Communications and Marketing Assistant
Kelly Dunlap is the Communications and Marketing Assistant in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. Dunlap earned a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in 2021 and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2010. She worked for over eight years in the nonprofit sector in SNAP outreach, fundraising and communications roles. She has an ongoing interest in the science and art of communicating how and why we ought to create a more equitable world.
Jamie Sue Ede
Center Administrative Associate
Jamie Sue Ede serves as the Center Administrative Associate for the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. Her experience at the UNC School of Medicine includes both finance and administrative work, in addition to qualitative research on various grants. She is currently working on her Masters of Library Science with an interest in representation and diversity in library collections and research. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2012 from the Texas A&M University.
Rhea M. Hebert, M.A., MSLS
Rhea Hebert is a communicator and designer with expertise in higher education settings. She’s a fully qualified librarian and has teaching experience in English Composition and American Literature.
Hebert brings a wide range of interests to her work, including graphic, web and instructional design, website management, communications and marketing, research interests in early modern England and the history of books/reading/information, data management, data visualization, and technical writing (documentation, editing, etc.).
Hebert grew up in central Florida and earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. She earned her master’s in English at the University of Rochester (NY) and her MSLS from UNC Chapel Hill.
Hebert’s pronouns are she/her and she’s committed to providing accessible content as part of her support of creating diverse, equitable and inclusive environments and experiences for communities.
Stephanie Hoover, PhD
Assistant Director of Research
Stephanie Hoover, Ph.D., is the Assistant Director of Research at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. Stephanie earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Utah, where she investigated social justice training for mental health service providers. Her research interests include culturally adapted interventions for Latinx youth, social justice training for mental health service providers, and participatory and qualitative methods.
Elle Howle is an Executive Assistant at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2013 where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology as well as her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, with a focus in Native American Studies. Her studies took her to Natchez, Mississippi where she participated in an archaeological excavation and field research.
Rachel Quinto serves as the Center Manager for the UNC Center for Health Equity Research and is the Program Manager for Clinical Scholars funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her experience at the UNC School of Medicine includes coordination of the medical school LCME accreditation, as well as four years of recruitment, pre-health advising, and pipeline programming through the Office of Special Programs. She is a Producer for “A Different Kind of Leader” Podcast hosted by Dr. Giselle Corbie-Smith which captures insights from diverse leaders so organizations are in a stronger position to grow, innovate, and meet the challenges of the day. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 2010 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mary Wolfe, Ph.D.
Mary Wolfe, Ph.D., is a Research Scientist in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She earned her Ph.D. in City & Regional Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she investigated transportation access to health care as well as innovative solutions to transportation barriers to care.
Before coming to UNC-Chapel Hill, Wolfe was a Fulbright scholar at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research. Her research focuses on connections between the built environment and health to understand disparities in health care access and health outcomes.
Bukola Adeshina, MPH
Associate Project Leader
Bukola Adeshina is the Associate Project Leader for the Evidence Academy and North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at The University of North Carolina, working in conjunction with Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations (RADx-UP).
She completed her MPH in 2020 with a concentration in Leadership in Practice from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She has experience designing and conducting research focused on identifying and addressing health disparities, particularly affecting women of color.
She is passionate about achieving health equity and cultural competency through community leadership and engagement strategies and incorporating community feedback in problem-solving and effective solutions.
Naomi Baumann-Carbrey, MPH
Naomi Baumann-Carbrey (she/her) serves as a Project Coordinator at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research on the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) grant. Naomi earned her B.A. in Global Studies at UNC Chapel Hill in 2015 and her Master of Public Health (MPH) from UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Health Equity concentration in 2021. Baumann-Carbrey comes from a background in labor and community organizing and has been a part of various movements for workers’ rights and racial justice in North Carolina. She is passionate about advancing health equity through systems thinking and community-based methods.
