Dr. Allen completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences and Master of Public Health in Health Promotion and Education at Loma Linda University. In 2005, she was awarded the Chancellor’s Fellowship to study for a Doctor of Public Health Degree at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. In 2014 she completed the degree and the requirements for the Multicultural Specialty Certification.
Dr. Allen has experience in a variety of health agencies, interning as an HIV/AIDS educator for the Riverside County Department of Public Health, serving as the Prenatal Access Coordinator for the Orange County Health Services Agency, and a tobacco educator for the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health. She was the Director of Physician Relations for Chapman Medical Center in Orange, California, working on managed care contracts for the hospital’s Independent Physician’s Association. Dr. Allen spent more than 5 years as the Health Education Manager for the Inland Empire Health Plan, where she developed, implemented and evaluated programs in Asthma, Diabetes, Injury Prevention, Smoking Cessation, and Weight Loss for the Plan’s members. She also served as the plan’s Cultural and Linguistic Services manager, providing training to the plan’s contracted providers, and overseeing the translation of all the plan’s member materials. Dr. Allen joined the American Cancer Society (ACS), California Division in 2002 as the Director of Planning, her primary role being to assist in the development, distribution and implementation of the Statewide Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan. She also evaluated ACS’s programs and services, coordinated activities of the State Cancer Plan, and served as lead staff for the Division’s Clinical Trials recruitment projects.
Dr. Allen’s research focuses on disparities in health status and outcomes. Her specific interests can be incorporated into two research areas: (a) the reduction of health disparities, and (b) how to customize interventions to best meet the needs of diverse and underserved communities. One current project is focused on improving social support to improve health promoting behaviors among men of color.
Dr. Allen has worked at San Jose State since 2013, when she started as a lecturer in the Public Health and Recreation Department. She began as an Assistant Professor in 2015, and served as the Coordinator of the Master of Public Health programs for six years. In 2021, she was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor and was elected Chair of the department in March 2022. Dr. Allen is very active in the campus community, she has been a member of her college’s health, curriculum, and diversity committees is currently the Faculty Co-Chair of the Campus Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the founding Chair of the Black Spartans Advisory Council, an advocacy group working with SJSU administration to improve the lives of Black employees and students.