Written by Kim Furlow, communications manager for the Institute for Public Health
A Master of Social Work candidate at the Brown School who will graduate this month, Taylor Bass, has focused her academic career on mental health issues and serving her community. As a research assistant for two years for Center for Community Health Partnership & Research co-Director, Vetta Sanders Thompson, Bass says she has worked on many community-academic partnerships and projects, which have strengthened both her knowledge base and her passion for working with marginalized communities.
“During her two years working with us, Taylor has been an outstanding partner in the community-engaged activities she pursued,” says Professor Thompson. “I believe that the course of students’ careers are influenced by community-engagement opportunities. It was a pleasure watching Taylor learn to use old and new skills to support the well-being of our community partners.”
As part of her time as a research assistant, Bass has worked with The Restorative Justice Movement Center, a non-profit offering educational and employment opportunities to individuals overlooked due to past criminal records. They also help “strengthen familial and communal units, reinforce positive habits, and instill cultural pride to push back against systemic marginalization and promote equality within their community.” Bass created a comprehensive database of census data on the organization’s clientele. The information benefits RJMC clients by ensuring that the organization has well-organized and consistent data available to staff at the click of a button. The database offers an overview of currently active client services, and helps staff gauge clients’ future needs.
“The database helps employees and volunteers better navigate client data, eliminating overlap, confusion and missed opportunities,” Bass says. She received direction on the project from Professor Thompson, as well as advice on how to best revise and execute the database, which helped to create “the best product possible.”
Her time collaborating with the center has enabled Bass to get a well-rounded picture of, and hands-on training in research centering on marginalized communities. Also with Professor Thompson and colleagues, Bass assisted on a study, regarding COVID-19’s impact on Black Allied Health Care Workers, and, she worked with researchers studying the racial implications of heart health status. She was also a teacher assistant for the summer Community Research Fellows Training (CRFT).
The Center for Community Health Partnership and Research and the Institute for Public Health congratulate Taylor on graduation and wish her luck in her future endeavors!