Tashelle Wright

PhD Program: Public Health


Tashelle is a second-year doctoral student in Public Health at UC Merced. She works with Dr. Nancy Burke in the Health Equity Research (HER) Lab. She obtained a BS in Public Health from Westminster College where she was a McNair Scholar, an AS in Biology, is a member of the Graduate Dean’s Advisory Council on Diversity at UC Merced and a McNair Scholar. She has worked for a health department in their Office of Health Disparities and as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Research Summary

Tashelle’s past research includes a neuroscience study of the impact of anxiety on short-term memory and exploring health disparities of African Americans in Utah. As a PhD student, she is interested in aging and cognition, older adults, chronic disease and addressing preventable health disparities, specifically within African, African American and Hispanic/Latino populations. Her current research project includes qualitative research on older adult family caregivers in rural California. She is exploring food insecurity and social support/social networks, and the challenges and barriers to caregiving as well as the assets caregivers have and use, through interviews and focus groups. She was recently selected as a UC Tobacco and Smoke-Free Fellowship recipient for a group research project with fellow Her Group members Andrea Lopez, MPH and Jazmine Kenny, B.A.