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Center Staff

Jamie Sue Ede

(919) 843-8271

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 Hebert

Rhea M. Hebert, M.A., MSLS

Rhea M. Hebert, M.A., MSLS

Communications Specialist

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.

In addition to her work in higher ed, Hebert volunteers with the American Marketing Association’s Triangle chapter and supports Retraction Watch, a project of the Center for Scientific Integrity.

Stephanie Hoover, PhD

(919)966-1649

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

(919) 302-9533

Elle Howle

Executive Assistant

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

Center Manager

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, PhD

Mary Wolfe, PhD

Research Scientist

Mary Wolfe, PhD, is a Research Scientist at the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. She earned her PhD 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, Dr. Wolfe was a Fulbright scholar at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research. Her research centers on connections between the built environment and health to understand disparities in health care access and health outcomes.


Project Coordinators

Bukola Adeshina, MPH

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

Naomi Baumann-Carbrey, MPH

Naomi Baumann-Carbrey, MPH

Project Coordinator

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.

Jennifer Detwiler

Jennifer Detwiler

(919) 616-9055

Jennifer Detwiler

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

Greys M. Florez Torres, B.A., BS.

Greys M. Florez Torres, B.A., BS.

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.

Camille Fulbright

Camille Fulbright

Camille Fulbright

Project Manager

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

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.

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.

Hailey Leiva, MSW

Hailey Leiva, MSW

Project Coordinator

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

(919) 408-6620

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

Gretchen Mason, MPH

(616) 802-2107

Gretchen Mason, MPH

Project Coordinator

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

(919) 843-8270

Sarah Morgan, MSW

Project Coordinator

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.

Ramon Negron

Ramon Negron

(917) 204-9759

Ramon Negron

Project Coordinator

Ramon Negron was born in Manati, Puerto Rico and attended the Rio Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics in 1984. He moved to NYC in 1992 where he worked as IT Support and Data Manager for the William F. Ryan Community Health Center.

While at the Ryan Center Negron became the IT and Data lead for the Air Bridge Project (ABP). The ABP aimed to assure continuity of care for HIV positive people traveling between Puerto Rico and New York City (and nearby areas). Negron created a secure Lotus Domino-based document management system that allowed intake and clinical information to be gathered at any of the participating locations. Those documents were then sent over a secure phone connection to the recipient site on the destination. Appointments could be made ahead of time so the client had a point of contact upon reaching their destination.

In 2001 Negron joined the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Columbia University School of Medicine. He became the Quality Assurance and Data Coordinator for the division’s Clinical Trials Unit. For the next 17 years he oversaw the data needs of numerous research projects in various networks including ACTG, HVTN, industry-sponsored trials and local investigator-sponsored trials. Most of the research focused on HIV and AIDS but other infectious diseases were represented, including Hepatitis C, Tuberculosis, parasitic infections and others. He is currently a Project Coordinator on the RADx-UP Program.

Kaniqua Outlaw

Kaniqua Outlaw, MPH

Kaniqua Outlaw, MPH

Project Coordinator

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

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

Hannah Potter, MPH

(704) 690-1488

Hannah Potter, MPH

Associate Project Leader

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.

Shikira Thomas, MSPH

(318) 834-7577

Shikira Thomas, 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.

 

Miranda Rain Wenhold, M.S.Ed.

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 orientationintegrating existential, feminist, family systems, and psychoanalytic principlesis 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

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.


Other Staff

Forrest Behne

Policy Analyst

Forrest Behne is a policy analyst at the Re-Envisioning Health and Justice Lab. In 2014, he earned a BS in Biology from Washington & Lee University and had 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

Research Assistant

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

(704) 928-6300

Addie Coleman

Research Assistant

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

Chris Corsi

(919) 843-8271

Chris Corsi

Research Assistant

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, MSW

Research Assistant

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

(336) 324-5338

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

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.

Jessica Herling, MS

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

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.

Tammy Jacobs

(919) 271-0554

Tammy Jacobs

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

Marlena Kuhn, MPH

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.

Christopher Lyu

Christopher Lyu, MPA

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

(919) 619-1314

Patrick Matherly

Data Engineer

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.

Jabari Myles

Jabari Myles, M.S.

(919) 402-7935

Jabari Myles, M.S.

Statistician

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.

Abisola Osinuga, Ph.D., MPH

(319) 512-6701

Abisola Osinuga, Ph.D., MPH

Associate Evaluator

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, MPH

Research Specialist

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.

Karla Rascon-Garcia

Karla Rascon-Garcia

Karla Rascon-Garcia

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

Nicole Robinson-Ezekwe, MA, MPH

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

(573) 777-0495

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.

Amanda Souto

Amanda Ribas Rietti Souto, MPH

(703) 963-8640

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.

Madelene Travis

Madelene Travis

Site Coordinator

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

(317) 750-7784

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, PhD

Research Coordinator

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, MA, MPH

Research Assistant

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 Yusuf

Bola Bilikis Yusuf, MBBS, MPH

(813) 418-9166

Bola Bilikis Yusuf, MBBS, MPH

Research Assistant

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.


Clinical Scholars

Gabrielle Diekmann

(919) 843-1349

Gabrielle Diekmann

Communications Specialist

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

(919)843-3304

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.