Assistant Project Coordinator
Jenni Detwiler earned her B.S. from East Carolina University. She began her research career at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, where she worked on several state-wide early education evaluation studies. She has been actively engaged with stakeholders across all phases of social research. She contributes to the RADx-UP program as an Assistant Project Coordinator working with the Community Engagement Core supporting Working Groups and the Engagement Resource Center. She has a longtime interest in family health and support systems.
Greys M. Florez Torres, B.A., B.S.
Assistant Project Coordinator
Greys M. Florez Torres (she/her/hers) serves as Assistant Project Coordinator for the Community Engagement Core on the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She is an MLA candidate in the field of Development Practice at Harvard Extension School. Greys earned a Micromaster Credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy from MIT, and graduated with a double major, B.A. in Economics, and B.S. in Mathematics, from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her experience includes the development and management of grants-founded educational programs that promote equity and inclusion of under-served populations. Her research interests focus on data-driven sustainable development.
Assistant Project Coordinator
Laura Florick (she/her) is an Assistant Project Coordinator supporting the RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics – Underserved Populations) program at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She earned her B.A. from the University of Kansas in Sociocultural Anthropology, earned a graduate certificate in Technical Writing and Public Rhetorics from the University of Arkansas, and is finishing an Executive Master of Public Service degree with a focus on food policy from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
Before coming to UNC, she worked in community leadership, research and project management positions all over the world including archaeological and ethnographic field work, international education, arts field trip program evaluation, and research on local food economies during COVID-19, while supporting museums, K12 schools, higher ed institutions, community grassroots initiatives and nonprofits. Her research interests include community-based participatory research, program evaluation, community food sovereignty and equitable food systems.
Shikira Flounory, MSPH
Research Program Manager
Shikira Thomas is a Research Program Manager in the Center for Health Equity Research for the New IDEAS study, under the supervision of Peggye Dilworth-Anderson, PhD and Stephanie Hoover, PhD.
She is a recent MSPH graduate of Health Behavior from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, and received a BS in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana. Her research interests are in colorism, racism, and discrimination as upstream determinants of chronic disease in African Americans. Shikira’s master’s thesis focused on the association between skin color and hypertension for college-educated African Americans.
Recently, Shikira has served as a Project Manager for a HRSA-funded Health Workforce Research Center at the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, as well as a Project Coordinator for a NIDA-funded study investigating the role of neighborhoods, daily stress, stress hormones, and substance use among young adult Black males in Durham county.
Camille Fulbright is a Project Manager on a North Carolina Medicaid equity project. As a third-generation North Carolinian and graduate from the Gillings School of Global Public Health, her interests center around advancing health equity in her home state. Before coming to the Center for Health Equity Research, she managed fellow programming for a North Carolina pre-medical service-learning fellowship program.
Melissa B. Green
Assistant Project Coordinator
Melissa has a background in education and was a classroom teacher for 10 years. Her career then shifted to educational research where she worked on IES grants studying children at-risk for writing disabilities. After working with preschoolers and their families in underserved communities, she became invested in public health. Working within the UNC Center of Health Equity Research on the RADx-UP Project team has allowed her to pursue her interest and learn more about this area.
Anna Gross, B.A.
Assistant Project Coordinator
Anna Gross serves as an Assistant Project Coordinator for the RADx-UP program at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She has a BA in Psychology and Spanish from North Carolina State University, and is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health in Public Health Leadership at UNC Chapel Hill. Her previous experiences are diverse; she has had roles in Latin America, Europe, and the U.S. spanning research, community engagement, and international education. Anna strives to bring a culturally humble approach to her work in health equity, and is primarily interested in using community based participatory research methods to contribute to health policy development and analysis.
Angelique Jennings, MPH, CHES
Assistant Project Coordinator
Angelique Jennings (she/her/hers) serves as an assistant project coordinator on the RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics in Underserved Populations). Jennings earned a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Spanish from Georgia Southern University. She recently earned her Master in Public Health degree from Georgia Southern University, with a concentration in Community Health.
She has experience working with diverse communities through research and service. She has worked in rural communities in coastal Georgia that lack resources to address their healthcare needs.
