Entered the Program in 2011
BS-Psychology, University of Richmond
MPH in BSHE, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
“While completing my MPH, I worked on projects related to mental and physical health conditions, as well as the social determinants of health. I also held a graduate assistant position in the Carter Center's mental health program.
For the past few years, I have lived and worked abroad. Most recently, I worked as a researcher for a UK-based research organization investigating the impact chronic illnesses—such as musculoskeletal disorders, multiple sclerosis, and mental illness—have on work and employment.”
Mental health and co-morbidity, psychosocial adjustment to disease, prevention interventions focusing on mental health outcomes, and the social determinants of health
The relationship between depression and social capital and income inequality
- McGee, R. & Ashby, K. (2010). Body and soul: Exploring the connection between physical and mental health conditions. London: The Work Foundation.
- Bevan, S., McGee, R., & Quadrello, T. (2009). Making Europe fit for work: Key findings of the Fit for Work Europe report on musculoskeletal disorders and work. Occupational Health at Work, 6(4), 30-32.
- Esterberg, M.L., Compton, M.T., McGee, R., Shim, R., & Hochman, K. (2008). Knowledge about schizophrenia and social distance toward individuals with schizophrenia: A survey among predominantly low-income, urban, African American community members. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 14, 86-93.
- Compton, M.T., Esterberg, M.L., McGee, R., Kotwicki, R.J., & Oliva, J.R. (2006). Crisis intervention team training for law enforcement officers: Changes in knowledge, attitudes, and stigma relating to schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services, 57, 1199-1202.
- McGee, R. (2010, November 26). Healthy mind, healthy economy. Invited presentation for 2010 With Work in Mind Conference. Edinburgh, Scotland.
- McGee, R.E. (2007, November 7). The relationship between depression and social capital and income inequality. Paper presented at the 2007 American Public Health Conference (Poster).
- McGee, R.E. & Thompson, N.J. (2006, November 8). Factors associated with unwanted sexual experiences among adolescent males. Paper presented at 2006 American Public Health Association Conference.
Entered the Program in 2012
BS in Psychology; Minor in Health Services Administration University of Central Florida
MPH in Epidemiology, University of Florida’s College of Public Health and Health Professions
“After graduating with my MPH in 2006, I accepted a position at the CDC in the Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. Since joining the CDC, I have assisted with and led a number of research projects focusing on the primary prevention of cancer, early detection and surveillance, cancer genomics, and cancer survivorship.
In order to further develop my skills in research and statistical methods, I obtained a Master of Science in Research Methods, Measurement, and Statistics at Georgia State University in 2011.
During my time at Rollins, I will continue to focus on cancer prevention and control, namely focusing on factors that may impact medical decision-making, specifically in minority populations and populations at increased risk, such as those with hereditary cancer syndromes.”
Rebecca Claire Woodruff
BA in Biology, Concentration in Neural and Behavioral Studies-Bryn Mawr College
MPH in Health Behavior-Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
“My research interests focus access to healthy foods as a determinant of dietary intake and evaluating methods of transforming community food environments to make them more supportive of healthy eating. In addition to my dissertation research, during my doctoral program I have managed several evaluations of initiatives to increase access to healthy foods, including Cobb and Douglas Public Health’s Farm Fresh Market initiative, Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture’s Open-Air Farm Markets, and Wholesome Wave Georgia’s Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program."
built environments, access to healthy foods, diet and nutrition, program evaluation
Improving Access to Healthy Foods: Implications for Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Dietary Quality
Michelle C. Kegler, DrPH, MPH
- Woodruff, R.C., Arriola, K.J., Powell-Threets, K., Nuri, K.R., Hunter, C., Kegler, M.C. Urban Farm Markets as a Strategy to Increase Access to Healthy Foods: Results from an Evaluation of Two Farm Markets in Atlanta, GA. Under review.
- Woodruff, R.C., Coleman, A.M., Munoz, J., Hermstad, A., Honeycutt, S., Brown, A.F., Shipley, R., Kegler, M.C. Increasing Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: a Case Study of the Farm Fresh Market Pilot Program in Cobb County, GA. Preventing Chronic Disease. 13:E36. doi: 10.1007/s13187-015-0966-1
- Woodruff, R.C., Hermstad, A., Honeycutt, A., Brown, M., Kegler, M.C. Results from an Evaluation of the Georgia Colorectal Cancer Control Program Community Education and Outreach Events. Journal of Cancer Education. 1-9. doi: 10.1007/s13187-015-0966-1
- Schauer, G.L., Woodruff, R.C., Hotz, J., Kegler, M.C. (2014). A Qualitative Inquiry about Weight Counseling Practices in Community Health Centers. Patient Education and Counseling. 97(1):82-87. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2014.05.026
Entered the Program in 2013
BS in Conservation Resource Studies-UC Berkeley
MPH, the University of Michigan
“After graduating, I worked in Bay Area nonprofits and became increasingly frustrated with how little I understood all the ways society affects health.
My involvement in environmental/racial justice and LGBT rights got me interested in how discrimination affects health. My actual draw to study public health though came from my experiences encountering a lack of information on transgender health, and the realization that I wanted to develop research-informed programs and policy.
