Student Biographies

MCH/CYF Concentrators 2013-2014

Kathryn (Kate) Barker is a doctoral student in the department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Prior to joining HSPH, she worked at the Population Council where she co-authored and coordinated the development of “Girls on the Move,” a report that examines the internal migration of adolescent girls in developing countries and its links to gender norms, socioeconomic conditions, health, education, and employment. Kate also worked at the US Agency for International Development in Washington, DC and New Delhi, India on sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention programming. Through her research, Kate intends to generate evidence that will inform policy and practice to address social inequalities in health, particularly among adolescent populations in developing countries. Kate holds a Masters in Public Health from UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, exploring the great outdoors, and gardening.

Jodi Anthony is a first year doctoral student. Her interests include applying mixed-method techniques to understanding the complex social and biological interplay of factors that support health and well-being of young children and adolescents.  She is also particularly interested in learning if and how community engagement, locally driven solutions, and unique contexts play a role in reducing health inequities.  Prior to coming to Harvard, Ms. Anthony collaborated with community, state, federal, and international health entities in participatory strategic analysis, technical assistance, and evaluation. When Jodi isn’t studying or in-class, she is almost always with her children (ages 5 and 3) and husband.

Veronica Thomas is a first year masters student in Social and Behavioral Sciences, with concentrations in Maternal and Child Health and Health Communication. She earned a BA in English from Davidson College in North Carolina with a focus in creative nonfiction. For the past two years, she worked as an Associate at AcademyHealth in Washington, D.C., where she served on the evaluation team for the CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Program, a program aimed at improving health care quality for children in Medicaid and CHIP. She currently works on a MCHB-funded project at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) focused on improving access to community based services for immigrant children with special health care needs. She is also conducting an independent study on the psychology underlying cell phone use while driving among adolescents and young adults for the Center for Health Communication’s distracted driving campaign. She is especially interested in examining the impact of the media on disordered eating, reproductive health, gun violence and mental health among adolescents. She hopes to tackle these issues through a future career in health communications and policy design.

Gabrielle Schechter is a first year master’s student in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. She is concentrating in Maternal and Child Health & Women, Gender, and Health. She received her B.S. in International Health and Women’s Studies from Georgetown University in 2010. Her academic interests include health disparities, reproductive and sexual health, and the intersection of feminist and anthropological ideologies and evidence-based public health. This fascination led her to three years as a Clinical Research Associate at the Women’s Interagency HIV Study at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, the nation’s largest longitudinal cohort study investigating the impact of HIV on women’s lives. She worked in the clinical setting and participated in data analysis and manuscript writing for projects on gender-based violence, as well as aging and sexuality among women living with HIV. Gabrielle also collaborated with a research team in Townsville, Australia that centered on adolescent pregnancy and parenthood among Indigenous populations, and served as an HIV Counselor and Tester at the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, DC. She currently works as the Perinatal Health Research Assistant at HSPH’s Women & Health Initiative. After completing her masters, Gabrielle hopes to continue on to pursue her doctorate in public health.

Marvin So is a first year masters student in Social Behavioral Sciences, concentrating in Maternal-Child Health. Marvin spent much of his undergraduate years at UC Berkeley working as a health navigator for a non-profit community health agency serving Spanish-speaking migrant workers, and working on qualitative research on familial food perceptions and behaviors in rural Ecuador and El Salvador. After completing his B.A. in Public Health, he served as a health worker at the Tom Waddell Health Center in San Francisco, conducting case management, health education, and quality improvement research for families living in the City’s shelter system. His experiences supporting underserved urban families in navigating the complexity of community safety net and social service systems compelled Marvin to pursue graduate studies at HSPH. He hopes to utilize qualitative and mixed methods research, program evaluation, and community-based participatory research to strengthen community-based programs and interventions serving children, mothers, and families most impacted by social inequities. Marvin firmly believes in drawing upon the intrinsic strengths and narratives of community members to inform public health research and policy. Outside of school, Marvin loves soul music, birdwatching, coffee, and running Boston’s meandering roads.

 

MCH/CYF Concentrators 2012-201

Bernice Raveche is a returning doctoral student who is both a maternal and child health concentrator as well as a health communication concentrator. “My research interests are focused on the integration of obesity and eating disorders prevention, with a specific focus on weight based discrimination and the influence of the media on body image satisfaction. Additionally, I am interested in community based participatory research and utilizing a mixed methodology for intervention design, implementation and evaluation. I received my M.P.H. in Health Promotion from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University where I worked on a research project looking at the health and physical activity of adolescents in the South Bronx. I received my B.A. in international health and nutrition from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005. Outside of the classroom, I love to ski, run and play field hockey.”

Alison El Ayadi is a returning doctoral student.  Her research interests include reproductive epidemiology and social determinants of health primarily around maternal health and breastfeeding issues.  Her dissertation work includes a social determinants analysis of risk of maternal mortality and investigation into care seeking behavior for pregnancy complications in a Bangladeshi sample.  She received her M.P.H. in International Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and her B.A. in Anthropology from Colby College.  She enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, yoga, and most of all playing with her two sons Lucas (7) and Isaac (4).

Ashley Winning is a first year doctoral student. She received a B.A. in Psychology (and Theatre) from Queen’s University and an M.P.H. in Behavioral Sciences & Health Education from Emory. Between these degrees, she worked for three years in child developmental psychology, exploring cultural similarities and differences in early child development. During and after her M.P.H. she worked on a refugee mental health assessment, at the CDC division of violence prevention, and on developing and disseminating a mindfulness-based CBT program for people with epilepsy and depression. Her thesis explored the relationship between intimate partner violence and child maltreatment. Very broadly, she is interested in mental health, maternal & child health, violence prevention and human rights. Slightly less broadly, she is interested in the role of mind-body therapies in mental health promotion and violence prevention, and the impact of community/social groups and environment/neighborhood on wellbeing. She loves singing, dancing, bicycling, yoga, community gardens, potlucks, and being outdoors. An ideal day would combine all of the above.

MCH/CYF Concentrators 2012-2013

Hannabah Blue is Diné (Navajo), originally from Kirtland, NM. Her clans are the Red Bottom Clan, born for Bilagaana. Her maternal grandparents’ clan is the Tangle People Clan, and her paternal grandparents are also Bilagaana. She is a first year student in the two-year SHDH Master Program. She most currently worked as a Capacity Building Assistance Specialist at the National Native American AIDS Prevention Center (NNAAPC) for over 3 years, where she coordinated technical assistance and HIV prevention interventions targeting Native women. She has a double major in Broadcast Journalism/Gender and Sexuality Studies from New York University and is working towards a Maternal and Child Health Graduate Certificate focusing
on Native women through the University of Arizona. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Café Cultura-Artist Collective, an organization that promotes creative expression and leadership among Indigenous and Latino youth through hip hop, spoken word and poetry. In her free time, she enjoys running, dancing, poetry/spoken word, reading and going to concerts.

