Skip to main content

Charlayne Mitchell

Assistant Professor of Instruction

PhD, Arizona State University 2021
Geographic Regions: United States, particularly the southeastern U.S. (Mississippi)

Topics of Expertise: Global Health, nutrition, critical nutrition, health inequalities and disparities, social and cultural dimensions of health; race, gender, and class intersections; Black Americans' health, decolonizing research methods, Community based participatory research, qualitative research methods, Black Feminist Thought, water insecurity and environmental inequities

Research interests

Nutrition, health communication, health equity, community-based participatory research, Black Feminist Thought, decolonizing research methods, unserved population health, obesity, qualitative research.


Charlayne F. Mitchell is an Assistant Professor in the Program in Global Health Studies at Northwestern University. Mitchell is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research focuses on the intersections of nutrition, critical qualitative research, and health inequities. Mitchell received her bachelor’s degree in human and environmental sciences, a master’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Arkansas, and her Ph.D. in Global Health from Arizona State University.

Mitchell has researched the aspects of nutritional interventions, energy metabolism, energy expenditure, health narratives, health equity, and decolonizing research methods.  She has conducted research among children, adolescent populations, and Black individuals living in the southeastern U.S.  Mitchell’s work has shown how attending to the stories and experiences of those underrepresented can serve as an important tool in increasing health equity. Additionally, her work has explored research methods that encourage PIs to “step back and let the community lead.” Leveraging a community’s ways of knowing and health praxis transforms and interrupts data collection opening the space for health interventions. Mitchell’s scholarship and teaching are directly influenced by research approaches that use an ethic of care praxis when working with communities centered at the margins. These include but are not limited to Black Feminist Thought, Community-based Participatory Research, and Critical Race Theory.  There is a scarcity of research that brings the voices and experiences of communities living through health disparities to the forefront.

Mitchell has published articles broadly in methodological, nutritional, psychological, and social science journals including Field Methods and Psychology of Men & Masculinity. She has also published a book chapter on “Sister-girl Talk” a novel qualitative research method. Her work has been acknowledged in grants supported by the National Science Foundation.

Mitchell is currently researching local water insecurity and environmental inequities and is working on several articles and a book chapter centered on Black Feminist methodologies and water insecurity.

Course taught

  • (Re)mixing Qualitative Methods
  • Silent but Loud: Negotiating Health in a Cultural, Food, Poverty, and Environmental Caste
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Special Topics in Global Health: R.E.C.I.P.E

Recent publications

MitchellC., 2024. Sister-girl Talk: A Method for Group Interviewing Black Women. The Handbook of Teaching Qualitative and Mixed Research Methods: A Step-by-Step Guide for Instructors. Routledge, pp 153-158

A.D. Roque, A. Wutich, S. H. Shah, C. L. Workman, L. E. Méndez-Barrientos, Y. Choueiri, Belury, L., and Mitchell, C. 2023. Justice and injustice in “Modular, Adaptive and Decentralized” (MAD) Water Systems. Water Security Vol. 20, pp 100-151

MitchellC., Ore, E.J., Wutich, A., SturtzSreetharan, C., Brewis, A., Davis, O.I. 2022. Sister-girl Talk: A Community-based Method for Group Interviewing & AnalysisField Methods Journal Vol 34(2).         

SturtzSreetharan, C., Agostini, G., Wutich, A., Mitchell, C., Rines, O., Romanello, B., Brewis, A. 2019.   “I need to lose some weight”: Masculinity and Body Image as Negotiated Through Fat Talk. Psychology of Men & Masculinity 21(1), 148–161.

Baum, J.I., Gaines, B.L., Kubas, G., Mitchell, C.F., Russell, S.L. 2017. Educational Nutrition Messaging at Breakfast Reduces Snack Intake and Influences Snack Preferences In Adult Men and WomenAppetite Eating and Drinking Journal Vol. 177 (67-73).


Baum, J.I., Gaines, B.L., Kubas, G., Mitchell, C.F., Russell, S. 2017. Education Messaging at Breakfast, Not Protein Source, Influences Appetite Response, Food Preferences, and Food Intake in Men and WomenFederation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Vol. 31 (957)