Photo of Castañeda, Yvette

Yvette Castañeda, PhD, MPH '13

Postdoctoral Fellow

Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences


Yvette Castañeda is a practice/research hybrid. A community-engaged scholar with extensive experience in mix-method research design, implementation,  assessment, evaluation as well as data collection and analysis —Yvette has over ten years of experience developing evaluations and measurement within community-based participatory research in ethnic enclaves and disadvantaged communities. She has a special focus on Latino immigrant health with projects in the areas of cancer prevention research, geriatric mental and physical health, social-contextual antecedents to chronic disease, precarious employment, and labor market disparities, pelvic bladder and uterine health in women, population health of immigrants and the undocumented, violence prevention. Yvette has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations and has taught at all levels (youth, collegiate, adult) in multiple disciples of health, kinesiology, statistics, community health assessment at the University of Illinois at Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as the Chicago campus.

Yvette holds multiple volunteer positions and has lead several community-based initiatives and collaborative research teams working directly with Greater Lawndale organizations like Enlace, Taer de Jose, St Agnes of Bohemia, Enlace, Jorge Prieto Family Health Center Padres Angeles and Imago Dei. She has worked with community partners from various churches and universities to develop strategies to help improve study efficacy and overall results. She has also worked with interdisciplinary, multi-lingual project teams with key organizations, including the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern, Loyola, Illinois Department of Public Health, Dominican University, John Stroger Hospital of Cook County as well as local community organizations in North and South Lawndale and through the Chicagoland Area.

Castañeda earned her B.S. in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; a Masters of Public Health and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her doctoral research focuses on trauma and the body and cultural narratives that shed light on healing through qualitative research approaches and feminists’ perspectives.