Office Phone Number: 
(301) 405-8501

The Maryland Maternal and Child Health Research Collaborative was established in the spirit of the University of Maryland: MPower the State agreement between the campuses in College Park and Baltimore. The purpose of the Maryland MCH Research Collaborative is to promote and foster the development of Maternal and Child Health cross-campus research collaboration. Members of the collaborative represent nine departments from across the two schools: Behavioral and Community Health (UMCP), Epidemiology and Biostatistics (UMCP), Epidemiology and Public Health (UMB), Family Science (UMCP), Health Services Administration (UMCP), Kinesiology (UMCP), Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health (UMCP), Obstetrics Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences (UMB), and Pediatrics (UMB). Together, faculty from the School of Public Health in College Park and the School of Medicine in Baltimore bring their diverse and impressive range of experience, interests, and skills to developing innovative research that will promote the health and well-being of families in Maryland. 



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Linda Aldoory

Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral & Community Health, University of Maryland


Areas of Interest

  • Health Campaigns
  • Adolescent Health
  • Health Literacy
  • Prenatal Health

Linda Aldoory, Ph.D., is Endowed Chair and Director of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy and Associate Professor in Behavioral & Community Health at the School of Public Health, University of Maryland College Park. The Center was created to advance the science of health literacy and to evaluate communication tools and messages used by government, media and healthcare settings. Aldoory’s research focuses on the role of health communication in improving health literacy. She is part of the recent Health Enterprise Zone grant awarded Prince George’s County, MD, and a grant from Atlantic Hospital to develop health literacy curriculum for Worcester County Public Schools. Her research is published in the top journals in her field, such as Journal of Health Communication, and Health Communication. Aldoory has worked in health communication for over 20 years, specializing in campaigns and media messages for women of color and adolescents. She has consulted for the CDC, FDA and USDA regarding health media and campaigns in food safety, injury prevention, and teen health. Before joining the School of Public Health in 2011, Aldoory was Associate Professor in Communication at the University of Maryland for 13 years. She also formerly worked for Bronx Perinatal Consortium, a maternal child health organization in The Bronx, NY, and for the American Psychiatric Association in Washington, DC. 

Elaine A. Anderson


Professor, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland


Areas of Interest

  • Family policy
  • Health policy
  • At-risk families
  • International family & health policy

Elaine A. Anderson is Chair and Professor in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore. She also Co-Directs the Maryland Family Policy Impact Seminar. She received her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University. Over the past 30 years Anderson has been either the Principal or Co-Principal Director of multiple funded applied family and health policy research projects. She has published three books and more than 125 articles and book chapters.  She received the Outstanding Service Award to Division 9 for the American Psychological Association and is the former President of the National Council on Family Relations, where she also is a Fellow of the association. Anderson conducts research on welfare reform, food stamp utilization, health and mental health access to care, and child care. Her writing focuses on the impact of policies on the health and well-being of families, most recently utilizing a human rights perspective. She has used her research to inform state and federal legislators about how best to modify programmatic and policy initiatives on behalf of families.

Dina Borzekowski

Dina Borzekowski is an internationally recognized expert in the area of children, media, and health. In July 2013, Dr. Borzekowski joined the faculty at the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland as a Research Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Borzekowski had been at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health since 2001. Dr. Borzekowski’s domestic and international research involves studying how youth come to use media and how media has an impact on the health and well-being of children and adolescents. Some of her most fun and meaningful work has been with Sesame Workshop, developing and evaluating international health communication interventions for some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Maureen Black


ProfessorDepartments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Director, Growth and Nutrition Clinic


Areas of Interest

  • Nutrition
  • Child Development
  • Intervention trials
  • Pediatric Psychology