Jennings has research interests in the mental health of families of children/adolescents with disabilities, as well as this community’s abilities to access these mental health resources. She is invested in learning and growing in the field of health equity and cultural competency to best assist every community she serves.
Lia Kaz, MSW
Lia Kaz (she/her) serves as a Project Coordinator with RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations) in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She earned her Masters in Social Work (MSW) from UNC Chapel Hill with a concentration in Community, Management, and Policy Practice in 2019, and her Bachelors in Social Work from Warren Wilson College in 2015. Her previous professional experience includes conflict transformation and restorative justice, post incarceration case management, rural civic engagement, antiracist education and community mental health. Kaz’s research interests are eclectic, though all centrally related to the question, “How can we build systems of well-being together?”
Courtney Kelly, M.A.
Courtney Kelly (she/her) serves as a Project Coordinator on the Engagement Impact Teams (EITs) for the RADx-UP program in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She earned her B.S. in Nutrition from NC State University in 2013. She earned her M.A. in Human Services Counseling with a concentration in Health and Wellness from Liberty University in 2016. She is currently pursuing her Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) at North Carolina Central University. Her fellowship studies focused on health policy research and providing support to NC Medicaid health equity projects. Courtney is a Durham, NC native and has experience working in the public sector, serving in non-profit and government roles. Her interests include women’s rights and achieving health equity in marginalized communities.
Lisa Maria Krinner, Ph.D., M.Sc.
Research Program Manager
Lisa Maria Krinner earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research focuses on childhood adversity and other psychological traumas, and successful coping strategies for managing stress and build resilience. She has also conducted research on health behaviors related to chronic disease self-care management, physical activity and mental health.
Hailey Leiva, MSW
Hailey Leiva (She, Her) serves as a Project Coordinator with the UNC Center for health Equity Research on RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations). Her experience includes sexual violence prevention, community engagement, and program evaluation. She earned her MSW at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work and BS in Psychology at the University of Florida. Hailey’s research interests include community-based approaches to healthy equity, queer and trans-inclusive sexual health interventions, and social determinants of health.
Judithe Louis, MSW
Assistant Project Coordinator-EIT
Judithe is a native born in Haiti, moved to the US in 1994. Judithe graduated from Tulane University with a Master of Social Work. She has experience working both in research, direct care, and within community/school settings. At North Carolina Central University Judithe had the privileged of working closely with Dr. Jonathan Livingston, as a research assistant gaining practical research skills such as compiling literature reviews, interpreting data, and analyzing results from various studies on health disparities. She is currently an Assistant Project Coordinator on the Engagement Impact Teams (EITs) as part of the RADx-UP Program.
Gretchen Mason, MPH
Gretchen Mason (she/her) serves as a Project Coordinator at the UNC Center for health Equity Research on the RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations) project. Mason has a background in youth development and community-based participatory research (CBPR). Most recently she was on a NIH funded grant in partnership with UNC, the Community Enrichment Organization (CEO), mental health and peer support specialists, and Tarboro High School student leaders. She earned her MPH in Healthy Policy & Management at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC. Mason is also a trained volunteer Marketplace Navigator and is passionate about helping individuals gain access to health insurance. Her research interests include amplifying the voices of youth and families of color, and community-driven policies aimed at insuring equitable access to healthcare and the social determinants of health for underestimated North Carolinians.
Sarah Morgan, MSW
Sarah Morgan serves as a Project Coordinator for the Center for Health Equity Research. In 2012, she earned her Master of Social Work from the Joint Master of Social Work Program through North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her research interests include Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their effects on developmental trajectories and outcomes throughout the lifespan. In 2009, Sarah completed her BA in Psychology and English at the University of North Carolina.
