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Our Faculty Associates

In an effort to facilitate collaboration on health disparities research and outreach, CRHD established the Faculty Associates. This group is made up of faculty and staff from across the university who are committed to reducing and eliminating health disparities. Sub-groups meet as appropriate to discuss current projects, explore research and grant opportunities, and network with internal and external health disparities experts. For more information about the Faculty Associates, please contact Dr. Veronica Parker at

Abel BartleyDr. Bartley is an associate professor in the Department of History and is the director of the Pan-African Studies program at Clemson University. His primary research interests include African Americans in Urban areas, politics, education, and housing, and he is especially interested in the link between history and violence. He is currently writing a history of public school integration in Jacksonville, Florida, and he is researching the link between advertising and smoking. He has previously worked on projects looking at black-on-black crime and health rate differences. Dr. Bartley is interested in collaborating with the CRHD to explore the links between housing, education, and violence.

Frankie FelderDr. Felder is senior associate dean of the Graduate School at Clemson University. Responsible for the analysis and revision of academic policies and procedures of the Graduate School, as well as management of related committees, professional development and diversity initiatives, Dr. Felder provides counsel and guidance to students and graduate programs on matters related to academic progress, policies and standards. Her research, teaching, and service efforts at Clemson have included conceptualizing and leading "Focus on Research" and "FORGE: Focus on Research and Graduate Education, South Carolina," both projects highlighting graduate contributions to higher education and economic development. Prior to coming to Clemson she served as Assistant Director of the McKnight Programs in Higher Education in Florida where she developed the statewide Academic Brain Bowl for minority youth and administered the McKnight Black Doctoral Fellowship and Junior Faculty Development Fellowship programs. In February 2007 she received the award, "Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education in the Southern Region," from the Council of Southern Graduate Schools for her research presentations on the desegregation of secondary and graduate education. Dr. Felder would like to collaborate with the Center on Health Disparities to study stress related to the impact of inadequate mentoring and personal support for minority students enrolled in predominately white academic settings (middle- through graduate school).

Lamont A. FlowersDr. Flowers is the distinguished professor of educational leadership in the Department of Leadership, Counselor Education, Human and Organizational Development, and the executive director of the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education in the College of Education at Clemson University. Dr. Flowers’ research focuses on academic achievement, student development, and educational leadership. Moreover, his work examines the experiences and outcomes of African Americans from pre-kindergarten through college. He is currently exploring African American college students’ health orientations and health behaviors.

Kimberley FrazierDr. Frazier is an assistant professor of Counselor Education at Clemson University. Dr. Frazier holds licensure as a Nationally Certified Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor (Louisiana), and a Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor (Louisiana). Her specialty is pediatric counseling, specifically with young children who have been sexually abused. Areas of interest include pediatric counseling, counseling intern self-efficacy, multicultural issues in counseling and counseling supervision, cultural counseling ethics, and professional development of counselor educators and counselors in training. Dr. Frazier has worked in agency, private practice, school, and university settings throughout her counseling career. Currently, Dr. Frazier serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development (JMCD). She also serves of the executive board for the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development (AMCD) as the chair of the Graduate Student Issues Committee and a member of the Membership Task Force Committee.

Dr. Granberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Clemson University. Dr. Granberg's primary research interests include obesity and weight loss, the mental health consequences of obesity, and the mental and physical health consequences of racial discrimination and weight discrimination. Currently she is involved in a prospective study of the development of childhood obesity and a panel study of the social and mental health of African American adolescents and their families. She is also analyzing qualitative data collected with adults who are successfully sustaining weight loss over time. Dr. Granberg has completed several studies on obesity among children. She has analyzed topics such as the relationship between obesity and depression among adolescent African American girls, the residential racial segregation and family racial socialization as moderators of the relationship between body size and social self image among adolescent African American girls, and the relationship between child obesity status and quality of parenting, comparing European American to African American families. Dr. Granberg's interests for future CRHD work include pursuing David Williams' thesis of residential racial segregation as an ultimate cause of race based health disparities, particularly regarding the case of access to healthy food and high quality physical activity resources. She is also interested in examining racial discrimination as a contributor to high rates of obesity and hypertension among African Americans, especially residential racial segregation and neighborhood collective efficacy as potential confounding factors in these relationships.

Sarah F. GriffinDr. Griffin is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University. Her primary research interests include physical activity, and school health and community development. Currently, she is engaged in several community based research projects to increase physical activity, including an initiative funded by the National Institute of Health to increase walking in high-crime, underserved minority communities (Dawn Wilson, Principal Investigator); the Active for Life Project, funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to increase physical activity in older adults; and the Eastside Anderson Health Collaborative. Dr. Griffin is also an evaluation consultant for the School Health Improvement Partnership program within Partners for a Healthy Community in Anderson South Carolina. Dr. Griffin is also part of the USC/Claflin EXPORT grant to decrease rates of HIV/AIDS and HPV/Cervical Cancer in Orangeburg County. She has previously worked on an NIH funded grant called, Active by Choice Today (ACT), which was an after school-based program to increase physical activity among 6th graders in predominately minority and low SES schools. Dr. Griffin’s interests for future CRHD research include exploring increasing physical activity through addressing environmental (physical and social) factors.

