Addie Coleman is a Research Assistant with the UNC Re-Envisioning Health & Justice Lab. She works with The COVID Prison Project. Coleman is a Ph.D. student in the department of Health Policy and Management at UNC. She graduated with honors from UNC in the spring of 2020 with a B.A. in Sociology and Management & Society. Her thesis focused on the impact of race/ethnicity, gender and educational attainment on access to health care among working-aged adults in the United States. Her research interests now include sociodemographic disparities in health care access, political determinants of health and mass incarceration.
Guadalupe Gomez-Martinez is a North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics student. She is completing a mentorship program working under Shikira Thomas on the New IDEAS project. Throughout their high school education, they’ve fostered a love for community through involvement in local nonprofits and volunteer organizations. Their experience includes an Internship at El Centro in Durham, a nonprofit committed to strengthening the Hispanic/Latino community in the Triangle area. As an Intern, she’s been charged with project management and public outreach efforts, with duties ranging from recruiting new tutors and hosting orientations to creating lesson plans and independently teaching English classes to Latinx adults in the greater Durham area. She plans to continue her studies in sociology and public health with future goals of working to fill in the gaps in access to medical care for underprivileged minority groups, including the Latinx community.
Graduate Research Assistant
Jade Hollars is a MPH candidate in the Maternal, Child and Family Health concentration at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her interest areas surround health advocacy, family planning, and fertility support. She is passionate for improving community outreach and education while addressing gaps between programs and community involvement, especially within rural and underserved communities and populations.
Jade’s background is in biology where she participated in 4 years of research at Western Carolina University focusing on the regenerative effects of keratin on human embryonic kidney cells exposed to hypoxic environments which mimicked the environment of the heart following cardiomyopathy. Her goal is to integrate these physical science skills into her public health research in the improvement of the health and well-being of mothers and families.
Graduate Research Assistant
Suzanna Larkin is an MPH candidate in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at UNC Gillings. She earned her B.A. from Duke University with a double major in Global Health and International Comparative Studies and a minor in Cultural Anthropology. She has previously worked for organizations including FHI 360, the Maternal Health Learning and Innovation Center (MHLIC), and the Duke Center for Global Reproductive Health.
Larkin’s public health experience includes research and studies in Rwanda, Kenya, Vietnam, South Africa and Argentina. Her previous research experiences include exploring the health disparities in childbirth in Durham, NC, from 1960-1980 with Duke Hospital; measuring the availability and quality of maternal emergency services in western Kenya; and assessing the progress of the HRSA-funded Supporting Maternal Health Innovations (MHI) program at MHLIC. Her interests broadly lie in ensuring equitable access to essential healthcare for all birthing people.
Graduate Research Assistant
Katherine Mollenkopf is a current Master’s of Public Health candidate in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in the Maternal and Child Health Department.
Mollenkopf received her Bachelors of Arts in Neuroscience with a minor in Science, Technology, and Values from the University of Notre Dame in 2021. During her junior and senior years at Notre Dame, she was an undergraduate research assistant in two psychology labs and was a member of the Neuroscience Senior Leadership Council. During her first year at Gillings, she served as a co-project manager and qualitative research assistant for a CHER project aimed at producing manuscripts looking at the state of diversity, equity and inclusion in Clinical and Translational Science Award Centers nationally.
For the 2022-2023 academic year, she will continue her work at CHER as a Graduate Research Assistant, in which she will conduct qualitative data analysis, assist with writing manuscripts, and perform other research and logistical duties. Mollenkopf is passionate about improving the health of children, women and families through addressing health inequities and promoting wellness across the lifespan.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Priya Patel (she/her) works as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Center for Health Equity Research in the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. She assists the RADx project which deals with COVID-19 impacts and intervention strategies among incarcerated populations. Patel is currently studying Health Policy and Management in the undergraduate public health program at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is also working towards a Medical Anthropology minor. Her activism work with marginalized populations combined with her passion for health reform influences her research interests which fall at the intersection of social justice and public health.
