Andrés Alvarado-Avila, B.A., (he/him) is a Research Study Assistant for the SMART Project with the IMPACT Program. He is a recent graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in applied psychology. Broadly speaking, Andrés is interested in how we can use technology to address health disparities in minority communities. Previously, Andrés was an undergraduate intern in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University, where he worked on clinical trial studies related to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety. Currently, he is also working as a research extern volunteer in the Multicultural and Latino Health Research program and is a Latino Obesity and Cancer Health Equity Research Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Kate Banner, M.A., (she/her) is a Project Manager for the Network Canvas Project. Her prior work spans diverse project development and implementation in research and direct service environments. Kate holds a Masters of Arts in Global Politics, awarded with Distinction, from the University of Exeter, and a B.A. in Political Economy from the Evergreen State College. Prior to joining Northwestern, she helped develop and implement a legal education project for detained immigrants in the jurisdiction of the Chicago Immigration Court. Her broad professional interests include supporting projects that expand access to services, address health disparities, and promote rights of marginalized communities. After many years away from the Midwest, Kate returned to Chicago in 2013 to be closer to family.
Emily Bettin, B.A., (she/her) is a Research Data Analyst Associate for the Data Management Team. She works with multiple IMPACT Program 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.
Josh Boegner, M.P.H., (he/him or they/them) is a Research Project Coordinator for Evaluation Center: Project 2.0, part of the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program. Josh received a BA in Biochemistry from Cornell College and a MPH in Health Behavior with a certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communications from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Josh previously worked as the AIDS United AmeriCorps team coordinator for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and then as a research assistant with the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions (ATN). Josh’s graduate capstone experience focused on the impact of Naloxone Access and Good Samaritan laws on those experiencing or responding to opioid overdoses in North Carolina, and their research interests broadly include addressing health disparities, adolescent sexual health, HIV/AIDS, substance use, and research dissemination. Josh’s other interests include running, hiking, cycling, traveling, and eating.
Aris S. Brown, M.P.H., (she/her) is a Research Project Coordinator for the Community Development Evaluation Project with the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program. Her previous research experience focuses on Community Based Participatory Research, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and psychoeducation. Aris’ broad research interests include mental health, reproductive justice, homelessness, and equitable access to quality healthcare for underserved populations. Aris is an alumna of UIC- School of Public Health (MPH in Community Health Sciences with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health) and DePaul University (BA in Healthcare Management and Advocacy). She intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Pharmacology to develop interventions to improve mental health outcomes for racial, sexual, and gender minorities alike.
Rayna N. Brown, M.A., M.P.H., (she/her) returns to NU and ISGMH as a Research Project Coordinator with EDIT’s Ending the HIV Epidemic project. She was born in Chicago and currently lives on the south side. She has done reproductive health, rights, and justice work with communities of color for more than 20 years. She has also participated in maternal, sexual, and reproductive health research at University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago, and Northwestern University. Her past work at NU includes the CFAR funded IKNOW study (Women and PrEP) as the Research Project Coordinator with Dr. Lisa Hirschhorn and team and on a PrEP adherence and usage study lead by Drs. Michael Newcomb and Brian Mustanski. She is an alumna of Spelman College (BS in Biology), Roosevelt University (MA in Women and Gender Studies), and UIC-School of Public Health (MPH- Community Health Sciences-MCH). Rayna is an avid dancer and can be found in a dance studio, on stage, or on Zoom in her spare time.
Kitty Buehler, M.S., (she/her and they/them) is a Research Study Coordinator for the RADAR Project with the IMPACT Program. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Fordham University in 2013 and her M.S. in General Psychology from DePaul University in 2017. She started at ISGMH as an intern on RADAR and then worked as a research study assistant on FAB 400 before moving into her current role. Her past research has focused on sexual fluidity, science support programs for Latinx high school and college students, and adult support in out-of-school-time youth activities. Her current interests include multi-marginalization, intimate partner violence, and community influences on mental health, substance abuse, and risk behavior in LGBT youth.
