11:58 AM

UHD Professor Receives Faculty Scholar Award


By Sheryl E. Taylor

Dr. ConnorsUHD’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.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – 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 more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.