Sarah Bryce is a first year dual-degree SM1/FNP student.  She received her BSN from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri (2006) and has spent the past six years working as an inpatient Registered Nurse in Gynecologic, Obstetric, and Newborn care.   Sarah spent three months providing volunteer healthcare in Malawi during the summer of 2010, assisting with mobile health clinics in rural villages, providing obstetric, labor and delivery, and newborn care at a small OB-GYN clinic, caring for infants and toddlers at a crisis nursery, and providing general health assessments and care at a local health clinic.  Upon returning from Malawi, Sarah was more convinced than ever that there was more she wanted to be able to contribute clinically as a practitioner.  However, she was even more convinced that if anything she was to contribute to the world of healthcare would be lasting, it would have to be through the combining of her skills as a practitioner and her ability to address healthcare issues at the population level.  Sarah’s academic interests include strategies to address health disparities specific to women and children and global health issues, specifically in resource poor countries.  Sarah currently works as a staff nurse at St. Elizabeth Medical Center on the Labor and Delivery and Postpartum/Newborn units.  In her spare time, she enjoys sailing and traveling with her husband.

Shaniece Criss is a 3rd year doctoral student with research interests in Health Communication, Adolescent Health, and Cancer Prevention, and she is on the Planned Social Change track. Currently, she is the Media Campaign Manager for a research project called Mass In Motion Kids, an obesity prevention program. Last year, she produced and hosted the Food & Fun After School training video project for the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center. Shaniece served as producer and host for a national, public health show for Guyana’s Ministry of Health in South America. The show focused on examining personal decisions that can affect health related to tobacco, alcohol, and drug use, as well as, the impact of the media in various environments. She worked on curriculum development and evaluation for domestic HIV/AIDS issues for several CDC projects, as well as, communication projects for CNN. Shaniece received her B.A. from Oglethorpe University in Communications with a focus in Urban Leadership, and her M.P.H from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Behavioral Sciences & Health Education. Shaniece’s leisure activities include: acting, traveling, life coaching, and supporting community events. She also enjoys serving as a Resident Tutor at Lowell House for Harvard College.

Leslie Farland is a doctoral student with a focus on Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology. She graduated in 2010 with a A.B. in Biological Science from the University of Chicago and in 2012 from the Harvard School of Public Health with a S.M. in Epidemiology. During her undergraduate career, Leslie’s research focused on health care utilization through projects at the Trauma Department of Cook County Hospital  and at Mujeres Aliadas, a women’s health and rights organization in Patzcuaro, Mexico. Her work in Mexico focused on birthing practices among indigenous Purepecha populations and prompted her seminal college research on the overuse and misuse of cesarean sections in Mexico. Leslie has been involved in several research projects while at HSPH. Her master’s thesis utilized data from the Project Viva birth cohort and studied the ways in which maternal craving and diet during pregnancy affect risk for gestational diabetes. She has also researched the effects of a chemical found in sunscreen and beauty products, benzophenone-3 (BP3), on birth weight outcomes. Currently Leslie is researching usage patterns of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in the Nurses Health Study II participants and the ways in which exposure to different (ART) methods influence risk for high blood pressure and benign breast disease later in life. Leslie is also the student coordinator for the MCH Data Connect website. Leslie’s research interests include assisted reproductive technology and the health consequences for both mother and child, risk factors for preterm labor, and drug safety during pregnancy. Outside of school Leslie enjoys photography, picnics, and learning how to cook.

Ankita Gupta is enrolled in the 9 month Masters in Public Health program concentrating in Health and Social Behavior. An M.B.B.S from Mumbai, India, she is a registered medical practitioner back home and is thrilled to be living in Boston and attending classes at HSPH over the next year. Her interests lie in the field of Maternal and Child Health and she hopes to make a difference in the field of obstetrics and gynecology in developing countries all over the world. When she is not studying/ cramming for upcoming exams, Ankita likes to go for long walks, discover tiny cafes and read science fiction.

Kelsey Holt is a first year doctoral student. She holds a Master’s degree in medical anthropology from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology from Northwestern University. Kelsey’s academic interests include finding innovative ways to measure and alleviate disparities in reproductive health outcomes, including unintended pregnancy and maternal mortality rates, and documenting the impact of such disparities on quality of life and life course of women and their families. For her Master’s thesis, she spent the summer of 2004 conducting a mixed-methods study of women’s access to reproductive health care at time of birth in rural Bolivia. Prior to coming to HSPH, Kelsey worked as a Senior Project Manager at Ibis Reproductive Health, a non-profit social science and clinical research organization based in Cambridge, MA. During her four years at Ibis, she managed a dynamic program of quantitative and qualitative research on sexual and reproductive health, with a focus on contraception, unintended pregnancy, abortion, and HIV prevention and treatment, in Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and the United States. In her spare time Kelsey enjoys spending time with her husband and pug dog; cooking; traveling; and spending time outdoors jogging, skiing, hiking, or going to amusement parks.

Thu Nguyen is a returning doctoral student in the Planned Social Change area of interest.  She graduated from Stanford University with honors in Human Biology and received a MSPH in Epidemiology from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.  Prior to coming to HSPH, she was on the evaluation team for the North Carolina Baby Love Plus Program. There, she helped assess the effectiveness of the program in decreasing preterm, low birth weight, infant mortality rates as well as racial and ethnic disparities in these outcomes.  She is interested in examining the effects of early life conditions on child development and later health.  Particular exposures of interest include education, nutrition, poverty, and racism. Recently, she began her dissertation work using instrumental methods to estimate the impact of schooling and literacy on health. She also currently works at the Center on the Developing Child on a meta-analysis of early childhood interventions and is serving on an education history project collecting county-level data for each state for the years 1917-1974. The ultimate goal of her research is to inform policies, interventions, and community programs.  During her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, cooking, and eating good food

Lucy Pickard is a one-year MPH student, concentrating in MCH/CYF. She is a pediatrician in London and has completed 3 years of pediatrics and neonatology specialty training and membership of the college of pediatrics (MRCPCH), having worked in both district general and teaching hospitals, and has just completed a job in pediatric intensive care. Lucy graduated in from Imperial College in 2007 (MBBS) with a distinction in clinical practice, having intercalated a BSc degree in cardiovascular epidemiology, during which she researched the prevalence of hypertension amongst HIV positive patients in West London. Lucy also diversified to spend a year in student politics with the sabbatical post of president of the School of Medicine Students’ Union. Lucy spent a brief period of her formative medical years wanting to be a surgeon before falling in love with pediatrics and pursuing this as a career. Alongside clinical medicine, Lucy has worked on research to investigate the clinical and non-clinical factors affecting hospital admission in febrile children. Whilst working with children from diverse backgrounds, often subject to deprivation, Lucy became frustrated about the reversible causes of morbidity and even mortality, within these children which hospital medicine was failing to address and looked to study this further whilst developing skills for research and implementation of change. In her spare time, Lucy loves to socialize, enjoy the outdoors and plays cello in the London Doctors’ Orchestra and in a string quartet of other pediatricians, who most recently performed to raise money for COSMIC, Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care.

