Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, received the 2015 Tom Bruce Award at a Nov. 3 meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA).
Lightfoot is a research assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.The Community-Based Public Health (CBPH) Caucus, a subgroup within APHA, manages the award. It was established in 2006 to celebrate the work and legacy of Thomas Allen Bruce, MD, who is known as the “father of CBPH.” The award recognizes one individual per year who exemplifies leadership in the field.
She also is director of the Community Engagement, Partnerships, Technical Assistance and Training Core at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. In this role, she provides technical assistance and consultation to build capacity in community-based participatory research (CBPR), leveraging community expertise to strengthen research partnerships.
Two adolescent HIV prevention interventions – one working with African American youth in faith settings and public housing communities and the second testing an interactive theater approach in school settings;Lightfoot’s own research focuses on the intersection of education inequities and health disparities, with a focus on adolescents. She serves as either Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for an incredible number of studies and research projects, including:
- Several research projects that use CBPR to tackle chronic disease disparities in rural and urban communities across the state;
- The Envisioning Health intervention, which uses Photovoice methodology with Latino/a adolescents to understand their perspectives on barriers to health.
Upon receiving the award, Lightfoot was presented with a scroll lauding her “humble spirit and skills in creating a space for the community’s voice,” which was signed by many of her supporters.Lightfoot joined the Department of Health Behavior’s network as a collaborator and adjunct in 2008, and was appointed as a full faculty member in 2015. She is known for being a passionate advocate of students.
“I was very honored to join the illustrious crew of previous awardees, which includes many Gillings School affiliates and graduates,” Lightfoot said. “It was also wonderful to be surrounded by academic and community partners and a group of youth with whom we work. They presented at APHA and also conducted a stellar Youth Workshop organized by the CBPH Caucus.”