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People: Behavioral and Community Health

Our Core Faculty and Staff

Portrait of Elizabeth Aparicio

Elizabeth Aparicio

Assistant Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Portrait of Amelia Arria

Amelia Arria

Director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development
Portrait of Angie Barrall

Angie Barrall

Faculty Specialist, Center on Young Adult Health and Development
Portrait of Cynthia Baur

Cynthia Baur

Endowed Chair and Director, Horowitz Center for Health Literacy
Portrait of Kenneth H. Beck

Kenneth H. Beck

Professor Emeritus, Behavioral and Community Health
Portrait of Bradley Boekeloo

Bradley Boekeloo

Professor, Behavioral and Community Health
Director, University of Maryland Prevention Research Center

Graduate Students

John Salermo, graduate student of School of Public Health from the University of Maryland

John Salerno is a Graduate Student Researcher and an NIH-funded PhD candidate in public health interested in research to improve the health and wellbeing of youth at the intersections of LGBTQ, Latina/o/x, and immigrant identities. His research seeks to reveal and address intersectional subordination among these groups through critical and community-engaged research methods. Experienced in program evaluation, CBPR, scientific writing, community engagement, and qualitative and quantitative research methods. Interested in Intersectionality, Minority Stress Theory, Critical Race Theory, and the Life Course Perspective. jsalerno@umd.edu

 

 

Alana Ewen, graduate student of School of Public Health from the University of Maryland

Alana Ewen is a Teaching Assistant and a PhD student in Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Ms. Ewen worked as a Data Analyst, Researcher, and Project Manager for six years at Boston Medical Center. In her role, she led research teams in study and survey design, recruitment, statistical analysis, and manuscript writing centered on burnout and well-being. Ms. Ewen serves as a reviewer for JCEHP and JHCPU. She is interested in examining the ways in which poor psychological health (e.g. anxiety and chronic stress), often exacerbated by Social Determinants of Health, manifests itself through the development of adult-onset diabetes and cancer in communities of color. Her interests are in Social and Psychiatric Epidemiology, as well as Health Equity. Ms. Ewen received her Bachelor of Arts in Health and Society from the University of Rochester, and Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health. aewen@umd.edu

Nathaniel Woodard, graduate student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Nathaniel Woodard  is a Graduate Research Assistant. After studying public health and psychology at the University of Rochester, Nate came to the University of Maryland to work in behavioral and community health and to obtain a MPH degree. Nate has since completed the MPH program and transitioned into the doctoral program in behavioral and community health at UMD. He is particularly interested in the motivations behind health behaviors and how person-to-person interactions affect these motivations and behaviors. His current work focuses on health promotion in organizational contexts. Nate enjoys participating in sports (especially wrestling), singing, and trying new foods. woodardn@umd.edu

Carson Peters, student of School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Carson Peters (she/her) is a Teaching Assistant who graduated from Grinnell College with a Bachelor of Arts in the Biology of Global Health and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Iowa, College of Public Health. She is currently a doctoral student in the Behavioral and Community Health Program at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health. Carson is passionate about global public health, particularly HIV research. Her research portfolio includes engagement to care in the HIV continuum, HIV-related stigma, transgender health, the impact of infectious and chronic diseases in the microbiome, and increasing diversity in clinical trials. She has conducted preliminary research in Brazil, India, and South Africa focused on infectious diseases and in Sub-Saharan Africa focusing on women’s cancer. Her research experiences include working at the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Harvard Global Health Institute, and the Harvard School of Public Health. She has also worked on Capitol Hill for the late Honorable Congressman John Lewis, related to her public policy and advocacy interests. cpeters9@umd.edu

Charlene Kuo, graduate student of School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Charlene Kuo is a Research Assistant and a doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Prior to her time at UMD SPH, Charlene worked as a Research Coordinator at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center's Cancer Prevention and Control Program. Broadly, she is interested in the social determinants of health and health equity. Charlene enjoys frameworks and methods that center the experiences and perspectives of people experiencing health disparities including critical race theory, community-based participatory research, and co-design. Charlene is curious about how American history, culture, values, and society has shaped public health in the United States. Charlene hopes to focus her dissertation on barriers to direct care workers accessing fair work benefits because it explores how care work and a workforce largely made up of women, racial/ethnic minorities, and immigrants are valued in the U.S. Charlene received her BA in American Studies and BS in Biological Science from the University of Maryland. cckuo@umd.edu 