Vivan Haley-ZitlinDr. Haley-Zitlin is an associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Clemson University. Her research interests include the metabolism of phytochemicals and effects of nutrients on liver and glucose metabolism. Dr. Haley-Zitlin’s research activities include examination of the influences of food intake and exercise on an aging population, especially on the initiation and progression of chronic disease; the relationships between nutrient intake, food choices, and nutrition knowledge on type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk; and the role of protein (soy vs. casein) and/or isoflavone intake on obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors. Dr. Haley-Zitlin has also been involved with the Clemson University-Voorhees College EXPORT Center on research projects centering on obesity among rural African American populations in South Carolina.

Karen A. KemperDr. Kemper is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University. Her principal research interests are in obesity prevention and physical activity promotion. She is a principal investigator on one of the Clemson-Voorhees EXPORT grant research projects that is exploring physical activity and health of college students at an HBCU. She is also involved with research projects focusing on eating disorder prevention and graduate student physical activity behaviors. Previously, Dr. Kemper has worked on several projects, including a project for the Department of Social Services focusing on promoting success of African American youth, a cardiovascular disease prevention and health communication plan for African American adults, and physical activity assessment and promotion programs for Hispanic adults and for elderly diabetic patients. In future projects, Dr. Kemper would like to see CRHD address the impact of cultural/societal change on health.

Janice Garrison LanhamMrs. Lanham is a lecturer in the School of Nursing at Clemson University. Her primary research interests focus on health disparities among African Americans and other underserved populations. She has completed research on cardiovascular disease risk in African American populations; served as a presenter and facilitator for the Juanita Butler Community Center Project to Address Health Disparities among Underserved African American Women and as a presenter for the First Minority Health Summit on Health Disparities. Mrs. Lanham remains an employee of the Greenville Hospital System and represents GHS in community outreach education programs. As a member of the GHS Speakers’ Bureau, Mrs. Lanham provides education to racial/ethnic minorities regarding health disparities at various community events and activities.

Ye LuoDr. Luo is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Clemson University. Dr. Luo is also a research affiliate at the National Opinion Research Center/ University of Chicago. Dr. Luo’s recent research primarily focuses on three interrelated areas: social determinants of health, social dynamics of aging, and sexual behavior and sexual health. Her research examines the relationship between socioeconomic status and health over the life course, and whether these relationships can be generalized to different populations and different societies. Her work examines how life transitions in old age, such as retirement, grandparenting, and living arrangements, and life events, such as elder abuse and mistreatment, affect health and well-being of older adults. Her research is particularly interested in how social services and social support at individual, community and societal levels modify these relationships. Dr. Luo has also conducted research on the determinants and consequences of changing sexual attitudes and behaviors in China. One of her current projects attempts to identify the mechanisms that explain the effects of loneness on health and mortality. Another project looks at the relationship between perceived discrimination and health.

Rachel M. MayoDr. Mayo is an associate professor in the School of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University. Her primary research interests include minority health (particularly Latino and African American populations), cancer disparities, and chronic disease. She is currently working in partnership with USC on a project funded by the National Cancer Institute to develop the South Carolina Cancer Disparities Network, and a BlueCross-BlueShield project entitled, Promotora Model for Latinos in the Upstate. Prior projects related to minority health and health disparities include a South Carolina study of cancer survivorship funded by the American Cancer Society and a Health Resources and Services Administration study of accessible health care for Hispanic populations. Dr. Mayo hopes to see more collaboration among various programs and Universities, especially related to cancer and chronic disease.

James McCubbinDr. McCubbin is a professor of Psychology and serves as Associate Dean in the College of Business at Clemson University. His primary research interests include stress, sleep deprivation, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, and cognitive performance. He has been funded by NIH and the Department of Defense to study stress, fatigue, performance and cardiovascular disease. His prior projects related to health disparities and minority populations have focused on the effects of stress on bilingual language performance and diseases that disproportionately affect minorities. Dr. McCubbin would like to see CRHD address occupational stress, sleep disruption, risk for hypertension, coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.