Michelle Schamberg is a two-year masters student in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. She received a B.S. with honors in Human Development and Biology from Cornell University in 2008. During college, she worked as a research assistant on a longitudinal study of childhood stress and rural poverty. Her senior thesis explored how the burden of poverty “gets under the skin,” finding that childhood allostatic load mediates the relationship between long-term poverty and adult working memory. For the past few years, she has worked at both Education Development Center and Children’s Hospital Boston Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience, using neuroimaging, behavioral, and quantitative analyses to assess how social variables associated with low-income environments shape brain development and achievement outcomes in childhood and adolescence. She aims to better understand mechanisms through which early adversities become biologically embedded, leading to long-term declines in health and plasticity-related changes in executive function and self-regulatory behavior. She is specifically interested in the intersection of research, policy, and practice, and in leveraging neuroscience research to develop innovative school- and community-based programs that may shift trajectories toward healthy development for at-risk children and their families. Outside of school, Michelle enjoys exploring nature, cooking, solving logic puzzles, listening to live music, and spending time with family, friends, and her two cats, Pippin and Mowgli.

Laura Schummers is a 2 year masters student in the Department of Epidemiology, in the Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric stream, with a concentration in Maternal-Child Health. Originally from Baltimore, Laura has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia since 2004. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia in 2008. Following graduation, she worked for a year as a Research Assistant supporting several studies in Midwifery, Family Medicine, and Nursing. Since 2009, Laura worked as the Research Manager for the Division of Midwifery at the University of British Columbia. In this role, she worked with the program Director to launch and expand a program of research focused on the midwifery model of care, inter-professional education and practice, and perinatal outcomes. Working with multi-disciplinary teams of investigators, she oversaw all aspects of study design, implementation, and knowledge translation. Studies ranged from health services evaluations of the recent integration of midwifery services into the Canadian maternity care system to clinical studies investigating methods of antenatal fetal health surveillance. Laura is interested in understanding the relationship between use of obstetrical interventions (such as induction of labor, epidural analgesia, and cesarean section) and maternal-newborn outcomes, with the goal of informing judicious use of interventions for healthy, term women. Apart from school, Laura loves DIY activities and spending time in the great outdoors. Her favorite hobbies include gourmet cooking, backcountry camping, hiking, biking, and fishing.

Ashley Storms is a first year two-year masters student. She graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in French. The highlights of her undergraduate experience included studying abroad in Niamey, Niger and volunteering as a hotline counselor at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Ashley served as a basic education volunteer in Mali through the Peace Corps. After returning, she worked as a care coordinator for adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness. Ashley’s research interests include early intervention, developmental disabilities, childhood determinants of mental health, and risk-taking behaviors among children and adolescents. When not working, Ashley enjoys travel, fitness, and exploring new restaurants around Boston.

Claire Watt is an SM2 student in HSPH’s Department of Global Health and Population. Her research interests focus on maternal and child health in areas of armed conflict and programs addressing socioeconomic determinants of health. Prior to HSPH, Claire worked to support Partners In Health’s microfinance and community health interventions in Eastern Rwanda. She has also conducted research on the population health impacts of war at Stanford University’s Center for Health Policy and has field experience working with health organizations Support for International Change in Tanzania and FACE AIDS in Rwanda. Claire graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Global Health and Infectious Diseases.

MCH/CYF Concentrators 2011-2012

Fri Awasum is an MPH student in the Health and Social Behavior concentration with a focus on Maternal and Child Health. Her research interests include the impact of stress on chronic diseases and long-term health outcomes, as well as the development of effective policy interventions to reduce asthma-related morbidity in children from low-income families.  Prior to her matriculation at HSPH, Fri had just finished her 3rd year of medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She holds a B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Hampton University. While at Pritzker, she participated in a number of service projects and programs designed to increase the pipeline of underrepresented minorities in the field of medicine. During her first year of medical school, Fri worked on the Executive board of Maria Shelter clinic, a student-run clinic that addresses the needs of the residents of a women’s shelter located on South Side Chicago. She also volunteered as one of two Health Educators on the board, designing and administering educational materials on various topics in preventative health.  She then spent the following summer researching the barriers to smoking cessation in African-American smokers. In her free time,  Fri enjoys spending time with her  friends and family, learning how to cook foods from her family’s native Cameroon, discovering new musical artists, and playing air guitar.

Arianna Blaine is a two-year masters student concentrating in maternal and child health. She earned her B.A. in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience from Kenyon College in 2009. After Kenyon, she spent two years at the Child and Family Research Section of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where she helped manage a study examining interactions between depressed mothers and their infants. For several years,she was also a member of the March of Dimes NICU Family Support Close to Me initiative, for which she reviewed the literature on the state of neonatal family-centered care in U.S. neonatal intensive care units, as well as the safety and efficacy of the Kangaroo Care holding method with high-risk infants. She is primarily interested in developing programs and policies to promote healthy prenatal and infant nutrition, prevent preterm birth, and optimize outcomes for preterm and at-risk infants. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking and baking, spending time with friends and family, and exploring New England.

Brittany Charlton is a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology. Her research interests include contraceptives, HPV/cervical cancer, and LGBT health disparities. Her experience includes public health work in Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s (NY-8) District Office, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) Capitol Hill Office, and organizations like NARAL and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Brittany has also worked as a political strategist with groups including the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood. Most recently, she completed a year of national service as a HealthCorps Member in AmeriCorps, during which she was based at New York’s LGBT Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and volunteered as a DONA-trained birth doula. Brittany holds an ScM in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and a BA from The New School. Her hobbies include skydiving, SCUBA diving, photography, and triathlons.

Shaniece Criss is a returning doctoral student who is passionate about creating healthy environments and empowering others to make positive change. Her research interests include Health Communication, Adolescent Health, and Health Equity, and she is on the Planned Social Change track. Currently, she is working as producer and host of the Food & Fun After School training video project for the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center. Shaniece served as producer and host for a national, public health show for Guyana’s Ministry of Health in South America. The show focused on examining personal decisions that can affect health related to tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. She completed over thirty, 1-hour long, live episodes that also focused on the impact of the media in various environments. She worked on curriculum development and evaluation for domestic HIV/AIDS issues for several CDC projects, as well as, communication projects for CNN. Shaniece received her B.A. from Oglethorpe University in Communications with a focus in Urban Leadership, and her M.P.H from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in Behavioral Sciences & Health Education. Shaniece’s leisure activities include: acting, traveling, life coaching, and supporting community events.

