Christian Adames, B.A., (he/him) is a research assistant for the Center for the Evaluation of HIV Prevention Programs in Chicago. Christian earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago in 2015. While at UChicago, Christian coordinated a research project focused on how medical students engaged in their community, and he was also a research assistant studying developmental neurobiology. Christian’s research interests broadly include disparities in health care among minority populations, with a particular focus on mental health and the social factors contributing to these disparities. He hopes to pursue these research interests further through public health and clinical psychology graduate programs in the future.
Emily Bettin, B.A., (she/her) is a research assistant for the Data Management Team, working with multiple IMPACT research projects. She received her B.A. in Political Science and The Integrated Program in Humane Studies from Kenyon College. In 2012, she completed the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Clinical Psychology certificate program from Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies. Emily has previous research experience working at The Family Institute at Northwestern University as the Project Administrator for the Epstein Center for Psychotherapy Change, where she was active in the implementation, expansion, and continued evolution of the Systemic Therapy Inventory of Change (STIC©). Her clinical and research interests broadly include issues related to trauma and resilience, particularly among members of underserved and marginalized communities.
Kitty Buehler, B.S., (she/her) is a research assistant for the FAB 400 project with the IMPACT Program. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Fordham University in 2013. Her undergraduate research focused on subjective well-being and sexual fluidity. She is currently a second year graduate student at DePaul University working on her M.S. in General Psychology. Her research focuses on relational-cultural theory and mentoring in science support program for Latinx high school and college students. Her interests include multi-marginalization, intimate partner violence, and community influences on mental health, substance abuse, and risk behavior in LGBT youth.
Jim Carey, M.P.H., (he/him) is the intervention implementation coordinator for the 2GETHER project with IMPACT. He earned his B.S. from Ohio State University and his M.P.H. from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in Community Health Sciences. Jim has previously worked at the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center (MATEC) as a program coordinator and training specialist where he provided clinical training and education to healthcare professionals, developed new curricula and coordinated large scale conferences. After his tenure at MATEC, Jim became the community engagement coordinator for the Chicago arm of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network at UIC. In his most recent position at the Illinois Department of Public Health, he was a training specialist and curriculum development specialist where he trained all state of Illinois employees in HIV test counseling, risk reduction, cultural competence with LGBTQ clients, and various CDC Effective Behavioral Interventions. In addition, Jim partnered with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago for the “Ready, Set, PrEP!” training series and helped various state health departments implement their new PrEP programs. Jim also guest lectures for the Physician Assistant Program at Northwestern University, the Social Work program at University of Chicago, and the Public Health Program at DePaul University. His research interests include eliminating health disparities within the LGBTQ population, primarily through prevention with positives and advances in biomedical HIV prevention. Additionally, Jim is a three time galleried artist, and studies painting and photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Andrés Carrión, M.S., (he/him) is a project coordinator for the SMART Project. He received his B.A. in Clinical Psychology at Dominican University in 2014. During this time he interned at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago and at the Center for Applied Psychology, where he gained insight on applied-community research and on psychological assessment. Andres holds a Master’s of Science in Psychology from DePaul University. His master’s thesis examined the association between gender-role expression during childhood and psychopathology in adulthood. Andres’ research interests involve the sexual risk-taking behaviors of sexual and gender minority youth who are experiencing homelessness. Andres hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in Clinical-Community Psychology so that he can work with Community-based Organizations and evaluate current services being delivered to sexual and gender minority youth who are experiencing homelessness.
Peter Cleary, B.A., (he/him) is a research assistant on the RADAR project. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University double majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology. His previous research involved social and media-related determinants of body image, and his undergraduate extracurricular involvement included programming for an LGBTQ+ student community group, peer mentorship, and education for high school students on accessing health resources.
Antonia Clifford, M.S.W., (she/her) is the project director for RADAR, a longitudinal cohort study of over 1,000 participants. She has previously been a coordinator on NHBS-Chi Guys, an adolescent pilot project extension of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, and Project Q2, the longest running longitudinal study of LGBTQ youth. At ISGMH, Antonia has worked to actively recruit, engage, and retain youth and adult participants on several key projects. She received her B.A. in Sociology and her M.S.W. from the University of Chicago. Antonia has worked on positive youth development in community centers and residential facilities, specifically focusing on the experiences of LGBTQ youth, youth of color, and juveniles in the justice system. She recognizes the unique role of research in synthesizing, innovating, and improving the tools and programs necessary to best support the growth and health of our communities.