Maureen Black, Ph.D., is the John A. Scholl MD and Mary Louise Scholl MD Endowed Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of the Growth and Nutrition Clinic, a multidisciplinary clinic for children with poor growth and feeding problems. She is an adjunct professor in the Center for Human Nutrition, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Dr. Black completed her doctoral training in psychology at Emory University and an internship at the Neuropsychiatric Center at UCLA. She is a pediatric psychologist who conducts intervention research related to children’s nutrition, health, and development, conducted in low-income communities in Baltimore and in low-and middle-income countries. She is conducting NIH-funded pediatric obesity prevention trials with toddlers and with middle school girls, and is a principal investigator for Children’s HealthWatch (, a multi-site initiative that monitors the wellbeing of young children in low-income communities.  She has served on committees for UNICEF, WHO, and the Institute of Medicine.

Michel Boudreaux

Michel Boudreaux, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Services Administration in the School of Public Health, University of Maryland. He received a PhD (2014) in health services research, policy, and administration from the University of Minnesota. Boudreaux conducts research in two primary areas. His substantive area of interest is in the evolution of health and socioeconomic position across the life-course and between generations, with a special emphasis on the role of health policy on long-term outcomes. He also maintains an active research agenda in survey methods that focuses on health care access measurement in federal surveys. His work has appeared in Health Affairs, Health Services Research, Medical Care, Medical Care Research and Review, and Inquiry. He has also contributed to several U.S. Census Bureau working papers and to other reports for state and federal agencies.

Rada K. Dagher

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Services Administration, University of Maryland


Areas of Interest

  • Postpartum Depression
  • Maternity Leave Policies and Postpartum Health
  • Health Care Response to Domestic Violence
  • Disparities in Mental Health and Mental Health Care Use
  • Work Organization, Work Policies, and Workers’ Health and Health Services Use

Rada K. Dagher, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration, School of Public Health, Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in Health Services Research, Policy, and Administration from the University of Minnesota in 2007 and her dissertation was nominated for the University of Minnesota best dissertation award. Dr. Dagher is a health services and policy researcher with a focus on women’s health. She has researched extensively the risk and protective factors of postpartum depression and the relationship of this disorder with health services use and expenditures with a specific focus on employed women. Dr. Dagher also studies the impact of work policies (e.g., policies of maternity leave after childbirth and job flexibility policies), work organization (e.g., job demands, job control, and supervisor and coworker support), and work-family conflict on workers’ mental and physical health outcomes and health care expenditures. Dr. Dagher was a Co-Principal Investigator on a HRSA grant to examine the relationship between maternal depression and child weight outcomes and whether well-child visits moderate this relationship, using five waves of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). She is currently the Principal Investigator for a study titled “Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in postpartum depression among a national sample of U.S. mothers of infants”, which was funded by the Maryland Population Research Center seed grant program at the University of Maryland.

Jenifer O. Fahey

Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, UMB School of Medicine


Areas of Interest

  • Postpartum Maternal Health
  • Breastfeeding
  • Maternal Obesity
  • Innovative Prenatal Care Delivery
  • Fetal Monitoring
  • Midwifery
  • Simulation-Based Obstetric and Neonatal Emergency Training

Jenifer Fahey is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland where her duties include clinical practice as a full-scope midwife (well-woman, family planning, antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care) and in clinical and classroom instruction of medical students, midwifery students and Ob/Gyn residents.  She has served as program director for the Maryland Perinatal Support Services program, a collaborative program with Johns Hopkins and the DHMH, which has established a perinatal telemedicine program and coordinates maternal transport and outreach perinatal educational activities for Maryland.   She received her Masters of Science in Public Health from Harvard University’s School of Public Health and her Masters in Nursing from Yale University’s School of Nursing with a concentration in Midwifery and is currently a doctoral student in the Family Science Department at UMD School of Public Health.   She has participated in a series of initiatives to improve perinatal outcomes in Baltimore and throughout Maryland.  These activities have included participation in the Baltimore Babies Born Healthy Leadership in Action (Baby-LAP), the Maryland Patient Safety Center’s Perinatal Collaborative, the revision of the State’s Perinatal Systems Standards, and in the development of Baltimore’s 10-year initiative to reduce infant mortality – B’More for Healthy Babies.  She is  co-founder of PRONTO International, an NGO providing  Emergency Obstetric Care training internationally, of which she is now a Board Member.   In the last two years, Ms. Fahey has worked to promote Centering Pregnancy in Maryland, an evidence-based model of group prenatal care.  Jenifer serves as a reviewer for multiple peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health for which she is also an Associate Editor.  Ms. Fahey has multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals and has published chapters in textbooks, most recently in Varney’s Midwifery, 5th Edition, for which she also served as one of the editors.  She is a native Spanish speaker who was born and raised in Mexico.

