Dr. Sy’s research and scholarly work focuses on addressing cancer health disparities among underrepresented Asian and Pacific Islander communities. She is the Community Engagement Coordinator of the NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities funded Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network. The RCMI Translational Research Network is a national consortium of basic, behavioral, clinical and translational researchers in the 18 RCMI Centers, working in collaboration with investigators from other academic health centers, community health providers, and the public to focus their collective efforts on addressing health disparities. Dr. Sy served as the Research Director of the NIH National Cancer Institute funded Asian American Network of Cancer Awareness, Research and Training-Hawaii randomized clinical trial to promote colorectal cancer screening among Filipinos. She is a Co-Investigator of a NIH National Institute of Minority Health Disparities funded U24 Indigenous Samoan Partnership to Initiate Research Excellence (INSPIRE) to enhance research capacity and assess colorectal cancer screening in American Samoa.
Dr. Sy evaluates health promotion interventions using community engagement approaches. Program evaluations have focused on programs to promote positive health outcomes for youth and adolescents, and she has served as the evaluator of the Hawai`i Children’s Trust Fund One Strong `Ohana statewide campaign to prevent child abuse and neglect in Hawai`i. Dr. Sy is also the program evaluator of a CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Health funded Community Health Interventions Project in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands.
Dr. Sy teaches public health and research courses-- Introduction to Research Methods, Program Evaluation, Qualitative Research Methods, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Introduction to Epidemiology, Needs Assessment, and Community Based Participatory Research. She serves on masters and doctoral student committees.
Dr. Sy served as the Chair of the American Public Health Association, Asian Pacific Islander Caucus and is the Treasurer of the Hawai`i Public Health Association.
B.S. Santa Clara University; Santa Clara, California, Major area: Combined Sciences, Minor: Sociology
M.P.H. University of Hawai`i at Manoa; Honolulu, Hawai`i, Major area: Public Health - Health Services Administration and Planning
Dr.P.H. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Major area: Public Health - Health Behavior and Health Education