Executive Director: Jasmine J. Opusunju, DrPH, MSEd, CHES, CPH
Dr. Opusunju received her DrPH in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Texas School of Public Health (Houston) with a minor in Management, Policy, and Community Health and a concentration in Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). She has extensive experience in grassroots community engagement, capacity building, coalition development, and leadership and advocacy training to promote environmental changes essential for facilitating the adoption and maintenance of healthy lifestyles. Dr. Opusunju has spent over 12 years working in health promotion research in various capacities with a particular focus on social justice, health equity, the built environment and childhood obesity, and CBPR. She has also been engaged in research related to body image, patient navigation, and colorectal cancer screening. Her background experience extends from the corporate sector in the international food industry for over 15 years. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), serves in various leadership positions (eg. Board Member for the African American Health Coalition; Treasurer, Past President, and Advocacy Committee Chair for the Texas Society for Public Health Education, and is Certified in Public Health (CPH). Dr. Opusunju has been in academia for over 10 years and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Prairie View A&M University. Dr. Opusunju’s personal mission is to leverage resources to reach the communities in need while empowering communities to be engaged in the creation of effective policies and sustainable systems that will promote health equity.
Coordinator,Community Driven Initiatives: Marleny Vazquez
Marleny received her Bachelors of Science in Nutritional Science under the Didactic Program in Dietetics track from Texas A&M University. In the near future, Marleny aspires to become a Registered Dietitian and continue to work on CAN DO’s mission to reduce childhood obesity in the Houston area. She strongly believes that nutrition and physical fitness education is the key to making significant health changes in communities. Working at CAN DO Houston allows her to witness the implementation of those beliefs while learning about the necessity of community-based practices. In her spare time, Marleny enjoys to travel the world because it gives her an opportunity to learn about different cultures.
Tiana attends the University of Houston with a major in Public Health and a minor in Biology. Tiana will be graduating in the Spring of 2018. Through her internship at CAN DO, Tiana hopes to get a first-hand look at how working directly in the community and with community members can be beneficial to the community. A fun fact about Tiana is that she is Beyoncé’s biggest fan.
Raj is currently a junior at the University of Houston, set to graduate in 2019. He is majoring in Biomedical Sciences, with minors in Chemistry and Medicine & Society. His particular interest is in working with underserved communities to overcome structural barriers preventing them from living healthy lifestyles. Aspiring to become a primary care physician, Raj hopes the knowledge and experience gained through his CAN DO Houston internship will ensure his success in the future.
Kiera Wilson is senior at the University of Houston majoring in Health. While perusing her education, she works a certified surgical technologist and occasionally as a waitress. As she actively participates in the CAN DO Houston internship, she hopes to learn how to effectively communicate with the communities to help address the community's current issues and advance leadership skills. When she has spare time, she loves to enhance her vegan dessert skills.
Michelle Nguyen received her Bachelors of Science in Sociology from Texas A&M University with a double minor in Public Health and Philosophy. After taking her first Public Health introductory course, she switched majors from a pre-med track to preventive care. Born and raised in Southwest Houston, she aspires to one day make a lasting contribution to her home and community. CAN DO Houston is one of many stepping stones in this journey.
Serena Tohme is a junior at Rice University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities. She is interested in learning about the obesity epidemic in Houston through participation in many of CAN Do's integrative, community-based programs. Fun Fact: Serena is a triplet.
Shaquon Welch is a senior at the University of Houston, majoring in Public Health with a minor in Human Development & Family Studies. Through her internship at CAN DO Houston she hope to gain a better understanding about the variety of careers in public health, and how she can best contribute to the work in her future career. Fun fact: Shaquon has a dog named Dino, named after her favorite cartoon, The Flintstones.
Karen Ordonez is currently a senior at the University of Houston, graduating May 2018 with a Bachelor in Science in Health (Public Health Track) and a minor in Psychology. She hopes to learn from CAN DO Houston how to help make Houston a better place by engaging with communities and educating residents on healthy eating, active lifestyles, leadership and advocacy. A fun fact about Karen is that she owns a dog name Bruce and he is an English Bulldog mixed with a Poodle and she calls his breed an English Boodle.
Sarah Afflerbaugh is currently a Senior at the University of Houston. She will be graduating in May of 2018 with a degree in Health Promotions and a minor in Psychology. Sarah hopes to be able to assist communities in creating a healthier and more active lifestyle while gaining hands on experience with program planning. A fun fact about Sarah is that she has visited 46 of the 50 US States.