Bruce RansomDr. Ransom is a professor in the Department of Political Science and is the chair of the policy studies doctoral program in the Strom Thurmond Institute at Clemson University. Dr. Ransom’s major research interests center around the areas of campaigns and elections, and politics and public policy making. At present, he is engaged in projects exploring African American candidates in statewide elections, DNA testing and the changing face of criminal investigations, and voter preferences and the 2008 presidential election, for which he serves as the co-director the Palmetto Poll at the Strom Thurmond Institute. Prior to coming to Clemson, he directed a public policy center in New Jersey that performed community/regional research on the incidence of diseases, health care planning, and service delivery, with a particular focus on underserved areas of New Jersey. Dr. Ransom would like to see research at CRHD in the areas of disease incidence and differentials in access to health care; the certificate of need process and the delivery of health care services in underserved areas; and race and public policy.

Dr. Robinson is a research professor in the Institute for Family and Neighborhood Life at Clemson University. She is also an adjunct professor of community pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Robinson’s field is rural, integrated community development. Her work has largely been in systems-based approached to community planning and policy development; social impact assessments of various community change projects; and development of various community systems, including community and regional systems of support for at risk families, out-of-school children and youth organizations, community-based literacy systems, family centers, and systems of support to grassroots and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Robinson is currently engaged in a project to improve the nutritional content of offerings at food banks in South Carolina by contracting with local farmers to provide fresh produce, dairy, and meat products.

Kenneth L. RobinsonDr. Robinson is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Economics and Statistics at Clemson University. His research interests include community economic development, social capital, entrepreneurship, sustainable development, assessment and evaluation, and public policy and planning. Dr. Robinson serves as a faculty affiliate of the Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development, Sandhill Research and Education Center, in Columbia, SC. Prior to coming to Clemson, Dr. Robinson worked in the Texas Governor’s Office of State-Federal Relations, the US Department of Agriculture, and the South Carolina Costal Council. Dr. Robinson is currently working on several projects related to health disparities in rural communities, including a project to improve the nutritional content of offerings at food banks in South Carolina by contracting with local farmers to provide fresh produce, dairy, and meat products.

Windsor SherrillDr. Sherrill’s main research interests include health services for Latino patients, health services financing, health services delivery, and medical education. Presently, she is engaged in a BlueCross BlueShield program to reduce obesity among Latinas in Upstate South Carolina. She is also studying provider perceptions of Latino patients. Dr. Sherrill was previously funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration to study accessible and culturally competent Hispanic health care in the Upstate of South Carolina. She would like to see CRHD explore research connecting to provider (medical and nursing) educational programs in South Carolina.

Khoa TruongDr. Khoa Truong is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University. Prior to coming to Clemson, he was a visiting faculty in Vietnam, teaching at Hanoi School of Public Health and conducting collaborative research with Vietnam Health Strategy and Policy Institute and University of Queensland. Between 2002 and 2008, he was with the RAND Corporation as a doctoral/research fellow. Trained as a health economist, Dr. Truong’s primary research interests are in substance abuse, obesity and international health. His recent research focuses on cost-effectiveness analysis of population-level interventions and the link between contextual factors and individual health behaviors/outcomes. His current grant, through a subcontract with RAND, supports him to conduct a longitudinal study examining a plausible relationship between commercial alcohol sales and problem drinking. Other major work in progress includes examination of alcohol environment around schools using geo-coded data and road network approach; marijuana use and its link to marijuana-involved emergency department visits; food environment and individual weight status; and obesity trends across sociodemographic groups in the U.S. in the past two decades.

Cheryl WarnerDr. Warner’s primary research interests include African American youth, development of multicultural competencies for professionals, cultural identity development across the lifespan, and health and educational disparities among minority populations. She is currently working on research projects engaging ethnic identity and motivational orientation in African American middle school students; development of empathy and multicultural competencies in counseling students; and the effects of study-abroad service-learning experience on multicultural competency development in students. Dr. Warner is especially interested in the Center’s work to foster collaborative efforts among researchers to address health disparities and better prepare healthcare providers in understanding the effects of health disparities on marginalized populations.

Paula J. WattDr. Watt is the interim director of the Joseph F. Sullivan Center (JFSC) and is faculty in the School of Nursing at Clemson University. Dr. Watt is a graduate of the National Institute for Nursing Research Summer Genetics Institute and is a member of the National Touchpoints Collaborative, which encourages the utilization of model concepts to develop relational skills in students. As the director of the JFSC, Dr. Watt is involved in research initiatives related to cardiovascular health and obesity, environmental effects on health and integrative interventions, cultural health and education, women’s health, and technology for education. The JFSC provides on-site, community, and mobile access, which yield research-based educational opportunities and services to underserved populations. Current collaborative service projects are related to breast and cervical cancer, reproductive health, employee and community health, Hispanic, migrant and seasonal farm workers health, and recent collaborative project initiatives have explored utilization of lay health advisors as educators in Hispanic populations. The JFSC provides access for collaborative healthcare research, education, and service opportunities regularly to students and faculty in many programs, including nursing, public health, counseling and education leadership, professional communications, health architecture, and many others. The JFSC would like to continue and extend their existing research efforts in underserved populations through collaborative efforts with the CRHD.