My program of research focuses on reducing pediatric health inequities, with a focus on topics such as: weight stigma (i.e., stereotyping and devaluation of individuals on the basis of body weight), parental weight talk (i.e., the messages that parents communicate to their children about body weight), and public health communication related to childhood obesity. I am also interested in the role of race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status as it relates to perceptions of body weight in families. I strive to understand and support parents, healthcare professionals, and educators in addressing body weight concerns among children in a holistic manner that is sensitive to body esteem.
I am an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Community Health and Research at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. I earned my BS and MS degrees in Nutrition from the University of Connecticut and Northern Illinois University, respectively, and my PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences with a concentration in health, wellbeing, and prevention from the University of Connecticut. I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with prior experience implementing and managing community nutrition programs and policy, systems, and environmental change work targeting children and families with limited resources.