Jessica Daniel is a first year SHDH doctoral student joining the Social Determinants of Health track. Jessica grew up in Bethesda, MD and completed her BA at Tufts University in 2010 and MPH at Tufts in 2011. Her research interests include maternal and child health, Latin American immigrant health disparities, and stress research both domestically and internationally. She has done research in Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, and in and around the Boston area. She loves learning about new and different epidemiologic and biostatistical methods and modeling. When she’s not working she enjoys yoga, tap dancing, gym classes, cooking, and eating delicious food with good friends.

Madeleine deBlois is a returning doctoral student. Her research interests focus on the social determinants of child and adolescent health and development. She is interested in the diverse and interactive ways that communities, families, schools, and out-of-school-time programs contribute to child well-being. Of particular interest are the potential ways in which schools could strengthen children’s resilience to adversity that exists elsewhere in their lives. Madeleine received a B.A. in Environmental Science from Wellesley College and a M.S.Ed. from Saint Joseph’s University. Before HSPH, she was a middle school science teacher and worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters as a school-based program coordinator. Madeleine currently works as an RA for the Harvard Prevention Research Center on the Out of School Nutrition & Physical Activity Program.

Kathryn Falb is a returning doctoral student.  She received her B.S. in Community Health from the University of Illinois in 2004 and a Master of Health Science degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2007.  Her focus was on women’s health issues, particularly violence against women, and the relationship between health and human rights.  She has worked on child marriage prevention programs in Uganda, managed health education programs in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border, and developed a program to address mental health issues in the military population.  While at HSPH, she worked for two years as a research assistant with the Violence Against Women Prevention Research team.  Currently, Kate is the Program Manager of the Health Rights of Women and Children program at HSPH which applies a rights-based approach to promote equitable and sustained progress for MCH health in global forums.  In this role, she manages a multi-country, mixed methods study on the impact of maternal death on living children. Kate is also working on her dissertation which focuses on the health and psychosocial impacts of gender-based violence among conflict-affected women and continues to consult for international health and humanitarian organizations on this topic.  In her freetime, Kate enjoys snowboarding and scuba diving with her husband and fostering dogs for a local animal rescue organization.

Leslie Farland is a second year masters student with a focus on Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology. She graduated in 2010 with a A.B. in Biological Science from the University of Chicago. Leslie has worked with the Cook Country Trauma Department studying emergency room utilization patterns after the closing of major low-income health clinics in the city of Chicago. Leslie also spent a summer working at Mujeres Aliadas, a women’s health and rights organization in Patzcuaro, Mexico. She helped research the birthing practices in the area, especially those of the Purepecha indigenous population. This research prompted her senior thesis on the topic of the overuse and misuse of cesarean sections in Mexico. Leslie is currently working on two research projects at HSPH. First is a project utilizing the Project Viva birth cohort studying the ways in which maternal craving during pregnancy affect risk for gestational diabetes. Additionally, Leslie is studying the effects of a chemical found in sunscreen and beauty products, Benzophenone-3 (BP3), on birth weight outcomes. Leslie is also the student coordinator for the MCH Data Connect website. Leslie’s research interests include assisted reproductive technology and the health consequences for both mother and child, risk factors for preterm labor, and drug safety during pregnancy. Outside of school Leslie enjoys photography, picnics, and learning how to cook.

Bernice Raveche Garnett is a doctoral candidate in the department of Society, Human Development and Health interested in the integration of obesity and eating disorder prevention and community based participatory research. My dissertation focuses on the intersection between racial and weight based discrimination and its association with adverse mental health outcomes, eating disorder symptomatology and obesity among ethnically diverse adolescents. Outside of school, I love to ski, hike and play with my dogs.

 

Josephine Hahn is a SHDH doctoral candidate and a Maternal and Child Health Concentrator. She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.P.H. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She has spent eight years working with and learning from court-involved youth in programs such as the Harlem Youth Court and a substance abuse and mental health intervention program sponsored by the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera). She also taught for four years at the Horace Mann Middle School in Riverdale, New York. Currently, she is working at Vera on building and implementing evaluations for Common Justice, an Brooklyn-based prison diversion program, and the Center on Victimization and Safety, serving people with disabilities and LGBTQ victims. Her dissertation examines trauma history and later violence perpetration. Interests include: antiracism, conflict resolution, alternatives to incarceration, as well as criminal justice and health policy reform.

Kate Herts is a returning two-year masters student in the department of Society, Human Development and Health. Kate’s research and intervention interests center on mitigating the effects of childhood trauma and chronic illness on adolescent mental health, issues she is currently exploring as a research assistant in the Stress and Development Lab at Children’s Hospital Boston. Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and American Institutions with specialization in Health Policy from Brown University, and a Master of Science in Education degree from the University of Pennsylvania. At Brown, Kate was the student leader of The Adolescent Leadership Council at Hasbro Children’s Hospital (TALC), a psychosocial intervention for teens with chronic illness. Kate has conducted independent research about TALC that was integral to the program’s expansion to several other universities. She currently retains a position on TALC’s community advisory board. After graduating, Kate taught high school science in Philadelphia through Teach For America. While teaching, Kate founded an after-school community health club to engage students in advocacy around neighborhood violence and teen pregnancy, issues plaguing the school community. Outside the classroom, Kate enjoys experimenting with gluten-free cooking, going to see live concerts and slam poetry, and exploring new places in Boston.

Brooke Jardine is an MD/MPH student. She is currently taking a year out from University of Washington School of Medicine to attend HSPH. Her interests include pediatrics, quality improvement, and rural and under-served community health. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Idaho, and served as an AmeriCorps member at a community health center in Berkeley, CA. Her healthcare training has been spread over Idaho, Washington, Mexico, and Wyoming, including time with the Indian Health Service. Her favorite activities include rock climbing, running, photography, and exploring new areas to find great coffee and delicious food.

Jane Lee is a second-year doctoral student in the Society, Human Development and Health Department. Previously, she was a research analyst at the UCSF Center on Social Disparities in Health helping with the redesign and evaluation of California’s Black Infant Health program and working on issue briefs for the RWJF’s Commission to Build a Healthier America.  Prior to that, she worked at the Kaiser Family Foundation in the Women’s Health Policy group helping with a state-level report on racial and ethnic health and health care disparities among women.  Her research interests are in understanding how social policies affect maternal and reproductive health disparities and also in designing and evaluating maternal and child health interventions.  She received her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University in 2005 and a M.H.S. degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2007.

Paul Lee was born and raised on the island of O’ahu, Hawai’i and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Liberal Studies: Science, Technology and Society from the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. He then obtained his M.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin.  Following this he completed his psychiatry residency at the University of California, Irvine, his child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, and his psychosomatic medicine fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.  He was an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and worked for six years as a child and adolescent psychiatrist prior to beginning his studies at HSPH. Paul is currently in the MPH program in the Health and Social Behavior and Maternal and Child Health/Children, Youth and Families concentrations.  Additionally, he is currently a research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital working on the study “Prevalence and Predictors of Tourette Syndrome Co-Morbidities Across the Lifespan”.

