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Yolanda J. McDonald

Assistant Professor, Department of Human and Organizational Development

Research:  Professor McDonald’s research focuses on the utilization of geospatial approaches to investigate human health outcomes. She focuses on where and why health disparities exist using geographic information science (GIS) theory and methods informed by environmental and social justice frameworks and the theory of intersectionality. Professor McDonald is primarily interested in cervical cancer prevention and control, spatial and quantitative approaches to climate change big data, public water infrastructure and water quality in the United States, and healthcare services and policy with an emphasis on the rural-urban continuum. Her work has focused on issues such as:  human health outcomes and water injustice associated with the lack of access to a public water system in El Paso County, Texas colonias; health disparities and the economic impact of diseases associated with climate change in the state of Texas; unequal access to preventive cervical cancer health services in New Mexico; and a case-control study quantifying the role of socioeconomic status, acculturation, race/ethnicity, and geography associated with invasive cervical cancer.  

Teaching:  Professor McDonald will be teaching courses in the Health and Human Services and Community Health Tracks. 

Service:  Professor McDonald serves as reviewer for Social Science & Medicine, Journal of Rural Health, and Environmental Justice. 

Community Engagement:  Professor McDonald is interested in how Hispanics navigate life in Nashville. She has connected with Mujeres You Need to Know to engage Hispanic female leadership in Nashville on topics ranging from health, education, entrepreneurship, to immigration.