Renee Fox

Renee Fox, M.D., is a graduate of Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences and received her M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She remained in Rochester to complete her pediatric residency at the University of Rochester, later joining the fellowship program at the Joint Program for Neonatology at the Harvard Medical School.
In 1986 she joined the faculty at the University of Maryland. She was the Head of the Division of Neonatology (2001-2008), Consortium Chief of Hospital Based Programs, Director of Clinical Affairs for the Department of Pediatrics (2000-2008). A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow (2007-2010), she was selected to work in the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) under Director of the CBO, Peter Orszag. She was previously a fellow in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women. Dr Fox is a Member of the American Academy of Pediatrics National Committee on Federal Government Affairs.

She is PI on two community based intervention grants:

  • “B’more for Healthy Babies Upton/Druid Heights” Family League of Baltimore City RFP Strategy to Improve Birth Outcomes: Community-Based Services.
  • “Healthiest Maryland Schools: Bringing Together Pediatricians, Schools, and Communities to Prevent Childhood Obesity.” Maryland Community Health Resources Commission.

Erin R. Hager

Erin R. Hager, Ph.D., is a nutritional epidemiologist with additional training in assessment of physical activity.  Hager’s research focuses on pediatric health promotion/obesity prevention, with an emphasis on school wellness.  She is currently working closely with the Maryland State Department of Education on a CDC-funded project, the "Maryland Wellness Policies and Practices Project", which focuses on Local Wellness Policy implementation in schools/school systems throughout Maryland. Hager is also the founder and co-chair of a CDC working group on School Wellness, where she co-led the School Wellness Policy Implementation subcommittee.  Hager has given over 20 talks in the past year, both locally and nationally, on school wellness policy implementation. 

Hager also has extensive experience with data collection in schools, through her role as a Co-Investigator on the Challenge! in Schools Study.  She worked closely with the project coordinator to design data collection protocols and personally oversaw the collection, cleaning, and analysis of accelerometer data.

Sandra Hofferth

Professor, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland


Areas of Interest

  • Pregnancy circumstances and birth outcomes
  • Childhood conditions and later child health
  • Immigrants and immigration
  • Family time use
  • Fatherhood
  • Analysis of large scale national data sets

Sandra Hofferth, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Maryland. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of North Carolina, working with faculty from the Maternal and Child Health Program, Gillings School of Public Health and the Carolina Population Center.  Hofferth is a family demographer who has researched family issues in the context of public policy for over thirty years, publishing three books and more than 100 articles and book chapters. She previously served as Vice President of the Population Association of America and as Director of the Maryland Population Research Center.  Hofferth conducts research on the influences of family structure, parental time, community, and media on familial relationships within and across households and later child health. She was co-investigator on a program project funded by NICHD to examine the transition to fatherhood and male parenting behavior within and across households over time. She currently directs the Time Use Data Access System, a project joint with the University of Minnesota that is dedicated to making it easy for researchers to use data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS). She directs an NSF-funded project that is developing new ways to document and to analyze individuals and families in their community context.