Angelica Leveroni is a returning masters student. She holds a B.A. with honors in history and women’s studies from the University of Michigan. During her time at Michigan, she worked as a research assistant for the Detroit Middle School Asthma Project at the U-M School of Public Health, and ran tutoring programs in underserved schools in southwest Detroit. After graduation, she joined Teach For America in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, where she taught 5th grade bilingual reading for 3 years. She served as chair for her grade level for 2 years, and was named Teacher of the Year. Angelica is concentrating in Maternal and Child Health, and is particularly interested in the intersection of health and academic achievement, school health programs, school reform, and border and immigrant health issues. Last summer, she interned at IDEA Public Schools, a charter school system for low-income children in the Rio Grande Valley, where she designed a nutrition curriculum for parents. She also worked at Migrant Health Promotion, an organization that provides outreach health education to migrant farmworkers through the promotora model. Interests outside of school include reading and bargain shopping at TJMaxx and Marshalls.

Claudia Maiolo is enrolled in the MPH program with a concentration in Health and Social Behavior, and a focus on Maternal and Child Health.  She is familiar with the Boston area after having received her Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree from Tufts University in 2008.  She went on to pursue her specialization in pediatric dentistry at Yale New Haven Hospital and most recently completed a one year pediatric dentistry fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University.  Throughout her residency and fellowship she has witnessed the effects untreated dental disease has on children and their families as well as the challenges they have encountered when accessing dental care.  Her interests include prenatal education in the prevention of early childhood caries, and improving access to dental care especially among migrant families.  In her free time she enjoys running and yoga and has challenged herself to complete a marathon this coming year.

Emily Maistrellis is in her first year of the 2 year SM in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health. As an undergraduate, Emily worked as a research assistant on a qualitative project examining reproductive health in the Somali community in Lewiston, ME, and conducted her senior thesis research on access to childbirth education and birth outcomes among Somali immigrants. Before coming to HSPH, Emily worked for Jhpiego Corporation as the Senior Program Coordinator for a USAID funded MCH program in Afghanistan, which focused on increasing utilization of health services at a rural level by improving the quality of services, increasing the number of skilled providers, and generating demand for services. Emily’s research interests include the American birth system, immigrant health care, reproductive and maternal health and human rights, and womens’ health in disaster settings.

Heather L. McCauley is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health. She holds a MS in Global Health from Harvard School of Public Health and a BA in Sociology from St Lawrence University. She currently is a Research Associate at the Institute on Urban Health Research at Northeastern University where she evaluates programs for women and men with co-occurring mental health and substance-abuse disorders. Prior to Northeastern, she was a Research Coordinator at HSPH where she managed research projects focusing on how gender-based violence affects the sexual and reproductive health of women. Specifically, she helped design and test a maternal and child health intervention to reduce violence and non-violent maltreatment against pregnant women in urban slums in India. In addition to being an MCH concentrator, Heather continues to be involved in the Steering Committee on Women, Gender, and Health at HSPH. Heather lives on the seacoast of New Hampshire with her spouse, and enjoys cycling, middle distance running (10k, half marathon), and playing on the beach year-round.

Thu Nguyen is a returning doctoral student in the Planned Social Change Area of Interest. She graduated from Stanford University with honors in Human Biology and received a MSPH in Epidemiology from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Prior to coming to HSPH, she was on the evaluation team for the North Carolina Baby Love Plus Program where she helped assess the effectiveness of the program in decreasing preterm, low birth weight, and infant mortality rates and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in these outcomes. She is interested in examining how early life conditions influence adult development, health, and chronic disease. Particular exposures of interest include education, nutrition, poverty and racism on children’s development and later health. The ultimate goal of her research is to shape the development of policies, interventions, and community programs. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, cooking, and eating great food.

Jennifer (Jenny) O’Donnell is a first year doctoral student.  Her research interest is reproductive health, specifically abortion care, and related health outcomes for women and families.  In addition to her studies, she currently serves as the Deputy Director for the Abortion Access Project, overseeing the organization’s evaluation, communications, and development efforts.  Other career meanderings have taken her to the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and the depths of book-drafting efforts for a qualitative study of single motherhood.  Jenny has a B.A. from Wellesley College in International Relations and Latin American Studies and a M.Sc. from the Harvard School of Public Health.  While she is working on saying ‘no’ to new hobbies, the current roster includes finding new ways to use her food processor, attempting to grow food.

Emily Rosene is a Master of Public Health student with a focus in Maternal and Child Health.  She graduated from Cornell University in 2006 with a B.A. in Anthropology and received her M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2010.  While at Cornell, Emily founded TOGETHER, a mentoring program for children with chronic health conditions.  As program coordinator, she facilitated partnerships among child, mentor, physician, school nurse and guardian to enhance chronic disease management in a pediatric population.  Her honors thesis in Anthropology assessed the TOGETHER program and the role that mentoring programs can play in disease management.  She was recognized with the Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award in recognition of her efforts in addressing the community’s social needs.  During medical school, Emily was a mentor and co-chair in KICS (Kids in Chemotherapy and their Students) and founded A.T.P Kids (All Together Powering Kids), providing energy through mentoring for kids with metabolic disease.  She contributed to teaching efforts at Tufts as a facilitator in the problem based learning program and served as a community health educator in rural Nicaragua as part of an international medical elective. Emily was awarded the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, the Massachusetts Medical Society Scholars Award and the Tufts University Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service for her contributions.  Her interests include non-communicable conditions and program design, implementation and evaluation for children and youth with chronic health conditions in resource-limited settings.  Ultimately, she hopes to work on issues related to child health and development internationally.  Currently, Emily works with PACT (Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment), an affiliate of Partners in Health, to devise logic-models for expanding their current models of care to high-risk and high-cost patients with chronic health conditions.  She enjoys running, yoga, water-skiing, art and design, independent films, music (bassoon and piano) and reading.

Christine Simon is a first-year two year masters student in Society, Human Development, and Health.  Prior to attending HSPH, she worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator on the National Children’s Study at Mount Sinai School of Medicine developing community engagement strategies, which included liaising with NYC elected official and civic organizations, developing environmental health education workshops, and leading a school outreach team in order to garner community support for the Study. Christine has worked internationally on a number of public health projects including Smoke-Free England at the Department of Health in London, CEDETES- UNIVALLE Evaluations Curriculum in Cali, Colombia, and a social epidemiology study on tuberculosis in Ifakara, Tanzania. Additionally, Christine served as Co-Chair for the Women’s and Reproductive Health Policy committee for the Public Health Association of New York City and is a member of the policy committee for the Community-based Public Health Caucus. She is interested in conducting community-engaged research methods and developing public health intervention programs to address health disparities affecting women and children. In her leisure time, Christine enjoys shopping, watching documentaries, traveling, and trying new vegetarian recipes.

