Department of Urban Public Health (DUPH )

Faculty and Staff

Sondos Islam, PhD, MPH, MS
Sondos Islam, PhD, MPH, MS
Associate Professor and Department Chair
sondosislam@cdrewu.edu

Dr. Sondos Islam has a strong preventive medicine academic portfolio focused on health behavior research of ethnically diverse communities, and the development and evaluation of public health programs. She brings to her classes a hands-on application of her expertise in strategic planning and evaluation, research methodology, community needs assessments, and cultural competency in planning public health programs targeting ethnically and racially diverse populations.

Bita Amani, PhD, MHS
Bita Amani, PhD, MHS
Associate Professor
bitaamani@cdrewu.edu

Dr. Bita Amani brings a strong academic portfolio and committed application of her health science background to health disparities. Her research and practice are focused on the socio-political roots of health and the intersecting relationships between health and politics. Through her pedagogy, she cultivates critical thinking and conversations that complicate ideas of wellness and sickness. In pursuing her work, Dr. Amani uses a variety of methods and multi-disciplinary approaches. She infuses history, critical theory, lessons from social movements, and eco-social thinking into her public health and research practice. In recognition of her dedication to the university and program missions and quality of teaching, Dr. Amani was awarded the "Faculty of the Year" by the CDU Academic Senate for the AY 2015-16.

Dr. Priscilla Vásquez Guevara
Dr. Priscilla Vásquez Guevara
Associate Professor
priscillavasquez@cdrewu.edu

Dr. Priscilla Vásquez Guevara’s research focuses on physical activity, cardiovascular health, and brain health in underrepresented populations, namely in middle-aged and older Latina/o adults. She has experience in community-based interventions as well as epidemiologic research, and she aims to use epidemiologic evidence to inform community-based interventions. Dr. Vásquez Guevara brings her experience in working and conducting public health oriented research into the classroom. She has a strong commitment to addressing health disparities and health inequities, and supporting students interested in these areas. Her research interests include determining protective factors of cardiovascular health, subclinical cardiovascular disease, and cognitive function in underrepresented populations.

Cynthia Davis, MPH
Cynthia Davis, MPH
DHL Professor
cynthiadavis@cdrewu.edu

Professor Cynthia Davis has been the pillar of the MPH program and University community outreach and service activities since 2009. She was the recipient of CDU's Honorary Doctorate of Arts and Humanities (Hon. D.A.H.) for her exemplary and altruistic lifetime accomplishments of service to the community. Prof. Davis has dedicated over 35 years in serving the health needs of medically underserved communities on a local, regional and national level. Professor Davis has worked in the HIV/AIDS arena developing HIV/AIDS education, risk re-education and HIV testing programs targeting at risk communities of color. She developed the first pilot mobile HIV testing program in Los Angeles County in 1991. Still operational, it has provided free HIV screening services to over 60,000 Los Angeles County residents since its inception. Professor Davis served on the Board of Directors of the Health Promotion Institute, Inc. which operated a residential shelter for HIV positive homeless women and their dependent children in Los Angeles County. She also developed the "Dolls of Hope" Project which has distributed over 6,000 handmade cloth dolls to HIV/AIDS orphans on a local, national and international basis. Professor Davis' HIV/AIDS work was highlighted on Lifetime Cable TV on their "Remarkable Women" series during Women's History Month

Cynthia Gonzalez, PhD, MPH
Cynthia Gonzalez, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Assistant Director, Division of Community Engagement
Emerging Scientist
cynthiagonzalez@cdrewu.edu

Dr. Cynthia Gonzalez brings a strong background in community-based participatory research, cultural anthropology and social ethnography to the understanding of community wellness. Dr. Gonzalez focuses her scholarship in the study of urban communities and its impact on community health. Her approach of finding "local solutions to local problems" in urban neighborhoods is rooted in social justice, critical engagement, and multidisciplinary scholarship. Influenced by her Mexican-American roots and upbringing in Watts, Dr. Gonzalez is interested in developing place-based initiatives through community engagement and neighborhood assessments to improve the quality of life for low-income and racial/ethnic minority residents living in under-resourced neighborhoods. She has developed partnerships between community, government, and academia through efforts like the Watts Community Studio and Los Angeles Promise Zone Young Ethnographers Program. Dr. Gonzalez won the 2014 Delta Omega Award for Innovative Public Health Curriculum for this MPH course.

