Our Research Fellows engage in a wide range of research, creative, economic development, and community engagement activities. Their current endeavors include the projects listed below.

Featured Research

Immigrant Health Access Project

Program Coordinator:  Tyler Paul

Linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic barriers often prevent immigrants and refugees from receiving adequate health care. The Immigrant Health Access Project (IHAP) utilizes the community health worker model to reduce these barriers and promote access to care for uninsured immigrant and refugee adults in Greater Greensboro.

Past and Current Research Projects

Research Fellows: Maura Nsonwu, Omer Omer

African Youth Task Force is a community partnership designed to address the challenges of African youth and their families while strengthening their community through networking, advocacy and an appreciation of their culture. The Task Force includes many actors, advocates, and professionals who care about refugees and youth issues. The project developed to meet the very urgent needs of and to address many of the challenges that face African youth.

Research Fellows: Sharon Morrison, Sudha Shreeniwas

This project seeks to generate a checklist of factors that enable Hispanic/Latino women in NC to take up HIV testing and counseling.  This checklist is to be used as a tool for health care providers to administer to clients so that they can identify and distinguish between women who may be more easily facilitated to take the test or who may be more challenged in this regard.  This 2-phase project includes 1) a qualitative interviewing with Hispanic/Latino women, HIV test providers, and community leaders, to ascertain which factors enabled women to access and go through with HIV testing, and 2) a quantitative survey using items derived from the qualitative phase that is tested with the target population, and whose psychometric properties and associations with HIV testing outcomes is being examined.

Research Fellow: Sudha Shreeniwas

This project partnered with the Creative Aging Network of NC, a community based network that provides structured arts programming for seniors of varying ability levels. This is a community engaged project. We examined whether participating in structured arts programming decreased depressive symptoms and increased social connectedness among older adults with dementia, who are a rapidly growing and under-served group. Results supported these hypotheses. We also generated suggestions for program improvement.

Research Fellow: Sudha Shreeniwas

This project uses large scale national level survey data from India to examine whether women who a) have experienced spousal violence and b) accept any justification for the violence, have an increased risk of reproductive tract morbidities, and decreased chance of seeking treatment for these conditions. Results in culturally diverse regions of India support the hypotheses. The project is now moving to examine what factors are associated with women’s acceptance of any justification for spousal violence.

Research Fellow: Sudha Shreeniwas

A research partnership with other members of the UNCG community is beginning to examine health needs and issues among refugee communities in NC. I am specifically interested in focusing on the older adult segment of this group. This project is in the preliminary planning stages.

Research Fellow: Noël Busch-Armendariz

Full Court Press addresses the need among legal advocates and non-profit victim services attorneys for expert witness training and technical assistance on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The project is funded by the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.

Research Fellow: Maura Nsonwu

Human Trafficking Project is a multi-phase/multi-year research project that has evaluated services received by victims of human receive; identify typologies of traffickers; and addressed policy implications for best practices.

Research Fellow: Sudha Shreeniwas

This project examines how intergenerational relations change in the context of immigration to the US among Asian Indians, and how these processes influence views toward extra-familial elder care use of older immigrants and their adult children. Asian Indians are the second or third largest Asian subgroup in the US (they are the largest Asian subgroup in NC). Intergenerational relations are examined in the context of extended family norms and expectations. The theory of ambivalence in intergenerational relationships is examined in this context. Results indicate that immigrant older adults still find co-residence and family care to be normative. Their adult children are willing to care for them, but do not expect the same for themselves when they reach old age. Structural barriers, especially limited eligibility for and access to health insurance and health care, and shortage of culturally competent care workers, pose significant challenges for this community of older adults and their families.

Research Fellow: Tom Matyók

In this research initiative, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Hannah Rose-Mendoza in the UNCG Department of Interior Architecture, Dr. Matyók seeks to expand the understanding of the relationship between public and private space and democracy within an inclusive sustainable development framework. This research initiative expands work conducted on the role of the university in advancing civic engagement.

Research Fellow: Lisa Kiang

Examines how African American, Latino, and Asian American college students physiologically respond to various images that depict both subtle and more overt forms of racial rejection.

Research Fellow: Sharon Morrison

(Community based research partner: Church World Service)

The goal of this project is to identify and characterize the types of emergency and chronic health problems that require management after the initial resettlement 6 month period and determine the extent to which resettlement service providers direct resources toward case management for post-resettlement emergency and specialty care conditions.

Research Fellow: Lisa Kiang

A longitudinal study with adolescents from Asian American backgrounds examining issues such as ethnic identity, family relationships, academic adjustment, and various aspects of well-being.

Research Fellow: Noël Busch-Armendariz

The Refugee Resettlement project aims to identify what conditions and services are necessary for refugee resettlement to be successful and identify lessons from refugee resettlement that will benefit the larger immigrant population. IDVSA and its partners seek to research and identify long-term outcomes of resettlement, create agreement on the meaning of “successful resettlement”, and develop and implement key integration benchmarks and the outcome measures to evaluate the parameters of an immigrant legalization program.

Research Fellow: Noël Busch-Armendariz

Sexual Assault Evidence: An Action Research Project is funded through the National Institute of Justice, the research and development arm of the Department of Justice. The project’s goals are to understand how many and why Sexual Assault Kits are not tested and used as possible evidence in sexual assault cases. The project seeks to document the way forensic evidence is used in criminal justice responses and what improvements can be made, as well as how victims are notified.

Research Fellow: Holly C. Sienkiewicz

The social networks of refugees resettled to the United States have been continuously disrupted throughout the process of initial flight from their country of origin to eventual resettlement. Upon resettlement there is the need to re-build depleted social networks. Increased social networks and enhanced social support are known to promote both physical and mental health. The settlement house model as an intervention has been thought to help foster new social networks and greater social support amongst the inter-ethnic refugee populations living there. While the premise of the settlement house model is grounded in the benefits of cultural diversity, there is little understanding of 1) the intra- and inter-ethnic interactions amongst refugees residing there; and 2) their interactions with the larger Greensboro community. This study seeks to explore the intra- and inter-ethnic social engagement patterns of refugees residing within the context of a settlement house.

Research Fellows: Tom Matyók, Cathryne L. Schmitz

Dr. Cathryne Schmitz and Dr. Tom Matyók are engaged in a multi-year, multi-university research study to identify the condition of Muslim communities in the North Carolina Triad. As well as UNCG, the research consortium includes Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, and North Carolina A&T State University.

The research goal is to lay the foundation for a joint regional center on the study of Islam and religious tolerance that will support faculty scholarship and connect local knowledge, experience, and research with national and international academic communities. Participants I the research aim to produce knowledge about both long-standing and new forms of religious and cultural intolerance by marshaling the tools of activist scholarship: research, education, community-building, and public service for individual and collective empowerment. The long-term goal is a center that will include other religions or beliefs as well.

Research Fellow: Lauren Haldeman

(10/2010-9/2015) Funding Agency: NC Agricultural Research Service.

The long-term goal of this project is to develop a healthy choices and activities intervention program focusing on utilizing children in new immigrant families as positive change agents to effectively advise and teach about healthy food preparation practices, healthy food choices and nutrition, how to adopt healthy food eating habits and patterns, and engage regularly in health promoting physical behaviors and exercise to reduce the incidence of overweight/obesity among this group.

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