Advisory Board

Nick Allen is a research associate for the Southern Oral History Program. He received his master’s in literature, medicine, and culture from the department of English and comparative literature at Carolina. His research focuses on aging and how Americans craft the last chapters of their lives, from growing old to death and dying. His interests in storytelling and narrative take many forms, but they center in on oral history and virtual reality as powerful tools for fostering empathy, increasing dialogue around difficult issues, and empowering individuals to live and die well. He is currently working on analyzing and presenting oral histories from our Stories to Save Lives project and increasing the number of intergenerational interactions in the Chapel Hill community through the humanities.

Betsy (Sarah E.) Bledsoe is assistant professor at UNC-CH School of Social Work. Bledsoe had worked in outpatient, primary health care, residential, and emergency shelter settings providing mental health and case management services for individuals and their families. Her current research is focused on the engagement and treatment of low-income adolescents with perinatal depression, engaging low-English proficiency Latina mothers in treatment for depression, and evidence-based practice.

Jada L. Brooks is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Brooks’ research program advances knowledge of inflammation as a potential biological pathway linking environmental pollutant exposure and psychosocial factors to cardiovascular disease in American Indian women. Her research program is designed to inform low-cost and culturally based psychosocial interventions that seek to reduce American Indian women’s susceptibility to environmental pollutants. The goal of this work is to promote environmental health equity among American Indian women.

Sue Coppola is clinical professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OT) in the UNC School of Medicine. She chaired the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) expert panels to study and develop Board Certification in Gerontology. She was lead editor for the AOTA’s (2008) text on advanced practice in aging Strategies to Advance Gerontology Excellence (SAGE). She has served on numerous education grants for interprofessional teamwork in aging at UNC (1998-present). From 2010-2015, she served as the USA representative to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and programme coordinator for research from 2014-2016. Current interests are interprofessional education, aging, and humanities-based pedagogy for health professionals.

Biff Hollingsworth is the collecting and outreach archivist for the Southern Historical Collection (SHC) in the Wilson Special Collections Library at UNC Chapel Hill. As co-investigator for the SHC’s Community-Driven Archives (CDA) Mellon Foundation grant, Hollingsworth coordinates the Student Health Coalition archive project, which seeks to document the work and legacy of a unique student-led healthcare and community organizing initiative in the Appalachian region. Through this project he hopes to develop training materials and digital humanities tools that will empower community curators to create, collect, and preserve their own histories.

Reverend William Kearney has more than 30 years of experience developing and facilitating individual and group empowerment programs for both youth and adults. He is the community outreach manager for UNC-CH’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. He has been a partner in the development of research partnerships including: The Harvest of Hope Church Garden Project; The Faith, Farming, and the Future Youth Mentoring Project; The Community Leadership and Reciprocal Development Project; the Carolina-Shaw Partnership for the Elimination of Health Disparities, and was  chosen as a 2011-2012 scholar in the novice UNC Translational and Clinical Sciences Research Engaged Community Scholars Program where he began a new research project aimed at  engaging members of his community in discussion about environmental justice and the role the 1982 Warren County PCB toxic landfill protests played in the birth of the environmental justice movement.

Martha King is a teacher and scholar working on the intersections of practice communities, belief systems, expressive culture, healthcare, and the body. She holds an MA in folklore and a PhD in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her current research considers the bodily care employed by the Amish and their relationships with biomedicine. King has also worked in areas including representation in ethnographic research, social issues of returning genetic data in sick populations, the production of knowledge in medical genetics, and rural folk practices in the American South. She works as a teaching assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at UNC.

Malinda Maynor Lowery is the director of the Center for the Study of the American South, and an associate professor in the Department of History. Previously, she served as the director of the Southern Oral History Program. She received NEH funding for her book The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle, forthcoming from UNC Press. A member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, she has produced four documentary films about Native American issues, including the award-winning In the Light of Reverence (PBS). Currently she collaborates with Durham-based Markay Media on unique southern-themed documentary film projects. Lowery’s first monograph, Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation (UNC Press, 2010), received the Best First Book award from the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, among other honors.

Lisa McKeithan is director and HIV/AIDS researcher at CommWell Health Clinics in Dunn, North Carolina, an award-winning not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center. McKeithan is Director of CommWell Health’s NC-REACH program, which serves patients who are both HIV-positive and homeless. The National Rural Health Association named it Outstanding Program of the Year, and McKeithan the Outstanding Educator of the Year.

Raúl Necochea López is an associate professor in the Department of Social Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine, and an adjunct associate professor in the Department of History at UNC Chapel Hill. He is broadly interested in the history of medicine and science, sexual and reproductive health, and Latin America. He is the author of A History of Family Planning in Twentieth Century Peru (UNC Press, 2014). He is presently researching the history of cervical cancer in the Andean region and collaborating on a project on the social and ethical implications of HIV/AIDS cure research.

Cherie Rosemond brings almost three decades of experience working on the social, physical, and political aspects of aging in the United States. She is a champion of interdisciplinary, intergenerational, community engagement as a way to ensure our homes and neighborhoods are great places for people of all ages to live. She has worked as a geriatric physical therapist within many practice settings, including large health systems, senior centers, nursing homes, and retirement communities. Since 2012, Rosemond has served as a consultant to the Orange County Department on Aging. Her focus areas include senior housing, transportation, and caregiving.

Dr. Ross Simpson is a professor of medicine, adjunct professor of epidemiology, director of Preventive Cardiology Clinic, and principal investigator of the SUDDEN Project in the Department of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. He also serves as the principal clinical coordinator for the Medical Review of North Carolina.

Randall Teal is the qualitative research director of UNC Connected Health for Applications & Interventions (CHAI) Core, a shared resource of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Nutrition Obesity Research Center. He collaborates with researchers, providing guidance on methods and theory for grant submissions. He has extensive experience managing and conducting interview and focus group research, and analyzing and reporting research findings.

Kym Weed is the co-director of the HHIVE Lab (Health and Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Venue for Exploration) associate director of the English MA concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture, and a teaching assistant professor in English & Comparative Literature.  Her research and teaching coalesce around the literary and cultural study of science, medicine and health, exploring the narratives that shape understandings of illness, health, disability, and embodiment. Her work has appeared in Literature and Medicine and The Journal of Medical Humanities.