Fred Domiguez, MD, MPH
Fred Domiguez, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
freddominguez@cdrewu.edu

Dr. Fred Dominguez is a Research Analyst at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), Office of Women's Health program. His work at LACDPH involves researching, collecting, formatting and communicating public health data to various audiences at the state and federal level. He uses multiple communication formats including plain language, poster presentation, PowerPoint presentation, and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS). Dr. Dominguez's work encompasses Latina, Asian and African American community groups' key stake holders to disseminate his report findings. He brings his expertise to the Health Education and Communication class, where students learn and acquire the skills needed to collect, format, display and communicate health data to various audiences. In addition, his more than thirty years of experience working in and being affiliated with local public health agencies and community-based health organizations facilitates connecting our MPH students to practicum sites that best match their interests.

Mohsen Bazargan, PhDMohsen Bazargan, PhD
Professor
mohsenbazargan@cdrewu.edu

Dr. Mohsen Bazargan is the Investigator of the Clinical Research Education and Career Development (CRECD) Program at CDU, brings his expertise to the classroom when teaching the Biostatistics and Research Methods classes; he currently chairs the MPH Culminating Experience Thesis option, where he mentors students in research methodology and analysis. A number of his MPH thesis students were co-authors on his peer-reviewed articles.

Nina Harawa, PhD, MPH
Nina Harawa, PhD, MPH
Professor
ninaharawa@cdrewu.edu

Dr. Nina Harawa leads the CDU HIV Research Cluster. Trained in Epidemiology, her research involves understanding trends in HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and developing effective, culturally relevant interventions. She has conducted innovative research in a variety of populations - including high-risk African American men, sexually active African American and Latina women, older adults, and incarcerated and post-incarcerated men and women. She brings her expertise into the classroom by providing examples from her prior and ongoing research studies and from the field of HIV research as a whole and pointing out key expectations.

 

Keosha Partlow, PhD, MPH

Keosha Partlow, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor
Director, Urnban Health Institute
keoshapartlow@cdrewu.edu

Dr. Keosha Partlow has extensive experience and involvement in program management, development, implementation and research designed to improve the health outcomes of underserved and under-resourced communities. Prior to her role as Director of UHI, Dr. Partlow was the Project Manager for the RCMI Translational Research Network, a consortium of 18 institutions designed to address health disparities through collaboration. She has served as a program manager and evaluator on several research projects ranging from an evaluation of a program designed to increase access to specialty care among individuals in the Los Angeles area, to a project designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among elementary school students in the Los Angeles area. She has also provided technical advice and consults on survey creation, and methodological issues relating to program development and data management.

Aman, DrPH, MPH
Yasser Aman, DrPH, MPH
Assistant Professor

Dr. Yasser Aman was the founding President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the UMMA Community Clinic, a non-profit community clinic in South Los Angeles which provides accessible high quality healthcare for ethnically diverse underserved communities, regardless of ability to pay. He also worked as a Senior Consultant for Health Management Associates where he primarily worked with publicly financed health systems across the country. Currently, Dr. Aman is supporting strategic initiatives for the Los Angeles County Department Health Agency which includes transformation of the substance use treatment delivery system and diversion and reentry efforts for justice involved individuals with behavioral health conditions. Dr. Aman incorporates many aspects of his work into the Health Policy and Management class, and augments it with guest speakers from the public health workforce.

Aman, DrPH, MPH
Dr. Shervin Assari, MD MPH
Associate Professor
shervinassari@cdrewu.edu
Dr. Shervin Assari is a social epidemiologist who studies the intersectional effects of race and socioeconomic status on Americans' physical and mental health over the life course. His theory, Marginalization-related Diminished returns (MDRs), seeks to explain how social stratification, residential segregation, and structural racism deteriorate the health and well-being of middle-class families of color. This theory goes beyond studying health disparities that are attributed to poverty and low socioeconomic status (SES) and explains why racial and ethnic health inequalities persist across the full socioeconomic spectrum. With over 18 years of postgraduate research experience, Dr. Assari has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed papers. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior (AAHB), New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), and the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM).