About Us

Dr. Wansoo Im

Dr. Wansoo Im specializes in participatory mapping using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and has pioneered the use of interactive, web/mobile-based GIS to support community-based participation and research on a wide range of social and environmental issues.

He currently holds a position as an Associate Professor in the Divison of Public Health Program and the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Meharry Medical College and manages Public Health Exposure Database. Dr. Im is the Director of the National Community Mapping Institute at Meharry. He has experience teaching GIS applications to planning, public health, and engineering students at various universities in New Jersey. 

Dr. Im employs big data, harnessing various social/crowd networking solutions to uncover deep demographic and health insights and business opportunities regarding social and health determinants. 

In addition, he has conducted research using GIS for the past 30 years with an emphasis on data collection and analysis from distressed environmental areas and inner-city communities. His research has highlighted the power and efficacy of crowdsourcing data, which has the potential to educate, engage, and empower marginalized populations while providing important complements to existing environmental health data. Dr. Im was featured in The New Yorker magazine in 2006 and the New York Times in 2008 for his work mapping public restrooms in New York City.

In 2012 Dr. Im led a volunteer crowd source effort to map gas stations during Hurricane Sandy, which the US Department of Energy Call Center, the City of New York, and FEMA used to inform their emergency response. The project was covered by the Huffington Post and numerous other national news outlets and led to a speaking engagement at Google’s Disaster Management Symposium after Hurricane Sandy.

Contact: wim@mmc.edu

Rebekah Zenaye

Research Assistant

Rebekah is a Senior at Vanderbilt University, pursuing a dual major in Medicine, Health, & Society and Psychology, focusing on pre-medicine. Her passion for making a difference in the community led her to assist in Dr. Im's Community Mapping projects, notably the Meharry HBCU Wellness Project and Nashville Food Access initiatives. Beyond her involvement in community mapping, Rebekah's academic interests encompass critical areas like racial/ethnic health disparities, mental health awareness, and the impact of social determinants on health. Her commitment to these topics reflects her desire to contribute positively to addressing pressing healthcare challenges.

Dr. Garrett Harper

Social Impact Advisor

Dr. Garrett Harper serves in Strategic Planning and Research for Metropolitan Social Services in Nashville.  Dr. Harper holds the following degrees: Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., M.T.S., M.S.I.O.P, M.S.A.N.R., and a Certificate in GIS. He is completing a Doctor of Ministry degree in the field of chaplaincy, along with Clinical Pastoral Education. 

Dr. Harper has worked extensively in the areas of business strategy and research, teaching in higher education, and public policy. His work and interests are in the fields of chaplaincy, spiritual care, organizational psychology, language, and human well-being.

Dr. Rosemary Nabaweesi

Health Policy & Community Engagement Advisor

Dr. Rosemary Nabaweesi, an accomplished physician scientist and advocate for health equity, currently holds the prestigious RWJF Chair for Health Policy and serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Practice within the School of Graduate Studies at Meharry Medical College.

Dr. Nabaweesi's remarkable journey in the field of medicine and public health has been marked by a steadfast commitment to addressing pressing societal issues. Her work centers on the critical intersection of health policy, social determinants of health, and injuries, with a focus on mitigating health and educational disparities among vulnerable populations. 

As a physician scientist, Dr. Nabaweesi employs a multidisciplinary approach to her work, emphasizing implementation and community engagement research. Her pioneering efforts have led to innovative solutions aimed at tackling the complex challenges associated with childhood injury, women's and children's health and wellness. Her current study focuses on improving the built environment to foster healthier communities.

Dr. C.J. Sentell

Food Policy and Social Determinants of Health Advisor

Dr. C.J. Sentell is the CEO of The Nashville Food Project. Before joining the Food Project, C.J. served as the Executive Director of FORGE, a community development financial institution (CDFI) dedicated to supporting farmers and rural entrepreneurs. As the curriculum director for Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, C.J. helped launch the first culinary school in the U.S. based on a full food systems approach to culinary education, and prior to that helped found the Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative. An alumnus of Hendrix College, C.J. holds an M.Phil. in the history and philosophy of science from University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University. 

A farmer himself, C.J. has studied food systems in multiple countries and across multiple traditions, including his doctoral research on the relationship between freedom and food, slavery and agriculture. Other scholarly interests include social and political theory (esp. social determinants of health, biopolitics, race, and democracy), environmental ethics, and the American philosophical traditions. Born on a nut farm north of Shreveport, Louisiana, C.J. has lived in Nashville for more than 20 years, and currently lives with his wife and three children in Bellevue.