Kaniqua Outlaw, MPH
Kaniqua Outlaw (she/her) serves as a Project Coordinator with RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations) in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She has experience in HIV education, outreach, research and community engagement. She earned her MPH with a concentration in Health Behavior, as well as a graduate certificate in Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities in 2014, both from East Carolina University. Outlaw previously earned a B.S. in Health Education and Promotion, also from East Carolina University, in 2008. Her research interests include understanding how to challenge existing power structures and achieve equity, particularly at the intersections of race and LGBTQIA+ identities, understanding and promoting interventions that focus on healing trauma, as well as promoting equity in the collection of health-related data within marginalized communities.
Meghan Peterson, MPH
Project Director, COVID Prison Project
Meghan Peterson is the Project Director for the COVID Prison Project. She is interested in using health research methods to understand and ultimately eradicate the prison-industrial complex. Her past research has focused on criminalization of substance use disorders, sex workers’ rights campaigns, and access to medications for addiction treatment.
Hannah Potter, MPH
Hannah Potter serves as the Associate Project Leader for Community and Health Systems Engagement with Radx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations). She comes to CHER with varied experiences at the intersection of health equity and community centered work through various roles as a doula and in organizing around health access. She received her MPH in 2019 from the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC. While in her MPH at UNC, she received a FLAS award for the study of Arabic from the UNC Center for Middle East Studies and served as a GRA with the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute. Her research interests are health equity, reproductive justice and community-based participatory methods.
Miranda Rain Wenhold, M.S.Ed.
Research Project Manager
Miranda Rain Wenhold, M.S.Ed (LPC and NCC Eligible) is a Research Project Manager at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. Miranda earned her master’s in School and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania and is a Pennsylvania Certified School Counselor (PreK-12).
While at the University of Pennsylvania (U.Penn), Miranda worked as a Project Manager and primary writer on the publication Planning for Uncertainty: An Educator’s Guide to Navigating the COVID-19 Era, providing educators with a decision-making framework with mental wellness and equity concerns at the forefront. Additionally, Miranda worked as a Research Project Liaison at U.Penn, working alongside school district stakeholders to engage in needs assessment, data collection, and capacity-building processes to establish access to optimal development opportunities for all students.
Miranda has also had experience providing 1:1 and group counseling in public schools, alternative schools, and community-based counseling centers. Miranda’s eclectic counseling orientation—integrating existential, feminist, family systems, and psychoanalytic principles—is reflective of her interest in understanding individuals within their unique familial, societal, and cultural contexts.
Her foremost areas of research interest lie at the intersection of education, mental health, and criminal justice reform.
Brianah Williams, MPH
Assistant Project Coordinator
Brianah serves as an Assistant Project Coordinator for UNC Center for Health Equity Research on the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics for Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) initiative. The RADx-UP program supports research that aims to better understand COVID-19 testing patterns among underserved and vulnerable populations; strengthen the data on disparities in infection rates, disease progression, and outcomes; and develop strategies to reduce the disparities in COVID-19 testing. Brianah aides in providing coordination across the CDCC for community engaged research activities and ensure seamless integration of teams for rapid, focused, and informed decision-making in a timely manner.
Graduate Research Assistant
Olivia Allison is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Health Equity Research at the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. She earned her B.A. in Sociology and Health Sciences from William and Mary in 2020. She is currently in the MPH program at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her research interests include determinants of health, health disparities, community-based participatory research and HIV prevention.
Sarah Asuquo, MBBCh, MPH
Evaluation Research Assistant
Sarah Asuquo, MBBCh, MPH is an Evaluation Research Assistant at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research and Abacus, where she works with the Tracking and Evaluation Team for the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program and the RADx-UP Coordination and Data Collection Center (CDCC). She earned her MPH in Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health; before her MPH work, she was a practicing physician in Nigeria. As an MPH student, Asuquo worked with the North Carolina State Trauma Advisory Council (NC STAC) to develop clinical practice guidelines and an evaluation plan to reduce unnecessary CT scan imaging of pediatric trauma patients in health facilities in North Carolina. Her research interests include program evaluation, healthcare implementation science, healthcare access, mental health and health disparities.