I first took a Community Based Participatory Research class at San Francisco State University, which excited me about collaborative public health research.
I began defining my research trajectory in health inequities, LGBT health, and discrimination while earning my MPH. At Emory I’m continuing to focus on how environments affect health, discrimination, and health inequities.
My research interest is how social and political environments affect health above and beyond individual health behavior. I am especially interested in how institutionalized discrimination creates situations of risk, how discrimination literally gets under the skin (biomarkers), and the effects of gender, identities, and communities on health.
I use an intersectional lens to think about identity and discrimination. I intend to use geographic information systems and network theories to further understand the social dimensions of health risks and resilience.
I am additionally influenced by community based participatory research principles and mixed-methods approaches to research problems. My focus area is LGB -and particularly transgender- health.”
BA in Sociology- Williams College
MSc in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
“After graduation, I worked as a serious adverse events coordinator for the TIMI Study Group at Brigham and Women's Hospital before earning my MSc.
My dissertation evaluated instruments used to measure the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse as a part of the Gender Violence and Health Centre's contributions to the Global Burden of Disease Study.
In 2010, I began working as the project manager for the HIV Vaccine Clinical Trials Group at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
While living in Boston, I volunteered with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center as a hotline counselor and patient advocate.
I matriculated to Rollins in 2013 to begin doctoral work within the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education.”
intimate partner violence, medical care for sexual assault patients, and reproductive health rights.
BS in Public and Community Health- University of Maryland, College Park
MPH in Global Health- Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
“While earning my MPH, I gained skills in qualitative methods and worked with a sexual and reproductive health NGO in New Delhi to better understand and respond to the needs of their clients. I also began interning with CDC's Division of Global HIV/AIDS, which is where I developed my passion for working with highly vulnerable and marginalized populations (people who inject drugs, sex workers and men who have sex with men).
I have worked on a variety of projects at the CDC for the past five years. I developed and implemented a home-based, community-level HIV prevention intervention in Namibia and Zambia, conducted a rapid assessment with heroin users in Kenya, and conducted a qualitative data analysis. I worked on domestic CDC guidelines for integrated HIV, STI, hepatitis, and TB services for people who inject drugs. I also oversaw gender-based violence interventions in Mozambique and the DRC and helped many other countries strategically plan their HIV-prevention portfolios.
I'm hoping a PhD in BSHE will allow me to fine-tune my design and analysis skills so I can continue this work on a higher level.”
“I am interested in HIV prevention for key populations. Specifically, I am interested in using mixed-methods research methodologies to assess structural interventions that improve access to health services for key populations. I am also interested in the intersection between violence and HIV risk.”
Barriers and facilitators to HIV prevention and treatment services for people who inject drugs in the United States: A systematic review of the literature
- Needle R, Mital S, Ball A. (2012). Prevention of HIV and other blood-borne and sexually transmitted diseases in people who inject drugs: Current status and future prospects. In K Fenton & S Aral (Eds.), The New Public Health and HIV/STD Prevention, New York: Springer.
- H Belani, T Chorba, F Fletcher, K Hennessey, K Kroeger, A Lansky, J Leichliter, D Lentine, S Mital, R Needle, K O'Connor, J Oeltmann, E Pevzner, D Purcell, M Sabin, S Semaan, U Sharapov, Smith B, Vogt T, Wynn B. (2012). Guidance from CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services for Integrated Prevention Services for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STI, and TB for Persons who use Drugs Illicitly in the United States, MMWR, 7 Nov 2012.
- Conkling M, Nchena H, Membe I, Katunga MF, Mital S. (2012). Reaching Couples at Home: A community health worker data collection strategy to record HIV testing and referring for HIV prevention, care and treatment in Monze District of Zambia. Presented at the 2012 Global Symposium of Health Systems Research, Beijing.
- Njenga F, Kiima D, Siminyu M, Munyi E, Abdool R, Muthui M, Lambdin B, Mbwambo J, Mwamburi E, McCurdy S, Pick B, Anderson G, Mital S, R. Needle. Heroin scarcity in coastal Kenya: consequences for persons who inject drugs (PWID) and national and provincial response to the crisis. Presented at the 2012 International AIDS Conference, Washington DC.
- Mital S, Prieto D, Ligiero D. Gender-Based Violence and Most-At-Risk Populations for HIV: A Critical Link. http://blogs.state.gov/index.php/site/entry/gbv_at_risk_populations_hiv
- Conkling M, Nchena H, Zengenene M, Mital S. (2011). Effective program tracking: results from Total Control of the Epidemic (TCE) in Monze, Zambia. Presented at the 2011 International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa Conference, Addis Ababa.
- Glenshaw M, Sabatier M, DeLuca N, Adams R, Mital S, Bock N. (2010). Alcohol use and abuse in a Namibian township: implications for HIV prevention. Presented at the XVIII International AIDS Conference, Vienna.
BA in Religion-Vassar College
MSc in Development Studies-London School of Economics
“After graduating from Vassar College, I moved to Ghana where I worked for Kokrobitey Institute, a nonprofit. I worked to coordinate experiential learning programs for youth from Ghana and abroad.
