faculty profile

Leah Scholma Branam   MSSW, LMSW

Assistant in Clinical Nursing
Director, CASTLES


 Leah Branam joined the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty in 2017. Prior to joining the faculty, Branam worked as a social worker focused on community health program implementation and research management at Vanderbilt Medical Center and VUSN. Over the course of her career, Branam has established a strong track record in community health practice, program evaluation, resource development, and cultivating community partnerships. She also manages the Students for Health Equity (SHE) program at VUSN, which partners community organizations with teams of trained college students to develop, implement, and/or evaluate community health programs. Branam is currently pursuing a PhD in Community Research and Action at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.


  • MSSW, University of Tennessee, College of Social Work
  • BA, Calvin College


  • Positive Youth Development Trainer, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

Current Research/Scholarly Interests

  • Community-based Health Promotion
  • Campus-Community Partnerships for Health
  • Sense of Community
  • Positive Youth Development

Academic Interests

  • Community and population health


Collective Impact through Community Health Initiatives. Branam, L.-PI. Funder: United Way of Metro Nashville. 2017-2019.

Academic Engagement in Underserved Nashville Youth. Branam, L.-PI. Funder: Metropolitan Nashville Community Enhancement Fund. 2017.

Youth Health Improvement through Out-of-School Time Physical Activity Programs. Branam, L.-PI. Funder: United Way of Metro Nashville. 2014-2017.

Promoting Family Health through Community Kitchens. Branam, L.-PI. Funder: United Way of Metro Nashville. 2014-2017.

Promoting Physical Activity with Latino Youth. Funder: Peyback Foundation. 2016.

Professional Organizations

  • Network for Social Work Management of TN.