Alice M. Horowitz 

Alice M. Horowitz, Ph.D., is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park, and Clinical Professor in the School of Dentistry, University of Maryland, Baltimore. She received her PhD in health education from the University of Maryland, College Park. A health educator, researcher, and life-long learner, Dr. Horowitz formerly was a senior scientist at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and has done extensive work in dental caries prevention and early detection. During her time with NIDCR she was instrumental in initiating the need to address health literacy in dentistry, and was one of the authors of the first NIH Program Announcement addressing health literacy. Following her service with the Federal Government, Dr. Horowitz served on the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel, Advancing Oral Health in America. She has also contributed several invited presentations to the IOM’s Round Table on Health Literacy, has published over 130 scientific papers and book chapters. Currently Dr. Horowitz is the Principle Investigator for a statewide oral health literacy needs assessment study in Maryland, and Co-Chair of the Education/Health Literacy Sub-Committee of the Maryland Dental Action Coalition, a group commissioned in 2007 by Maryland’s then Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene, John Colmers, following the tragic and untimely death of Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old Prince George’s County boy who died because of complications related directly to an untreated dental infection. 

Shannon Jette


Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland 


Areas of Interest

  • Exercise during pregnancy (and post-natal)
  • Maternal weight gain
  • Qualitative research methodology
  • Lay understanding of health and risk
  • Mothering and culture
  • Health disparities

Shannon Jette, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology (Physical Cultural Studies) at the School of Public Health, University of Maryland. She received her BSc in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada and an MA and PhD from the School of Kinesiology (Sociocultural Research), University of British Columbia. She received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research postdoctoral fellowship that she took at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Jette is trained in Cultural Studies and Women’s Studies, and uses a range of qualitative research methods and social theory to examine the production, dissemination and interpretation of knowledge about the active body. Much of her research focuses on the issue of prenatal exercise and gestational weight gain - from examinations of the production of medical knowledge around maternal exercise and weight gain to the ways that women of varying cultural backgrounds experience maternal weight gain and movement in their daily lives. She is currently interested in the physical culture experiences of women on low income who are either pregnant or new mothers (i.e., with a child under the age of two).  Jette plans to widen the scope of ‘physical culture’ to include movement/activity undertaken for both leisure and work (paid and unpaid), and to position it within the context of the women’s daily lives and communities.

Woodie Kessel


Professor of the Practice, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland


Areas of Interest

  • Child poverty
  • Advocacy and science related the care and cure of rare diseases
  • Community-based strategies to prevent gun violence aimed at children
  • Community data systems,
  • Standards of care for newborns and children requiring cardio-thoracic surgery

Woodie Kessel, BSEE, MD, MPH, FAAP is a community pediatrician and child advocate with experience in bioengineering, medicine, public health, community-based programming, and public policy.  Dr. Kessel is the Senior Child Health Scholar in Residence at the C E Koop Institute, Dartmouth College and Medical School, and Professor of the Practice at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.  Previously, Dr. Kessel served in the US Public Health Service as an Assistant Surgeon General and senior advisor on child and family health matters to the White House, Cabinet Secretaries, Surgeons General, and Health and Human Services officials spanning eight administrations.  Dr. Kessel has been involved in setting child health policy, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program, guidelines for health supervision of children and adolescents; preventing childhood obesity through federal initiatives and community-based research helping grandparents help their grandchildren make health choices; and the Healthy Start Initiative to reduce infant mortality in the US.  Dr. Kessel serves on several boards including the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition Board; the Sesame Workshop Health and Nutrition workgroup; PBS KIDS Health Council; Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation; Healthy Children, Healthy Futures Organization; the Fischell Bioengineering Advisory Committee, UMD; and others.  He has received the USPHS Distinguished Service Medal the highest USPHS recognition award, the Drexel 100 Distinguished Alumni Award, the Einstein College of Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Excellence in Public Service Award, and others.  Dr. Kessel studied electrical engineering at Drexel University; medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and, public health at the Johns Hopkins University.   He completed his pediatric residency and primary care fellowship at Boston City Hospital.   He was a RWJF Clinical Scholar and an ambulatory pediatrics fellow at the George Washington University’s Children’s Hospital National Medical Center.

