HEALTH-FAST Scholars are graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-stage investigators committed to conducting research focused on mitigating alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) use and the chronic health conditions that result.
The goal of the HEALTH-FAST Program is to train the next generation of talented ATOD researchers, particularly scholars from groups traditionally underrepresented in or historically excluded from the sciences.
Haleem A. Brown, M.S.
Haleem Brown is a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Houston. He is interested in tobacco-related cancer research and disparities in health risk behaviors and health outcomes in low socioeconomic communities. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, photography, spending time with family and friends, and basketball.
Kerry Chavez, M.S.
Kerry Chavez is a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Houston. She is interested in the causes and consequences of substance abuse in vulnerable populations, with a particular emphasis on downstream chronic health conditions as viewed from a biopsychosocial perspective. Among her highest priorities is to perform translational research with direct benefit to those it serves, using a teams science approach. In her free time she enjoys jogging, watching movies, and spending time with family.
Tarik Goulbourne, M.S.
Tarik Goulbourne is a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Houston. He is interested in exploring the risk factors contributing to substance use and addiction in LGBTQ+ people of color, such as racism, heterosexism, cissexism, and sexual identity discrimination. He enjoys listening to audiobooks, trying new recipes, working out, and spending time with friends and family in his free time.
Rachel D. Roberts, MEd
Rachel D. Roberts is a first-year doctoral student in the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Houston. She is interested in exploring health disparities influenced by substance abuse disorders including tobacco and nicotine addiction within marginalized communities. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and game night with friends.
Early Stage Investigators
Dr. Charles Lea
Dr. Charles Lea is an assistant professor in social work at the University of Houston. His research and scholarship examine young adult Black men’s risk and resilience during their transition from carceral to community settings, and the role and impact structural racism and personal and sociocultural assets have on their reentry experiences and substance use, HIV, and psychosocial outcomes. In his free time, Dr. Lea enjoys traveling, live music, fitness, trying new restaurants, and spending time with his family and friends.
Dr. Chakema Carmack
Chakema Carmack is an associate professor in the Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences Department at UH. Her research focuses on the prevention of HIV, HPV, and other STIs among African American and Hispanic populations, with a strong interest in incorporating ATOD within her research focus. Professionally, she enjoys statistical data analyses and intervention development; outside of work, she enjoys reading, coloring, and aromatherapy.
Dr. Michael Parent
Dr. Mike Parent is an associate professor in counseling psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. His work focuses on the intersection of health and policy with regard to behavioral health among marginalized populations. Outside of his work, Dr. Parent spends time with his dog outside and is a nationally-qualified bodybuilder.