Laurel Stickloris a first year two-year masters student in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health. She is interested in community-based participatory research, social determinants of health, and taking a strength-based approach to address health disparities in chronic diseases. She is particularly interested in the protective factors that promote health and resilience among youth and their effects throughout the life course. Prior to HSPH, she worked at Children’s Hospital Boston as a research assistant on several community-based participatory research projects focused on racial/ethnic health disparities, social-cognitive factors, and behavioral interventions related to HIV prevention and treatment adherence as well as childhood obesity. She received her B.A. in Science in Society as well as Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Wesleyan University in 2009. In her spare time, she enjoys playing lacrosse, volunteering, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.

Nancy Street is a returning doctoral student.  Nancy is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Boston area, and an assistant professor of nursing at Regis College.  She earned her B.S. from Boston College and her M.S. in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her clinical practice area is adolescent medicine, with a focus on school based health care.  Nancy completed her S.M. at HSPH in 2006 and has been working with Dr. Beth Molnar on the 2006 Boston Youth Survey, examining the relationship of hours of sleep and aggressive behavior amongst adolescents.  She plans to conduct research on adolescent health outcomes. Nancy is native to the Boston area, living in Milton with her husband and two teenage children.  She loves to entertain friends and family.  She enjoys walking, skiing and being by the ocean.

MCH/CYF Concentrators 2010-2011

Agudile Emeka Pascal is an MPH student in the Family and Community Health Concentration with a focus on Maternal and Child Health. He has a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery degree (MB, BS) from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. Upon graduation, He worked at the Farida Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) Hospital in Zamfara State, Nigeria where he was involved in the treatment, repair and rehabilitation of women afflicted with VVF. In this hospital he also was the focal person in the antiretroviral treatment program and also coordinated the leprosy and tuberculosis control programs. As a result, he worked and corroborated with international organizations like the USAID and WHO. Prior to enrollment in the MPH program, Emeka was a second year resident physician in OBGYN where he plans to specialize in high risk pregnancies. His career objective is on the public health perspective underlying health service delivery to the most vulnerable members of the community especially women and children in a resource poor environment. His hobbies include swimming, cycling, playing football and watching comedy movies.

Jane An is a first year doctoral student. Previously, she was a research analyst at the UCSF Center on Social Disparities in Health helping with the redesign and evaluation of California’s Black Infant Health program and working on issue briefs for the RWJF’s Commission to Build a Healthier America.  Prior to that, she worked at the Kaiser Family Foundation in the Women’s Health Policy group helping with a state-level report on racial and ethnic health and health care disparities among women.  Her research interests are in understanding how social and health policies affect maternal and reproductive health disparities and also in designing and evaluating maternal and child health interventions.  She received her B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University in 2005 and a M.H.S. degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2007. During her free time, she likes to go snowboarding, eat at new restaurants and do crafts.

Mariana Arcaya is a second year doctoral student at the Harvard School of Public Health studying social epidemiology. Her research interests include health disparities and how the built environment, housing policy, and transportation systems impact chronic disease risks. Mariana holds a Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University. In 2006, she co-founded the Interdisciplinary Consortium on Urban Planning and Public Health (ICUPPH), a group that promotes the collaboration of planning and public health professionals in research and practice. Mariana currently works in the Data Services Group of Boston’s Metropolitan Area Planning Council mapping and analyzing planning-related data. In this capacity, she is currently supporting the development of a “Human Development Overlay District” in Boston’s Chinatown as part of a pilot urban planning-public health project. Before beginning graduate school, Mariana worked at Duke University’s Children’s Environmental Health Initiative helping to develop a household-level priority model for childhood lead exposure. Later, she worked as an environmental consultant preparing environmental impact statements for large-scale transportation infrastructure projects.

Zinzi Bailey is a returning doctoral student in the Social Determinants of Health Track.  Her research interests are in health disparities associated with race, socioeconomic class, and neighborhoods, especially as they relate to sexual and reproductive health.  Prior to starting at HSPH, Zinzi obtained a M.S.P.H. in Global Epidemiology from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, where one social epidemiology class and discussions with Dr. Jaime Breilh about “critical epidemiology” solidified her passion for the field.  Her thesis research compared the effects of maternal age structures on Down syndrome rates in South America and the United States, in collaboration with ECLAMC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  She also worked on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) implementation planning as well as projects in social determinants of health, GIS, and HIV at the CDC in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.  Prior to starting on her Master’s degree, she was the acting Assistant Director of a home visiting program in Brooklyn, New York, that provides voluntary home-based services to expectant families and new parents, helping them secure access to available community resources and offering education/support to promote positive and stimulating environments for the infants.  As an undergraduate, Zinzi conducted qualitative research in Salvador and Sao Paulo, Brazil, examining political opportunity and Afro-Brazilian mobilization, culminating in her senior thesis.  In her spare time, Zinzi enjoys reading, photography, dancing, learning languages, listening to music, sewing, exercise, all things Jamaican/Caribbean/Latin American as well as a healthy dose of cheesy television (Kyle XY, Smallville, Supernatural, Project Runway, Dexter, Burn Notice).

Sachini Bandara is a returning two-year masters student.She received her B.A. in Public Health from UC Berkeley.While at Cal, she served as a clinic coordinator for the Suitcase Clinic, an undergraduate run multi-service center for Berkeley’s homeless populations. For two years she worked at the Center for Excellence in Primary Care implementing clinic improvement projects at community health centers throughout San Francisco. She also worked as a health coach providing education and disease management support for chronic care patients at SF General Hospital. She gained valuable experience while working at the Community Engagement Program, which aimed to bridge academic research with community practice at UC San Francisco. While at HSPH, Sachini hopes to gain skills in program planning and evaluation.In her spare time she enjoys cooking, listening to music and spending time with her family and friends.

Rachel Blaine is a first year doctoral student in Public Health Nutrition. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis and a Master of Public Health from UCLA, where she was a Fellow and Maternal and Child Nutrition Trainee. She is a registered dietitian, and received her training at the Los Angeles VA Healthcare System. Rachel has years of experience running community health programs, writing grants, conducting research, and creating educational materials related to family nutrition. She is interested in innovative approaches to childhood obesity prevention, and finding ways to get registered dietitians more involved in public health research. Outside of school, this California girl loves exploring New England with her adventurous husband, discovering new music, experimenting in the kitchen, and being active in her church and community.

Marlene Camacho is a returning doctoral student. She is interested in the role of neighborhood context and how it contributes to asthma disparities among children and adolescents as well as the influence of social policies (particularly housing, immigration, education) in eliminating health disparities among children. Marlene received a B.S. in Biology and Society from Cornell University, an M.P.H. in Health Services Management and Policy from Tufts University School of Medicine, and and M.S. from the Harvard School of Public Health. Outside of school, she enjoys Latin dancing, yoga, and cooking.