Adam Conway, M.A., (he/him) is a research study coordinator with the 2GETHER Project. Prior to working with ISGMH, he worked as a research and evaluation coordinator with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, evaluating prevention, linkage-to-care, and supportive housing programs and coordinating peer-based linkage and retention interventions. In addition to HIV program evaluation, Adam has five years of advocacy, wellness education, and program and resource development experience with homeless youth, LGBTQ, and HIV-positive populations. Adam holds an M.A. in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in History and Gender Studies from Truman State University. He is passionate about queer and feminist research and broadly interested in health disparities and social determinants of health, as well as exploring storytelling and media representation as tools for social change.
Shariell Crosby, B.A., (she/her) is a research study assistant in the IMPACT Program’s data team, working on the HPV and the FAB 400 projects. Shariell graduated with honors from Middlebury College, where she received her B.A. in Psychology. While at Middlebury, she was involved in sexual violence awareness through the It Happens Here project. Her undergraduate research experience includes assessing pro-environmental behavior and sense of belonging in the Conservation Psychology Lab. She has experience in racial health disparities involving sleep disorders from her time at New York University. Shariell’s research interests broadly encompass psychological trauma and health disparities across race, class, gender, and sexuality. She intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.
Parks Dunlap, B.A., (they/them or she/her) is a research project coordinator for ISGMH, working on the FAB 400 Project. Parks received her B.A. in Sociology from Smith College in 2013. During her undergraduate studies, Parks focused on the history of sexual violence in American lesbian communities, and the public health applications of consent based sex education. Parks has seven years of intersecting experience in medical advocacy, wellness education, rape crisis and trauma response, youth advocacy, HIV/AIDS prevention and response, case management, program development, and curating exhibits in various LGBTQ libraries and archives. Parks aspires to contribute to the academic validity of queer experience, and to eventually pursue her doctorate in public health.
Mary Fedorowski, B.A. (she/her)is a communications coordinator for ISGMH participating in multiple projects with this great institute. Mary earned her B.A. in Public Health from DePaul University and is currently pursuing a Masters of Science degree in Health Communication at Northwestern University. Mary has been involved in healthcare her entire career starting in emergency medicine. Yet through the years she both found her drive and professional niche in digital health communication. Mary’s passions include increasing health literacy, outreach communication, and health advocacy.
Brian Feinstein, Ph.D., (he/him) is a postdoctoral research fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School and Medicine and Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing. Dr. Feinstein received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Stony Brook University in 2015 after completing an APA-accredited internship at the University of Washington School of Medicine. During his graduate training, he received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to develop his program of research focused on risk and protective factors related to psychopathology among sexual minority individuals. In 2016, he received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to conduct research on risk factors related to HIV and substance use among same-sex male couples. He is particularly interested in understanding how different types of stress (e.g., discrimination, internalized stigma, rejection sensitivity) influence psychopathology, substance use, sexual risk behavior, and relationship functioning among LGBT individuals and couples. He is also interested in understanding why individuals attracted to more than one gender (e.g., bisexual, pansexual) are at increased risk for negative psychosocial and health outcomes as well as developing and testing interventions to reduce negative health outcomes and improve relationships among LGBT individuals. In addition to his work as a postdoctoral research fellow, Dr. Feinstein is a volunteer therapist at the Center on Halsted, where he provides clinical services to LGBT individuals and couples.
Justin A. Franz, B.A., (he/him) is the biomedical coordinator for RADAR. Justin has over 10 years’ experience conducting HIV and STI clinical trials. He has coordinated HIV and other STI vaccine studies, as well as various treatment trials. Justin has been involved in this research at the San Francisco Department of Public Health and most recently at University of Illinois-Chicago, where he coordinated large-scale HIV/STI Vaccine Studies for both NIH-funded grants and pharmaceutical companies. Justin’s research interests include novel HIV prevention tools.
Beth Ann Hamilton, B.A., (she/her) is a program assistant for ISGMH. She is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied Psychology and Bioethics. While at Michigan State, Beth Ann spent three years providing crisis intervention and in-person medical advocacy to survivors of sexual assault. She has also worked extensively as a violence prevention peer educator and as a research assistant on an evaluation of a flexible funding program for survivors of intimate partner violence. She is passionate about feminism, consent-focused sexual health promotion, and gender-based violence prevention and will be starting Northwestern University’s Health Communication MS program this fall.
