Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine

Summer 2019

An Interview with Outlook's New Editor, Crystal Lumpkins, PhD

Megan McVay, PhD; Publications and Communications Council Chair

Crystal Lumpkins, PhD

The SBM Publication & Communication Council is excited to welcome Dr. Crystal Lumpkins as our new editor of Outlook. Dr. Lumpkins is an Associate Professor and residency research director in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Kansas. Welcome Dr. Lumpkins, and congratulations on your inaugural issue!

We expect that readers would be interested to get to know our new editor, and learn a bit about her vision for Outlook. Dr. Lumpkins also has had an interesting career path that provides an example of the many types of backgrounds from which SBM members come, and the many career paths they follow. We have interviewed Dr. Lumpkins.

You have an interesting career background that makes you a great fit for this position. Can you tell us a bit about what you did prior to obtaining your PhD?

I often marvel at how my career has evolved; no one could have told me that my career path would begin in the newsroom and take me to the classroom and health disparities research with the community. Before obtaining my PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC) in 2007, I worked in University Communications at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) while teaching as an adjunct at other local colleges. Prior to serving as a writer at UMKC, I was a freelance writer for the Albuquerque Journal and morning associate producer for KOB TV 4. These positions gave me an opportunity to write in different formats, informed my thesis that focused on Community Journalism and forced me to focus and complete a Dual Masters in Media Communication and Management. After obtaining the B.J. (Bachelors of Journalism) in 1992 from UMC, I worked as an on-air general assignment reporter and promotions writer at various affiliates in Kansas and Missouri.

You have a strong interest in Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR). Can you tell us a bit about this part of your professional life?

CBPR is a natural extension of who I am as a researcher and a combination of my previous experiences in public relations, community journalism and volunteerism within the African American community. This approach has allowed me to work with and alongside underserved communities to leverage population health communication that is equitable, relevant, relatable and impactful for positive behavior outcome.

What is your favorite thing about being an SBM member?

SBM has offered so much to me as a member; it is hard to state my favorite thing about being a member. As a health communication scholar and member since 2015, I have been able to connect and collaborate with others, receive important training to enhance what I do as a researcher and network with social and behavioral scientists throughout the country. The friendships I’ve developed have also been wonderful.

How do you envision Outlook relating to social media? Is there an opportunity to use social media to promote Outlook?

Absolutely! We’re hoping to use Outlook as a cross-promotion tool where the articles that appear in Outlook will also appear in SBM social media. We’re hoping that this will encourage an exchange between authors and those who frequent our social media pages. Please look for this and join the conversation to communicate our science.

Is there anything else you want to say about your vision for the future of Outlook?

Yes, I’m hoping that Outlook will serve as a tool to increase our engagement with external stakeholders. Our first priority is to the membership but I believe we must also engage with like-minded organizations as this will help to increase visibility of who we are and what we do and why proven behavioral medicine is critical for the betterment of society.

Ok, last question: If members have ideas for articles for Outlook, what should they do?

Thank you for this question! If members have ideas for the newsletter, they can send those to Andrew Schmidt at aschmidt@sbm.org at or me at clumpkins@kumc.edu. We want to hear from you!