Cheryl L. Woods-Giscombe

PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN , Doctoral (Alumni)

Cheryl Woods-Giscombe, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, graduated with honors from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She is also a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina Central University with a degree in Psychology. Dr. Giscombe earned masters and doctorate degrees in Social and Health Psychology at Stony Brook University and certification in Holistic Health from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in Manhattan, New York. Dr. Giscombe completed a NIH T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a research affiliate of the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine (UNC School of Medicine). In 2009, Dr. Woods-Giscombe received her post-master’s certificate in nursing and received board certification as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The objective of Dr. Giscombe’s program of research is to incorporate a sociohistorical lens to investigate how stress and coping strategies contribute to the psychological and physical health status of African American women and to develop culturally-relevant strategies to prevent stress-related mental health outcomes, including depression, disordered eating, and substance abuse and related adverse physical health conditions. Dr. Giscombe has a particular interest in the potential of integrative approaches to reducing mental health-related disparities among African Americans.

Prior to being awarded the SAMHSA fellowship, Dr. Giscombe received funding by the National Institute of Nursing Research, Center for Innovations in Health Disparities Research (UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (MARC U* Star Program), Nurses Educational Funds, Inc., W.B. Burghardt Turner Fellowship, and the American Psychological Association (Division of Health Psychology).

Dr. Giscombe is particularly grateful for the support of her immediate and extended family, professional mentors, her husband Kessonga, and daughter Zuri Hadiyah Giscombe.

Dr. Giscombe was awarded the 2007 Carolyn Payton Early Career Award (American Psychological Association, Division 35, Section 1) for Research in recognition of her 2005 publication: Explaining Disproportionately High Rates of Adverse Birth Outcomes Among African Americans: The Impact of Stress, Racism, and Related Factors in Pregnancy.

Dr. Giscombe is currently Distinguished Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Woods-Giscombe is also a Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Faculty Scholar. 

Contributions to Science