UHD Professor Receives Faculty Scholar Award
By Sheryl E. Taylor
UHD’s Dr. Shahnjayla K. Connors was selected to receive the Minority & Minority Serving Institution Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
This competitive award funds Connors' travel to the AACR Special Conference, The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, this November in New Orleans, LA, where she will present her research on breast reconstruction in African American women.
The assistant professor of health and behavioral Science is currently serving as on a UH-UHD Synergy Grant with Dr. Lorraine Reitzel, associate professor and chair of the Department of Psychological, Health & Learning Sciences at the University of Houston. The project, “A Patient-Centered Approach to Exploring Breast Reconstruction in African American Women,” focuses on exploring breast reconstruction determinants and decision-making in African-American breast cancer survivors. At the conclusion of the study, the resulting breast reconstruction decision-making conceptual framework will be used to inform the development and dissemination of culturally-competent interventions to ensure equitable access to breast reconstruction for all African-American women.
AACR Minority and Minority-serving Institution Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Awards are presented by the American Association for Cancer Research to scientists who are full-time underrepresented minority faculty members (underrepresented minorities as defined by the NCI include African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Native Pacific Islanders/Hawaiians, and Alaska Natives) and faculty members of minority-serving institutions (as defined by the U.S. Department of Education) at the level of assistant professor or above, who are engaged in meritorious basic, clinical, or translational cancer research, and are the presenters of meritorious abstracts at the AACR Annual Meeting or special conferences.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.