Dr. Janna Lesser is a tenured professor in the School of Nursing. She is also a graduate faculty member for the Nursing Science Ph.D. program. Besides this, she is the director of the School of Nursing’s Center of Excellence for Community-Based Health Promotion in Women and Children, Family and Community Health Systems.
1) Please tell me about yourself.
I am a tenured professor in The University of Texas Health Science Center’s School of Nursing, the Director of the Center for Community-Based Health Promotion with Women and Children, and co-director of the South Texas AHEC Program. I have conducted community-engaged projects with individuals and communities living with a myriad of health and social inequities for over twenty years, for which I have received both internal and external funding.
Examples of target populations I have worked with include; inner-city dwelling adolescent mothers and fathers, disenfranchised youth (including youth in the juvenile justice system), families living in predominantly Latino, impoverished communities, and individuals and groups living with chronic and severe mental illness.
2) Tell me about your research interests and why you are passionate about this topic?
Areas in which I have made scientific contributions to research include the following interconnected areas of work: Community-Based Participatory Research HIV and Violence Intervention Development and Scientific Evaluation among At-risk Latino Youth, Using Qualitative Inquiry, Participatory Action Research, and Life Course Theory to Better Understand At-risk Latino Youth, and Community Empowerment and Sustainability among Medically Underserved and Marginalized Populations.
3) What do you want the public to know about your research? Why is your topic important?
A commitment grounded in principles of humanistic and patient-centered care, health equity, and social justice guide all of my endeavors within health care education, practice, and research.
4) What is your favorite part of your job?
I been very fortunate to have had many different satisfying opportunities in both teaching and community-engaged research.
5) What do you like most about mentoring students?
Having the opportunity to see them develop their strengths.
6) How do you like to spend your free time?
Cooking for my family.
This article is part of the “Faculty Spotlight” series which showcases faculty at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.