Current Graduate Students
Name: : Bina Ali, email@example.com
Year in Program: 2nd
Bina holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from University of Georgia and Master in Public Health degree from Georgia State University. She is a graduate research assistant in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health and is working with Dr. Stacey Daughters in the Stress, Health, and Addiction Research Program (SHARP). Her research interests include psychosocial determinants of risk-taking behavior, especially drug use. She is currently working on research related to distress tolerance and substance use.
Name: Iris Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year in Program: Doctoral Candidate
Iris holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health with a concentration in health education. As a doctoral candidate, Iris' dissertation will examine how social support and religious support impact the cancer control behaviors of African Americans. Iris is currently a Health Insurance Specialist at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO). Within this position she develops enrollment policy and operations for health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Prior to her current position, Iris was a research analyst at Baltimore City Health Department within the Ryan White Office where she conducted quality improvement assessments of HIV providers funded under several care categories. Past public health experience has included serving as the Project Coordinator on an HIV prevention project called Aza sisters (NIH Grant #5R21NR010511-02) based out of Georgetown University Medical School's Department of Psychiatry. Iris served as a graduate assistant in the department with a dual function position; she taught Human Sexuality at the Shady Grove campus for University of Maryland College Park students and as the faculty site supervisor for MPH students completing their internship requirements for HLTH 785. Her research interests include social and religious support, HIV prevention, African American adolescents, Community Based Participatory Research and Human Sexuality.
Name: Susan M. Antol, Antol@son.umaryland.edu
Year in Program: 7th
Susan Antol, Ms, RN is a 7th year PhD student and assistant professor at UMB Baltimore School of Nursing, Department of Family and Community Health. She manages mobile unites for primary care for the underserved. Research interests are adoption of the patient centered medical home model by primary care practices, particularly nurse care management.
Name: Luciana Assini, email@example.com
Year in Program: 2nd
Luciana is a doctoral student at the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. She earned her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Federal University of Santa Catarina in Brazil (UFSC). She holds a masters degree in Behavioral Analysis from the same university. She has five years of experience as a full time clinical psychologist with specific training in Family Therapy. In 2010 she spent a year working for a national research project on professional work of Brazilian psychologists in public agencies. Currently she is a teaching assistant for HLTH 200 Research Methods and HLTH 300 Biostatistics. Her research interests are in teen pregnancy and teen dating violence prevention.
Name: Denise Bellows, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year in Program: 6th
Denise Bellows is entering the 6th year of her doctoral program in Behavioral and Community Health, where she does community-based participatory research and studies systems-level interventions and health technology to address health disparities. At the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC), Denise is responsible for evaluation communication with the CDC and coordinating the pilot research project on STD/HIV prevention. This project explores a regional approach to STD/HIV prevention and the influence of cross-border collaboration provision of services. Results of this research have been presented at four national scientific conferences. Through the UMD-PRC, she has developed a student work group called Sexual Health Education and Prevention (SHEP), where undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to engage with UMD-PRC community partners through STD/HIV outreach and education. She has taught several courses in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health (i.e. HLTH 140, HLTH 106, HLTH 377) and was a TA for HLTH 476. Denise also volunteers as a group facilitator for a rape prevention program through the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
Name: Krishna Bhagat, email@example.com
Year in Program: 2nd
Krishna graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.A in Sociology. She went on to receive an M.P.H from Boston University in Social and Behavioral Sciences and International Health. During her time there, she pursued internships with organizations such as the Refugee Center for Health and Human Rights, the Cambridge (Alcohol) Prevention Coalition, and the Codman Square Health Council. She also participated in a research project called Healthy Eating and Activity Today for kids. Upon graduating, she took on a full-time position with a Social Science research organization at the University of Chicago. Currently, she is an instructor and teaching assistant for the College Park Scholars Global Public Health Program. She is also currently pursuing a qualitative research study to better understand children's constructions of health and healthy bodies.
Name: Alyssa Todaro Brooks, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year in Program: 3rd
Alyssa Todaro Brooks is a third year doctoral student in the BCH department. She holds a BS from Penn State in Biobehavioral Health, where she also minored in French and Psychology and worked in the Prevention Research Center. She is a graduate teaching assistant for Dr. Sangeetha Madhavan in the Department of African American Studies and works as a consultant at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE). Her most recent PIRE project includes field data collection including brief interviews and breathalyzing students on campus at the University of Maryland on weekend nights. She also works part-time at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center as an intramural research trainee award recipient. There, she works on several public health protocols under the direction of Dr. Gwenyth Wallen. Her research interests include addiction (specifically alcoholism), shared decision-making, patient-provider relations, and integrative/holistic medicine. She has served as a TA for Health 285 (Controlling Stress and Tension) and also serves as Chair of the Dean's Student Advisory Committee for the School of Public Health. She is the Social & Professional Committee Chair for the Biobehavioral Health Afflilate Program Group and a PSU College of Health & Human Development alumni mentor. She is also a mentor through the Miss America Organization with her platform, "Strides for Change: the Prevention & Awareness of Alcohol Abuse" and has visited over 80 classrooms state-wide promoting healthy decision-making for children and teens.
