Ten faculty members from UTEP and BUILDing SCHOLARS partner institutions were selected for the 2017 BUILDing SCHOLARS Supermentor Program—a competitive 11-month program that serves to strengthen ties between BUILD partner institutions, advance faculty’s research skills and competitiveness for external funding, and enhance student mentoring skills./p>

Each selected mentee is paired with a Research Partner faculty member who has experience with mentoring students from underrepresented backgrounds, gaining extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and producing co-authored papers and presentations.

Congratulations to this year’s awardees! We thank the NIH for making these collaborative efforts possible.


Eden RoblesMentee Dr. Eden Hernandez Robles is a Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow for the Latino Alcohol and Health Disparities Research Center at The University of Texas at El Paso. Her background is in social work with a focus on qualitative research methods and qualitative data analysis.

castro yesseniaSupermentor Dr. Yesenia Castro is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests focus on development, cultural adaptation and evaluation of behavioral interventions of smoking and alcohol use; effects of cultural factors, gender and race/ethnicity on health behavior; Latino health; and psychometrics.

With guidance from Dr. Castro, Dr. Robles aims to secure funding to support her mixed-method research approach to explore and assess the unique social, psychological and cultural factors that shape alcohol behaviors in the Latino population.


Dr. Jessica M. Shenberger TrujilloMentee Dr. Jessica M. Shenberger-Trujillo is a Clinical Assistant Professor/Director of Assessment & Evaluation at the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas at El Paso. She has a strong background in research methods, statistics and social psychological research with an emphasis in factors that impact health behaviors and decision-making. Dr. Shenberger-Trujillo is passionate about guiding students through the research process and also providing them with professional development opportunities.

Dr. Louis D. Brown Supermentor Dr. Dr. Louis D. Brown is an Assistant Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health located at the El Paso Regional Campus. His research interests are community coalitions, self-help and mutual support, substance abuse prevention, delinquency prevention, parenting, mental illness, implementation science and program engagement.

Dr. Shenberger-Trujillo seeks guidance for a grant proposal that supports the investigation of sociocultural factors which impact vaccination adherence, particularly the identifying factors that impact attitudes and behaviors related to vaccinations in a U.S./Mexico border population. Preliminary findings suggest that familyism and trust in government impact intentions of vaccinating self or others in the border region of El Paso, Texas.


Dr. Shawn WhiteMentee Dr. Shawn White is a Professor of Chemistry at Western New Mexico University. His biomedical research includes novel compounds for drug discovery, metabolism of anticancer drugs and small drug molecules.

Dr. Nancy C. HortonSupermentor Dr. Nancy C. Horton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Arizona. Her research interests focus on how DNA binding proteins perform their various functions, such as sequence recognition, DNA cleavage, methylation, unwinding and related functions.

With guidance from Dr. Horton, Dr. White plans to apply for an AREA grant (National Institutes of Health Academic Research Enhancement Award Program [R15]) to help take his research of natural products to the next level.


Dr. Carina HeckertMentee Dr. Carina Heckert is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The University of Texas at El Paso. Her research focuses on how policy, whether global health or U.S. immigration policy, impacts people healthcare experiences.

Dr. Andrew L. SussmanSupermentor Dr. Andrew L. Sussman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine at The University of New Mexico. He has designed and led numerous qualitative and mixed-method research studies. His research focuses on primary healthcare service delivery and patient-provider counseling dynamics among health disparity populations in New Mexico.

Dr. Heckert seeks feedback on several grant applications associated with her proposed project that will draw on syndemics, a theoretical concept that describes the synergistically detrimental health impacts of overlapping health and social conditions, to explore the relationship between housing insecurity, immigration policy and retention in care for people with HIV.


Dr. Guillermina SolisMentee Dr. Guillermina Solis is an Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing at The University of Texas at El Paso. Her research examines factors and patterns of fall injuries amongst older adults. Dr. Solis’ completed projects facilitated the development of effective programs to increase awareness of physical function and psychological stressors amongst older adults.

Dr. Brad DoebbelingSupermentor Dr. Brad Doebbeling is a Professor in the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University. His clinical experience includes providing medical care for adults, working in primary and tertiary care as a consulting general internist and infectious disease specialist. He is well-known as an expert in implementation science, systems redesign and biomedical informatics.

Dr. Solis is examining the current process for completing the advance directive (AD), which is part of the electronic health record of outpatient health services. Her goal is to create educational modules and trainings to help increase the awareness of AD completion amongst Hispanic adults who have a low completion rate.