As an Assistant Professor in the Center for Applied Research and Evaluation in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and jointly as the Director of the Access to Healthy Foods Research Group in the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, Dr. English’s research and programming focuses on increasing access to healthy foods. The mission of this work is to build evidence, capacity, and support for an equitable food system that fosters the health and wellness of children, families, and communities in Arkansas. This includes the development, delivery, and evaluation of individual and environmental-level interventions such as farm to school, school and community gardens, and support for increased local and healthy food production, distribution, and consumption. Dr. English serves as the Arkansas Core Partner for the National Farm to School Network. She also serves as the Access to Healthy Foods Priority Lead for Healthy Active Arkansas and is an Advisor to the Board for the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention.
Currently, Dr. English’s work focuses on transitioning the Arkansas Farm to School program to its new home in the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, established during the 2019 legislative session, and beginning a new line of research and programming aimed at improving farm to institution practices in early childhood education facilities, colleges and universities, hospitals and state parks. Her work also includes research and evaluation of interventions aimed at improving diet quality and the food environment in schools, food pantries, and communities as well as development and testing of garden-based nutrition education and culinary skills curricula. She works closely with the Office of Community Health and Research at UAMS Northwest and her primary office is located on the UAMS Northwest campus in Fayetteville, Arkansas.