AASD Professor Receives Grant to Study Economic, Racial Health Disparities

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded Assistant Professor Caryn Bell of the Department of African American Studies a 12-month grant through its New Connections program. Dr. Bell is among a select group of early career researchers to receive one of the grants from New Connections. The grant will allow Dr. Bell to examine the effects of the suburbanization of poverty on racial health disparities.

New Connections is a national program designed to introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the foundation’s programming.  New Connections seeks early career scholars from backgrounds that are historically disadvantaged or underrepresented in research disciplines, such as individuals from ethnic or racial groups historically underrepresented in research disciplines, first-generation college graduates and people from lower-income communities.

“We are so excited to welcome Caryn Bell into the eleventh cohort of New Connections grantees. The program connects first-time grantees to the Foundation, and the new perspectives they bring are essential to solving the critical, complex issues affecting our nation’s health,” said Catherine Malone, a program officer with RWJF. “This cohort joins the larger New Connections network of more than 900 scholars—a network that provides opportunities for scholarly support and collaboration for academics from underrepresented groups."

“I am extremely proud to be among the researchers honored with this prestigious grant," Dr. Bell said. "This award will connect me to a network of established experts in research and evaluation related to health and health care, while providing me with an opportunity to conduct a research study that has far-reaching implications for the intersection of race and place on health outcomes."

Caryn Bell