Name: Christye Brown, email@example.com
Year in Program: 6th
Christye earned her undergraduate degree in Biology Education from Florida A&M University. After completing her Master of Public Health degree from Morehouse School of Medicine, she joined the US Navy and served as a healthcare administrator for nine years. She is currently a Lieutenant Commander in the US Public Health Service, serving as a Public Health Program Specialist at the Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury. In this role, she oversees strategic initiatives that 1) help family members identify mental health needs of service members and veterans and 2) identify the development and identification of best practices for treatment of psychological health and traumatic brain injury. Her duties at DCoE will also allow her to capitalize on her dissertation research interests - military spouses and mental wellness.
Name: Blair Coleman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year in Program: 2nd
Blair holds a Masters of Public Health from the University of Florida in the Department of Behavioral Science and Community Health, and a Bachelors of the Arts in Psychology from DePaul University. Her research interests include addictive behaviors, particularly tobacco initiation, novel tobacco products, and binge drinking among young adults. Additional research interests include smoking cessation interventions and social policy implications for tobacco-control. She is currently working in the Center for Health Behavior Research coordinating a federally funded grant assessing the abuse liability and characterization of electronic cigarettes. Additionally, Blair works part-time at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the Center for Tobacco Products primarily focusing on secondary data analyses for the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). She has served as a TA for HTLH 300 (Biostatistics for Public Health Practice) and HLTH/WMST 471 (Women's Health) in the School of Public Health.
Name:: Lauren Crook, email@example.com
Year in Program: 1st
Lauren holds her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Sociology with an emphasis in gender and sexuality from The Catholic University of America. Her research interests include health disparities among minority populations, particularly in the areas of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. She has worked at JBS International evaluating HIV and substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. As a current graduate research assistant at the University of Maryland's Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC), she does program development and community-based participatory research.
Name: Erica Doxzen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year in Program: 2nd
Erica holds a Master of Health Science degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health with a concentration in health promotion and health education. Her research interests include addressing health disparities among American Indian/Alaska Native youth, specifically improving protective factors to improve mental health and physical activity, through the development and promotion of effective and culturally specific evaluation strategies. She is currently working as a research assistant on a study exploring how urban American Indian female youth construct ideas of body image and physical activity, and on an evaluation project examining the effectiveness of text messaging on maternal health behavior.
Name: Jordana Hemberg,
Year in Program: 1st
Jordana holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include risk and protective factors associated with substance use behaviors and the subsequent health outcomes associated with use. Under the supervision of Dr Maria Khan in Epib/Biostats, Jordana is conducting secondary data analysis using a large nationally representative dataset (Add Health) containing longitudinal information about adolescent health and related factors. Jordana is currently a graduate assistant within DBCH, serving as an Internship Advisor for HLTH 491: Community Health Internship (Anderson-Sawyer). Before beginning her doctoral research, Jordana is completing her thesis and internship in fulfillment of the MPH requirements. Her thesis will examine the association between crystal meth use and depression and potential moderators of this relationship. Her research interests include substance Use, mental Health, and vulnerable populations.
Name: Chandria Jones, email@example.com
Year in Program: 3rd
Chandria holds a B.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University and earned her Master in Public Health with a Certificate in Epidemiology from Florida International University, Robert R. Stempel School of Public Health. Her doctoral research interests include program evaluation, health communications, and examining obesity related behaviors among African Americans. Currently, Chandria works as a research analyst and project manager at Westat focusing. Her research projects with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, focus on homelessness, mental health, substance use, and trauma. She is responsible for the coordination of product development from the knowledge synthesis phase through dissemination and marketing, with particular expertise in planning, producing, evaluating, and disseminating innovative multi-media products.
Name: Daisy Le, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year in Program: 2nd
Daisy earned her dual Master degrees in Asian American Studies (MA) and Public Health (MPH) from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her MPH concentration was in Community Health Sciences with specializations in Global Health and Health Promotion and Health Education. Daisy is currently a graduate assistant working on research under the guidance of Dr. Cheryl Holt, assisting with CHAMP (Community Health Awareness, Messages, & Prevention) in the areas of cancer, health disparities, and health communication among others. She currently assists with research grants centered on community-based and culturally appropriate interventions (with an emphasis on spirituality/religiosity). In addition to her assistantship, Daisy is also the graduate teaching assistant for Dr. Donna Howard's HLTH 130: Introduction to Public and Community Health, course. Driven by her passion for researching sexual and reproductive health amongst minority populations, her primary research interest is on community-based participatory research (CBPR) focused on the accesses and barriers to cervical cancer prevention, care, and control within the inner-city Southeast Asian and adolescent populations.
