The Research Team - Faculty and Staff



Gloria B. Callwood, PhD, RN
Associate Professor of Nursing, University of the Virgin Islands

Principal Investigator and Director, Caribbean Exploratory NCMHD Research Center

Research Interests: The severely mentally ill; the elderly; health seeking behaviors
Grants: PI Export Center on Health Disparities; PI Workforce Development grant; STARs; Local Site Coordinator for the Virgin Islands Florida/Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Center
Nursing Education Focus: Psychiatric Mental Health
Educational Background: BSN, Hampton Institute; MN, University of Florida; Ph.D., University of Florida




Noreen Michael, PhD


Research Director

Dr. Noreen Michael is a career educational and health administrator who currently serves as Research Director & Research Associate Professor at the Caribbean Exploratory (NIMHD) Research Center (CERC), School of Nursing, at the University of the Virgin Islands. She has over 30 years of experience in the education and health fields, both in management, leadership, research, and teaching. She has presented her scholarly work at local, regional, and national conferences and has published in journals such as Journal of Caribbean Studies, High School Journal, and The School Counselor. She has served as Chief of Staff at the University of the Virgin Islands; Assistant Commissioner and Commissioner of Education for the V.I. Department of Education; Director of Health Statistics for the V.I. Department of Health; and held faculty positions at the Louisiana State University; Illinois State University, and the University of Kansas. Michael holds a B.A. in English/Secondary Education from the University of the Virgin Islands and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has served on more than 10 Boards and Commissioners and currently serves on the Virgin Islands Housing Authority Board (2013-2016). Always active in her community, Michael has served on the Board of Directors of the St. Croix Chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Board of Directors for the Virgin Islands Community AIDS Resource, Inc (VICARE), and as an adult volunteer for the St. Patrickís Girl Scouts, Troops 192/193. In 2007, Michael received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Parent Teacher Student Association.




Tyra U. DeCastro, AA


Administrative Assistant

Tyra U. De Castro has an Associates of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Penn Foster Online College. She continues to pursue her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a concentration/focus in Child Psychology.† Ms. De Castro has worked at the University of the Virgin Islands, School of Nursing, Caribbean Exploratory Research Center of Excellence since 2007 as an Administrative Assistant II.† Ms. De Castro is very accomplished at developing and taking charge of significant tasks with the CERC.




Doris W. Campbell, PhD, ARNP, FAAN


Principal Investigator, Project I

Dr. Campbell has held academic appointments at Florida A & M University, the University of Florida (Gainesville) and the University of South Florida (Tampa), where she was a professor in the Colleges of Nursing and Public Health and Director of Diversity Initiatives for the USF Health Sciences Center-AHEC Program in the College of Medicine. A frequently sought out consultant on diversity initiatives and minority health disparities, Dr. Campbell is nationally recognized for her research and publications on women's and minority health, especially violence and abuse of African American women. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida.




La Verne E. Ragster, PhD


Director, Research Education and Training CORE






Janis M. Valmond, MS, MPH, DrPH


Research Coordinator/Part-time Faculty-UVI College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Grants: Co-Investigator, Human Service Research Partnership: USVI; Principal Investigator, "Feasibility of using the School Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Survey with 8th grade students in the USVI".

Research Interests: Adolescent health surveillance and healthy lifestyle promotion, health disparities.
Educational background: BA (Biology), University (College) of the Virgin Islands; MS (Biology), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; MPH (Community Health Practice), and DrPH (Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences), School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.




Lorna J. Williams-Sutton, MPA, BA


Program Administrator

Mrs. Lorna J. Williams-Sutton is the Program Administrator for the Caribbean Exploratory Research Center of Excellence. Responsibilities include grant management & reporting; budget preparation; monitoring receipts and expenditures; facilitating contracts; coordinating outreach activities including the Annual Health Disparities Institute, Bi-Annual Advisory Board meetings, and Liaison, National Library of Medicine for Territorial High Schools. Prior to this position, Mrs. Williams-Sutton was Territorial Director of the Primary Health Care Office, Office of the Governor, with primary responsibility for grant management and reporting on the award from DHHS, HRSA; overseeing the Health Professional Service Area (HPSA) Designation for Mental Health, Dental Health and Primary Health Care; oversight for the J-1 Visa Waiver program through the U.S. State Department; Territorial Coordinator for the National Health Service Corp (NHSC) programs for Loan Repayment and Scholarships to clinicians working in Health Profession Shortage Areas (HPSA). She has served on the Board of Directors & as Board Secretary: St. Thomas/St. John United Way; Member, Co-Chair & Chair: Virgin Islands Prevention State Incentive Grant, Division of Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Drug Dependency Services, Department of Health, VI Government; Co-Chair, Data Workgroup, Governorís Task Force on Ending Homelessness, VI Government; and Board Member, Continuum of Care, Department of Planning & Natural Resources, VI Government. She is a former Advisor to the UVI Golden Key International Honour Society and a lifetime Honorary Member. Currently she serves as Board Member and Recording Secretary, St. Croix Educational Complex High School Marching Band Boosters; and Chair, Virgin Islands Diocesan Episcopal Charities Committee. Previously Mrs. Williams-Sutton served as Library Specialist, Division of Libraries, UVI; Administrator, Office of the Vice President, Student Life & Development, UVI; Budget Manager, Office of the Vice President for Administration & Finance, UVI; and Special Assistant to the Commissioner of Education, VI Government.




Aletha Bauman, PhD


Investigator, Project I






Desiree R. Bertrand, MSA, RN


Investigator, Project I






Marilyn Braithwaite-Hall, PhD


Co-Principal Investigator, Project I