Elizabeth Cespedes is a firstyear two-year masters student. She earned a bachelor’s degree with honorsin Latin American Studies and Comparative Literature from Brown University(2006). While completing her degree she worked as a research assistant ona clinical study examining the impact of acculturation, maternal depression, poverty,and neighborhood stressors on child asthma outcomes. She has also workedas a project assistant at a public health center promoting primary prevention inOakland, CA, as a Spanish-language medical interpreter in Providence, RI, as ahealth educator in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala and for over two years as aprogram evaluator in San Francisco, CA, applying quantitative and qualitativeanalysis to develop effective social programs. Her research interestsfocus on disparities in cancer and cardiac disease, as well as the social and environmentaldeterminants of chronic diseases, including diabetes and obesity risk amongchildren, with the goal of developing sound health policy and effective healthinterventions for low-income families. She is especially interested in practiceand policy oriented research targeting under-served and new immigrantpopulations. Outside of the academy, she cycles, rock climbs, paints andreads.

Brittany Charlton is a second-year masters degree student in the Department of Epidemiology. Her research interests are in reproductive and sexual health including topics like contraceptives, HPV/cervical cancer, and LGBT health disparities. In addition to Maternal Child Health, Brittany is also concentrating in Women, Gender, and Health. Her experience includes public health work in Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s (NY-8) District Office, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) Capitol Hill Office, and organizations like NARAL and the Center for Reproductive Rights. She has also worked as a political strategist with groups like the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Most recently, she completed a year of national service as a HealthCorps Member in AmeriCorps, during which she was based at New York’s LGBT Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and volunteered as a DONA-trained birth doula. Brittany holds a BA with a double major in Political Science and Urban Studies and a Gender Studies minor from The New School. Her hobbies include skydiving, SCUBA diving, photography, and triathlons.

Juliana Cohen is a returning doctoral student. Her research focuses on school based nutrition interventions and she currently works with several low income school districts throughout MA to improve their meals.  She is also interested in the impact of diet during pregnancy on fetal growth and cognitive development.  Juliana received an ScM from the Harvard School of Public Health.  Prior to coming to Harvard she worked at the CDC in the Department of Nutrition and Physical Activity.  She enjoys cooking, traveling, photography, and spending time with her husband and baby.

Madeleine deBlois is a returning doctoral student. Her research interests focus on the social determinants of child and adolescent health. She is interested in the diverse and interactive ways that communities, families, schools, and out-of-school-time programs contribute to child well-being. Of particular interest are the potential ways in which schools could strengthen children’s resilience to adversity that exists elsewhere in their lives. Madeleine received a B.A. in Environmental Science from Wellesley College and a M.S.Ed. from Saint Joseph’s University. While in Philadelphia, she taught middle school and worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters as a school-based program coordinator. Madeleine currently works as an RA for the Harvard Prevention Research Center on the Out of School Nutrition & Physical Activity Program. Outside of school, Madeleine enjoys riding her bike, farmers’ markets, vegetarian cooking, running, playing Ultimate Frisbee, traveling, gardening, and ceramics.

Erin Dunn is a returning doctoral student.  “My research interests are centered around genetic and environmental risk and protective factors linked to depression in MCH populations and the intersection between mental disorders and violence.  For my dissertation, I am looking at neighborhood and school effects on youth risk for depression and the extent to which three specific genes modify these associations.  When I’m not studying, I enjoy traveling, food/wine, movies, yoga, and spending time with my partner, Chad.”

Kate Falb is a returning doctoral student.  She received her B.S. in Community Health from the University of Illinois in 2004 and a Master of Health Science degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2007.  Her focus was on women’s health issues, particularly violence against women, and the relationship between health and human rights.  She has worked on child marriage prevention programs in Uganda, managed health education programs in refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border, and developed a program to address mental health issues in the military population.  While at HSPH, she also works as a research assistant with the Violence Against Women Prevention Research team.  Kate enjoys snowboarding and scuba diving with her husband, aerobic classes with good music, and gaining confidence to commute on her bicycle.

Leslie Farland is a first year masters student with a focus on Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology. She graduated in 2010 with a A.B. in Biological Science from the University of Chicago. Leslie has worked with the Cook Country Trauma Department studying Emergency Room utilization patterns after the closing of major low-income health clinics in the City of Chicago. Leslie also spent a summer working at Mujeres Aliadas, a women’s health and rights organization in Patzcuaro, Mexico. She helped them research the birthing practices in the area, especially among the Purepecha indigenous population. This research prompted her senior thesis regarding the overuse and misuse of cesarean sections in Mexico. Leslie’s research interests include systemic racial disparities and their contribution to perinatal health, psycho-social risk factors for pre-term labor, and drug safety during pregnancy.Outside of school Leslie enjoys golfing, photography, figure skating, and learning how to cook.

Stephanie Fosbenner is a first year two-year masters student.  She graduated from Lafayette College in May 2010 with a B.S. in Neuroscience.  Stephanie’s passion for public health was sparked by a volunteer experience in Tanzania, during which she worked in the Family Planning Unit and Pediatric Ward at a District Hospital.  The experience increased Stephanie’s awareness of the social determinants of health and the social justice dimensions of healthcare delivery.  Upon returning from Africa, Stephanie assisted an infectious disease specialist in executing a study to evaluate the progressive impact of HIV/AIDS on patients’ functional abilities.  Stephanie also interned at the Global AIDS Alliance in Washington D.C., where she completed research on pediatric AIDS and the mechanisms by which violence is catalyzing the spread of HIV among women in South Africa.  Stephanie is very passionate about women’s health issues, particularly those pertaining to violence against women.  Stephanie considers herself to be very “outdoorsy;” she is an avid runner and enjoys hiking and biking.  She also enjoys photography and baking anything involving chocolate as an ingredient.

Paola Gilsanz is a returning doctoral student.  Prior to coming to Harvard she was a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow in Maternal and Child Health at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.  She has worked primarily with data on maternal and early infant health (through the Massachusetts Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System) and adolescence (through the Massachusetts Youth Health Survey and the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey) to examine health disparities.  Paola graduated from Brown University with honors in Community Health and received an MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from UC Berkeley.  During her free time Paola likes to travel, cook, and be outdoors.

Josephine Hahn is a returning doctoral student and a Maternal and Child Health Concentrator.  She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.P.H. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  She has spent eight years working with and learning from court-involved youth in programs such as the Harlem Youth Court and a substance abuse and mental health intervention program sponsored by the Vera Institute of Justice.  She has also enjoyed teaching for four years at the Horace Mann School in Riverdale, New York.  Currently, she is excited to be working with Vera’s newest demonstration project, Common Justice, an alternative to incarceration based on participatory justice (also called restorative justice) principles for young people (16-24 years) who have committed serious and/or violent crimes and those they have harmed in Brooklyn, NY, as well as her dissertation involving individual and contextual factors contributing to intimate partner violence perpetration.  Her interests include: effective alternatives to incarceration, criminal justice and health policy reform, halting cycles of violence, and adolescent health. 