Christina Hayford, M.S., M.S.P., (she/her) is the research data analyst for the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research. She received her B.A. in Sociology from University of Illinois-Chicago, and a M.S. in Demography and M.S.P. in Community Health Planning from Florida State University. She has worked in multiple areas of public health and health statistics, including vital statistics, spatial epidemiology, occupational health, built environment, and state health improvement planning at the state government level. Her graduate research was mostly focused in HIV and AIDS incidence and prevalence in Illinois, with her thesis touching on the relationship between AIDS incidence and highways in Illinois between 1995 and 2010. Her other academic interests include survey methodology, GIS, public space, urban planning, impacts of community gardening, and green urban design.
Ricky Hill, Ph.D., (they/them) is a research program coordinator for the 2GETHER Project. Prior to coming to ISGMH, Ricky worked at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination at the University of Chicago, helping develop and launch a youth drop-in space on the South Side and working on various network-based HIV-prevention and testing initiatives. Before Chicago, they called New Mexico home, developing and implementing various HIV and LGBTQ+ behavioral health interventions across the state and southwest region. They served as a volunteer and youth group facilitator at the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico while completing their doctoral work in Health Communication through the University of New Mexico. Their dissertation project, Trans/formations: A Photovoice Assessment of Transgender People’s Wellness, utilizes Photovoice, a community-centered photography methodology, with transgender and gender nonconforming people in Albuquerque, NM, creating a visual, community-driven health and wellness assessment. Ricky also holds an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas-Austin, and a B.A. in Moving Image Arts from the College of Santa Fe. Outside of the office, they love college (Jayhawks) and professional (Thunder) basketball, all forms of urban gardening, and spoiling their orange tabby cat, Kimchi Lox Fenton Messinger-Hill.
Dennis Li, M.P.H., Ph.D., (he/him) is a postdoctoral research fellow at ISGMH. He received his M.P.H. in Health Promotion and Health Education and Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. During his graduate training, Dennis was heavily engaged in adolescent sexual health research, directing a study of HIV and social networks among young men who have sex with men and helping to design a web-based decision-support system for implementing evidence-based sexual health education programs in schools. At ISGMH, he works across multiple projects, including the SMART Program, RADAR, and FAB400, to continue to characterize the epidemiology of and develop interventions for HIV among adolescent and young men who have sex with men as well as to expand into new areas such as substance abuse/misuse, longitudinal data analysis, and the health of sexual and gender minorities who are assigned female at birth. More broadly, Dennis is interested in positive youth development and resiliency among sexual and gender minority youth and the development, evaluation, and implementation of primary prevention interventions for these individuals. He currently co-chairs the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Committee within the Maternal and Child Health Section of the American Public Health Association.
Danielle Love (she/her) is a research assistant with the IMPACT Program, working with the RADAR Project on Recruitment & Retention. Danielle has worked in a variety of community settings, particularly in LGBTQ and transgender community centers. She was a consultant on the initial opening of Trans Life Center, a project of Chicago House, and worked as a House Monitor and Outreach Educator throughout the Center’s first three years. In her spare time, she conducts trainings regarding transgender and gender non-conforming issues for social service agencies and community groups. Her research and community interests include transgender health and wellness, as well as violence prevention within the transgender and gender nonconforming communities.
Krystal Madkins, M.P.H., (she/her) is the project coordinator for Keep It Up! (KIU), an online HIV intervention for young MSM who have recently tested negative for HIV. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College and her M.P.H. in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health. After graduating from UIC, Krystal worked on a project that focused on reducing sexual risk behaviors among drug using MSM. Krystal’s research interests in health disparities and STI prevention in overlooked populations is reflected in other past research that has focused on populations such as women who have sex with women (WSW) and older adults.
Rachel Marro, B.A., (she/her) is a data assistant associate working with the YRBS project. She received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Chicago, where she was also involved in a number of volunteer and advocacy groups around violence prevention and health. For the past several years, Rachel has worked in direct service as an outreach educator, running workshops for thousands of teens and young adults across Chicagoland on sexual and mental health. She also developed and ran LGBTQ inclusion trainings for professionals and community groups that work with youth.
Maggie Matson, M.P.H., (she/her) is a research study coordinator working on the ASAP and SLAP-HIV studies, within the IMPACT Program. She received her M.P.H. with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Indiana University’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Human Sexuality from Indiana University in Bloomington. Her recent work experiences focused on identifying barriers to social inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and evaluating a teen dating violence prevention campaign. Her current research interests include STI/HIV prevention, specifically in underserved populations.