Inspired by the organization’s maxim that ‘one must go out of one’s home to begin learning,’ I continued my studies abroad at the London School of Economics (LSE). While at the LSE, my interest in public health grew, particularly around issues of dietary behavior, food access and availability, and chronic disease.
I returned to Ghana to write my master’s thesis on the perceived health value of local versus foreign foods among women in the capital of Accra.
I returned to the U.S. in 2009 and was deeply impacted by the desperate need for reform in our own country’s health care system. From 2009-2013, I worked for nonprofit organization, the Medicare Rights Center, managing their national helpline.
At Rollins, I plan to continue pursuing my interests around access, equity, and affordability. I am particularly interested in studying dietary behavior at the points where socio-economic and psychosocial determinants intersect.”
What Goes Inside of You is What Belongs to You: The Perceived Health Value of Local and Foreign Foods in Accra, Ghana
Socio-economic and psychosocial determinants of health; food policy and insecurity; obesity and chronic disease; dietary behavior
Shauna St. Clair Flemming
BS in Biology-Spelman College
MDiv-Vanderbilt University Divinity School
MPH in Social and Behavioral Science and Health Policy - Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins
“While I was at Vanderbilt, I had the opportunity to explore my interest in the ways community religio-cultural beliefs shape health behavior. In my senior thesis, I used meta-ethical analysis of local sermons to discuss the relationship between religious discourse about women’s bodies and black women’s self-care.
Upon graduation from Vanderbilt, I received the Umphrey Lee Dean’s Award for exemplifying the broader vision of the Divinity School, the Saint James Academy Award for excellence in Homiletics, and the Wilbur F. Tillett Award for the best work in Ethics. I also received my license as an Ordained Clergy within the Christian Church.
After divinity school, I moved to Washington, DC, where I was a project manager with the Georgetown University Stroke Center. There, I oversaw the implementation of a multi-level, clinical, and community-based intervention addressing racial and ethnic disparities in acute ischemic stroke care and promoted stroke preparedness among district residents.
At Johns Hopkins, I worked as a graduate assistant for the Center for Adolescent Health researching barriers and facilitators of implementing public health interventions in East-Baltimore faith-based organizations. Before graduation, I was awarded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Training Scholarship for academic excellence.
Research Interests: diabetes and obesity prevention and large-scale policy and environmental changes addressing community health behavior
Entered the Program in 2014
BA in Public Health Studies; Minor in Anthropology- Johns Hopkins University
MPH in Health Behavior and Health Education- University of Michigan
“During graduate school, I specialized in research methods and health disparities while participating in several research projects that helped me to build and expand upon my classroom learning.
Most significantly, I worked on an R21-funded research study aimed at examining minority recruitment into clinical trials, provided support for a community-based collaborative to provide health education and resources for African American men in southeast Michigan, and gained beneficial skills in qualitative methods at the Center on Men's Health Disparities.
After earning my MPH, I joined the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health as a research fellow in the Epidemiology Branch.
I am excited to continue my personal and professional development as a doctoral student at Rollins. I plan to focus on cancer prevention and control, specifically as it relates to cancer screening among minority populations.”
Cancer prevention and control, community based research, men’s health, health communication, medical decision making
Casey D. Hall
BA in Public Relations and French Language, Minor in American Cultural Studies- Western Washington University
MPH with a concentration in Community Health & Development, Mental Health Certificate- Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
“Much of my experience prior to Emory University was programmatic. I was recognized as the 2010 Washington State Student Employee of the Year for my work as director of resource and outreach programs (a department of nine diversity and public health offices).
In 2010, I became a health development worker in Burkina Faso where I worked on community-based projects at a rural clinic, on the first regional gender empowerment camp in Burkina (Camp GLOW), and served as the president of the Community Health and AIDS Task Force.
I helped establish the malaria program at Peace Corps Burkina during my time as the first Burkina Faso Peace Corps volunteer to attend the Malaria Boot Camp in Thies, Senegal.
I was a Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellow at Rollins. This gave me the opportunity to coordinate an experiential learning program for graduate students, which involved a seminar about community organizing and coordinating community service with refugee communities in Clarkston, Georgia.
I also worked as the graduate assistant for both the Emory Center for Injury Control and Community Voices’ evaluation of prison re-entry programs at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Under Rob Stephenson, I conducted qualitative and quantitative research projects about HIV and intimate partner violence among men who have sex with men as well as heterosexual couples.”
Health disparities in marginalized populations domestically and globally, injury and violence, sexual health, mental health
“My research interests center around exploring the intersections of social power and health. My methodological interests span qualitative methods, mixed-methods and network analysis.”
Financial imbalance, minority stress and intimate partner violence (IPV) in male-male couples: a qualitative study
Stephenson, R., Hall, C. D., Williams, W., Sato, K., & Finneran, C. (2013). Towards the development of an intimate partner violence screening tool for gay and bisexual men. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, 14(4), 390.