Dushanka V. Kleinman

Dushanka V. Kleinman, DDS, MScD (RADM, ret.), is Associate Dean for Research and Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, at the School of Public Health, University of Maryland at College Park. She has contributed to a number of school-wide initiatives in addition to providing support for faculty and student research.  In 2012 she led a School-wide faculty team in conducting an extensive public health impact assessment study of Prince George’s County ( The resulting report is contributing to county-wide strategic planning for primary care. Her research has addressed epidemiology of oral mucosal lesions, including oral cancer and HIV/AIDS. She works with Dr. Alice Horowitz’s team in pursuing oral health literacy research and related health promotion efforts.

Prior to joining the University of Maryland in 2007, Dr. Kleinman completed 28 years of government service where she served as Deputy Director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH and Assistant Surgeon General (Rear Admiral), U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. In 2006 she completed a five year term as the 15th Chief Dental Officer, USPHS.  She was the co-editor, and coordinated the federal involvement in the development, of the first-ever Surgeon General's report on oral health (2000). Dr. Kleinman, a dentist, is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and has served as president of the American Board of Dental Public Health, the American Association of Women Dentists, and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. Dr. Kleinman has a D.D.S. from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and a hospital rotating internship at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics. She received a M.Sc.D. in dental public health from the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine at Boston University. She is a member of the Santa Fe Group, is a founding board member of the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance and currently serves on the editorial board member of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Sally A. Koblinsky


Professor, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland

Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, University of Maryland School of Public Health


Areas of Interest

  • Women veteran’s health
  • Veterans behavioral health
  • Parenting in at-risk families
  • Early childhood health and social development
  • Women’s leadership
  • Program evaluation

Sally A. Koblinsky, Ph.D., is Professor of Family Science and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She recently served as the University’s Assistant President and Chief of Staff (2008-11) and was formerly Chair of the Family Science Department (1996-2008).  Her research and publications focus primarily on child/adolescent development, parenting, and family relations in low income families, examining predictors of risk and resilience. She has received federal, state, and foundation grant support for 27 research and demonstration projects, including those that evaluate community-based interventions addressing parenting, family homelessness, child nutrition, school-age child care, adolescent pregnancy prevention, and substance abuse prevention.  Koblinsky’s recent work focuses on veterans’ behavioral health, including two state-funded programs aimed at enhancing the behavioral health of Maryland’s veterans. These projects include a statewide needs assessment of primary care and behavioral health providers, professional trainings for treatment of war-related health conditions, and strengthening peer support for student veterans on Maryland college/university campuses. One project, focusing on women veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, investigated women veterans’ barriers to healthcare and their recommended strategies for improving access, use, and quality of health services. Koblinsky is also the Evaluator for “Serving Together,” a 4-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant seeking to strengthen mental health and support services for military families in Montgomery County, Maryland.  She directs the School’s Military Families Internship program, which has prepared more than 60 students to work with veterans and military families at military installations, health centers, and military-serving nonprofits.  Koblinsky earned her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Psychological Testing at Oregon State University. She is the author of over 100 refereed articles, chapters, and other publications. 

Wendy Gwirtzman Lane


Associate ProfessorDepartment of Epidemiology and Public Health, Division of Preventive Medicine

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Child Protection

University of Maryland School of Medicine


Areas of Interest

  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Urban poverty and parenting
  • Toxic stress and allostatic load
  • Screening and diagnostic testing in clinical care

Wendy Lane, MD, MPH is a pediatrician and clinical researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and is board certified in General Pediatrics, Child Abuse Pediatrics, and Preventive Medicine.  Dr. Lane received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and then completed her Pediatric residency and Masters in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina.  She completed a Preventive Medicine residency at the University of Maryland, followed by a fellowship in Child Abuse and Neglect at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Dr. Lane returned to the University of Maryland to complete a National Research Service Award primary care research fellowship.  Upon completion of her fellowship, Dr. Lane joined the faculty in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  She is currently Associate Professor, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics.

