Core Center Staff

Derek A. Chapman, Ph.D., M.S.

Derek A. Chapman, Ph.D., M.S.

Interim Director
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology
derek.chapman@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-4055

Dr. Derek Chapman has served as Interim Director for the Center since April 2018. Since joining the Center as Associate Director for Research in December 2013, he has been responsible for operational management of the Center’s research team and has led its expanding list of quantitative research projects. Dr. Chapman’s scholarly work on maternal and child health epidemiology, and the intersection of biologic and social determinants on children's health and development, is complemented by his 13 years of experience working in state health departments, where he conducted applied public health research to inform programs and policy. Since 2004, he has also served as associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health in the Division of Epidemiology (formerly the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health).

Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.

Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H.

Director Emeritus
Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Distinguished Chair in Population Health and Health Equity
steven.woolf@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-2462

Steven Woolf directed the Center from its founding in 2007 through March 2018. As Director Emeritus, he continues to play a pivotal role at the Center, with a concentration on public policy issues, writing, and partnerships with colleagues and institutions devoted to population health and social justice. Dr. Woolf, a Professor of Family Medicine and Population Health, has focused his career on raising public awareness about the social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health and produce inequities. He has edited three books and published more than 200 articles. In addition to scientific publications, he works to address these issues through outreach to policymakers and the public, including testimony before Congress, consulting, editorials in major newspapers and social media, and speeches. Dr. Woolf trained in family medicine and public health and devoted his early career to health services research and the promotion of evidence-based strategies to prevent disease and promote public health.

Vicki Humphreys, M.B.A., C.R.A.

Vicki Humphreys, M.B.A., C.R.A.

Associate Director for Operations
Administrator for Research and Graduate Program Operations, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
maria.humphreys@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-2227

Vicki Humphreys has served as the Associate Director for Operations of the VCU Center on Society and Health since May 2015. She is also the Administrator for Research and Graduate Program Operations for the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health.  Prior to her work with the Center, Vicki was the Administrator for the VCU Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center, and Business Manager for the VCU Mood Disorders Institute, Commonwealth Institute for Child and Family Studies, and the Institute for Women’s Health. Vicki oversees the administrative operations of the Center to ensure its human resources, research administration, budgetary and accounting needs are met.

Emily Zimmerman, Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H.

Emily Zimmerman, Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H.

Senior Researcher, Director of Community Engaged Research, Qualitative Research
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology
emily.zimmerman@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-2462

Emily Zimmerman is a sociologist and member of the Engaging Richmond community-university research team. Her research focuses on the health and well being of vulnerable populations. She has expertise in quantitative data collection and analysis (including survey research, complex datasets, multivariate and multilevel analysis), qualitative data collection and analysis, mixed methods research, and community-based participatory research.

Sarah M. Blackburn, M.S.

Sarah M. Blackburn, M.S.

Director of Research Translation and Communication
sarah.blackburn@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-4786

Sarah Blackburn is a sociologist and graduate of VCU's Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs. Her undergraduate education in marketing, advertising, and public relations, and background managing communications efforts for a variety of organizations has prepared her for her work directing communications efforts at the center. 

Jill C. Hellman, B.A.

Jill C. Hellman, B.A.

Business Manager
jill.hellman@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-2462

Jill Hellman provides administrative support and assists the research team with data collection and analysis as well as dissemination of research findings through events, newsletters, and the Center’s website.

Alicia K. Aroche, M.Ed.

Alicia K. Aroche, M.Ed.

Research Associate for Community Engagement
alicia.aroche@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-3545

Alicia Aroche is a Research Associate for Community Engagement and a member of the Engaging Richmond community-academic partnership at the Center. Her work involves projects including early childhood education, housing redevelopment, trauma-informed community building, as well as support of parent engagement within the context of participatory research and faculty best practices in community-engaged research. Previously, Alicia served as Community Engagement Advocate for Bridging Richmond, a cradle to career regional collaborative, where she worked on projects funded by The Community and Lumina Foundations and the Jesse Ball duPont Fund. Her experience in higher education administration, coaching and mentoring are applicable to improving community-engaged research and supporting community members in their path to empowerment. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications and a Master's Degree in Education.

