Alexandra Lightfoot

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Research Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior
Director, Community Engagement, Partnerships, Technical Assistance and Training Cores
Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Alexandra Lightfoot has extensive experience using the community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach in collaboration with communities across North Carolina. As Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, she co-instructs graduate seminars on participatory research methods, including photovoice, professional development and foundations of health behavior. Her research explores the intersection of adolescent health disparities and educational inequities. She is Principal Investigator on two studies testing adolescent sexual health and HIV prevention interventions, one working with African American youth in faith settings and youth-serving organizations and the second piloting an interactive theater approach in school settings. She serves as Co-Investigator (Co-I) on several research projects using CBPR to tackle health disparities, including ACCURE (Accountability for Cancer Care and Racial Equity) study, which uses a racial equity framework to reduce gaps in cancer treatment and outcomes between African American and White breast and lung cancer patients. She is also Co-I on a study using CBPR to adapt an intervention for African American women living in public housing communities in collaboration with colleagues at UNC, the Durham Housing Authority, and CAARE, a community-based organization. She serves as Co-I on the Envisioning Health study, testing a two-part visual intervention to reduce implicit bias among health care providers towards Latino/a adolescents and their families. As Director of the Community Engagement, Partnerships, Technical Assistance and Training Cores at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, UNC’s CDC-funded Prevention Research Center, she provides technical assistance and consultation to build capacity in CBPR, leveraging community expertise to strengthen research partnerships through the Charrette community engagement consulting model. The Charrette model was awarded the UNC Office of the Provost’s Engaged Scholarship Award for Exemplary Partnerships. Dr. Lightfoot was recently honored with the Thomas A. Bruce Award for Academic Leadership in Community-Based Public Health by the Community-Based Public Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association. She is currently a Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Lightfoot holds an EdM and an EdD from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Administration, Planning and Social Policy Research.