CPH Junior Faculty Research Opportunity Award recipients named

Published on May 19, 2015


The Junior Faculty Opportunity Award is offered by the College of Public Health to support junior faculty in developing their research. All primary CPH assistant professors and tenure-track associate professors without tenure are eligible.

Faculty named award recipients as of May 19, 2015, are:

A portrait of Prof. Sato Ashida of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Sato Ashida, Assistant Professor of Community and Behavioral Health

Project Title:  Assessing Formal and Informal Support for Aging in Place in Rural Iowa

Purpose:  Iowa is one of the oldest states; currently ranked third in the country in the proportion of persons aged 85 and older. This project seeks to understand the extent to which “care deserts,” or areas in which residents have limited access to resources that support healthy and independent living, exist in rural Iowa communities and to explore potential impacts on the residents.

The three aims are to: 1) assess the availability of community-based long-term support services in rural communities through publically available data, 2) assess the availability of aging-related services in Iowa communities through the perceptions of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach professionals, and 3) evaluate social contexts in communities at risk for “care deserts” in Iowa.

Barbara BaqueroBarbara Baquero, Assistant Professor of Community and Behavioral Health

Project Title: Characterizing the Community Food Environment of New Destination Communities in Iowa

Purpose: Improving access to healthy foods in communities is an effective strategy to decrease the risk of obesity and developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and diabetes (CDC). This is of particular importance in low-resourced and Latino immigrant communities, which suffer from the burden of these diseases.

Evidence suggests behavioral interventions to promote healthy foods in local and small food stores are viable and effective in increasing healthy food intake among customers. Yet disseminating successful interventions into new contexts requires understanding the food environments and customers of those contexts. Data are scarce about the community food environment in rural areas of the Midwest, which suggest the need for more formative work to characterize food environments, particularly in those “new destination” communities in Midwest states that have attracted a growing number of Latinos immigrants over the last two decades.

This pilot study will seek to characterize and assess the community food environment of four new destination cities in Iowa (Iowa City, MarMarchshalltown, Ottumwa, and West Liberty). The study will: 1. Classify and map all Latino food stores within the city boundaries. 2. Examine the food-store characteristics of eight randomly selected food-stores and 3. Assess customers’ shopping behaviors in these food stores.

A portrait of Mary Charlton of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Mary Charlton, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Project and Purpose: Requested funds for editorial services to help prepare an application for the Cancer Prevention, Control, Behavioral Sciences and Population Sciences Career Development (K07) Award.



A portrait of Prof. Miesha Marzell of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.

Miesha Marzell, Assistant Professor of Community and Behavioral Health

Project Title: A pilot study of alcohol consumption among African American College Students at HBCUs and non-HBCUs

Purpose: The incidence of alcohol misuse and alcohol-related problems remains a significant public health concern among college students. Statistics show that minorities are among the fastest growing populations of students in higher education; however data on specific minority populations’ high-risk drinking behaviors are relatively sparse.

The proposed study will provide preliminary data regarding alcohol-related behaviors among various African American college student populations, and findings will aid in the development of a survey instrument and appropriate data collection methods to assess their drinking patterns. An anonymous, self-administered survey of alcohol/other drug use will be used with randomly select African American students, at both Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and at non-HBCUs.

A portrait of Kelli Ryckman of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Kelli Ryckman, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology

Project Title: International Collaboration Initiative

Purpose: To attend the 2014 Pregnancy Summit held in London, England, followed by travel to Ljubljana, Slovenia, to interact with a potential collaborator regarding cholesterol metabolism and pregnancy complications. Several research products are anticipated to result from these trips.