Bachelor of Science, Urban Community Health Sciences

Bachelor of Science, Urban Community Health Sciences

UCHS Faculty

The UCHS program faculty are trained and conduct research in various disciplines including: public health, community health, population health, global health, prevention, health services, anthropology, and cultural studies. Additionally, many of our faculty come from the surrounding neighborhoods of Watts and Compton. All UCHS faculty are committed to serving under-resourced communities. Their work reaches international and local areas examining social determinants of health for improved wellbeing and disease prevention. The following faculty developed this program:

Bita Amani, PhD, MHS
Assistant Professor, MPH Program in Urban health | 323-563-9306

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 (1) the socio-political roots of health and (2) 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.

Cynthia Gonzalez, PhD, MPH
Assistant Director, Division of Community Engagement
Assistant Professor, MPH Program in Urban Health Disparities
Emerging Scientist, Urban Health Institute | Office Phone: 323-249-5713

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.

Keosha Partlow, PhD, MPH
Director, Urban Health Institute
Assistant Professor, MPH Program in Urban Health Disparities

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.

Sondos Islam, PhD, MPH, MS
Associate Professor & Director, MPH Program in Urban Health Disparities | 323-563-5861

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.