Tejal Patel

Doctoral Student, Program Manager

Tejal Patel outside in sunshine with palm trees in background, wearing a pink shirt

Education & Affiliations

M.S., Applied Developmental Psychology, University of New Orleans
B.S., Psychology, Virginia Tech


Tejal (she/her) is an applied researcher utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to address emerging issues in maternal and child health. As a former preschool teacher and current public health professional, Tejal seeks to create a collaborative sector of community-informed health and well-being research, practice, and policy. Her specific research interests include examining how parental mental health literacy impacts children's mental health outcomes. 

Tejal's prior work has primarily focused on parenting, parent-child relationships, and children’s mental and behavioral health. Her previous experiences also include research and evaluation in juvenile delinquency and mentorship programming, school-based nutrition practices, neuro-imaging and adolescent risky behaviors, environmental civic engagement and advocacy among students, primary care capacity, oral healthcare, comprehensive sex education in Louisiana, opioid use, healthcare engagement and retention among people living with HIV, safe sleep practices and infant mortality, telehealth utilization during COVID-19, perceptions of pregnancy care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and utilizing equity-centered design thinking in community engagement to inform the research process. Tejal received her Master’s in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Virginia Tech.

Research Areas

  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Mental Health 
  • Equity-Centered Community Research and Programming