Area of Expertise
Health inequalities; cross-cultural communication and health promotion
Maria De Jesus brings to AU a wealth of research and teaching experiences in the area of health inequalities, with a particular focus on cross-cultural communication and health promotion. While serving as a Yerby post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Center for Community-based Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, she served as coinvestigator on several NIH-funded cancer disparities research studies examining how ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and migration status interact to affect health outcomes. Among other recent awards and honors, De Jesus received the Davis Putter Grant in 2008 for activist scholarship that contributes to the elimination of social and health disparities. Her dissertation, "Ethnic Community Health Promotion and Well-being: Relational and Cultural Praxis of Cape Verdean Women Health Advocates," resulted from her research on developing a health promotion model in which community health workers recognized and acted on the importance of cross-cultural communication and relationship building in their work. Prior to joining AU, De Jesus taught at Boston University and Boston College, where she received her PhD in applied developmental psychology and an MA in counseling psychology.