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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Arizona Assistant Professor Receives $100,000 Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Public Health Law Research program (PHLR), the nation’s leading philanthropy on health and health care, has awarded Dr. Brent A. Langellier, an assistant professor in the University of Arizona Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, a 24-month grant through the New Connections program.

Dr. Langellier is among a select group of junior investigators to receive one of the 24-month grants from New Connections. The grant will allow Dr. Langellier to develop cross-disciplinary expertise in agent-based modeling, a computer simulation methodology that is increasingly being used to explore the causes and potential responses to complex public health challenges. With support from RWJF, Dr. Langellier will examine how racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in healthy eating result from neighborhood residential segregation, unequal access to healthy and unhealthy foods, social norms related to healthy and unhealthy eating, and other individual, household, and community factors.

New Connections is a national program designed to introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the foundation’s programming.  New Connections seeks early- to mid-career scholars who are historically underrepresented ethnic or racial minorities, first-generation college graduates, or individuals from low-income communities.

“We are so excited to welcome Dr. Langellier into the eighth cohort of New Connections grantees. The program connects first time grantees to the Foundation, and the new perspectives they bring are essential to solving the critical, complex issues affecting our nation’s health,” says Dr. Catherine Malone, program associate at RWJF.

“This cohort joins the larger New Connections network of over 1200 scholars – a network that provides opportunities for scholarly support and collaboration for academics from underrepresented groups,” says Dr. Malone.

“I am humbled and excited to be accepted into the New Connections program,” says Dr. Langellier. “As a junior investigator, this is a fantastic opportunity to both advance my own research and training, as well as to engage with a prestigious network of established scholars that are actively contributing to public health research and policy. Collaborating with program staff at RWJF and PHLR will also help to ensure that my research into healthy and unhealthy eating is relevant and useful for policymakers, public health practitioners, and others who put public health research into practice.”

More information about New Connections is available at