Amy L. Stone, associate professor of sociology and anthropology at Trinity University, has been selected as part of a three-person team of Interdisciplinary Research Leaders under a leadership development program led by the University of Minnesota with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Stone’s collaborators are Phillip Schnarrs, assistant professor of kinesiology, health and nutrition at UTSA and co-director of the South Texas Consortium for HIV and STI Research; and Robert Salcido, chair of the Pride Center board of directors and regional field coordinator for Equality Texas, the only statewide LGBTQ rights advocacy group in Texas. The title of their project is “Building a Stronger Community: Resilience Among LGBTQ+ People in South Texas.”
The trio will interview 75 people from all ages, genders, and ethnic groups to begin to understand how the LGBTQ community develops and sustains diverse resilience strategies. Ultimately, they will recommend policies and strategies for enhancing resilience and the culture of health within what they describe as a hostile political environment.
Stone, Schnarrs, and Salcido form one of 15 teams in the Minnesota-led program, joining a diverse group of researchers and community leaders—directors of nonprofits, psychologists, community organizers, and sociologists—located across the country. Together, these fellows will collaborate and innovate to solve persistent health challenges, working to help advance a culture of health that places well-being at the center of every aspect of life.
With an ability to design research to meet urgent community needs—and to directly apply that research to create change—researchers and community leaders are powerful partners for impacting community health needs.
“This will be a good alliance,” Stone says. “We do come from different backgrounds in terms of our approaches and our networks, especially in regard to resilience, and this project is an attempt to bring more and different scholars into the conversation.”
Stone is deputy editor of Gender & Society and is co-chair of Trinity’s Women and Gender Studies Advisory Committee. She is author of Gay Rights at the Ballot Box, Out of the Closet, Into the Archives: Researching Sexual Histories, and Cornyation: San Antonio's Outrageous Fiesta Tradition.
As part of the three-year project, the San Antonio researchers will develop high-level leadership skills through mentoring, networking, and an advanced leadership curriculum. While participating in the program, they will continue working full-time, applying new knowledge and leadership in their respective communities and fields.
“This year’s fellows are addressing significant challenges communities face in achieving better health and health equity. We are excited to see the unique, diverse teams entering this program, and believe this cohort will demonstrate the power of community-engaged interdisciplinary research to solve real-world problems,” says Michael Oakes, director of Interdisciplinary Research Leaders and professor at the University of Minnesota. “Through this program, fellows will learn the leadership skills necessary to help build a Culture of Health.”