Gillings School Directory

Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD

Alexandra Lightfoot

Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD

Associate Professor
Department of Health Behavior
Director of Community Engagement, Partnerships and Technical Assistance Core
Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (CDC Prevention Research Center)
  • 1700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
  • CB #7426
  • Chapel Hill, NC 27599
  • USA

Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, uses a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach, collaborating with communities across North Carolina and beyond to address health disparities and advance health equity. She is an associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior.

Lightfoot teaches a graduate seminar on CBPR and photovoice, the foundations course in the Health Equity, Social Justice and Human Rights (EQUITY) MPH concentration, and a core course in the pan-university Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research program. She has also taught undergraduates through her leadership of the Honors Study Abroad Program in Cape Town, South Africa in 2019. 

As director of the Community Engagement and Training Cores at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, UNC’s CDC-funded Prevention Research Center, Lightfoot provides consultation and technical assistance in partnered approaches to research to students, investigators and community-academic partnerships. She conducts adolescent-engaged research addressing racial inequities at the intersection of health and education. She has extensive experience using participatory and arts-based approaches, including photovoice, to engage youth and their adult supporters in the research process and inform community-driven intervention development, implementation and evaluation.

Honors and Awards

Delta Omega Public Honorary Public Health Society Faculty Award

2020, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Teaching Innovation Award

2019, Department of Health Behavior. UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar

2016 - 2018, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thomas A. Bruce Award of Honor for Leadership in Community-Based Public Health

2015, Community-Based Public Health Caucus, American Public Health Association

Representative Courses

HBEH 700 | Syllabus

HBEH 704 | Syllabus

HBEH 710 | Syllabus

Research Activities

Cardiovascular disease
Child health and development
Global health
Health behavior
Health disparity reduction
Health policy
Minority health
Sexually transmitted diseases

Key Publications

'It’s like you don’t have a roadmap really’: Using an antiracism framework to analyze patients’ encounters in the cancer system. Black KZ, Lightfoot AF, Schaal JC, Mouw MS, Yongue C, Samuel CA, Faustin YF, Ackert KL, Akins B, Baker SL, Foley K, Hilton AR, Mann-Jackson L, Robertson LB, Shin JY, Yonas M, Eng E (2018). Ethnicity & Health.

Establishing and Sustaining New Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Partnerships using the CBPR Charrette Model: Lessons from the Cancer Health Accountability for Managing Pain and Symptoms (CHAMPS) Study. Samuel C, Lightfoot AF, Schaal JC, Yongue C, Black K, Ellis K, Robertson L, Smith B, Jones N, Foley K, Kollie J, Mayhand A, Morse C, Eng E, Guerrab F. (2018). Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action, 12(1), 89-99.

'What I wish my doctor knew about my life': Using photovoice with immigrant Latino adolescents to explore barriers to healthcare. Lightfoot, A.F., Thatcher, K., Simán, F.M., Eng, E., Merino, Y., Thomas, T., Coyne-Beasley, T. and Chapman, M.V. (2017). Qualitative Social Work.
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EdD, Administration, Planning and Social Policy Research, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1998

EdM, Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1989

AB, American History and Literature, Harvard College, 1983

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