Public Health Faculty: Dr. Lillian MacNell

What is your role at Campbell?
 Assistant Professor of Public Health

What are your research interests?
My research right now focuses a lot on how hunger and food insecurity affect health and wellbeing. I’m also very interested in the relationship between human health and environmental health. Many of the people exposed to the worst environmental hazards are those who use the fewest resources—so I like to think about how we can create a more just system where everyone’s health is prioritized.

What have you gained from working at Campbell?
A lot! One thing I love about working here is that all the students really want to be here, so I get a lot of validation from that. We know Campbell’s a bit off the beaten path, and I think people come here because they are looking for something specific that Campbell offers that other places don’t – a real community feeling and sense of purpose and giving back. From a more tangible point of view, I grew up 12 miles west of New York City–so even though I learned about rural places from an academic standpoint while in school, it’s really been working at Campbell that has given me both an understanding and appreciation of rurality that I never had before.

What are the accomplishments, passions, and experiences that you bring to the Campbell family?
At Campbell, I’m involved in a lot of development of IPE activities; I love Campbell’s commitment to interprofessional collaboration. I recently joined the Safe Kids Harnett County coalition and am looking forward to learning more about how to get involved with them. Also, my partner and I are in the process of becoming a licensed foster home, so I’m learning a lot about the child welfare system in our country. That’s been very eye-opening, and I think the experience has given me a deeper understanding of the importance of social context is understanding the health of individuals, families, and communities, which I can bring to the classroom.

What is your educational experience?

  • BS in Environmental Science from the University of Central Florida
  • MA in Environmental Sociology from the University of Central Florida
  • PhD in Rural Sociology from North Carolina State University