Holly Harris is a 4th year epidemiology doctoral student. She received her B.A. in Biology from Macalester College in 2000 and her M.P.H. from the University of Southern California in 2005. Prior to coming to HSPH she work as the Maternal Child Health Epidemiologist for the Orange County Health Care Agency. She currently manages a study on the labor and delivery floor at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Her research interests include inutero exposures and their impact on adult chronic diseases; body size, nutritional factors and premenopausal breast cancer; and diet and endometriosis. In her spare time she enjoys running marathons and traveling.

Elizabeth Janiak is a returning two-year masters student.  She holds an A.B. in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard College, where she researched right wing religious movements and American culture.  She matriculated as a doctoral student in New York University’s American Studies Program, where she earned an M.A.  Building on undergraduate research on abstinence pledges, she focused her graduate work on legal, cultural, and biomedical constructions of sexuality and family.  For two years she served as the manager of the statewide sexual health hotline based at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, where she continued to work as the coordinator of a case management program for uninsured and Medicaid-insured women during her first year at HSPH.  She is now an educational and research consultant to health care institutions in the Boston area.  Elizabeth is interested in bringing the social determinants of health framework to clinical operations, quality improvement, and program evaluation for family planning, with a particular interest in abortion care and access.  A Massachusetts native, Elizabeth enjoys all things New England in her spare time, from camping in the White Mountains to biking the Cape Cod Rail Trail.  She believes in real maple syrup and is a member of the Church of Baseball.

 

Laura Khan is a first-year masters student in the Global Health and Population Department. She received her BA from Tufts University in Psychology and Spanish in 2006 and spent two years serving as a US Peace Corps Volunteer (’06-’08) in the Fiji Islands where she worked with an Indian women’s group on social infrastructure creation, health promotion and income-generating projects. She spent the last year working with the Research Program on Children and Global Adversity (RPCGA) at HSPH’s FXB Center for Health and Human Rights. Laura currently lives with her husband in Jamaica Plain and enjoys running, reading and baking banana bread.

Heather McCauley Kleszczynski is a first-year doctoral student.  She holds an M.S. in Global Health from Harvard School of Public Health and a B.A. in Sociology from St. Lawrence University.  For the last three years she has served as Research Coordinator for the Violence Against Women Prevention Research team at HSPH, focusing on how gender-based violence affects the health of women and children through various international and domestic projects.  In this work, she enjoys collaborating with organizations such as the Family Violence Prevention Fund and Planned Parenthood Federation of America through which she has seen results of her team’s research influence policy and practice, including a recent movement to incorporate violence and reproductive coercion assessment in family planning clinic visits.  She also manages/designs quantitative studies to measure how violence against mothers impacts birth outcomes and the health of children in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.  Heather is particularly interested in health care access for women and children who experience violence in rural, resource-poor settings.  Prior to HSPH, Heather spent time in Southeast Asia conducting ethnographic research on human trafficking.  Heather is an MCH concentrator and continues to be involved in the Working Group on Women, Gender and Health at HSPH.  She lives on the seacoast of New Hampshire with her spouse, and enjoys cycling, middle distance running (10k, half marathon), and playing on the beach year-round.

Lisa Peterson is a returning two-year masters student. She received an A.B. in Psychology from Bowdoin College in 2007. Upon graduation, she worked as a research assistant in the Memory Disorders Research Center under Boston University and the Boston VA Healthcare System. Research at the lab used behavioral and imaging measures to study memory deficits due to traumatic brain injury. However, Lisa’s undergraduate service work compelled her to pursue her interest in adolescent sexual health and education. She is also interested in the discussion surrounding sexual assault and violence and how it interfaces with health and education. Her focus is in program design and implementation. Outside of class, she is also a Center Associate at Isis Parenting, a comprehensive company for new and expecting parents, as well as, a volunteer with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s Community Awareness and Prevention program. In addition, she and Monica Wang are working on a project for the Schweitzer Fellowship on reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption in the Mission Hill community through youth-led advocacy. For her summer practicum, she led and developed sexual education workshop activities for youth through the Maria Talks program at AIDS Action Committee and conducted key informant interviews in Dorchester regarding community needs in sexual health. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading, yoga, watching a wide array of movies, photography, and Zumba (a new fitness sensation that incorporates aerobic exercise and world dance).

Elizabeth Rhodes is a first-year masters student in the Society, Human Development, and Health Department. She is primarily interested in the causes and consequences of gender-based violence and approaches to prevention. Prior to becoming a student at HSPH, she established and led the National Public Outreach Program at Polaris Project, an international organization dedicated to combating human trafficking. Her tasks included conducting state and federal policy advocacy, generating media, educating the public about anti-trafficking resources and victim services, and building grassroots campaigns. As part of this work, Elizabeth conducted community trainings and presentations and launched the Polaris Project Action Center, a website to promote awareness and community action. She also worked to empower individual survivors of human trafficking through service provision, including transitional housing and job training workshops. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Sociology from Brown University and studied conflict resolution at the University of Cape Town. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking, taking road trips, and spending time with family and friends.

Nancy Street is a returning doctoral student.  Nancy is a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Boston area, and an assistant professor of nursing at Regis College.  She earned her B.S. from Boston College and her M.S. in Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her clinical practice area is adolescent medicine, with a focus on school based health care.  Nancy completed her S.M. at HSPH in 2006 and has been working with Dr. Beth Molnar on the 2006 Boston Youth Survey, examining the relationship of hours of sleep and aggressive behavior amongst adolescents.  She plans to conduct research on adolescent health outcomes.  Nancy is native to the Boston area, living in Milton with her husband and two teenage children.  She loves to entertain friends and family.  She enjoys walking, skiing and being by the ocean.

Rachel Vanderkruik is a returning two-year masters student.  She received her B.A. from Bowdoin College with a major in Biology and minor in Psychology.  After graduation, she worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Reproductive and Perinatal Program as a Clinical Research Assistant for 2 years.  She plans to concentrate in Maternal and Child Health, and is very interested in determining the factors that contribute to healthy physical and mental development in children.  She is also interested in the role of diet and physical activity in preventing chronic diseases and promoting overall well-being.  In her spare time she enjoys running, rowing, playing soccer/basketball, being outdoors,  and being with her family & friends.

Monica Wang is a returning doctoral student and graduated from Harvard School of Public Health with a M.S. in Society, Human Development and Health and from Tufts University with a B.A. in Community Health and Child Development. Professional experience includes biomedical lab research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Dept. of Pathology and Dept of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology, public health research in the Nutrition and SHDH Department at HSPH, and evaluation consultation for the MA Department of Public Health and for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Housing & Urban Development Department (HUD), and the National Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. She is also working with Lisa Peterson on a project for the Schweitzer Fellowship on reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption through youth-led advocacy in partnership with Sociedad Latina, a non-profit organization in Mission Hill, MA that serves middle and high school youth attending Boston public schools. Fields of interest include childhood obesity, racial health disparities, and disordered eating behaviors among youth.