Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Major research areas
- Impacts of work-family interface on workers’ health and productivity
- Design and evaluation of worksite-based cancer prevention programs
- Theories and methods for community-based intervention research
- Impact of workplace injustice and other experiences related to social disadvantages (gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic position etc.) on health and health behaviors
Current research projects
- Integrated occupational health & health promotion interventions for construction workers
- Work-family interface in nursing home settings: impact on health and well-being of residents, managers and workers
- Racial/ethnic disparities in the impact of drug misuse on labor market outcomes
Before joining the Harvard University faculty, Dr. Okechukwu (click for pronunciation) was a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at the University of California- San Francisco and the University of California-Berkeley. She obtained a Doctorate of Science (ScD) from the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Masters of Public Health (MPH) degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, respectively. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
Dr. Okechukwu investigates how work and home environments interact to shape health and cancer prevention behaviors. Her current research studies focus on working class and immigrant communities with an emphasis on women who earn low wages. Previously, she led the evaluation of MassBUILT smoking cessation intervention for construction workers. She has also investigated tobacco industry practices in African countries and continues to be involved in work related to global tobacco control.
Dr. Okechukwu is co-director of the joint Harvard-DFCI Educational Program in Cancer Prevention and faculty mentor in the Harvard Maternal and Child Health/Children, Youth and Families(MCH/CYF) training program. She is also co-investigator and internal advisory board member of the Harvard Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing and is a faculty member of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Dr. Okechukwu headed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Injustice white paper team. The team presented their findings at the First National Conference on Eliminating Health and Safety Disparities at Work. She was an investigator in the multidisciplinary Work, Family and Health Network, and continues to use data from the study in her nursing home research.