Dr. Lane’s research focuses on child maltreatment. She is particularly interested in outcomes of maltreatment for children, and development and evaluation of prevention programs. She examines professional issues such as the medical evaluation, identification and reporting of maltreatment.  She recently completed an NIH K-23 training grant through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and currently is funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration to develop and evaluate a care coordination program for children with suspected physical abuse. Dr. Lane serves on the Child Protection Team at the University of Maryland Medical Center and performs medical evaluations for suspected maltreatment at the Howard County Child Advocacy Center. 

Leigh Leslie

Leigh Leslie, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in The Department of Family Science in the School of Public Health at The University of Maryland where she teaches in the Couple and Family Therapy Program. She holds a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from the Pennsylvania State University with a pre-doctoral internship in clinical-community psychology from Yale University, School of Medicine. She is the author of numerous book chapters and over 30 journal articles focusing of topics related to family functioning and mental health. Specific foci include social support, gender issues in families, and interracial families. She has conducted numerous evaluations of psychoeducational programs in areas such as couples communication, parent education, and promotion of emotional resiliency in children. Currently she is Co- Principal Investigator on two state supported grants. The Maryland Veterans Resilience Initiative is designed to enhance civilian clinicians’ capacity to treat returning veterans and their families. The Enhancing the Behavioral Health and Successful Reintegration of Women Veterans in Maryland grant aims to identify reintegration challenges for female veterans and to educate clinicians to their unique treatment needs.  Dr. Leslie is a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapy.

Amy Lewin

Amy Lewin, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, at the University of Maryland, College Park. Trained as a clinical psychologist, she received her doctorate from Rutgers University. Prior to coming to University of Maryland, she was on the faculty at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC. At Children’s, she led a research team working on mental health, parenting, and coparenting in teen parent families. Her research has always focused on community engagement, and she has worked with numerous community partners including DC public schools, Unity Health Care, Rosemount Children’s Center, DC Department of Health, and the DC New Heights program. She currently leads a study, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of HRSA, evaluating an integrated, comprehensive primary care model for teen parent families. She is also a member of the DC Collaborative for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care, the group that is working to increase access to pediatric and family mental health care throughout the District. 

Mona Mittal

Mona Mittal, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University and a Masters in Clinical Investigation from the University of Rochester. As a clinical researcher Dr. Mittal is engaged in prevention and intervention research aimed at improving health outcomes of women with experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV). Her research interests include physical, emotional, and sexual health of women and children in the US and internationally, with a specific focus on psychological trauma, interruption of the intergenerational cycle of violence, and physiological mechanisms linking IPV and adverse health outcomes across the lifespan. She has recently completed a K01 Research Scientist Career Development Award funded by NIMH aimed at developing an integrated HIV-IPV risk reduction intervention for women with recent experiences of IPV. 

Mitch Mokhtari


Associate Professor, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland

Email: mokhtar@

Areas of Interest

  • Health Economics
  • Microeconometric Analysis of Household Surveys
  • Role of information in health care
  • Use of alcoholism treatment services
  • Determinants of Child Obesity
  • Health system reform

