Past CRISP Scholars

2016 Community Research Innovative Scholars Program (CRISP)

The Community Research Innovative Scholars Program (CRISP) is a unique component of the University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS) Community Engagement and Research Section. CRISP’s primary goal is to support the development of independent University of Massachusetts researchers who conduct community engaged research. Community engaged research involves collaboration with community partners along the translational research continuum. Engaging stakeholders outside of the academy to address complex and pressing societal issues is essential to the production of knowledge and advancement of translational science.

Scholars must commit a minimum of 20% FTE for a one year period, participate in a monthly mentoring group, complete a pilot project, as well as conduct scholarly activity to support and submit an external grant application. The University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS) Community Engagement and Research Section designed the program to promote collaboration across the UMass system, as well as provide incentives and create a strong mentoring environment for community-engaged early-career faculty.

The Community Engagement & Research Section of the University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) is pleased to announce four inaugural Community Research Innovative Scholars:

  • Lorraine Cordeiro

    Lorraine Cordeiro, PhD, MPH

    Lorraine S. Cordeiro, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

    Dr. Cordeiro was born and raised on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. She received her Ph.D. in Nutrition Science and Policy from Tufts University; M.P.H. in International Health and Development from Tulane University; and B.A. in Development Studies/Biology from Mount Holyoke College. She is a community-engaged scholar that studies the associations between food security, high risk health behaviors, and hunger among adolescents and women in multiple social and cultural contexts. She validates food security assessment tools within vulnerable populations, with emphasis on refugee and immigrant communities. Dr.Cordeiro has worked extensively on behalf of women and children in underserved populations – from Lowell, Massachusetts to Tanzania, Bangladesh and Cambodia. Her emerging research will leverage adolescence as an integral component of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Life Course Model. The MCH discourse currently focuses on pre- and post-natal care, fetal development, infancy and early childhood, with limited attention on adolescence as a critical life stage. Dr. Cordeiro is the recipient of several distinguished awards and fellowships including the Tufts University Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, UMass Amherst Distinguished Teaching Award, Center for Research on Families Faculty Scholar, and the UMass Civic Engagement and Service Learning Faculty Fellow. She is currently a Community Research Innovative Scholar at the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

  • Christopher Denning

    Christopher Denning, PhD

    Christopher B. Denning, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Massachusetts-Boston (UMB). His work focuses on intervention research to support academic, social skill and motor development for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The CRISP Grant work will involve the development and implementation of a physical activity program for young children with ASD in the Quincy Public Schools.  Of particular interest are the intervention’s effects on children’s motor development, physical activity levels and classroom engagement; the sustainability of the program at the school and classroom level; and teacher input on adaptations to support classroom implementation.

  • Rachel Kulick

    Rachel Kulick, PhD, M.Ed.

    Rachel Kulick is in Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.  Her research – using participatory action research, ethnography, and community based evaluation – focuses on how social justice movements attempt to prefigure or “be the change” in their organizational structures, practices, and values.  She is currently leading a community based project, UMass Dartmouth Grows with a team of students, faculty, and community groups to research and develop edible landscapes that address the physical, social, cultural, geographic, political and economic factors associated with food injustices.  She recently authored the articles, “What do you see that I cannot? Peer Facilitations of Difference and Conflict in the Collective Production of Independent Youth Media” in Interface: a journal for and about social movements (2014); “Making Media for Themselves: Strategic Dilemmas of Prefigurative Work in Independent Media Outlets” in Social Movement Studies (2014), and “Participatory Action Research: A Youth Centered Approach to Planning for a Citywide Youth Media Center” in Sage Research Methods Cases  (2014).

  • Herpreet Thind

    Herpreet Thind, Phd, MPH, MBBS

    Herpreet Thind, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Public Health in the Department of Community Health and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She has degrees in clinical medicine and public health. Her research interests include health behavior change interventions for obesity and chronic diseases including diabetes.  This CRISP award will be utilized to conduct formative research that will help to develop a tailored community based yoga intervention for adults with overweight and obesity. This project will specifically target minority populations who have high rates of obesity, but tend to be underrepresented in research.