Forrest Behne is a policy analyst at the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. In 2014, he earned a B.S. in Biology from Washington & Lee University and spent six years in the beer industry as a brewer and microbiologist. He was incarcerated for nearly two years because of a little-understood medical condition. Since being released through clemency by Ohio’s governor, he is inspired to help those affected by the criminal justice system. His research interests now include criminal justice reform, penology and the collateral consequences of incarceration.
Angela Benson is a Research Assistant at the Center for Health Equity Research in the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. She received her B.A. in anthropology and public health from the University of Rochester in 2019. Her undergraduate research activities took her to field sites across India, including Kerala – where she led an independent project exploring casteism in Christian communities. Her research interests include racial and caste equity, HIV prevention, and community-based health.
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.
Chris Corsi serves as a research assistant at the Center for Health Equity Research. Previously, he has worked in health promotion, education, and prevention of violence and disease. In 2018, he earned his BA in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include HIV and LGBTQ health disparities.
Mariah Cowell, MSW
Mariah Cowell is a Research Assistant for the Center for Health Equity Research in a the Health & Justice Lab. Her past work experience includes community engaged research, project management, and program evaluation. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research interests include hyper-incarceration and the criminal justice system, racial equity, and incorporating anti-oppressive frameworks into practice.
Maura Drewry, MPH
Social/Clinical Research Assistant
Maura Drewry (she/her/hers) serves as a Social/Clinical Research Assistant for the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She earned her MPH in Health Behavior from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2020, and she earned her BS in Health Sciences from Furman University in 2017. Her prior work experience includes a variety of community-engaged efforts focused on chronic disease prevention, mental health, anti-racism, and Adverse Childhood Experiences. Her research interests include racial equity, social determinants of health, systems-level public health solutions, holistic health promotion, and community-based participatory methods.
Lia Garman, MPH
Evaluation Research Assistant
Lia Garman serves as an Evaluation Research Assistant for the RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics – Underserved Populations) program at CHER, as well as on the Abacus Evaluation Team. She recently completed her MPH at UNC in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, where she provided research and evaluation support to the Clinical Scholars and ACOG leadership development programs, and worked to advance health equity in Title X service provision through the Family Planning National Training Center. Her previous roles involved reproductive health research, provider training and advocacy. She received her BA from UNC in Anthropology.
Administrative Support Associate
Jason Gonzalez-Martinez serves as an Administrative Support Associate for the Abacus Evaluation Team at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. A Miami native, he graduated from Florida International University in 2016 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. He brings years of administrative experience from his previous role as a Program Coordinator where he worked with faculty, staff and students.
Jessica Herling, MS
Research Program Manager
Jessica Herling (she/her) serves as a Research Program Manager with the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) initiative at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Virginia Tech. Jessica earned her MS in Sociology from Virginia Tech in 2016 and her BA in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies from West Chester University in 2014. Her research interests include medical sociology, medical education, LGBTQ health, and feminist science studies.
Phil Horn, MSW, MPH
RADx-UP Operations Director, Community Engagement Core
Phil Horn serves as the Operations Director for the Community Engagement Core on the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) grant for the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. His experience includes project management for several federally-funded SAMHSA research and service grants focused on Opioid Use Disorder and Stimulant Use Disorder. His research interests and expertise include issues of LGBTQ+ health equity, addiction science, and health literacy. He earned his MSW and MPH from the Washington University in St. Louis Brown School, and earned his BSSW from the Ohio State University School of Social Work.
Community Engagement Specialist
Tammy Jacobs is a Community Engagement Specialist with the New IDEAS study. She brings a wealth of knowledge with a background in low income housing. Previously she has worked with low income residents in public housing community developments in Durham and Chapel Hill. She has contributed to work involving HIV awareness studies among these populations. Prior to this work she held multiple roles with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Her research interest include a desire to improve African American public health equity among the elderly and women. Tammy holds a BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Marlena Kuhn, MPH
Evaluation Research Assistant - Data
Marlena Kuhn is an Evaluation Research Assistant within the UNC Center for Health Equity Research for the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program. She earned her MPH from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2021 and her B.S. in Neuroscience from Trinity University in 2019. Her interests revolve around leveraging data analytics techniques to support projects promoting health equity.