Liz McConnell, M.A., (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in Clinical-Community Psychology at DePaul University and an NRSA predoctoral fellow with ISGMH. She received a B.A. from Oberlin College in English and Comparative American Studies with a concentration in Identity and Diversity. She works with Dr. Michelle Birkett in the CONNECT Program using network, geospatial, and mixed methods approaches to better understand social contextual influences on the health of YMSM, particularly racial disparities in HIV. Liz is interested in the relationships between identity, systems of inequality, and wellbeing, with a focus on racially diverse sexual and gender minorities. Her research has examined factors that promote racial justice engagement among White students, attitudes towards transgender women among cisgender lesbians, and the relationships between social support and mental health among LGBT youth.
Joshua Melville, M.Sc., (he/him) is the lead developer of the Network Canvas project. Formerly a DPhil (PhD) student at the University of Oxford, Joshua is a sociologist by training, with interests in digital qualitative social research, social network analysis, and human computer interaction. During his time at Oxford, Joshua developed the Network Canvas tool – a framework for collecting personal network data – which was used by the RADAR project to explore complex structural factors surrounding HIV transmission. Building on this success, Joshua is now coordinating the development of the Network Canvas suite of tools. Joshua holds a B.A. in Economics and Social Studies, and an M.S. in Sociological Research Methods from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. A British national, Joshua is the first UK-based employee of ISGMH.
Estlin Mendez (they/them) is a health communications assistant for ISGMH. They are currently working on their B.S. in electrical engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, where they are a second year student. They have social media and web development experience from managing the communications branch of their high school and college robotics teams, as well as a fair amount of experience tinkering with WordPress. Outside of working at ISGMH, they build robots and make art out of scrap metal.
Kevin Moran, M.P.H., (he/him) is a data analyst for the SMART Project. He has extensive experience using wireless and wearable technologies to passively measure behaviors such as sleep, physical activity, sedentary behavior, eating, and smoking. His previous work has involved the analysis of multi-level data to assess environmental determinants of physical activity, and developing machine learning algorithms to detect smoking and eating using smartwatches. His research interests are particularly centered around eHealth/mHealth behavioral interventions. Kevin holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from San Diego University, concentrating on health behavior and epidemiology. His B.A. in psychology was earned from University of California San Diego.
Ethan Morgan, Ph.D. (he/him) is a postdoctoral research fellow at ISGMH. He received his Ph.D. in Epidemiology from The University of Chicago. During his graduate training, Ethan focused on the development of new methods to combine HIV transmission networks with social networks in a sociomolecular approach towards HIV prevention among young black MSM in Chicago. At ISGMH, he works on the RADAR project with a focus on understanding the longitudinal epidemiology of HIV among young men who have sex with men. In addition, he is continuing to work on the development of network-based HIV interventions using phylogenetic analytic techniques with the Chicago CFAR. More generally, Ethan is interested in how sexually transmitted infections, especially antibiotic resistant STIs, move through networks of at-risk individuals, the use of spatial epidemiology to inform disease intervention, and global public health.
Julia Napolitano, B.A., (she/her) is a research assistant for RADAR. In the last five years Julia has volunteered and worked at multiple community-based agencies as a HIV test counselor and sexual health educator. She is passionate about advancing “body literacy” across individuals and communities – this includes advocating for language, tools, and spaces that enable people to explore and feel at home in their intersecting embodied identities. As part of this passion, Julia also works part-time at Early to Bed, Chicago’s oldest queer feminist sex shop, and continues to stay active in Chicago’s harm reduction and needle exchange communities.
Bálint Néray, Ph.D., (he/him) is a postdoctoral fellow, working with Dr. Michelle Birkett across several projects related to Network Science and disparities in HIV. He completed his Ph.D. in Sociology at the Corvinus University of Budapest and worked as a research associate at the Social Network Analysis Research Center at the Università della Svizzera italiana. In 2014 he completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship at Duke University. In his earlier work he utilised advanced network methods to study racial and ethnic identity formation, its consequences on interpersonal tie-formation and relational integration among school kids. He hopes to contribute to the analysis of ego-centric networks that is essential in understanding the social mechanisms through which HIV-spread operates.
Elias Oseni, B.A., (he/him) is a research assistant with the IMPACT Program, working with the RADAR Project on Recruitment & Retention. Elias received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Augustana College, with a minor in Communication Studies. His recent work has focused on mental health rehabilitation, recovery, and resiliency in community settings, and has experience working with youth in a variety of settings. His research and personal interests include the role of cultural stigma and neighborhood factors on health behaviors and HIV, and helping those in need in his community. On his time off, he writes songs and records music.
