Current Projects

Identity integration and negotiation in older Black people diagnosed with cancer.

As people get older, they sometimes negotiate their identity with regards to loss of functional abilities (cognitive and physical) typical in old age. How will the presence of chronic conditions impact the identity formation of older Black people diagnosed with chronic illness? For the purpose of this study, we adopt the definition of identity formation by Ostrander (2008) - “the development of a cohesive identity that incorporates various aspects of self (e.g. experiences related to one’s race/ethnicity, gender, ability status, etc.)” (p. 585)

HIV and cancer survivorship in Nigeria

This is a collaborative project with Dr. C. Nwakasi (Providence College, RI) and Project Pink Blue (Nigeria). The purpose of the study is to explore the perception and knowledge of HIV as a risk factor for certain cancer types (e.g., cervical). Also, it uses ethnographic interviews to examine the  experience of those who underwent or are undergoing cancer therapy.

Food desert/insecurity and early onset of dementia in cancer survivors

The study is part of a larger project looking at how to reduce the number of Black people who fall into morbidity early on as they age. Specifically, it examines how  older Black Americans that are diagnosed with chronic illness and are living within food desert (i.e., area that has limited access to affordable and healthful food) and/or are food insecure (i.e., state of lacking sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food necessary for an active, healthy life) come to experience physical and mental health.