Evaluation Research Assistant
Valerie Lucas is an Evaluation Research Assistant at CHER and Abacus where she primarily works on the RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics, Under-served Populations) program. She is a recent graduate of UNC with a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Global Public Health. As an undergraduate, Lucas provided monitoring, evaluation and research support to Carolina for Kibera as a Peacock Fellow. She also successfully defended an anthropological thesis on the impact of economic inequality on social and mental health among community health volunteers on Kibera, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Nairobi. Lucas has volunteered with Community Empowerment Fund as a Community Engagement Coordinator and with Durham Volunteer Doulas as a postpartum doula.
Christopher Lyu, MPA
Research Program Manager
Christopher Lyu has over 30 years of diverse research, project management and business development experience. Prior to joining UNC/CHER, he worked in the contract research industry for close to 27 years (~four years at Rho and ~23 years at Battelle). Prior to that, he worked at a Texas state agency for about five years. At Rho, Lyu served a dual role as a principal research scientist and as a privacy officer. At Battelle, Lyu had multiple concurrent roles and responsibilities as a research project/program manager, principal investigator, proposal manager, a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the IRB Vice Chair, associate director and acting director of the Battelle Durham, North Carolina Operations. At the Texas state agency, Lyu served as a research program analyst/project officer. He earned his MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and B.A. from Tunghai University, Taiwan.
Patrick Matherly is a data engineer at the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. He graduated from UNC in 2017 with a B.A. in Computer Science. Prior to joining the lab, Patrick worked in affordable housing at NYC Housing Preservation and Development and education research at Columbia University. Patrick is interested in data science and how incarceration creates racial health disparities.
Aylin Memili, BSPH
Graduate Research Assistant
Aylin Memili is a second-year Masters of Public Health student in Applied Epidemiology at UNC. She earned her BSPH in Nutrition from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and explored the genetic components of the gut microbiome and cardiovascular disease in diverse populations. She gained skills in data analyses and management with metagenomic data. In graduate school, a summer practicum experience with the UNC Patient Safety Learning Lab inspired her to study social determinants of health that drive adverse maternal health outcomes. Through this lens, her research interests currently focus on barriers that keep women in marginalized communities from getting adequate and informed reproductive healthcare.
Andrea Mendoza, MPH
Community Engagement Specialist
Andrea Mendoza (she/her) is a Community Engagement Specialist for the New IDEAS study in the Center for Health Equity Research. She graduated with her MPH in global health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2021 and with a B.A. in psychology from Duke University in 2015. Mendoza has a background in community health, health outreach and health education. Her interests include advancing health equity work, especially mental health in the Latinx population, as well as community-centered participatory and qualitative methods.
Dzidzai Muyengwa, MPH
Research Assistant - Advanced
Dzidzai Muyengwa is a Social/Clinical Research Assistant at CHER where she provides research support and analysis. Her upbringing in Zimbabwe fueled her passion to help vulnerable populations everywhere live healthier lives. She is passionate about health equity, maternal and child health, implementation science, and combining research with action. Before coming to CHER, Muyengwa was supporting and contributing to research, collaboration and data collection efforts for the Duke Global Health Innovation Center‘s Launch and Scale Speedometer project, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She earned her Master of Public Health degree at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Global Health and Environment and a minor in Medical Anthropology from UNC.
Jabari Myles, M.S.
Jabari Myles serves as a Statistician on the Evaluation Team on the Say Yes! COVID Test grant for the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. Previously, he has consulted across a number of industries, including pharmaceutics, transportation, electrical engineering and finance. He earned his Masters of Science in Analytics in 2018 from NC State University.
Advanced Research Assistant
Sara O’Brien (she/her/hers) is an Undergraduate Research Assistant for the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She is currently studying to get her BSPH in Biostatistics and B.A. in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures from UNC Chapel Hill. O’Brien has worked with CHER since September 2020, primarily focusing on the CRx-CVD and MAPSCorps projects. Her research interests are at the intersection of data analytics and visualization and health equity, particularly within Latine communities. Post-graduation she intends to pursue an MPH in Epidemiology.
