SBS student spotlight: Acquel Allen-Mitchell

Allen, Acquel Headshot

Acquel Allen-Mitchell, M.P.H., M.B.A., is a Ph.D. candidate in public health, social and behavioral sciences. She spent more than five years working in the nonprofit sector. Her primary research focus surrounds addressing environmental injustice and mitigating health disparities.

Allen-Mitchell has her B.A. in Medicine, Health, and Society from Vanderbilt University and her M.P.H. and M.B.A. from the University of Florida. Prior to starting the Ph.D. program, she worked at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and at different hospital systems in Florida and New York. During the program, she has received funding from UF’s Brown Center for Leadership & Service to develop an intervention in collaboration with community members and organizations to mitigate the harmful impacts of gentrification in East Gainesville.

In her current work, Allen-Mitchell seeks to investigate the impact of gentrification on health in the United States. Her research intends to engage minoritized community members and build their resilience. She is mentored by Brittney Dixon, Ph.D., M.P.H., a clinical assistant professor of health services research, management and policy and director of the Bachelor of Public Health program. Their collaborations have focused on projects related to the built environment and healthy food affordability. Allen-Mitchell has also contributed to research projects on tobacco-related health inequalities among Black Americans, sexual violence training among military members, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with disabilities.

Allen-Mitchell aims to incorporate community engagement principles within her research and is passionate about advocating for environmental justice. She hopes that her research can reduce health disparities with root causes in the social determinants of health and foster environmental justice for underserved and marginalized communities.