Visiting Scholar Announcements

Taylor, Wendell

Meet Dr. Wendell Taylor

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Wendell C. Taylor, Visiting Scholar in the Institute for the Medical Humanities, Department of Preventive Medicine and Population Health. The objectives of his current research proposal are to present a comprehensive overview and analysis of ethics related to hiring practices and workplace interventions for people who smoke or are obese. His research interests are physical activity, workplace health promotion, health equity, and health behaviors in high priority populations.

Dr. Taylor was the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health grant titled, Booster Breaks: A 21st Century Innovation to Improve Worker Health and Productivity. This study was a cluster-randomized controlled trial of health promoting breaks in the workplace and assessed physical, psychological, and organizational-level outcomes. There are more than 16 peer-reviewed publications related to the Booster Break concept and interventions.

Dr. Taylor received his AB from Grinnell College, MS in Psychology from Eastern Washington University, PhD in Social Psychology from Arizona State University, and his MPH from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. In addition, he completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Community Health at the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. His previous positions include tenured Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health, and Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research as well as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Cizik School of Nursing, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Meet Dr. Minji LeeMinji Lee

Dr. Minji Lee recently received a PhD Degree in the Department of Religion at Rice University. Her PhD thesis, “Bodies of Medieval Women as Dangerous, Liminal, and Holy: Representations in the Writings of Late Medieval Religious Women” explored how this medieval German nun defended the woman’s sexual/reproductive body” as positive in the images of re-creation and salvation against misogynic medieval and religious culture of her age.

Granted that Dr. Lee is a medievalist interested in the interactions between mysticism and medicine in the Middle Ages, she now turns to the new research project to compare medieval European medical theories and modern Korean folk medicine in order to see how women have been striving to maintain their reproductive health and to bring positive meanings to their own bodies. She also participated in making a Korean independent documentary project “For Vagina’s Sake (2017)” to posit how Western pre-modern medicine “diabolized” women’s menstrual body.

Currently, she is also a volunteer at Reunion Institute to promote public awareness in religion.

UPREET DHALIWALMeet Dr. Upreet Dhaliwal

The UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Upreet Dhaliwal, MS as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Dhaliwal will be in residence from February 2019 through May 2019.

Dr. Upreet Dhaliwal, formerly Director-Professor of Ophthalmology at the University College of Medical Sciences, University of Delhi, is one of the founding members of the Medical Humanities Group in the Institution.

She is editor of the journal “Research and Humanities in Medical Education (RHiME)” which is an online-only, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, the only journal in Asia that caters specifically to the medical humanities. RHiME can be accessed at

An occasional poet, and an avid promoter of medical student-led poetry sessions, Dr Dhaliwal is keen to deepen her involvement with the humanities through the visiting scholar program at the Institute for Medical Humanities. Her work here involves an exploration of the Provider-Patient relationship through the medium of poetry.

Meet Dr. Erma Lawson

Aug 1, 2011, 00:00 AM by Julia Essex

Erma Lawson, PhDThe UTMB Health Institute for the Medical Humanities is pleased to welcome Erma Lawson, PhD as a Visiting Scholar. Dr. Lawson will be in residence from August 2011 through November 2011.

Dr. Lawson combines Nursing and Medical Sociology to focus on health and illness among underserved populations.  She is an Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas. She has held many clinical positions, including Assistant Director of Nursing, Kentucky State Hospital, Charge Nurse at Grady Memorial Hospital, Obstetrics /Gynecology, Atlanta, Georgia. She has also held clinical positions in the emergency room, neonatal intensive care, cardiac intensive care, and home health nursing.

Dr. Lawson earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Howard University and a Doctorate in Medical Sociology from the University of Kentucky, Departments of Sociology and Behavioral Science. Her dissertation combined qualitative and quantitative methods to examine the meaning of smoking among Appalachian pregnant adolescents. 

To develop an in-depth understanding of grounded theory, Dr. Lawson studied with the late Dr. Anselm Strauss, University of California, Berkeley, CA.  Also she lived in Zimbabwe, Africa, for two years, exploring stress, birth outcomes, and family stability using narrative methodology.  As a post-doctoral scholar at Harvard University, Department of Public Health Practice, she explored violence, heart disease, stress, among young inner city adolescents.

She has given many scholarly presentations internationally, in countries including Buenos Aires, Argentina; Havana, Cuba; Auckland, Zealand; Sydney Australia; and Johannesburg, South African. 

In 2005, Dr. Lawson was awarded the American Sociology Congressional Fellowship in the office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (30th district) Texas in which she wrote several bills debated in the U.S. House of Representatives, and passed to the U.S. Senate. Dr. Lawson’s publications have centered on health disparities; Katrina survivors and Spirituality; and family instability. She is the first author of Black Men and Divorce (Sage, publications). She was appointed to the Panel of Minority Women health expert to advise the Department Women’s Health at DHHS.

Dr. Lawson's current research focuses on the medicalization of race through organ transplantation. At IMH, she plans to complete a book on the experience of minority heart transplant recipients and health disparities.