Jing Jing Li
“My research interest mainly lies in HIV/AIDS prevention and control. After receiving my medical degree in China, I began working with HIV/AIDS patients in hospitals and in remote areas without adequate health care. During this time, I also took part in several large-scale international origination campaigns for HIV/AIDS education and prevention.
Afterwards, I turned to bench science in the Chinese Academy of Science, where I learned the ways that rigorous research could be implemented to promote health and well-being. While conducting this work, I began to understand the disparities between rich and poor, urban and rural, and other aspects of the Chinese healthcare system through the lens of HIV care.
So, I decided to further my academic training and go back to school to earn my PhD.
My diverse experiences have given me an insight into the complete health care system in China on many levels. I look forward to gaining advanced methodology and new knowledge while I’m at Rollins and putting them to use in my home country.
In my spare time, I like to go swimming and scuba diving. The most interesting diving experience I have had so far was diving in Thailand, where I encountered a friendly baby shark and a colorful sea snake.”
AA in Anthropology, BA in Religion- Emory University
MPH in BSHE- Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
MLitt in Theology, Imagination, and the Arts- University of St. Andrews
“As Emory's 2011-2012 Bobby Jones Fellow, I attended the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. My MLitt thesis, "The Body of God is HIV+: Imagining the Kingdom of God in the Age of AIDS", explored Christian theological responses to the AIDS epidemic in South Africa as demonstrated by local art.
My interest in the intersection of religion and health led me to return to Emory in 2012 to complete an MPH. During that time, I worked on projects with the Interfaith Health Program, in addition to working at an HIV/AIDS clinic in Nairobi, Kenya for the summer. Over the past five years I have performed qualitative data analysis for various research projects across the Emory including: the Center for Ethics, the Emory School of Medicine, and the Department of Religion.
Moving forward, my doctoral work will focus on the mental health of refugee populations residing in the United States.”
Qualitative research methodologies, mental health, the intersection between religion and health
Why Do Women with Serious Mental Illness End Up in the Criminal Justice System?: The Changing Landscape of Mental Health Care in the United States
BA in Biology, Diplomacy and World Affairs- Occidental College
MPH- Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins
“After undergrad, I began working with the Program on International Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. My two years with the program deepened my interest in sexual and reproductive health more broadly, particularly as it applied to HIV, STDs, pregnancy, and gender-based violence.
While pursuing my MPH, I engaged in research related to the pregnancy intentions of people living with HIV both in the United States and South Africa. I also served as a consultant for the United Nations Population Fund, working on a literature synthesis examining the linkages between gender-based violence and HIV. More recently, I have focused my work on adolescent HIV/STD prevention in several roles at the CDC.
I came to the CDC following my MPH as a Presidential Management Fellow and managed a variety of strategic projects related to adolescent HIV/STD prevention. I then joined the Division of Adolescent and School Health as a health scientist and have been engaged in secondary data analysis, research synthesis, and research translation related to family and school-level protective factors for adolescent sexual health.
As a BSHE doctoral student, I hope to continue to focus on ways that positive relationships with parents, partners, and providers can reduce risk for HIV/STDs and promote healthy adolescence and adulthood.”
Sexual and reproductive health, adolescent health, relationship and community level antecedents/interventions
- Steiner RJ, Michael SL, Hall JE, Barrios LC, Robin L. Youth violence and connectedness in adolescence: What are the implications for later sexually transmitted infections? Journal of Adolescent Health. 2014;54(3):312-18.
- Khabbaz RF, Moseley RR, Steiner RJ, Levitt AM, Bell BP. Challenges of infectious diseases in the USA. Lancet. 2014;384(9937):53-63.
- Steiner RJ, Aquino G, Fenton KA. Enhancing HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually transmitted Disease, and tuberculosis prevention in the United States through program collaboration and service integration: The case for broader implementation. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2013;40(8):663-8.
- Steiner RJ, Dariotis J, Anderson JA, Finocchario-Kessler. Preconception counseling for people living with HIV: Recommendations for advancing implementation. AIDS. 2013;27 (Suppl 1):S113-9.
- Steiner RJ, Finocchario-Kessler S, Dariotis J. The time has come to engage HIV providers in conversations with their reproductive age patients about fertility desires and intentions: A historical review of the HIV epidemic in the United States. American Journal of Public Health. 2013;103(8):1357-66.
Entered the Program in 2015
BA in Cultural Anthropology-UC Berkeley
MPH in Global Sexual and Reproductive Health- Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
My focus for the past eight years has been on working with domestic and international sexual and reproductive health programs. My experience includes work with: the Dept. of Ob/Gyn and Bixby Center at UCSF; HIV/AIDS related programs in Kenya; a CARE program conducting a qualitative mid-term evaluation of a family planning program intervention in Ethiopia; and most recently, a fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, working both at the National Center for HIV/AIDS, , Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention as well as with the Division of STD Prevention, on projects related to the development of a holistic framework with which to address sexual health. For the past three years I have managed and directed a large-scale evaluation of family planning programs in the Southern United States.
