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Dr. Cheryl Woods Giscombe's Biography

Dr. Cheryl Woods Giscombe

Dr. Cheryl Woods Giscombé, PhD, PMHNP-BC is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.  Dr. Giscombé is dually trained in psychology and psychiatric/mental health nursing. She completed a BA in psychology from North Carolina Central University (1998) where she was a participant in the NIH/NIGMS funded Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) program.  She earned MA and PhD degrees in social psychology and health psychology and a BSN in Nursing from Stony Brook University and a MSN from the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner/clinical nurse specialist program at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Giscombé is also certified in holistic health from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in Manhattan, New York.  In addition, she completed postdoctoral training at UNC Chapel Hill (funded by the National Institutes of Health-NINR/NCMHD and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Minority Fellowship Program in collaboration with the American Nurses Association). Dr. Giscombé was selected as a “Leader in the Field” by the American Psychological Association when she was awarded the Carolyn Payton Early Career Award.

Cheryl L. Woods Giscombé’s program of research focuses on understanding and reducing stress-related health disparities. Her research incorporates sociohistorical and biopsychosocial perspectives to investigate how stress and coping strategies contribute to psychological and physical health outcomes. Dr. Giscombé has particular interests in conceptualizing stress and coping to measure their impact on health disparities and in the potential of holistic approaches to mental health interventions.  Her multidimensional conceptualization of stress incorporates race-related, gender-related, and generic stressors in addition to the contribution of strength, caregiving, and emotional suppression.  She has developed a conceptual framework entitled Superwoman Schema to highlight ways in which sociohistorical processes related to stress and coping influence health disparities in African American women in particular.  She has conducted research on the potential benefits of mindfulness and other mind-body interventions for stress-related health disparities among African Americans.  Dr. Woods Giscombé is currently a principal investigator on an NIH-funded research study on stress and diabetes prevention among African American adults with pre-diabetes. She also maintains a clinical practice as a psychotherapist/ psychiatric nurse practitioner at CAARE, Inc. in Durham, NC.

Dr. Giscombé is particularly grateful for her immediate family (husband, Kessonga Giscombe (NCCU -1999) and two daughters, Zuri and Zola) her extended family, friends, and mentors who support and inspire her both professionally and personally.  She comes from a legacy of family members who are also NCCU graduates including her father, Dr. Robert L. Woods (NCCU - 1969), her mother, Cynthia Woods (NCCU - 1970), her sister, Sonja Woods (NCCU - 1995, 2009 and currently a PhD student at Howard University), and her uncle, Dr. Clifton Woods (NCCU - 1966).