Ph.D., Texas Woman’s University,
M.S., B.A., Brigham Young University
Health and technology; women’s health (breast cancer, autoimmune disease; interpersonal violence, diabetes type 2, eating disorders;, HIV/AIDS); cultural perceptions of health and illness; community-based participatory research (CBPR); Photovoice; mixed methods
Dr. Early has worked in education for more than 19 years, teaching in public, private, and corporate settings. Prior to coming to Walden University, Dr. Early served as an assistant professor and founding director of the online undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of Health Studies at Texas Woman’s University from 2001—2009. She also served as PI and co-director of the Pioneer Breast Health and Community Outreach Program of Denton County, a community-based program funded by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure ® North Texas Affiliate.
Dr. Early is passionate about working with adult learners, connecting the global community to the online classroom, and for developing e-learning programs in the health sciences. Most recently, she was awarded the 2010 HEDIR Technology Award from the American Association of Health Education (AAHE) for pioneering one of the first fully online undergraduate health education programs in the U.S.
As a professor, Dr. Early is passionate about engaging students in the online classroom as well as in their communities. She is a proponent of service learning and community-based research and enjoys working with students in the field. Dr. Early’s research interests include: health and technology, women’s health issues, cultural perceptions of health & illness, and behavioral health interventions. She is currently involved with research projects in the U.S., Sierra Leone, and Guangxi, China, exploring the use of Photovoice as a community-based participatory research tool. She also volunteers as a grant writer for the international NGO, All As One (http://www.allasone.org), serving abandoned and orphaned children in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Early has presented her work at state, national and international conferences, and has published her research in journals such as the International Electronic Journal of Health Education, American Journal of Health Education, Journal of American College Health, Health Education, Health Education Research, Online Classroom, and the Journal of Online Teaching and Learning. She is a co-author of the second edition of The Process of Community Health Education and Promotion (2010) and has written textbook chapters relating to community-based research and e-learning.