Sexual and reproductive health, family planning, mixed methods research, complex program evaluation, maximizing evaluation use
“People Insult Her as Sexy Woman:” Sexuality, Stigma and Reproductive Health among Widowed and Divorced Women--Documenting Social Change in Oromiya, Ethiopia”
- Newton-Levinson, A., Winskell K., Rubardt, M., Abdela, B., & Stephenson, R. “People Insult Her as a Sexy Woman: Sexuality, Stigma and Vulnerability among Widowed and Divorced Women in Oromiya, Ethiopia.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 2014; 16(8):916-30.
- Cuffe, K.M., Newton-Levinson, A., Gift, T.L., Mary McFarlane, M, Leichliter, J.S. “Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing among Adolescents and Young Adults in the United States.” Journal of Adolescent Health 2016; 58(5); 512-519.
- Newton-Levinson, A., Winskell K., Rubardt, M., Abdela, B., & Stephenson, R. “People Insult Her as a Sexy Woman:” Sexuality, Stigma and Vulnerability among Widowed and Divorced Women in Oromiya, Ethiopia. Culture, Health & Sexuality 2014;16(8):916-30.
BA- Hanoi University in Vietnam
Master of Economic and Public Management- Université libre de Bruxelles.
MPH-Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
“I came to Emory after 11 years working in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention in Vietnam. I was a NIH/Fogarty fellow while earning my MPH and focused my research on HIV/AIDS prevention among men who have sex with men (MSM).
My thesis research sought to find if there was potential in promoting couples HIV counseling and testing among voluntary HIV testers in Vietnam.
I have also intensively engaged in developing an R01 grant proposal aimed at studying the pathogenic interactions between HIV and HCV and to further examine mechanisms of hepatic co-morbidities associated with HIV-HCV co-infection by using a mixed method approach (clinical, viral-immunological technologies, behavioral and social network [egocentric]) coupled with a prospective longitudinal design.
During summer 2014, I volunteered in a study at The Hope Clinic, at Emory University, which assessed barriers and facilitators in HIV care services among MSM in the US.”
Research Interests: health behaviors among minority populations—including MSM, health communication, health services research
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Luu M. et al. Syphilis Testing in Antenatal Care: Policies and Practices among Laboratories in the Americas. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics (IJGO). April 2015.
Understanding Sexual Risks and HIV Infection among Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) testers in Vietnam
Individual and social determinants of healthy decision-making surrounding sexual and reproductive health, with a focus on family planning; developing and improving programs designed to promote sexual well-being and prevent unwanted pregnancy
Dana Robinson Williamson
BA in Biology and Chemistry- Oberlin College
MPH- Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
After obtaining my bachelor’s, I pursued additional education to become an emergency medical technician (EMT). As an EMT, I saw first-hand the disconnection of health, wellness, and health care that leads to poor outcomes in both the acute and chronic stages of disease.
Working as an EMT solidified my desire to effect change on the front end of disease and motivated me to pursue study in the field of public health.
During my master’s program, I worked with the CDC on the groundbreaking youth media campaign, “VERB. It’s what you do!”, developing program content to encourage youth physical activity. After graduation, I continued on as an ORISE Fellow managing formative research and overseeing the development of social marketing print materials specific to ethnic minority populations.
In a desire to become more involved and impactful at the community level, I welcomed the opportunity to return to Rollins as a research project coordinator. In this role, I have had the opportunity to satisfy my passion for community involvement while educating, encouraging, and motivating attitudinal and behavior change relative to organ donation within the African American community.
My work in this area has implications far beyond the field of organ donation, and further developed my interest in culturally sensitive research, health disparities, and social inequities.”
“I am interested in researching how neighborhood characteristics mediate behavior and health outcomes. In particular, I am interested in relationships among the degree of disadvantage experienced by a population, the neighborhood in which that population resides, lack of access to nutritional/physical activity resources, and poor health outcomes.”
The Relationship between Physical Activity and Screen time behavior among Tweens using The Theory of Planned.
- Robinson DHZ and Arriola KRJ (2015). Strategies to facilitate organ donation among African Americans. Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 10, 177-179.
- Robinson, DHZ, Gerbensky-Klammer, SM, Perryman, JP, Thompson, NJ, Arriola, KRJ (2014). Understanding African American's Religious Beliefs and Organ Donation Intentions. Journal of Religion & Health, 53(6):1857-72.
- Arriola, KRJ, Robinson, DHZ, Perryman, JP, & Thompson, N (2013). Project ACTS II: Organ Donation Education for African American Adults. Ethnicity & Disease, 23, 230-237.
- Arriola KJR, Robinson DHZ, Boulware LE. (2009). Narrowing the gap between supply and demand of organs for transplantation. In Braithwaite RL, Taylor SE, Treadwell HM (Eds.), Health Issues in the Black Community, 3rd Edition (157-176). San Francisco: Josey Bass.
AB in Sociology- Brown University
MPH in Health Behavior, Certificate in Health Disparities- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
“While earning my bachelor of arts in sociology, I participated in social justice and health activism on campus as well as in the community. It was during this time I also began conducting HIV prevention research, and I turned my sights toward understanding and addressing racial disparities in HIV infection among gay and bisexual men.