Camille Bundy, M.P.H. (she/her) is a Research Project Coordinator for the Day2Day (D2D) study with the IMPACT Program. She received a B.A. in Psychology and Gender and Women’s studies and an MPH in Community Health Sciences, with a dual concentration in Maternal and Child Health and Global Health–both from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her master’s thesis examined religiosity as a motivating factor for antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among Rwandan youth living with HIV. She strives to dismantle sexual health inequities, particularly around the plight of HIV/AIDS among marginalized populations. Her previous research focused on PrEP attitudes among Black SGM, sexual health programming for justice involved youth and HIV/AIDS prevention strategies for South African caregiver and daughter dyads. Camille’s HIV advocacy spans beyond the workplace as she hold an executive role on the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Associate Board. In her free time, Camille’s somewhere reading a good book, stretching in a yoga class or obsessing over French Bulldogs.
Jim Carey, M.P.H., (he/him) is a Research Project Manager for the 2GETHER Project with the IMPACT Program. 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 RADAR Project with the IMPACT Program. 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 is currently pursuing a second Master’s degree at Northwestern University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He hopes work in a community-based setting delivering mental health services to sexual and gender minority youth.
Eric Carty-Fickes, M.S., (he/him) is a Senior Developer for the Research Application Design and Development (RADD) Team. He earned his B.S. from Princeton University and his M.S. from Duke University, both in Electrical Engineering. He has worked as a software developer in Academic and Research Technologies, the Department of Radiology, and the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern. He has built applications of all types, from stereoscopic image viewers for tiled display walls, to a video processing and management platform, to dozens of mobile and web applications for mental health and behavioral interventions. When Eric isn’t at work, he enjoys spending time with his family outdoors, cooking, and singing in the Northwestern Music Academy Chorus among other things.
Christian F. Castro, M.A., (he/him) is a Research Project Coordinator for the RADAR Project with the IMPACT Program. Christian is a nationally-recognized program director with over 13 years’ experience administering major public policy and public health programs. He is the architect of large-scale events and social movements in partnership with national organizations. He has a long history of training, teaching, and educating volunteers, students, and community leaders. He has worked previously at Center on Halsted; Latino Commission on AIDS; University of Maryland, College Park; the National Association of People with AIDS; NeighborWorks America; and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. He received his master’s in geography from University of Maryland, College Park and his bachelor’s in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Allie Chinander, B.A., (she/her) is a Temporary Research Study Assistant for the SMART Project with the IMPACT Program. She graduated from Hope College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Previously, Allie worked as a Psychological Consultation Center intern in Grand Rapids, MI, testing for ADHD. She also interned at Ottagan Addictions Recovery, a substance abuse clinic in Holland, MI. As an undergrad, she was part of a research project studying the effects of nature-based learning with pre-school children. Her interests lie in health and wellness, and helping those who feel marginalized reach their full potential. In her free time Allie enjoys musical theater, playing basketball, and traveling.
Adam Conway, M.A., (he/him) is a Senior Research Study Coordinator for the 2GETHER Project with the IMPACT Program. 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.
Diogo Costa, B.S. Student, (he/him) is a Research Assistant for the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program. He is currently an undergraduate student at the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University. Prior to moving to the United States, he lived in Thailand where he graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program, and Portugal where he spent most of his life. In the past he has worked for Dezanove.pt, leading LGBTQ+ online newsletter within Portugal, and Positive Living, an NGO in Malaysia focused on providing shelter to homeless drug users with HIV and AIDS within Malaysia. Some of his other interests include peer education and mentoring, sustainability and product and fashion design.
Shariell Crosby, B.A., (she/her) is a Research Study Coordinator for the IMPACT Program data team, working on the FAB 400 Project. 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.
Abbey Dean, M.A., (she/her) is a Research Study Coordinator for the Keep It Up! project with the IMPACT Program. Abbey received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). Her work focused on Pedagogy and LGBTQIA Health and Education. In the past, she worked as a Youth Outreach Coordinator at the Nebraska AIDS Project, and then as a Teaching Assistant for UNO’s Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She loves music, trying new recipes/restaurants, animals, traveling, dancing, and mindfulness.