Mitch Mokhtari,Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Houston. Mokhtari is an Associate Faculty member of the Maryland Population Research Center, and is also an Affiliated Faculty with the Center for Health Literacy of the School of Public Health. Mokhtari has taught economics at Princeton University, University of Maryland, and University of Houston, and has served as Research Professor at the New Economic School (Moscow, Russia) and Senior Research Associate with the Georgia State University. Mokhtari has managed multiple donor funded projects while advising the governments of more than twelve countries, including:  Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Egypt, Jordan. Mokhtari’s expertise spans microeconometric analysis of household surveys,  patient satisfaction surveys, and longitudinal data, and has published more than 30 papers on topics such as fertility, child obesity, informal payments, and labor supply, and other related topics. He was Co-PI on a three-year study funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) to better understand how women with alcohol problems use treatment services. The study employed a sample of over 100 Maryland alcoholism treatment centers and approximately 250 female patients in these units to investigate patterns of alcoholism treatment utilization among particular subpopulations of women (such as women with children and women covered by Medicaid) in different treatment settings. Currently, Mokhtari intends to study how adults with alcohol problem use treatment services in the Republic of Georgia.

Marian Moser Jones



Assistant Professor, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland


Areas of Interest

  • History of Public Health
  • History of Maternal and Child Health
  • Homelessness
  • Childhood poisoning and accidents
  • The Red Cross movement
  • Military nurses
  • Benevolent organizations and families

Marian Moser Jones, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Science, School of Public Health. A historian of public health who studies the institutionalization of benevolence, she teaches courses on family health and human services. Jones’ first book, The American Red Cross, from Clara Barton to the New Deal, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2013. Her lead-authored article, “Poison Politics: A Contentious History of Consumer Protection against Dangerous Household Chemicals in the United States,” received the 2012-2013 Article of the Year award from the American Journal of Public Health. As 2010-2011 De Witt Stetten Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, Jones researched the federal response to homelessness. Jones received her Ph.D. and M.P.H. degrees in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University, and her A.B. from Harvard College.

Ana Palla-Kane

Ana Palla-Kane, Ph.D., is a faculty in the Department of Kinesiology. She received her PhD in Education from the University of Virginia. She is interested in studying pregnancy in women with disabilities, especially aspects of reproductive health and prenatal care as it relates to accessibility to quality care, including accessibility and participation in physical activity prior to and during pregnancy. She is also interested in studying attitudes of health professionals towards pregnant woman with disabilities.

Palla-Kane has worked with teachers’ training in the area of adapted physical activity and the development of strategies to have adapted programs accessible to individual with different types of disabilities. She teaches the general education course entitled: "Adapted Physical Activity: empowering people with disabilities to lead healthy and active lifestyles" to undergraduate students. She has studied the impact of diversity in the delivery of quality physical education, and physical education teachers' perceptions and attitudes towards teaching students with disabilities and culturally-diverse backgrounds. She has received a grant for Moving Maryland Forward and is designing a Disability Awareness Program for faculty, students and staff in UMD’s School of Public Health. Palla-Kane is engaged in international initiatives related to disability rights, including advocacy for the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in physical activity and sports. She is currently a consultant to a large project funded by USAID in Brazil.

Robin Puett

Assistant Professor, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland 


Areas of Interest

  • Environmental Exposures
  • Spatial exposure
  • GIS, remote sensing for public health
  • Chronic disease epidemiology
  • Health disparities

Robin Puett, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health, and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland. She earned an MPH in Behavioral Sciences from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and doctorates in Epidemiology and Environmental Health Sciences from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She completed post-doctoral training with the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of environmental and spatial exposure assessment and epidemiology. More specifically, much of her research has explored the relationship of ambient air pollution exposures with chronic disease (i.e. cardiovascular disease and diabetes) and mortality. Ongoing and future research in this area is targeted to examine additional health outcomes (e.g. metabolic syndrome), the biological pathways involved, and important potential modifiers of these relationships, such as diet and physical activity. Her spatial exposure assessment, epidemiology and statistics work examines neighborhood contextual and built environment factors associated with physical activity, obesity, and chronic diseases. Health disparities are a cross-cutting issue addressed in her spatial and environmental research and teaching programs.