I had the opportunity to intervene in the HIV epidemic when I joined The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine as the coordinator for Project Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered. This research project provided HIV testing and linkage to HIV care for young Black and Latino HIV-positive men who have sex with men.
While earning my MPH, I received additional training in LGBT health at the Fenway Institute. Following graduate school, I joined the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC as an ORISE Fellow where I helped launch and manage the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System for Young Men who Have Sex with Men.
This pilot project seeks to improve our understanding of the determinants of HIV risk behaviors and HIV incidence among young men who have sex with men (ages 13-17 years).
By applying an analytic framework informed by critical race theory and intersectionality to my research, I hope to understand—and help to change—the distal structural determinants of health that pattern HIV risk and other poor health outcomes, particularly for Black gay and bisexual men.
HIV prevention, LGBT health, men’s health, structural and policy interventions, qualitative and mixed methods research
Hooking Up Healthy: Community Assessment and Development of a Comprehensive Sexual Health Program Plan for Undergraduate Students at Duke University
- Hidalgo J, Coombs E, Cobbs WO, Green-Jones M, Phillips II G, Rock Wohl A, Smith JC, Ramos, AD, Fields SD for The Young MSM of Color SPNS Initiative Study Group. Roles and Challenges of Outreach Workers in HIV Clinical and Support Programs Serving Young Racial/Ethnic Minority Men Who Have Sex with Men. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2011 25 Suppl 1:S15-22.
- Hightow-Weidman LB, Phillips II G, Jones KC, Outlaw AY, Fields SD, Smith JC for The Young MSM of Color SPNS Initiative Study Group. Racial and sexual identity-related maltreatment among minority YMSM: Prevalence, perceptions, and the association with emotional distress. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2011 25 Suppl 1:S39-45.
- Hightow-Weidman LB, Smith JC, Valera E, Matthews DD, Lyons P. Keeping Them in “STYLE”: Finding, Linking, and Retaining Young HIV-Positive Black and Latino Men Who Have Sex with Men in Care. AIDS Patient Care and STDs. 2011: (25) 1 pp 37-45.
- Feldacker C, Torrone L, Triplette M, Smith JC, Leone PA. Reaching and Retaining High-Risk HIV/AIDS Clients Through the Internet. Health Promotion Practice. 2011: (12) 4 pp 522-528.
- Smith JC, Simmons E, Mayer KH. HIV/AIDS and the Black Church: what are the barriers to prevention services? Journal of the National Medical Association. 2005 Dec; 97(12)1682-5.
Entered the Program in 2016
B.S. in Health Promotion and Education, University of Cincinnati
MPH in Global Health concentration, George Washington University
I chose Rollins for my PhD because of the mission of the department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education and the focus on behavioral and social influences on the health and well-being of populations align with my interests. Also, the rigorous training in methods the program provides and emphasis on mentorship contributed to my decision to pursue a PhD at Rollins.
Before coming to Rollins, I was an ASPPH/CDC Public Health Fellow in the Division of Reproductive Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In this role, I had the opportunity to conduct research and work on a variety of projects focused on reproductive and maternal health, including teen pregnancy, female genital cutting, and men's reproductive health.
Research Interests: My research interests are in sexual and reproductive health. More specifically, social and cultural determinants of sexual and reproductive health and the influences on sexual and reproductive decision-making (especially related to family planning) and outcomes in both domestic and global settings. I have additional research interests in the practice of female genital cutting.
Women’s Autonomy and the Influence on Female Genital Cutting in Eritrea
- Besera G, Moskosky S, Pazol K, Fowler C, Warner L, Johnson DM, Barfield WD. Male Attendance at Title X Family Planning Clinics - United States, 2003-2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(23):602-5
- Romero L, Pazol K, Warner L, Cox S, Kroelinger C, Besera G, Brittain A, Fuller TR, Koumans E, Barfield W. Reduced Disparities in Birth Rates Among Teens Aged 15-19 Years - United States, 2006-2007 and 2013-2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65(16):409-14.
- Besera GT, Cox S, Malotte CK, Rietmeijer CA, Klausner JD, O'Donnell L, Margolis AD, Warner L. Assessing Patient Exposure to a Video-Based Intervention in STD Clinic Waiting Rooms: Findings From the Safe in the City Trial. Health Promot Pract. 2016 Apr 18. pii: 1524839916631537. [Epub ahead of print]
- Goldberg H, Stupp P, Okoroh E, Besera G, Goodman D, Danel I. Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in the United States: Updated Estimates of Women and Girls at Risk, 2012. Public Health Rep. 2016 Mar-Apr;131(2):340-7.
- Romero L, Pazol K, Warner L, Gavin L, Moskosky S, Besera G, Loyola Briceno AC, Jatlaoui T, Barfield W. Vital signs: trends in use of long-acting reversible contraception among teens aged 15-19 years seeking contraceptive services - United States, 2005-2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(13):363-9.
B.S. University of Georgia
MPH, Columbia University
JD: Villanova University
Ending mass incarceration is one of the most pressing social justice and civil rights causes of our times. I believe that public health scholars and practitioners have an important role to play. I chose BSHE’s because I wanted a doctoral program that offered rigorous academic training and mentorship rooted in the pursuit of knowledge, health equity, and social justice.