Abisola Osinuga, Ph.D., MPH
Abisola Osinuga is an Associate Evaluator of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics, Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) program at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She earned her Ph.D. in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa. Her research is focused on addressing gender inequalities and maternal health disparities by assessing how the physical, social and environmental conditions of unpaid domestic work impacts women’s health. While in graduate school, Osinuga worked at the Iowa Public Policy Center as a research evaluation intern, collaborating with the Health Policy team by evaluating the impact of health policy initiatives on the cost of, access to, and use of, health care services and systems in the state of Iowa. She is experienced at designing, implementing and evaluating research programs, using behavioral theories and psychometric methodologies to develop surveys, coordinating research projects at home and abroad, and applying exposures assessment tools/methods in uncharted work settings.
Nastacia Pereira, MPH
Nastacia Pereira (she/her/hers) is a Research Specialist in the RISE lab and helps to support various ongoing projects in the lab from monitoring study progress to data analysis. Nastacia earned her MPH in Health Behavior from the Gillings School of Global Public Health and her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Agnes Scott College. Her research interests include the implications of racism and discrimination on health, applied solutions to reduce racism and close gaps in health disparities, and community-based participatory research.
Airianne Posey, MSW
Social/Clinical Research Assistant
Airianne Posey is a Social/Clinical Research Assistant at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. Posey earned a master’s in Social Work with an American Indian/Alaska Native populations concentration from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis in 2017. She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 2014 from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her interests are in community-based participatory research, culturally appropriate research methodology, qualitative methods and health equity.
Assistant Data Manager
Karla Rascon-Garcia is working on her Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis. She joined CHER in 2021, fusing her quantitative skills with her passion for alleviating public health burdens among the most disadvantaged. Her background started with interests in food security through animal health. Her humanitarian zeal has led her to volunteer in countries including Uganda, Mozambique and South Africa. Whether milking cows or performing network analyses, a servant posture and stewardship of humility is central to her academic and humanitarian pursuits. Though trained in quantitative methods, she remains empathetically rooted to impact the lives behind the numbers. People are her motivation, and her love for coding and data science is the avenue through which she can contribute to alleviating health disparities, locally and internationally.
Nicole Robinson-Ezekwe, MA, MPH
Social/Clinical Research Specialist
Nicole Robinson-Ezekwe serves as a Project Coordinator for the University of North Carolina (UNC) Center for Health Equity Research. She received her MPH in Health Behavior in 2016 from UNC. Nicole has previously earned a B.S. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in Environmental Science in 2009 and in 2011 earned an M.A. in Geography from the University Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include the built environment’s role in the development, prevention, and management of chronic diseases in minority communities and also applying GIS and spatial analysis methodologies in public health.
Gabrielle Schust, BA
Graduate Research Assistant
Gabrielle Schust is a first-year Master of Public Health Student in the Global Health concentration at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She received her B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from the Croft Institute for International Studies at the University of Mississippi in May of 2020, where she did her senior thesis on the comparative role of nuns as providers of healthcare and social services across time and place. Her research interests include US health law and policy, sexual and reproductive rights and justice, and healthcare inequities for refugee and recent immigrant populations in the US.
Michelle Song, MSPH
Data Analytics Team Lead
Michelle Song leads the Data Analytics team in Abacus Evaluation and is a Data Manager with the UNC Center for Health Equity Research (CHER). Before coming to UNC-Chapel Hill, Song was a Technical Advisor with the Data Science, Impact, and Learning team at Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University and a leading global health organization. She has over 10 years of experience in data systems and use across domestic and international health systems and public health programs to improve health outcomes. She has designed and implemented economic and program evaluations for health systems, advocacy strategies and improvement of internal operations. Song earned her MSPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and executive education Certificates in Business Communication and Management Development from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Her health and non-health sector experience create a unique perspective from which to understand complex systems, how to make data work for the people who collect and manage it, and how to communicate clear messages data can contain. Her current work focuses on bringing data analytics and visualization to research and evaluation that is furthering the goal of improving health outcomes and equity.