Chanel Bea

Chanel Bea

Community Engagement Research Assistant
chanel.bea@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-2868

Chanel Bea is a founding member of Engaging Richmond, having joined the team in 2011 when it was established with funding from a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) supplement from the National Institute of Health.  She has a long history of volunteer service with Richmond Public Schools, the City of Richmond and Richmond Promise Neighborhood.  Chanel is currently a Community Engagement Assistant for the VCU Center on Society and Health, a Citizen Advisory Board member of the Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty.  She has a passionate commitment to Richmond Promise Neighborhood which is evidenced by her serving as a Community Advocate; a Co-Convener of the Early Childhood Through 3rd Grade Action Team; and Advisory Board chair. In her free time, Chanel enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Lauren K. Snellings, M.P.H., C.H.E.S.

Lauren K. Snellings, M.P.H., C.H.E.S.

Senior Research Epidemiologist
lauren.snellings@vcuhealth.org
(804) 827-1513

Lauren Snellings serves as a Research Epidemiologist at the VCU Center on Society and Health. She provides data support and analyses for quantitative projects at the Center. She also serves as the project coordinator for multiple projects. She has a Master’s degree in Public Health from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health Education from James Madison University.

Latoya Hill, M.P.H.

Latoya Hill, M.P.H.

Research Epidemiologist
latoya.hill@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-1899

Latoya Hill serves as a Research Epidemiologist at the VCU Center on Society and Health. She provides data support and analyses for quantitative projects at the Center. Her background and research interests include racial and ethnic health inequities in birth outcomes. She has prior experience conducting applied public health research as a Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist for several state health departments. She has a Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Emory University.

Heidi Schoomaker, M.A. Ed.

Heidi Schoomaker, M.A. Ed.

Research Assistant
heidi.schoomaker@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-4639

Heidi Schoomaker assists the research team with data collection and analysis as well as dissemination of research findings through social media and the Center's website. She has a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor's degree in Biology, both from the College of William and Mary. 

Cassandra Ellison, M.F.A.

Cassandra Ellison, M.F.A.

Art Director
ellisoncj@vcu.edu

Cassandra Ellison serves as an Art Director at the VCU Center on Society and Health. She began working at the CSH as a graduate assistant in 2015. She received her BFA in 2008 and spent six years of professional work in arts, education, state government, and at her own studio, New Plume, before returning to the VCUarts Department of Graphic Design to pursue her MFA. She transitioned from student assistant to CSH staff member upon graduating with her Master's in 2017. She has a deep commitment to social design, with an interest in handmade vernacular. She applies the principles of empathy and design thinking to balance the technical, commercial, and human considerations of design for public health. In her free time, she is engaged in DIY culture, traveling, teaching, listening to podcasts, and the golden age of television.

Tierah M. West

Tierah M. West

Graduate Research Assistant
tierah.west@vcuhealth.org
(804) 628-4639

Tierah West is a graduate research assistant at the Center and serves as the project coordinator for the CNCS volunteerism study. Her research interests are health equity, minority health disparities, and health in disadvantaged communities. She has a Bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in urban and regional studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health from VCU as well, with intentions to graduate in May of 2019.

Member Faculty

Affiliated Faculty

Meghan Z. Gough, PhD

Meghan Z. Gough, PhD

Associate Professor, Chair, Urban and Regional Studies and Planning
mzgough@vcu.edu
Alex H. Krist, MD, MPH

Alex H. Krist, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health
Co-director, Ambulatory Care Outcomes Research Network
alexander.krist@vcuhealth.org
Roy T. Sabo, Ph.D.

Roy T. Sabo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics
rsabo@vcu.edu

 

I-Shian (Ivan) Suen, Ph.D.

I-Shian (Ivan) Suen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Program Chair, Urban and Regional Studies and Planning
isuen@vcu.edu