be major problems, both associated with increased risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, efforts to increase physical activity remain a central goal for the population groups at risk for chronic health problems. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of pedometers in increasing physical activity levels in the college environment among students and adults. The research team is measuring physical activity, using an online physical activity survey (Behavioral Risk Factor Survey) and pedometers, and estimated Body Mass Index (BMI), using self-reported height and weight data. Participants reported their number of steps each week for five weeks. During the second week, the researchers implemented an on-campus communication campaign encouraging college students, faculty, and staff to add 2,000 steps to their physical activity daily. Inconsistencies in physical-activity trends suggest that further data are needed to adequately describe physical-activity levels for this college population.

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The LIFE Intervention Study I (Emerged from Outreach Core activities in the Low Country Counties)
Investigators: Veronica Parker, Ph.D. (P.I.), Charlton Coles, Ph.D., Barbara Logan, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., and Chineylu Okafor, Ph.D. (Clemson University)

Obesity remains a major problem for African American women and is a major contributing factor to chronic health conditions accounting for disparity trends. While many programs recognize the need for community involvement in developing obesity-intervention plans, few describe using such methods. Using the principles of community-based participatory research, this project design includes inplementing the LIFE project, a nutrition and physical activity program developed by the EXPORT Center’s Outreach Core, under the direction of Outreach Core Director, Dr. Chineylu Okafor. (Read about the development of the LIFE project here).

The LIFE project is a 10-session health program that centers on the 3 D's:

  • Dietary practices
  • Daily activities
  • Discussions with health-care providers


All EXPORT cores collaborated in developing the LIFE intervention study, which is being tested in rural, predominantly African American counties in South Carolina. The EXPORT partners, Clemson University and Voorhees College, collaborated with churches, concerned community members, and organizations to implement the study. The study includes two conditions that receive the LIFE intervention: one including faith-based elements and one without. The research team is using many different measures, including measures of physical activity, nutrition, and spirituality, to determine the effectiveness of LIFE.

The intervention is delivered by members of the EXPORT Community Representatives Group. Past facilitators include

  • Ms. Pauletta Plowden, Bamberg County
  • Ms. Christine Patrick, Barnwell County
  • Ms. Nancy Harrison, Calhoun County

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The eHealth Technology Program

Investigator: Bernard Moses, Ph.D. (P.I.) (Voorhees College)

The eHealth Technology program teaches eighth-grade students how to use the Internet to gather and apply health information, with an overall goal of educating school-aged children about health promotion and disease prevention, with emphasis on how they pertain to obesity. The program also seeks to improve family and community health through health education provided to the community’s younger citizens. The program addresses the issues of health disparities by teaching children to 1) access health and wellness information using the MedlinePlus portion of the National Library of Medicine website and evaluate the extent of their learning; 2) design and use health learning models to present health information to parents and teachers; and, 3) evaluate the impact of the student’s presentation on teachers and family members. This program also helps to bridge the gaps between health science and technology, particularly to explain how science and technology are essential to each other.

Dr. Moses is conducting a research project to assess the effectiveness of the eHealth Technology program. By collecting students' assignments and classwork, Dr. Moses will assess improvements in students' ability to obtain and apply health information from the internet. Data collection is on-going.

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Using Community Asset-Mapping in Health Disparities Research

Investigators: Veronica Parker, Ph.D. (P.I.), James Witte, Ph.D., Barbara Logan, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N. , and Charlton Coles, Ph.D. (Clemson University)

The research team implemented an asset-mapping study of community health and other resources in several counties in South Carolina. Through this study, researchers identified pockets of poor, rural, racial/ethnic minority populations using geospatial analyses and located strengths in the communities using asset-mapping. Asset-mapping is a capacity-building effort seeking to identify strengths that can be preserved, enhanced, and mobilized to help a community. Rather than focus on deficits, asset-mapping focuses on a community's strengths. Based on the premise that communities understand their problems and can be empowered to actively engage in solving their own problems, this method of eliminating or reducing health disparities engages communities in prevention, intervention, and other health improvement efforts.

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Clemson UniversityLast Updated: December 04, 2007 Voorhees College

The EXPORT Center is a program of the Center for Research on Health Disparities and is housed jointly in the Clemson University College of Health, Education, and Human Development and the Voorhees College Center of Excellence in Rural and Minority Health.
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