Meet Dr. Sam Cacace! Dr. Cacace is an esteemed research scholar, and heads the Center’s Military and Veteran Health and Wellness Program.
Since joining CFACE in October 2018, Dr. Cacace has worked on several veteran advocacy projects. In partnership with the Shelton Leadership Center and NC State Military and Veteran Affairs, Dr. Cacace is currently developing a funding proposal for a military and veteran community wellness garden on NC State’s campus. The purpose of this garden is to provide a mindfulness and wellness space to meet the needs and desires of the university’s military-affiliated students, whose input will inform the garden’s design.
Additionally, Dr. Cacace is involved in a Civilian Perceptions Project—an initiative that combats stigma against military identity and experiences. Under her guidance, the Center’s Military Wellness Lab is currently collecting data from non-military-affiliated students to determine if there is objective stigma against military service. The data collected from this research project will be used to investigate civilian stigma by health care and legal service providers in order to determine the existence of additional resource barriers faced by service members and veterans.
When asked to describe her favorite thing about working at CFACE, Dr. Cacace says that she loves “the autonomy and freedom to investigate health and wellness in military service members, veterans and their families as such a large and important part of the North Carolina community.” She also says that she enjoys “being able to work with key stakeholders and academic partners, and involving students and postdocs in all stages of research and community engagement.”
With her extensive and demanding work, It’s hard to believe that Dr. Cacace has free time, but when she can, she enjoys rock climbing, hiking, camping and pottery.
We are very proud of Dr. Cacace and her dedication to military advocacy! For more information about Dr. Cacace, please check out her staff biography.