2019 Election Results
American Academy of Health Behavior
Lisako McKyer, PhD, MPH, FAAHB
Thank you for the opportunity to run for president-elect of AAHB. I joined AAHB 10 years ago, and attended my first meeting in Oxnard, CA (my hometown). My involvement in AAHB was pre-destined given my doctoral advisor/mentor, Mohammad Torabi is a founding member and former AAHB President. Through Mo, I gained other mentors – AAHB Fellows, Research Laureates and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients –a veritable health behavior research “Who’s Who.” Thus, in spite of my nontraditional start as a researcher, I am deeply committed to a core AAHB tenet; research excellence. My goal is to build on our strengths. I aspire to bring to the Academy “Inclusive Excellence.”
AAHB was formed out of necessity; Primarily the need to improve the “science of health behavior research” (McDermott & Glover, 2010). Membership criteria were deemed lofty by some. Yet, they are critical to establishing gold standards for health behavior researchers, and led to research excellence becoming one of our hallmarks.
Is Inclusive Excellence an oxymoron? Consider our membership criteria are meant to be exclusive, albeit some may argue overly so. I counter that Inclusive Excellence is the ideal. AAHB founders were dissatisfied with the quality of, and lack of emphasis/priority on research among many of their peers. Thus, AAHB’s recruitment, mentoring and other activities are directed toward not only to raising the bar, but to helping others achieve excellence. Why? Because if excellence is achieved by all health behavior researchers, we will see transformative impacts. Let us aspire for obsolescence by ensuring ALL health behavior researchers conduct AAHB-quality research. Because one scholar conducting mediocre research, is one too many.
How is Inclusive Excellence achieved? Raise the bar (excellence), and help others achieve our standards (inclusive) through recruitment, retention and professional development of diverse scholars. Bring the myriad of disciplines, perspectives, experiences, identities to the table, and harness its power.
A key missing piece is an empirical evaluation AAHB’s impact. Have we achieved our goals? Will the data support our claims? If elected, I would seek an empirical evaluation of AAHB achievements. As an organization committed to systematic and rigorous research methods, it would be hypocritical if we did not conduct a self-study. This will determine the next steps in our journey to raise the bar AND help others achieve high standards.
Inclusive Excellence is not an oxymoron. It is what I aspire to, for myself and for AAHB. My hope is that the members of AAHB will permit me to bring this into fruition.
Thank you for this opportunity to serve.1. McDermott & Glover, 2010
Daphne Hernandez, PhD, MSEd
Dr. Daphne Hernandez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health & Human Performance at the University of Houston. She earned her AB from Princeton University, her MSEd from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD from Boston College. Her research focuses on the social determinants of health. The majority of her research program is centered around food insecurity (i.e. hunger), policies and programs designed to reduce hunger, and health-related mechanisms and consequences of experiencing food insecurity, such as obesity, diabetes, stress and depression.Dr. Hernandez attended her first AAHB conference in 2015 where she participated in the Research Scholars Mentoring Program. She is currently the 2019 Research Review Chair. Outside of AAHB, she is an active leader in the National Council of Family Relations (NCFR). She currently serves on the Inclusion and Diversity Committee for NCFR. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to run for AAHB Delegate and would be honored if elected to serve.
2019 Appointments - TBA