My areas of expertise are Early Childhood Development, Entertainment Education, Health Disparities, Training and Technical Assistance, Nutrition and Public Health Policy, Cultural Appropriate Intervention Design, Community Based Participatory Research, and Curriculum Development and Instruction.
Previously a Research Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I focus on early childhood obesity prevention, community nutrition, and health disparities. I have been honored with the UGA 40 Under 40 Award, the College of Family and Consumer Sciences Pacesetter Award, and promoted Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. I am passionate about creating interventions which use theater, media, and other arts-based approaches to combat the problem of obesity.
My research agenda focuses on promoting wellness best practices and policies in the ECE setting. The aim of my work is to: 1) assess current wellness practices in the ECE setting; 2) create training and interventions for child care providers and child care food service staff to increase healthy eating, wellness education, and physical activity in the ECE setting; and 3) assist ECE settings with creating wellness policies and plans of action to sustain changes long term. The overall goal of my work is to create healthy ECE environments to prevent obesity in our youngest children ages (0-5), while working to decrease health disparities among low-income and minority populations. For more information, visit the Childhood Obesity/Nutrition Intervention Laboratory.