Thomas Remble, M.S., M.P.H., D.H.S., (he/him) is the director of research for the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program, and is the former project director for RADAR. Dr. Remble is a clinical sexologist and earned a Doctorate in Human Sexuality at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (IASHS) in San Francisco. Other degrees include a Master’s in Public Health from IASHS and a Master’s in Clinical & Health Psychology from University of Florida with residency training at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Prior to joining ISGMH, Dr. Remble was the research manager for the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health. Previously, he worked for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Remble’s research and areas of expertise include: reproductive health and infertility, sexual health and disorders, sexual behavior and HIV prevention, sexual and gender minority health, neurological disorders, chronic pain, interpersonal communication in healthcare settings, substance abuse, and disability and sexual health. He is a member of the American College of Sexologists.
Dan Ryan, M.S., (he/him) is the data manager for Crew450. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a specialization in health policy. He has previous experience working at Washington University in St. Louis coordinating data management and analysis for federally funded epidemiologic and occupational safety research projects. He has had the opportunity to conduct statistical analyses for peer-reviewed journal articles, grant applications, and conference presentations as well as teach statistics while a graduate student at the University of Illinois. His interests include conducting research that strives to improve the health of communities, particularly underserved populations,with an emphasis on influencing public or health policy with evidence-based research findings.
Jazz Stephens, B.A., (she/her) is a research assistant with the FAB 400 study. Jazz graduated from Northwestern University with a major in psychology and a minor in gender studies. While at Northwestern, she completed an honors thesis examining sexual minority identity development. She has also worked on research projects examining prejudice and stereotyping, as well as body image and self-esteem. Jazz has been involved in sexual assault activism, as well as organizing community spaces for LBT folks. She hopes to one day attend graduate school in social psychology.
Greg Swann, M.A., (he/him) is a research data analyst for the KIU and FAB 400 projects. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Stanislaus, and his M.A. from Arizona State University, both in Psychology. His previous research work has been in quantitative and molecular behavioral genetics. More recently his work has focused on developmental change and health disparities in LGBTQ populations as they transition from adolescence into adulthood. He is currently working toward his M.S. in Predictive Analytics at Northwestern University.
Blair Turner, M.P.H., (she/her) is the research data analyst for the EDIT Program’s Role of Alcohol Disparities in HIV Risk Among Sexual Minority Youth (SMY) Project. She received her B.S. from Ohio State University in Environmental Public with a minor in Microbiology in 2014, and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health in 2016. While pursuing her M.P.H. she worked at the CDC on an epidemiology, data management, and analysis team assisting with data management for a large longitudinal study. Her research interests include health disparities and STI/HIV prevention.
Patrick C. T. Washington, M.A., (he/him) is a research project coordinator for the EPIC Project. He is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His dissertation research focuses on the role churches play in mobilizing African-American communities and individuals around political, economic and community-centered social justice issues. Patrick has considerable experience related to qualitative and quantitative research methods, survey research, secondary data analysis, public policy, and racial equity. His research has included such areas as African-American attitudes on clinical trial participation, racial differences in mobility and neighborhood selection, the impact of racial and socioeconomic neighborhood composition on pre-school curriculum design, and student and faculty perceptions of diversity and climate on campus. Patrick has also worked as a researcher in the UIC Office of Diversity and has taught in African-American Studies, Sociology, and Gender & Women Studies. His volunteer community work has addressed HIV/AIDS and health, with emphasis on linking individuals to community-centered support and service-related networks.
Eva Winckler, M.P.H., (she/her) is communications manager for ISGMH. She has a background in marketing and communications, creating everything from print publications and promotional pieces to digital communications and websites. Currently also outreach manager for the Center for Health Information Partnerships, Eva is interested in distilling difficult health concepts into easily understood resources and working to reduce health disparities. She holds a master’s degree in public health from University of Illinois at Chicago in community health sciences and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.
Jen Zhou, M.B.A., (she/her) is a research administrator for ISMGH. In her most recent position, she was a research administrator at the Washington University in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s Siteman Cancer Center (SCC), handling operational and financial affairs relating to the shared resources/cores funded by SCC. Before working at SCC, Jen worked in the Office of Sponsored Programs Administration at St. Louis University managing post-award funding for medical sciences. Jen received her B.S. in Finance and Information Systems Management from Syracuse University and obtained her M.B.A. at the University of Buffalo. She is interested in bridging grant management processes and research schemas to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of conducting research. Outside of work, Jen enjoys watching foreign films and shows, listening to music, and exploring new recipes.
Brenna Conley-Fonda, M.A. student, Northwestern University
Gabriel Diaz de Leon, B.A. student, Northwestern University
Car Jansen, B.A. student, Northwestern University
Kai Korpak, B.A. student, DePaul University
Yamari Lewis, B.A. student, Northwestern University
Arielle Zimmerman, B.A. student, Northwestern University