Ethan Phillips is an undergraduate Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursuing a BSPH in Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and a BA in Public Policy with a minor in Chemistry. Ethan has 7 years of experience in community-based adolescent and young adult mental health advocacy, having led the formation of multiple cross-sector collaborative stakeholder coalitions at the school, county, and regional level. As a result of his work in mental health access promotion, Ethan co-authored a case study in an Oxford-published and CDC-supported handbook and was named a Youth Mental Health Leader in 2017 by the National Center for School Mental Health. Ethan has worked as a research assistant at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention since February 2020, researching the effects of COVID-19 on food insecurity and food access policy in rural North Carolina. After serving on the UNC undergraduate student government executive branch mental health committee, the Student Advisory Committee to the Chancellor, and the Campus and Community Advisory Committee to COVID-19 Spring 2021 Planning, Ethan now serves as the Undergraduate Student Government Director of Student Wellness and Safety. Ethan is academically and professionally interested in evidence-based improvement to access, equity, and quality in health care.
Cambray Smith, BS
Cambray recently joined UNC’s MD-PhD program and will be entering medical school in summer 2020. Her summer rotation is in the lab of Leah Frerichs, PhD and she will be joining the MAPSCorps team. Cambray graduated from NC State in 2018 as a Park Scholar, and during her undergraduate studies worked on a wide variety of projects related to public health. Her previous research experiences include conducting an ethnographic exploration on health and religion in Guatemala, interning with an HPV vaccination epidemiology team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and co-coordinating an HIV vaccine development pilot study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. She has spent the last two years as a post-baccalaureate research assistant in the Biomedical Ethics Research Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester where her work focused on the safe and ethical translation of emerging biomedical technologies. She looks forward to her next ~8 years at UNC!
Ciera Thomas, B.S.
Graduate Research Assistant
Ciera Thomas is a Graduate Research Assistant on the Co-LEARN project and an MPH candidate in the Global Health concentration in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Prior to attending UNC, she earned her B.S. in Microbiology with minors in Spanish, International Affairs and Global Health from the University of Georgia.
Thomas has experience in both clinical medicine and public health. In the medical sphere, she has worked as an ophthalmic nurse technician conducting pre-operative and pre-exam assessments and volunteered as a patient liaison serving Northeast Georgians who fall within the Medicare/Medicaid gap. Her public health experience involves working as the Incentive Program Coordinator for Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), Georgia’s COVID-19 vaccine incentive program and as a community mobilizer supporting COVID-19 health education through the establishment of partnerships with 20+ South Georgia community-based organizations.
Thomas global public health interests center on reducing health disparities and improving access to quality healthcare through sustainable and locally led interventions dedicated to systems strengthening.
Kacia Vines, BS
Kacia Vines is a recent graduate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). There she obtained her B.S in Sociology with a concentration in Social Inequality, and a minor in Diversity and Community Engagement. She was a member of the Track and Field team where she was on the A/B honor roll and Dean’s List. Kacia’s next step academically, is to obtain a dual masters degree in public health and social work where her primary focus will either be on health behavior or health equity. Last summer, Kacia was accepted into a public health internship program called Project IMHTOEP in Atlanta, Georgia. There she was sited at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4, where she conducted quantitative research on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) associated with Particulate Matter (less than 2.5) in Georgia counties. Completing a scientific manuscript, presentation, and a poster presentation, Kacia’s abstracted was accepted into the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Indiana, Indianapolis. Although Kacia’s interests are not in Environmental Health, she tackled that experience head on with the transferable experience she gained. Her true passion is working in underserved communities, implementing new programs and initiatives that diminish societal barriers.
Research Assistant/Project Coodinator
Tiana Washington is a first-year student in the Master of Public Health program, with a concentration in Health Equity, Social Justice, and Human Rights at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is from Raleigh, North Carolina. Washington earned her B.S. in Neuroscience and B.A. in Psychology with a double minor in Natural Sciences and Hispanic Studies at East Carolina University.
Her research interests lie primarily in rural health disparities and adolescent mental health in minority populations. These experiences further inform her interests and augment her passion for community-driven and community-engaged research.
Brittany is studying to get her BA in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an interest in medical anthropology and health disparities. Her research interest includes community health, minority health and the impact of health disparities on low-income communities. During her time at Carolina Brittany’s interests have shifted and explored areas of biology and anthropology. She has shown interest in a masters degree in public health and acquiring her MD in the future.