Jennifer Robinson, doctoral student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Jennifer Robinson is a Graduate Research Assistant and a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She is also a doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. She received her Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her BA in Psychology and English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a mixed methodologist with extensive experience conducting public health research in topics such as cancer prevention, sexual and reproductive health, and mental health for the federal government, nonprofits, NGOs, and community partners. She has also been active in mental health advocacy and has worked to help those in crisis as a volunteer counselor. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant in the Behavioral and Community Health department and a graduate research assistant in the Community THRIVES Lab. jrobin20@terpmail.umd.edu 

Amara Channell Doig, graduate student of School of Public Health from the University of Maryland

Amara Channell Doig, MPH is a Research Assistant and a PhD student in Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition Science from the University of Georgia and a Master's degree in Public Health from George Washington University. Prior to starting her doctoral program, she worked as a Research Associate and Project Coordinator in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at George Mason University. In this capacity, she has worked with a local health department to assess breastfeeding and vitamin D practices among mothers receiving WIC and coordinated a childhood obesity research study. She previously worked in Lima, Peru to provide health care and education to impoverished communities as a health educator. She also worked as a principal advisor on the Peruvian National Nutrition Program. She has performed laboratory research, conducted fieldwork on medical care for children, and performed analyses of the role of pharmacies in antibiotic overuse. Her research interests include cultural adaptations of interventions for ethnic and racial minorities, the use of social media for public health, pediatric obesity, and infant and toddler feeding practices. acdoig@umd.edu

Leena Daniel, graduate student of Student Public Health from the University of Maryland

Leena Daniel is a Teaching Assistant and graduated in Spring 2018 from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, focusing on community health, obesity prevention, and health communications. While at UMD, she interned for two years at the Food and Drug Administration in College Park, where she worked with strategic communications in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Daniel managed the weekly media summary report and developed briefs from scientific publications. She also worked as a research assistant for Dr. Hee-Jung Song in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, where she did data collection and conducted a literature review on Older Americans Act nutrition programs. Daniel also completed her Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) in Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins University in May 2020. While at Johns Hopkins, she conducted formative research in Baltimore City on the challenges faced by a non-profit grocery store. She is now a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. She is currently interested in food insecurity in higher education. When she has free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and friends. ldaniel1@umd.edu

Alexis Hunter, graduate student of the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland

Alexis S. Hunter (she, her, hers) is a Teaching Assistant and a PhD student in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Alexis earned her BA in Psychology from Michigan State University with specializations in Health Promotion and Bioethics, Humanities, and Society. She completed her MA in Community Psychology and Social Change at the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining the University, she worked within an urban-metropolitan university with health and racial disparities in chronic diseases (asthma, diabetes, and HIV/STI). Alexis is passionate about her work within health and racial disparities, substance use, sexuality, and HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention. She has extensive experience as a qualitative researcher, working inside urban and rural communities. She has worked as a Research Project Manager as well as a HIV test counselor and prevention specialist in the Metro Detroit Area. She is interested in finding creative and innovative ways to use community engaged research to structure socio-behavioral and sexual health interventions for adolescent and emerging adults to address the gaps that exist for understanding sexual and gender minority health disparities. huntera5@terpmail.umd.edu

Bola Kushima is a Teaching Assistant and has a long-standing passion for seeing the translation of public health knowledge to global actions that impact the health of populations. Her specific interests are in infectious disease, and maternal and child health. She also thoroughly enjoys administration and business development. She speaks 1 more language aside from English. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and learning new things. okushimo@umd.edu

Mesahel Abusalem, graduate student of School of Public Health from the Univesity of Maryland

Meshael Abusalem joined the Department of Behavioral and Community Health as the Academic Advising Graduate Assistant in Summer 2020. Meshael is passionate about public health and hopes to share this by advising Community Health students as they navigate their time at UMD. Meshael is also available to meet with prospective students who are interested in the Community Health major. Meshael is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health in the UMD School of Public Health. Prior to starting her studies at UMD, Meshael graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health from American University in Washington, D.C and obtained her CHES® certification in 2018. Her research areas of interest are disease prevention and community outreach efforts. She is excited to be studying and working in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. meshael@umd.edu