Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Director, CHAMP (Community Health Awareness, Messages, and Prevention) Lab; Co-Director, Center for Health Behavior Research; Co-Leader for Population Science Program in the Greenebaum Cancer Center
Other Affiliations: Center for Health Behavior Research, Horowitz Center for Health Literacy, UMD Prevention Research Center
Campus: UMD | Building: School of Public Health | Room: 2369
Phone: (301) 405-6659 |
Laboratory Website: 
Community Health Awareness, Messages, & Prevention (CHAMP)
Office Hours: 

By appointment only.


Dr. Cheryl L. Holt, PhD, FAAHB is Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health and Co-Director of the Center for Health Behavior Research, in the University of Maryland School of Public Health.  She is a member of the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center and serves as Co-Leader of the Population Science program.  She is founding Director of the Community Health Awareness, Messages, and Prevention research lab.  Dr. Holt holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine.  Her health disparities research involves community-based health communication studies, and the role of culture in health cognitions and behaviors.  Dr. Holt’s research program has generated over $11.5 million in extramural support as Principal Investigator, from sources such as the NIH, CDC, and ACS.  The program has resulted in over 80 peer-reviewed publications, most including student co-authors.  Specifically, Dr. Holt’s research examines religious involvement and health among African Americans, and using religion/spirituality to frame breast, prostate, and colon cancer early detection messages for this population.  More recently her intervention work has added a behavioral translational research focus.

Education and Training

Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO Doctorate in Applied/Experimental Psychology, Social Psychology Concentration, 1997-2001

East Tennessee University, Johnson City, Tennessee Masters in General Psychology 1995-1997

State University of New York College at Brockport, Brockport, New York Bachelor of Science in Psychology, minor in Sociology (Cum Laude) 1991-1995


Health Behavior, HLTH 230

Health Behavior II, HLTH 666

Professional Writing and Presentations, HLTH 742

Honors and Awards

2013: Research and Development Award, University of Maryland, School of Public Health

2012: Fellow, American Academy of Health Behavior

2012: Delta Omega, National Honorary Society in Public Health, Gamma Zeta Chapter

2008:  Early Investigator Award for Spirituality and Health Research (Honorable Mention); Society of Behavioral Medicine

2003-2009: Student Loan Repayment Program in Health Disparities; National Institutes of Health

2003-2004: Fellow:  Cancer, Culture, and Literacy Institute, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida 


Santos, S.L.Z., Tagai, E.K., Wang, M.Q., Scheirer, M.A., Slade, J.L., & Holt, C.L.  (In Press).  Feasibility of a web-based training system for peer community health advisors in cancer early detection among African Americans.  American Journal of Public Health.

Caplan, L., Sawyer, P., Holt, C.L., & Brown, C.  (In Press).  Religiosity after a diagnosis of cancer among older adults.  Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging.

Williams, B.R., Wang, M.Q., Schulz, E., Clark, E.M., & Holt, C.L.  (In Press).  Social integration and continuous health insurance among African American adults.  Journal of Women and Aging.

Dubay, D., Ivankova, N., Herby, I., Wynn, T.A., Kohler, C., Berry, B., Foushee, H., Carson, A., Redden, D.T., Holt, C.L., Siminoff, L., Fouad, M., & Martin, African American organ donor registration:  A mixed methods design using the Theory of Planned Behavior M.Y.  (In Press).  Progress in Transplantation.

Kertesz, S.G., Pollio, D.E., Jones, R.N., Steward, J., Stringfellow, E.J., Gordon, A.J., Johnson, N.K., Kim, T.A., Daigle, S.G., Austin, E.L., Young, A.S., Chrystal, J.G., Davis, L.L., Roth, D.L., & Holt, C.L.  (2014).  Development of the Primary Care Quality-Homeless (PCQ-H) Instrument.  Medical Care, 52 (8), 734-742.

King, C., Chen, J., Dagher, R., Holt, C.L., Thomas, S.  (2014).  Decomposing differences in medical care access among cancer survivors by race and ethnicity.  American Journal of Medical Quality.  Article first published online.  DOI: 10.1177/1062860614537676.

Holt, C.L., Tagai, E., Scheirer, M.A., Santos, S.L.Z., Bowie, J., Haider, M., Slade, J.L., Wang, M.Q., & Whitehead, T.  (2014).  Translating evidence-based interventions for implementation:  Experiences from Project HEAL in African American churches.  Implementation Science, 9:66.  DOI:  doi:10.1186/1748-5908-9-66.

Le, D., Holt, C.L., Pisu, M., Brown-Galvan, A., Fairley, T., Smith, J.L., White, A., Hall, I.L., Oster, R.A., & Martin, M.Y.  (2014).  The role of social support in post-treatment surveillance among African American colorectal cancer survivors.  Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 32 (3), 245-263. DOI: 10.1080/07347332.2014.897293.

Holt, C.L., Clark, E.M., Wang, M.Q., Williams, B.R., & Schulz, E.  (2014).  The religion-health connection among African Americans:  What is the role of social capital?  Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology.  Article first published online.  DOI:  10.1002/casp.2191.

Holt, C.L., Clark, E.M., Debnam K.J., & Roth, D.L.  (2014).  Religion and Health in African American: The role of religious coping.  American Journal of Health Behavior, 38(2), 190-199.  DOI:  NIHMSID: 597509.   

Holt, C.L., Roth, D.L., Clark, E.M., & Debnam K.  (2014).  Positive self-perceptions as a mediator of religious involvement and health behaviors in a national sample of African Americans.  Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 37(1), 102-112.  DOI:  10.1007/s10865-012-9472-7. PMID 23143382; PMCID: PMC3587037.

Clark, E.M., Holt, C.L., Wang, M.Q., Williams, B.R., Schulz, E., Southward, P.L.  (2013).  The relationship between spiritual health locus of control and social and religious capital.  Counseling and Spirituality, 32(2), 105-121.  DOI:  10.2143/CS.32.2.3017319.

Caplan, L., Holt, C.L., Sawyer, P., & Allman, R.A.  (2013).  Religiosity and function among community-dwelling older adult survivors of cancer.  Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging, 25, 311-325.  DOI:  10.1080/15528030.2013.787575.  PMID 24436690.  PMCID: PMC3889668.