COC Leadership & Staff

The COC is comprised of leadership and staff uniquely focused on addressing the social determinants of cancer disparities. With backgrounds in the social and behavioral sciences (Sociology, Psychology, Behavioral Science), health promotion and disease prevention, public health, epidemiology, business, data management, humanities (Women’s Studies and Ethnic Studies) and other disciplines, COC leadership and staff bring interdisciplinary training, professional experience and a conscious commitment to eliminating disparities by engaging communities not on the “back-end,” but the “front-end” of its efforts. The COC is comprised of the following members:

TSU Co-Leader:  Oscar Miller, Ph.D.

Dr. Oscar Miller is a Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Sociology at Tennessee State University. Dr. Miller has over 15 years of administrative experience and is a commissioner on the Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County Human Relations Commission.  He has over 25 years of research experience using a broad range of qualitative and quantitative research methods including multivariate statistical analysis, face-to-face interviews, and focus groups; and has conducted survey, program evaluation, and community-based research. His research has addressed delivery of human services, health disparities, barriers to employment for ex-offenders, workplace culture, race relations, employee satisfaction, commitment, and employee turnover, and the effectiveness of government programs and organizations.  His work is published in a book and several scholarly articles and technical reports.

VICC Co-Leader: Pamela Hull, Ph.D.

Dr. Pamela Hull is an Assistant Professor in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Department of Medicine, Division of Epidemiology.  Prior to joining Vanderbilt faculty in 2011, she served as Associate Director of the Center for Prevention Research at Tennessee State University.  Dr. Hull is a medical sociologist with expertise in the development,testing, and dissemination of behavioral interventions to promote cancer prevention behaviors in youth. Her current research focuses on increasing HPV vaccine use, healthy eating, and physical activity, using social marketing and new technology applications.  Much of her work addresses health disparities among African American, Hispanic, and low-income populations, in collaboration with community partners. Dr. Hull has over 12 years of experience as an investigator conducting community-engaged research.

MMC Co-Leader: Maureen Sanderson, Ph.D.

Dr. Maureen Sanderson is a Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College. Dr. Sanderson is a cancer epidemiologist with expertise in community-based participatory research. Her current research focuses on discovering breast cancer genetic risk variants, investigating the interaction of diabetes and obesity in breast and prostate cancer, increasing HPV vaccine uptake, assessing needs of cancer survivors, and designing smoking cessation interventions. Dr. Sanderson has over 20 years of experience as principal investigator of etiologic and intervention studies of breast, prostate, cervical and lung cancer.

Community Health Educator: Caree McAfee 

An experienced community health educator (CHE), Ms. McAfee has worked with diverse populations in the field of health education/health promotion for over 15 years.  Ms. McAfee is accomplished in program development and implementation and has presented information on issues such as nutrition and physical activity at several state conferences. Ms. McAfee has experience in community outreach projects regarding cancer prevention, HIV/AIDS, childhood obesity prevention, healthy relationships, and nutrition and physical activity. Ms. McAfee also contributes to the National Cancer Institute’s National Outreach Network on a coordinated agenda to identify, develop, and disseminate health promotion and cancer education information.  Prior to her position as CHE, Ms. McAfee worked as a medical case manager for Duke University Medical Center where she provided case management and advocacy for persons symptomatic with HIV/AIDS.

Outreach Coordinator:  Jessica Jones, M.S.

Jessica Jones is a Research Associate with the Center for Prevention Research at Tennessee State University. Ms. Jones is responsible for managing the organizational and communications aspects of the MVTCP Cancer Outreach Core.  This includes coordinating the MVTCP Community Advisory Board, providing information about the MVTCP at public and educational events, and supporting research and applied projects developed by the MVTCP funded investigators.  Ms. Jones has experience leading teams of interviewers in data collection for multi-institutional projects.  Prior to joining TSU, Ms. Jones served the youth of Davidson County as a Probation Officer with Juvenile Court and as a Behavior Specialist in the public school system.

Behavioral Research Faculty: Rebecca Selove, Ph.D.

Dr. Rebecca Selove was recruited by the MVTCP in 2013 as Research Associate Professor in the TSU Center for Prevention Research, to enhance the behavioral cancer research capacity of MVTCP and work closely with the COC.  Dr. Selove completed a Ph.D. in Psychology from Vanderbilt University with a dual focus on social and clinical psychology, and an M.P.H. from St. Louis University, with a focus on Behavioral Science and Health Education. She has worked as a clinical psychologist in public school systems, community mental health centers, and children’s hospitals, providing services to individuals and families. She has been a consultant for staff in health services agencies, helping to develop programs, implement evidence-informed practices, and improve communication and coordination among team members to support patient-centered care.

Cancer Outreach Core Graduate Research Assistants

Cynthia C. Harris, Tennessee State University, 2016 – 2017