After completing law school and an MPH, I have been working for The Vera Institute of Justice, a think-tank headquartered in New York City that focuses on ending mass incarceration in the United States. At Vera, I led initiatives that aim to reduce health disparities in communities most affected by mass incarceration through public education, coalition building, public briefings, policy publications, and research. A lot of my work examined the role of the Affordable Care Act in strengthening front-end alternatives to arrest, prosecution, and incarceration and improving care continuity at reentry. I also partnered with leadership from NYC Health and Hospitals to create and evaluate a pilot program to enhance medical triage, onsite care, and diversion opportunities for people awaiting arraignment in Manhattan’s central booking facility. I also managed a project to curb the use of solitary confinement in correctional institutions in Nebraska and New Mexico.
Research Interests: Broadly, I am interested in applying the theory, methods, and ethics of public health to explore the role of mass incarceration as a driver of health inequalities. I am interested in using the social determinants of health framework to 1) investigate how different components of the carceral state influence individual, family, and community health; 2) develop, advance, and evaluate structural interventions intended to reduce reliance on carceral institutions as primary points of for accessing health, education for vulnerable and historically oppressed groups; and 3) advance principles of health promotion, harm reduction, and human rights in the areas of drug policy, law enforcement, and correctional health.
- Cloud, D. H., Parsons, J., & Delany-Brumsey, A. (2014). Addressing Mass Incarceration: A Clarion Call for Public Health. American Journal of Public Health, 104(3), 389-391.
- Cloud, D. H., Drucker, E., Browne, A., & Parsons, J. (2015). Public health and Solitary Confinement in the United States. American Journal of Public Health, 105(1), 18-26.
- David Cloud and Chelsea Davis. First Do No Harm: Advancing Public Health in Policing Practices. New York, NY: Vera Institute of Justice, 2015.
BA in Chemistry, Minors in Sociology and Religion, Bucknell University
MSPH in Health Policy and Health Services Research, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
I chose Rollins for my PhD largely because of my wonderful experience while pursuing my MSPH at Rollins a few years ago. Following receipt of my master’s degree, I worked as an applied public health researcher at the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) at Georgia State University. My work at the GHPC focused on assisting Georgia state agencies with policy analysis, program evaluation, technical assistance, and research activities. Although the practical experience was absolutely invaluable, I yearned to return to Rollins – I longed for the positive, supportive environment; the collective wealth of knowledge and experience housed by the students, staff and faculty members; and to gain the skills to become an independent researcher. I was specifically drawn to BSHE’s doctoral program due to its direct application of social sciences to public health problems. During my time in the BSHE doctoral program, I hope to conduct original research to identify and understand the social determinants of women’s reproductive health; to carry out behavioral and structural interventions to improve the sexual and reproductive health of women; and – most importantly – to be the link between research, policy, practice, and communities in promoting public health.
Phi Beta Kappa member
Sexual and reproductive health, specifically women’s access to and decision making regarding contraception and abortion services; maternal and child health; mixed methods research
“Making a Choice: The Role of Education in Prenatal HIV Screening Among Pregnant Women in Georgia”
B.A in Political Science from New York University
Master’s in International Economic Policy and Management from Columbia University
I was drawn to the Rollins School of Public Health because of the school’s focus on building students’ methodological skills. Also, I am excited about working with the many professors at Rollins who share expertise in intervention design and implementation.
I began my career providing direct services to vulnerable populations, including survivors of violence. In 2006, I developed and led the first Self Sufficiency Program at the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence in New York City and the program has provided services to survivors of violence for more than 8 years.
In 2009, I earned a Fulbright Grant to study the Arabic language and participated in efforts to prevent violence against women and girls in Jordan and Iraq. During that time, I was informally introduced to the field of public health by a mentor and I co-authored my first manuscript focused on Jordanian women’s response to participating in violence research.
Since then, I have pursued a career in public health through various consultancies for international agencies, academic institutions, and private organizations. In these roles, I have co-led the drafting of several grants which were funded by city and federal governments in the United States as well as by international agencies. These grants have supported research and intervention programming with vulnerable populations in the United States, Nepal, Lebanon, and Jordan.
I hope to leverage my formal training at Emory and my past experiences to fulfill my goal of leading an intervention to prevent violence in the Middle East and North Africa.
gender based violence, intervention, evaluation, Middle East and North Africa
- Clark, C. J., Spencer, R. A., Khalaf, I. A., Gilbert, L., El-Bassel, N., Silverman, J. G., & Raj, A. (2016). The influence of family violence and child marriage on unmet need for family planning in Jordan. Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, jfprhc-2014.
- Spencer, R. A., Renner, L. M., & Clark, C. J. (2015). Patterns of dating violence perpetration and victimization in US young adult males and females. Journal of interpersonal violence, 0886260515579506.
