Our Research

2020 - 2023 

Office for Victims of Crime, Department of Justice

Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting

RTI (newly awarded)

Crista Johnson-Agbakwu (Consultant)

The goal of this program is to deliver programming to address and help stop the practice of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) under two purpose areas: 1) to provide training and technical assistance in the education of law enforcement, public health professionals, educators, and other professionals on detecting at-risk girls and provide support to the project sites; and 2) to develop services to deliver to survivors of FGM/C and work to increase education, detection, and local partner engagement to address and help stop victimization through FGM/C.


2020 - 2021 

Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions

Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, Arizona State University

Dean’s Pilot Award

Health and Psychosocial Implications of COVID-19 among refugees in Phoenix, AZ

Crista Johnson-Agbakwu (Principal Investigator), Roseanne Schuster (Co-Investigator), Karin Wachter (Co-Investigator), Olga Davis (Co-Investigator)

The aim of this two-phased project is to elucidate insights into challenges faced by refugee communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, and to derive effective solutions to mitigate COVID-19 transmission and advance health equity for vulnerable communities. 


November 2019 – October 2021 

Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, Arizona State University

NIH National Institute Minority Health Disparities U54

“Something is missing here”: Culturally relevant measurement of social support among Congolese refugee women in resettlement

Karin Wachter, (Principal Investigator), Crista Johnson-Agbakwu, (Co-Investigator), Roseanne Schuster, (Co-Investigator), Godfred Boateng, (Co-Investigator/Consultant)

The aim of this effort is to develop a culturally relevant and contextually specific social support scale based on a sequential multi-methods research design to define new standards for culturally relevant disparities research concerned with social determinants of health among marginalized and vulnerable groups. This research will address a significant gap in service provision for refugees and other vulnerable immigrants, with the potential to shape policy and practice at a national level. 


2019 - present 

University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusive Excellence and Innovation Award


This project aims to raise awareness of the impact of health disparities on minority women among colleagues across both inpatient and outpatient nursing, midwifery and OB/GYN attendings and residents in the OB/GYN Department at Valleywise Health, by creating an educational program through the IT department’s mandatory online training modules (APEX). This module will inform our colleagues about disparities that affect minority women; specifically the extensive prevalence of disparities in health outcomes, contributing factors and suggested solutions. Our module will also address structural determinants of health that may influence patients’ health and health services use and encourage multidisciplinary care with social services to help improve patients’ outcomes. 



2018 – 2023 

National Institute Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Sexual Pain and Female Genital Cutting (FGC) Among Somali women in Minnesota

Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, Arizona State University

Crista Johnson-Agbakwu (Co-Investigator)

The aim of this effort is to better understand sexual pain in relation to Female Genital Cutting (FGC), utilizing a biopsychosocial approach in partnership with ethnic community-based organizations and two large medical clinics serving Somali women residing in Minnesota who have experienced FGC. 


September 2016 – Present 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/NORC

Reproductive Health of US-Resident Women from Countries with Widespread Practice of 

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) 

Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, Arizona State University

The aim of this effort is to conduct a pilot study to elucidate the prevalence of FGM/C in the U.S. and to determine how FGC affects women’s experiences with obstetric and gynecologic health services use and health-seeking behavior in the U.S. This pilot will inform the future conduction of a national prevalence study on FGM/C.