Hooks Institute announces recipients of Social Change Research Grants

Sohye Lee, Ph.D., RN (UofM Loewenberg College of Nursing), and Jaime Sabel, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, UofM Department of Biological Sciences), have been awarded grants by the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. The Hooks Institute awarded Lee a grant of $5,000 and Sabel a grant of $2,500 to support their research that addresses social change issues. The faculty were granted the funding as part of the Hooks Institute’s Social Change Research Grants Program.

About Sohye Lee 

Lee’s main research interests are preventing chronic disease and promoting community health by reducing health disparities for underserved minority populations in community settings. During her doctoral program, she targeted obesity as one of the risk factors of cardiovascular disease. She developed a weight-management program that combined mobile technology and peer group support for African American women. Her current research focuses on mitigating chronic disease risks in ethnic and racial minority populations.

Lee and her research team’s grant-winning project, “Assessing Perceived Racial Discrimination and Health Outcomes among Asian Americans and African Americans,” will examine the relationships between perceived racial discrimination and health outcomes among Asian Americans and African Americans after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jaime L Sabel

About Jaime Sabel 

Sabel began her research career as a developmental geneticist examining genes involved in early embryonic development before transitioning her focus to teaching and research in science education. Her work focuses on various tools and classroom environments that can support students learning biology and engaging in scientific practices.

Sabel’s grant-winning project, “Exploring Factors That Contribute to Persistence in Underrepresented Biology Students,” will work to determine factors and interventions to better support retention and graduation of students seeking degrees in the life science field with an emphasis on African American students.

About the Hooks Institute’s Grant Program 

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute’s Social Change Research Grants Program provides funding to support University of Memphis faculty research and projects that address social change issues intending to have a long-term impact, contributing to systemic change and providing replicable models.

“The Hooks Institute values the engagement of University faculty in addressing disparities that adversely affect marginalized people and under-resourced communities,” said Rorie Trammel, associate director of the Hooks Institute. “By partnering with faculty to conduct research, the Hooks Institute helps to create resources that can be used by community organizations, civic and business leaders, and policymakers in the development of programs and allocation of resources that will improve equity in a variety of services and opportunities.”

For more information about our social grant programs, click here.

About the Benjamin L Hooks Institute for Social Change 

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute implements its mission of teaching, studying, and promoting civil rights and social change through research, education, and direct intervention programs. Institute programs include community outreach, funding faculty research initiatives on community issues, implementing community service projects, hosting conferences, symposiums, and lectures, and promoting local and national civil and human rights scholarship. The Hooks Institute is an interdisciplinary center at the University of Memphis. Contributed revenue for the Hooks Institute, including funding from individuals, corporations, and foundations, is administered through the University of Memphis Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit memphis.edu/benhooks.