2017 Funded Projects

2017 Faculty Research Teams

Please note: First name mentioned denotes research team lead. All others are team members. Each team also involves student researchers and we estimate at least 50 students will be involved as research fellows, assistants, or student scholar activists.

 “Elucidating the Stories of Wellbeing in the West Louisville Community: A Phenomenological Study”

Dr. Meera Alagaraja, College of Education and Human Development - Educational Leadership, Evaluation, & Organizational Development

  • Dr. Lisa M. Hooper (Department of Counseling and Human Development, CEHD) and Dr. Emma Sterrett-Hong (Kent School of Social Work)

In partnership with the Park DuValle Community Health Center, the team will interview and document how West Louisville residents define and experience well-being. The results will aid the clinic in the assessment of wellbeing and coping strategies among its patients. 


“Middle-School Citizen Science Investigation of Global Climate Change: Developing Local Environmental Justice School Partnerships”

Dr. Mary Brydon-Miller, College of Education and Human Development - Educational Leadership, Evaluation, & Organizational Development

  • Dr. Shira Rabin (Biology), Dr. Bronwyn Williams (English)

In collaboration with Marion C. Moore Traditional Middle School (JCPS) and Four Winds Nature Institute, this project will develop local partnerships, research capacity, and pedagogy to enable teachers and students to participate in an international collaborative study of global climate change.


"What is health?  A Photovoice project with Special Olympics Kentucky athletes"

Dr. Priya Chandan, School of Medicine (Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) and School of Public Health and Information Sciences

  • Dr. Kathleen Carter (Health & Sport Sciences, CEHD) and Dr. Susan Buchino (Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky, SPHIS)

In partnership with Special Olympics Kentucky, this project seeks to address health equity for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities using photovoice as the methodology.


“LGBTQ Adolescent Health in Louisville: An approach to identify and assess local priorities”

Dr. Ryan Combs, School of Public Health and Information Sciences

  • Dr. Maurice Gattis (Kent School) and Dr. Amber Pendleton (Pediatrics)

In partnership with the Louisville Youth Group and the JCPS LGBTQ Student Supports Subcommittee, this project will engage LGBTQ youth and others to identify health priorities and inform the development of a health communications campaign to improve the health of LGBTQ adolescents in Louisville.


“Microaggressions in Clinical Medicine”

Dr. Lauren Freeman, Philosophy

  • Jennifer Stephens (School of Medicine) and Dr. Dwayne Compton and Dr. David McIntosh (Office of Community Engagement and Diversity)

In partnership with the Kentucky Health Justice Network, this project supports the completion of a book about the effects of microaggressions in clinical medicine and how to avoid them. This work will include public presentations and discussions with medical professions with the goal of including the research as part of medical students’ education.


“Civil Rights History in Kentucky”

Dr. Lara Kelland, History

  • Dr. Stephen Schneider (English); Heather Fox and Carrie Daniels (Libraries:   Archives and Special Collections)

In partnership with the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, this project will create an interactive digital map showing information about sites associated with the civil rights struggle in Kentucky that is part of a larger civil rights exhibit at KCAAH.


Examining Stigma, Stress, and HIV Care Utilization among African American Elders”

Dr. Jelani Kerr, School of Public Health and Information Sciences

  • Dr. Timothy Crawford (School of Nursing) and Dr. Lesley Harris (Kent School)

In partnership with the House of Ruth, this project assesses the intersections of race, HIV-related stigma, ageism, and service delivery for HIV patients and explores the impact of a theater-based intervention in reducing stigma among HIV service providers.