Amanda Ribas Rietti Souto, MPH
Program Lead - RADx-UP Community Engagement Core
Amanda Ribas Rietti Souto, MPH, is a Research Program Manager at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research on the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) grant. Her research interests in experience are in health disparities research, health equity for racial/ethnic minority groups, community engagement, and participatory and qualitative methods. She earned her master’s in Public Health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, specializing in health equity, social justice and human rights, and her B.A. in Medical Anthropology from the University of Virginia.
Shristi Tiwari, MPH
Shristi is a Program Manger at Duke University Center for Child and Family Health. She is currently working part-time as a Research Assistant for CHER on the Health Equity Curriculum. Her research interests include: health equity, poverty and health equity policy.
Madelene Travis is a site coordinator of the JCOIN TCN-Paths study at the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. She graduated from Colorado College in 2017 with a B.A. in Sociology, with a focus on the sociology of health and medicine. Broadly, her research interests include the social determinants of health, how individuals and families cope with chronic illness, and the intersection between the criminal justice system and opioid use.
Madison R. Walker
Evaluation Research Assistant - Data
Madison is a current Master of Public Health (MPH) student in the department of Health Behavior at UNC. She graduated from Indiana University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Afterward, she worked in program evaluation for a community-based behavioral health center. Now, Madison works as an Evaluation Research Assistant for RADx-UP, an NIH-funded program aimed to understand the factors associated with COVID-19-related health disparities and reduce those disparities among underserved and vulnerable populations, and with the Abacus Evaluation Team. Madison’s research interests include program evaluation, implementation science, mental health, and health disparities research.
Jenny Williams, PhD
Jenny Williams earned her PhD in anthropology in 2013 from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests focus on the biological and social causes and consequences of health inequity, particularly for under-served populations. Jenny has worked in a variety of contexts including sub-saharan Africa, Northern Europe, and the United States. Her particular areas of interest include: nutritional health disparities, trauma and gender-based violence, and community-led responses to health inequities.
Roger Williams, MA, MPH
Roger Williams serves as a Research Assistant with RADx-UP. He completed his MPH in Epidemiology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health in 2021. During his MPH, he provided project support to the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Roger earned his MA in Cross-Cultural Ministry and MA in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. He obtained his BA in Cross-Cultural Studies at Howard Payne University. His research interests are community-centered participatory methods, vaccine equity, social medicine, and global health.
Bola Bilikis Yusuf, MBBS, MPH
Bola Bilikis Yusuf is a Research Assistant with RADx-UP (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations). She earned a medical degree from Nigeria and a Master of Public Health (with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health) from the University of South Florida. As a graduate student, she worked with the Florida Prevention Research Center where she supported the implementation of a CDC-funded colorectal cancer prevention project. Yusuf supported the state-wide evaluation of the Florida Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program using mixed methods research. She is interested in program evaluation, health equity, children’s health and reducing maternal morbidity and mortality.
Gabrielle Diekmann is the Communications Specialist for the Clinical Scholars Program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Gabrielle has over 5 years experience helping small businesses and nonprofits grow through integrated marketing communication strategies. She came to UNC from Southeast Missouri State University, where she served as a Project Coordinator for the Economic and Business Engagement Center’s grant-funded research and programming. She received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Marketing with minors in Mass Communications and Professional Selling in 2012 from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.
Melissa Green, MPH
Deputy Director for Communication and Recruitment
Melissa is the Deputy Director for Communication and Recruitment for the Clinical Scholars Program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is affiliated with CHER. Melissa’s experience includes 15 years managing research intervention studies in community settings using principles of community-based participatory research with and for African American and Latino populations. Her research interests include health disparities across the cancer continuum, peer support interventions, disease prevention, and factors that influence participation in health research. She received her Masters of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education.