Name: Kim Mitchell, KMitchell@dhmh.state.md.us
Year in Program: 7th, Doctoral Candidate
Kim holds a Masters of Public Health in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale University School of Public Health and a BA in English from Cornell University. She works as Chief of Rabies and Vector-borne Diseases at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she coordinates surveillance for rabies and West Nile virus and provides technical guidance to Maryland's 24 local health departments. She has over 15 years of professional experience working in epidemiology, disease surveillance, and health education. Her research interests include communicable disease epidemiology, vector-borne diseases, and health disparities. Her dissertation research will involve validation of a theory-based survey instrument to capture knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of high-risk adults towards West Nile virus in Maryland.
Name: Eva Sharma , email@example.com
Year in Program: 4th, Doctoral Candidate
Eva earned her Master of Public Health degree from University of Maryland, College park in 2008 and Bachelors in Pharmacy from Kathmandu University, Nepal. Her doctoral interests include nicotine and tobacco research and clinical trials. She is currently working as a faculty research assistant at the Center for Health Behavior Research, Department of Behavioral and Community under the direction of Drs. E.D Glover and Pamela Clark. Eva has been involved in grant application, data collection, and data analysis for several grants on tobacco research. Currently she is involved as a study coordinator in RO1 and R21 grants that involve products such as electronic cigarettes and hookah. Eva has also been involved in Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials for smoking cessation products such as nicotine vaccine, Varenicline, Selegiline and Dianicline. Her other research interests include menthol cigarettes, and international tobacco control policies.
Name: Erin Kelly Tagai, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year in Program: 2nd
Erin completed her Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology at The University of Arizona and her Master in Public Health in Social and Behavioral Theory at West Virginia University. Her research interests include dietary intake, physical activity, chronic disease prevention and social determinants of health. As part of her MPH practicum experience, Erin completed research identifying perceived barriers and facilitators to fruit and vegetable intake in parents and guardians of children participating in a school-based health education program in Tucson, Arizona. She is currently a graduate research assistant completing implementation research of cancer early detection interventions in faith-based organizations under the direction of Dr. Cheryl Holt.
Name: Tim Tilert, email@example.com
Year in Program: 2nd
Tim earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and is now a doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. His professional and research interests include global health, health informatics, respiratory health, and infectious diseases. In addition to his student status, Tim currently works full time as a computer scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics where he serves as the Examination Team Leader in the Informatics Branch of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Name: K. Shakira Washington
Year in Program: 5th
K. Shakira Washington is a part-time 5th year graduate student and currently works at the Human Rights Project for Girls (Rights4Girls). Rights4Girls is a national policy/advocacy organization focused on violence against women and girls in the U.S. as a human rights issue. Rights4Girls advocates for appropriate alternatives for survivors who are currently child welfare and/or juvenile justice involved, and provides leadership trainings and opportunities for girls and young women impacted by violence. Shakira's past work experience has combined community organizing, programming, and research to address inequities faced by marginalized communities. Her work has included training residents to implement community-based needs assessments; facilitating discussions between community organizing entities and local officials; and assisting with the design and implementation of behavioral health research studies such as a NYU study on Black women and breast cancer screening; a Georgetown University study on perceived benefits of Phase I cancer clinical trial participation; a CDC study on the facilitators/barriers to HIV/AIDS clinical trial participation among Black communities; and an exploratory study on the intersection of gendered violence and HIV/AIDS. She has co-authored several articles and has presented at conferences such as the CDC Annual HIV/AIDS Prevention Conference, the Annual AIDS Vaccine Conference, and the Annual American Public Health Association Conference. Her current research interest are health disparities, with a particular focus on the affects of direct/indirect violence as a determinant of individual and community health. Ms. Washington received her BA from San Francisco State University, Urban Studies Program, her MPA from New York University: Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Services, and is currently working towards a doctoral degree at UMD, School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Health.
Name: Katarzyna Zebrak, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year in Program: 4th
Kate earned her Master in Applied Anthropology (with concentration in community health) from the University of Maryland. She is currently working with Dr. Kerry Green on examining the development of substance use and psychological problems (separately and in co-occurrence) across the life course, including early risk and protective factors, later consequences in select psychosocial and health domains, as well as possible mediating and moderating mechanisms. The study utilizes data from the Woodlawn Study, a prospective cohort study of African Americans in Woodlawn community, Chicago, followed approximately from age 6 to 42. Kate's research interests are closely related to this project and include the relationships between substance use and psychological problems (separately and in co-occurrence), and various health behaviors and outcomes (e.g. overall health, risky sexual behaviors and HIV/AIDS risk, cardiovascular risk, and diabetes).