“Project STAAR: Survivors of Trafficking Creating Art, Agency, and Resilience”

Dr. Jennifer Middleton, UofL Human Trafficking Research Initiative in the Kent School of Social Work

  • Dr. Maurice Gattis and Dr. Lesley Harris (Kent School), Dr. Theresa Hayden (Criminal Justice), Dr. Jennie Vavrousek, MD (Pediatric Forensic Fellow - School of Medicine), Dr. Zhixia (Richard) Li and Dr. Olfa Nasraoui (Speed School: Civil & Environmental Engineering and Computer Engineering & Computer Science, respectively)

In partnership with the Kristy Love Foundation, this project seeks to increase awareness of the issue of human trafficking within the community of Louisville (a “hot spot” for human trafficking activity) and to improve the ability of systems to appropriately and effectively respond to human trafficking in a trauma-informed manner - in order to reduce stigma and promote resilience amongst victims of human trafficking.


“Strengths and Needs of the Louisville House Ball Community”

Dr. Emma Sterrett-Hong, Kent School of Social Work

  • Dr. Kaila Story (Women and Gender Studies/Pan-African Studies), Dr. Ryan Combs (SPHIS) and Dr. Maurice Gattis (Kent School)

In partnership with individuals from the Louisville House Ball Community, this project uses photovoice to engage members of this community to assess their needs and develop appropriate interventions to support young Black and Latinx men and transgender women in this community. 


“Learning how the Community Leads: Evaluating and Informing City-Based Participatory Engagement in West Louisville”

Dr. Angela Storey, Anthropology

  • Dr. Daniel DeCaro (Urban and Public Affairs/Psychology), Dr. David Johnson (SPHIS), Dr. Lauren Heberle (Sociology - Center for Environmental Policy and Management)

In partnership with Louisville Metro Government (Dr. Allison Smith, PhD), this project examines the expectations, experiences, and hopes of West Louisville residents as they engage with three Louisville Metro-based participatory projects: West Louisville Community Council and redevelopment of the Heritage West site; outreach efforts surrounding the release of the histories of redlining interactive toolkit; and the Metro Brownfields program. By examining these processes the researchers seek to create place-based, responsive tools to improve community engagement.


“’Minds in Motion’ in a Spanish Immersion School”

Dr. Daniela Terson de Paleville, College of Education and Human Development - Department of Health and Sport Sciences (Exercise Physiology)

  • Dr. Jason Immekus (Educational Leadership, Evaluation & Organizational Development, CEHD) and Dr. Kristi King (Exercise Physiology, HSS/CEHD)

In partnership with JCPS, this project implements and assesses how the implementation of a physical fitness program called Minds in Motion during school hours may affect  balance, motor control, student classroom behavior,  reading and academic skills at Hawthorne Elementary.


“Transforming Learning Communities: A Multi-Year Project Supporting Teachers of Adolescents”

Dr. Shelley Thomas, College of Education and Human Development - Middle & Secondary Education

  • Dr. Shantel Crosby (Kent School) and Dr. Penny Howell (Middle & Secondary Education, CEHD)

In partnership with Westport Middle School, Seneca High School (JCPS), and the Kentucky Department of Education, this project will explore trauma informed classroom management stances and perspectives with a group of preservice teachers and follow their enactment of these into their first year of teaching.


“Black Men as Agents of Change in Children’s Literacy Success”

Dr. Kathryn Whitmore, College of Education and Human Development - Early Childhood Research Center

  • Dr. Ahmad Washington (Counseling and Human Development, CEHD) and Dr. Faye Jones (Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Health Sciences Center)

In partnership with Servonta, this project seeks to understand what happens when a library of culturally relevant children’s literature is added to a pediatric clinic waiting room, accompanied by interactive read aloud provided by Black men volunteers from the community.

"Housing Justice in Louisville Metro and Beyond"

Dr. Lauren Heberle, Sociology and Center for Environmental Policy and Management

  • Dr. Cate Fosl (Women’s and Gender Studies/Anne Braden Institute) and Dr. Kelly Kinahan (Urban and Public Affairs)

In partnership with the Metropolitan Housing Coalition (MHC), this project will produce an annual state of metropolitan housing report for metro Louisville and will expand the range of disciplines and students involved in this research, the goal of which is to improve access to safe, fair, and affordable housing.