- Spencer R. A., Shahrouri M, Halasa L, Khalaf I, Clark CJ. Women's help seeking for intimate partner violence in Jordan. Health care for women international. 2014;35(4):380-399
Ha Ngan (Milkie) Vu
B.A in History & Cultural Anthropology- Duke University
Master’s in Social Sciences- University of ChicagoI am drawn to Rollins because of the program’s strong focus on training students in identifying community and societal factors that influence public health solutions and policies as well as educating others about healthy practices and attitudes. Rollins also is connected to wonderful resources for research in cancer prevention and control and community-engaged partnership such as the Winship Cancer Institute and the Emory Prevention Research Center. In addition, the school’s location in Atlanta also provides me with a chance to partner with and work directly with various diverse communities in the area on public health needs.
Trained in cultural anthropology, I was introduced to public health through working on a project investigating mental health service utilization among Asian immigrants while doing my Master’s degree. After graduation, I was motivated to continue research in health equity and to acquire experience in a clinical setting in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of healthcare systems, and stayed at the University of Chicago Hospitals as a research specialist for two years. Here I managed a variety of different projects in emergency medicine research, preventive care promotion, the doctor-patient relationship, and community health. One of the projects I worked on involved managing and coordinating an intervention to improve mammography uptake among Muslim women in Chicago, which solidified my interests in cancer prevention and control as well as health promotion interventions that engage community members and resources.
I have also been involved in evaluating an R01-funded intervention to implement tobacco use treatment guidelines in community health centers in northern Vietnam, and am very interested in building my expertise in dissemination & implementation science during the time at Rollins.
Cancer prevention and control, tobacco control, Asian-American health, community-based participatory research, dissemination & implementation science, qualitative research methods
“Transnational foodscapes: Consuming food and constructing identity among Vietnamese-Americans in Chicago”
- Padela, A., Vu, M., Muhammad, H., Marfani, F., Mallick, S., Quinn, M., Peek, M. (2016). Religious beliefs and mammography intention: Findings from a qualitative study of a diverse group of Muslim women. Journal of Psycho-Oncology. doi: 10.1002/pon.4216. PMID: 27424488. Epub ahead of print.
- Beiser, D., Vu, M., Gibbons, R. (2016). Test-retest reliability of a computerized adaptive depression test. Psychiatric Services. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201500304. PMID: 27079989. Epub ahead of print.
- Vu, M., Azmat, A., Radejko, T., Padela, A. I. (2016). Predictors of delayed care seeking among American Muslim women. Journal of Women’s Health, 25(6), 586-593. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2015.5517. PMID: 26890129.
|DeSousa Williams, Nancy||2017||Doctoral Graduate|
|Ibragimov, Umedjon||2017||Doctoral Graduate|
|Murdock, Daniel||2016||Adjunct Professor, Emory University, School of Public Health|
|Haley, Danielle||2016||Postdoctoral Research Associate, UNC Chapel Hill|
|Chen, Yen-Tyng||2016||Postdoctoral Fellow, CDC|
FIRST Postdoctoral fellowship, Emory University, School of Public Health, Environmental Health Department
|Aaron Vissman||2015||Associate Director, Talbert House, Cincinnati, OH|
|Gillian L. Schauer||2015||Principal Research Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute; Affiliate Faculty, University of Washington Tobacco Studies Program|
|Rebecca Fielding-Miller||2015||Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health, UC San Diego School of Medicine|
|Lisa Oakley||2015||Postdoctoral fellow, Oregon State University|
|Amanda Garcia Williams||2015||Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, CDC|
|Erica Smearman||2015||Postdoc, Clinical Psychology, Emory University|
|Emily Dauria-Russell||2014||Adolescent/Young Adult Biobehavioral HIV T32 Postdoctoral Fellow; Brown University|
|Li Sun||2014||Associate Chief Physician; Sichuan Provincial CDC in China|
|Liz Walker||2013||Research Assistant Professor/Assistant Director of Evidence-based Learning; Emory University|
|April Young||2013||Assistant Professor; University of Kentucky|
|Nicola Christofides||2012||Senior Lecturer; University of Witwatersrand|
|Sara Head||2012||Country Manager [Francophone Africa]; ICF International|
|Michelle Hynes||2012||Data analyst, CDC NCCDPHP|
|Shilpa Patel||2012||Senior Evaluation Scientist at ICF Macro|
|Amy Patterson||2012||Assistant Professor of Public Health; Agnes Scott College|
|Aaron Siegler||2012||Assistant Professor; Emory University-RSPH Epidemiology|
CDC ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow, HIV Prevention in Communities of Color
|Laura Lessard||2011||Assistant Professor; Arcadia University|
|Lara DePadilla||2010||Chief Knowledge Officer; Families First, Inc.|
|Kathy Hageman||2010||Behavioral Scientist; CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention|
|Julia Painter||2010||Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer; CDC|
|Christina Borba||2009||Director of Research, Boston Medical Center; Assistant in Psychology (Psychiatry), Harvard Medical School; Assistant in Research, Massachusetts General Hospital|
|Darren Mays||2009||Assistant Professor of Oncology; Georgetown University; Member of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center|
|Ashli Owen-Smith||2009||Assistant Professor of Public Health, Georgia State University|