mosaic of six sadler scholar photos

2023-2024 Sadler Scholars

Brooklyn Adams (she), PhD candidate in Epidemiology, UT-Houston Health Science Center, SPH

About me: I am a first-generation college student who has long been passionate about health equity—and health inequity—in the environments  around me. Long before I understood the causes of health inequities, they troubled me. I feel particularly strongly about the sheer volume of  maternal mortality, low birthweight infants, and prenatal hypertensive disorders in a population that includes myself, my family members, my neighbors, and so many others. I have transferred that passion into my work in public health practice.

My research interests in bioethics: I seek to address adverse birth outcomes in Black  populations in the United States. I want to ensure maternal autonomy in prenatal health decisions and healthcare beneficence for Black women before, during, and following pregnancy. I am also interested in identifying and reducing the disparities that drive these unequal outcomes. Assessing persistent barriers to care and reviewing implicit biases that influence quality of care are two areas in which I’d like to influence change.

Kayland Arrington (she), PhD candidate in Sociology, Georgia State

About me: I am deeply committed to advancing equity and justice, particularly concerning people, bodies, and identities that historically have been policed.

My research interests in bioethics: My interest in health equity research focuses on sexual and reproductive health. I want to explore how bioethics can be used as a tool to promote health equity and reduce disparities in sexual and reproductive health outcomes. I am particularly interested in examining issues related to consent, autonomy, and justice, as well as the  ways in which biases and power imbalances can impact healthcare delivery and decision-making.

Damien Domenack (he), PhD candidate in Social Ethics, Drew University 

About me: I am a Peruvian immigrant and transgender person committed to developing and practicing an ethics of care that is intercultural, transgender, and non-binary. In  2020, I became both a health care chaplain, providing care to patients through a clinical residency, and a movement chaplain, providing care to fellow religious leaders, organizers, and activists on the frontlines of the global  pandemic.

My research interests in bioethics: My primary research aim is to critically investigate the ways in which an Afro-diasporic care ethic encounters the identity- and community-shaping forces of care for  LGBTQI+ persons of color, especially those who are transgender or non-binary. One strand of this research concerns how the liminal space of ritual supports LGBTQI+ communities of color and may be essential in surviving in racialized and anti-trans environments. I aim to expand my research approach by centering the study of these ritualized, aesthetic expressions of care ethics within LGBTQI+ communities of color. Then, I will consider how descriptions and analysis of ritual can add texture and insight to existing scholarly discourse on trans care, critical race and queer theories, hospitality, personhood, and power. From my dual foundation in theory and practice, my work aims to shift, expand, and inform clinical policy in ways that can support how memory, story, and  relationality contour LGBTQI+ communities of care. 

Opal Gay (they/them), PhD candidate in Sociology, Georgia State

About me: I like to envision myself as someone who cannot fit neatly into one box. I am a writer, public sociologist, community organizer, and health equity practitioner based in Atlanta, Georgia. My professional passion lies in promoting community wellness through research, advocacy, and public policy.

My research interests in bioethics: Society’s longstanding dependence on police to address public health-related issues carries with it a range of ethical, economic, and logistical concerns. It is becoming increasingly clear that carceral responses to mental health and substance use issues not only further marginalize already vulnerable communities but are also paradoxically counterproductive in promoting community safety and well being. My research and work focuses on the role of policing alternatives, among other public health approaches — which secures care for those in need, thwarts the conditions of mass incarceration, and lowers rates of crime. As a Sadler Scholar, I will be continuing my work developing policies that advance care over cages.

Melissa Luong (she), PhD candidate in Community Research and Action, Vanderbilt University

About me: I am a first-generation college graduate born and raised in Spring Valley, New York. My family’s complex migration histories of displacement, war, and political and economic upheaval are crucial to both what drives my work and how I understand my work. I aspire to be a community-driven researcher who co-creates participatory methods of knowledge production that honor the lived experiences and multiple ways of knowing of those who are furthest from justice.

My research interests in bioethics: I study community organizing and social movement-building efforts to address health inequities. Community organizing and social movement-building efforts require an analysis of power and the actors who wield power in just and unjust ways. Interrogations of how power is concentrated and used in the creation and reproduction of health inequities is a central theme of my work. To this end, I aim to explore how communities resist, contest, and transform structural violence to advance health equity. Additionally, public health research has traditionally been an extractive and paternalistic endeavor and has often been used as a tool to enact harm onto structurally marginalized communities. As a result, I am also interested in decolonizing research methodologies that contend with the ethics of conducting research with and by communities most impacted by health inequities.

Artair Rogers (he), PhD candidate in Population Health Sciences, Harvard University

About me: I am a native of Northeast Mississippi and have been shaped by personal and professional experiences in Mississippi, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. My goal is to become an effective activist researcher who collaborates with others to elevate the full humanity of BIPOC communities.  I desire to use research and other forms of knowledge construction to dismantle systems of oppression and re-imagine systems that foster liberation.

My research interests in bioethics: I am interested in the intersection of racial capitalism and platform capitalism in population health technology solutions. Given the recent influx of investment into social determinants of health (SDOH) technology investment, the industrialization of SDOH technology provides a case study that I plan to explore as a Sadler Scholar. The proliferation of these technology solutions, and their interaction with racially minoritized communities, must be interrogated. There is a need to ensure that these communities understand and consent to the data uses of the SDOH technologies and that these communities dictate the value case of these technologies. I hope to explore these ethical issues and others using implementation science frameworks to interrogate the role racial capitalism plays in well-intentioned health technologies.