Kevin Roy

Assistant Professor, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland

Director, Graduate Studies

Areas of Interest

  • Life Course
  • Public policy
  • Young men
  • Transition to adulthood
  • Fathers/fatherhood 
  • Qualitative research
  • Incarceration

Kevin Roy, Ph.D., is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health. His research focuses on the life course of young men on the margins of families and the work force, as they transition into adulthood and fatherhood. Through participant observation and life history interviews, he explores the intersection of policy systems, such as welfare reform, community-based parenting programs, and incarceration, with care giving and providing roles in kin networks. He has received funding for his research from NICHD, the W.T. Grant Foundation, and the National Poverty Center.   Roy is a deputy editor for Journal of Marriage and Family and has published in this journal, as well as Social Problems, American Journal of Community Psychology, Journal of Family Issues, and Family Relations.   His book Nurturing dads:  Social initiatives for contemporary fathering in the ASA Rose Series was published by Russell Sage Foundation Press in 2012.  He received a Ph.D. in Human Development & Social Policy at Northwestern University in 1999. 


Edmond D. Shenassa

Associate Professor, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland 


Areas of Interest

  • Life course sequalae of in-utero exposure to toxins
  • Social determinants of disparities in maternal and child health
  • Effects of breastfeeding, and its interactions with toxins over the life course

Edmond D. Shenassa is an associate Professor of Family Science and Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also has adjunct appointments in Epidemiology at Schools of Medicine at Brown University and University of Maryland, Baltimore. Shenassa received a Master’s degree in Research Methods from UCLA and holds a dual Doctorate in Science (Sc.D.) in both Epidemiology and Maternal and Child Health from Harvard University. The unifying theme of Shenassa’s research is that “social factors are biologically relevant components of the natural human environment” (Shenassa, 2001). A key emphasis of this work is to identify independent pathways through which social factors, often expressed physiologically through activation of the HPA axes, influence health. This work, which is primarily focused on infants and children, can be further categorized into two general areas: life course sequalae of prenatal and perinatal exposure to toxins, and social determinants of disparities in health and development of infants and children. As the Principal Investigator, Shenassa has secured $1.3 M in funding from federal and private organizations. He has also been an Investigator on federally funded projects totaling approximately $27M. He is currently the Principal Investigator of a birth cohort study of the influence of in utero exposure to toxins on development during infancy and early childhood. His works have been reported by local news affiliates as well as nationally by ABC, CNN, NBC, NPR, USA Today, and approximately 200 newspapers in US, Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, and Russia. Shenassa was the founding director of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program at the University of Maryland College Park. He has worked as a consultant with the World Health Organization (2005-2008) as well as regional Maternal and Child Health programs. He teaches graduate courses in Epidemiologic study design and the life course perspective in MCH.

Natalie Slopen

Natalie Slopen, Sc.D., joined the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Maryland College Park in the fall of 2014. Dr. Slopen’s research focuses on social influences on health, health disparities, and psychological and biological mechanisms through which childhood experiences are embedded to increase risk for later chronic diseases. The overarching goal of her research is to identify processes and conditions that can be targeted by interventions in order to reduce health disparities and promote health over the life course. She received her ScD in Social Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health and postdoctoral research training at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University.

Julia Steinberg

Julia Steinberg, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. She will be joining the Department of Family Science in the SPH at U MD as an Assistant Professor in January 2015. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Arizona State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in reproductive health at UCSF. Julia conducts research at the intersection of psychology and reproductive health, and focuses on psychological aspects of unintended pregnancy, examining both antecedents and consequences of unintended pregnancy. She has researched the relationship between abortion and subsequent mental health, the extent to which mental health influences contraceptive behaviors, and the role of body image in depression and eating behaviors during pregnancy. She was an NICHD/NIH K12 Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Scholar, and currently has an NICHD/NIH K01 Career Development Award which delves into the relationship between depression and contraceptive behaviors.  She also has two private foundation grants to investigate the relationship between abortion and suicide using Danish Registries Data. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Reproductive Issues Committee of the Society for the Psychology of Women.