Getting to Know You: Lucy Annang Ingram

The College of Public Health has welcomed three new faculty members this Fall. Join us as we get to know Lucy Annang Ingram, Ishtiaque Fazlul and Melissa Howard. Up first is UGA Foundation Professor of Human Health Lucy Annang Ingram, Ph.D., who is leading the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior (HPB) as Department Head.

Dr. Ingram’s expertise focuses on racial and ethnic health disparities, sexual and reproductive health, community-engaged approaches to research, and building infrastructure to promote health disparities research.

What brought you to the field of public health?

I am a child of Ghanaian immigrants, and one thing that was very important from the beginning was the pursuit of education, and very early on, I remember my parents saying, “you’re going to be a doctor, you’re going to go to medical school.” When it came time to take the MCAT junior year, that’s when it hit me that medical school wasn’t the route for me. I was encouraged to take a public health class and audited introductory epidemiology. That was a tough class, but being exposed to the public health content really excited me. And so, because of that experience, I decided to pursue graduate study in public health.

What excites you or motivates you about being in the classroom and your research?

A lot of my work is community-driven by nature. The way that you collaborate best with the community is to have a transformative process. Oftentimes, I think academicians have, sometimes legitimately, a bad reputation for going into communities and taking assets away and not embracing a collaborative process. Teaching students to ensure that even though we may have an academic skill set, community members and people around us in our environment also have a skill set that we need to be respective of and also honor. That’s inherent in the way that I approach the research that I do and certainly would be part of what is integrated into the training that I do both formally and informally.

How have you partnered with communities to improve health?  Is there service or outreach work you’d like to do in Athens or Georgia?

Lots of ways! I have developed community advisory boards to help with co-creation, planning and evaluation of health projects, identified and worked with community liaisons, written community members into grants as community investigator key personnel, conducted photovoice projects to understand health impacts in a community, collaborated to plan town hall/listening sessions to hear community member concerns, just to name a few. I am open to learning new ways as well. I’d love to extend some of this work in Athens and Georgia more broadly. I am finding out how and where as I meet new people and learn about organizations and key players.   

What are you looking forward to this Fall semester?

Meeting new people, learning new things, finding new collaborators for my research program.

And a few fun rapid-fire questions —

Posted August 31, 2023.