Ola Kalu EdS
Community Violence Prevention Postdoctoral Fellow

Ola Kalu is a postdoctoral fellow in Community Violence Prevention, researching recovery programs for injured youth. Her work examines societal inequities and uses critical frameworks to empower underserved groups


Ola Kalu is currently a Community Violence Prevention postdoctoral fellow under the mentorship of Rachel K. Myers, PhD, having joined in fall 2023. In this role, Ola supports growing research on evaluating hospital-based and community-focused programming regarding community violence prevention. This programming structures recovery for injured youth and their families to establish best practices and enhance understanding of outcomes. 

Ola’s body of research examines the sociology of stratification, health consequences of social and demographic shifts relating to minority children and women and utilizing critical frameworks as an asset-based approach to empower underserved populations. Her focus on communities deals with pressing issues like housing insecurity, limited healthcare access, and scarce educational resources. 

Ola’s dissertation research looks at the intersection of urban gentrification, educational outcomes, and health disparities through an introspective analysis which looks at the ripple effects of neighborhood change in Leon County, Florida. Recognizing the link between education and health, she explores how socio-economic shifts shape elementary students’ English proficiency and long-term wellbeing. Through multilevel analysis from 1999-2015, Ola decodes the dynamics between housing policies, educational resources, and socioeconomics contextualizing these findings within broader dialogues on equity, social determinants of health, and rapid urbanization’s challenges. Findings show the need for holistic strategies prioritizing vulnerable populations’ educational and health outcomes. 

With an expanding portfolio conceptualizing how race, ethnicity, gender, class, poverty, and inequality intersect, Ola has keen interest in methodological issues within social determinants of health research from a sociological lens. She brings over a decade of experience in transdisciplinary research, Title I teaching pedagogy, and community engagement. 

BA, Florida State University (English), 2010 

MS, Florida International University (Education), 2013 

Ed.S, University of Florida (Curriculum and Instruction), 2015 

PhD, State University of New York (Sociology), expected 2024 

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Injury Research and Prevention, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 

New York Chapter of American Colleges of Physicians 

American Educational Research Association 

American Sociological Association 

Association of Black Sociologists 

Sociologists for Women in Society 

New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians Health Disparities Fellow (2021) 

13th Annual Asa G. Hillard III and Barbara Sizemore Research Course on African Americans and Education (2020) 

Presidential Doctoral Fellowship for Research Training in Health Disparities (2018) 


Bhatia, R., Valdez, S., Blaise, C., Kalu, O., & Ramsawak, J. (2023). The Albany Birth Justice Storytelling Project: Integrating Feminist Pedagogy into Research Design. Feminist Formations, 35(2), 106-128.  

Odusanya, A., Reid, K., Amutah-Onukagha, N., Robinson, K., Kalu, O., Lawrence, W., & Lin, Z. (2022). Association between sociodemographic characteristics and age stopped breastfeeding on early childhood weight status. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. 

Kalu, O. (2021). Minority Health Disparities in a 21st-century Pandemic: A Comprehensive report of project research focused on New York. 

Contact Information

Roberts Center for Pediatric Research, 2716 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19146