Dylan Felt, B.A., (she/her and they/them) is a Research Project Coordinator for the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program, where they work across all projects within EDIT’s ongoing evaluation portfolio in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and Literary Arts from Brown University in 2016, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health at Northwestern University in the evenings. Dylan’s work emphasizes using research as a tool for meaningful praxis and social change, and prioritizes community leadership in public health work and the pursuit of health equity. Outside of her research, her greatest loves are cooking, her home state of New Mexico, her two cats, and her wife.
James Foran, B.A., (he/him) is a Research Study Assistant for the Day2Day (D2D) project with the IMPACT Program. He received a B.A. in Psychology with a Minor in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. James’ research experience also includes studying how bilingualism can affect a child’s language acquisition skills, and how decision making is affected when made in groups vs when made as an individual. He hopes his work at ISGMH can help reduce the racial disparities surrounding HIV prevention and care, as well as to expand his own knowledge on the subject. In his free time you can find James playing a video game, learning to cook, or looking for new places in Chicago to explore and relax.
Justin A. Franz, B.A., (he/him) is the Biomedical Coordinator for the RADAR Project with the IMPACT Program. 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.
Christopher Garcia, B.S., (he/him) is a Research Study Coordinator for the 2GETHER Project with the IMPACT Program. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University double majoring in journalism and history. He previously worked as a temporary research assistant on Keep it Up! 2.0 and has additional research experience involving Victorian and early 20th century British family norms related to privacy and secrecy. His early career experience includes digital consulting and health reporting. His undergraduate career involved work with LGBTQ student affairs and mentoring. Chris hopes to combine these experiences into future careers in activism and health advocacy.
Ricky Hill, Ph.D.,(they/them) is a Research Associate and Director of the 2GETHER Project with the IMPACT Program. 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.
Trung Hoang, B.S., (he/him) is a Research Assistant for the Radiation Oncology Department at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. His background focuses on human neurology, physiology, and behavior. Currently, he is a candidate for the MPH program, and is participating in the EDIT 2.0 project as part of his APEx to develop skill sets and perspective for community research and engagement. He is interested in health issues and disparities related to the LGBTQ+ community. Through this experience, he hopes to be able to address the barriers that minority members face when it comes to healthcare and prevention services.
Jenni Holtz, B.A., (they/them) is a Research Assistant for FAB 400 and the Front Desk Coordinator for ISGMH. They are a recent graduate from DePaul University with majors in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies and a minor in LGBTQ Studies. There, they worked in transformative justice in relation to sexual violence, reproductive rights advocacy for underrepresented groups, and mental health research with CPS students. Their undergraduate thesis examined representations of trans women in the media. They are currently pursuing a master’s degree in Media and Communication with a focus in Media and Cinema Studies at DePaul. Their master’s research is focused on transgender identity formation throughout film history. In their free time, they are a freelance film critic with work appearing in 14East Magazine and FlipScreen.
Manuel Hurtado Jr, B.A., (he/him) is a Research Study Assistant for the SMART Project with the IMPACT Program. He received his B.A. in psychology with concentration in neuroscience from Marquette University in 2018. While at Marquette, he worked as a research assistant at the UW-Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention in Milwaukee and was involved in two research labs in the Department of Psychology at Marquette. His undergraduate research experience at Marquette focused on LGBTQ+ health, psychosocial outcomes, and identity development. Manuel intends to pursue graduate work in public health with a research focus on HIV intervention implementation and qualitative interviews. Outside of ISGMH, Manuel enjoys running, Brewers and Bucks games, and cooking anything Mexican.
Chitra Iyer, M.A., (she/her) is a Phlebotomy Research Assistant for the RADAR Project with the IMPACT Program. She received her B.S. from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2017, a double major in Molecular Cellular Biology and Behavioral Neuroscience, and a Master of Arts in Medical Sciences from Loyola University Chicago in 2020. Chitra’s professional and research interests broadly include addressing health disparities and trauma by expanding access to culturally competent primary, reproductive, and mental healthcare services for multi-marginalized populations, especially youth, refugees and the LGBTQ community. In addition to volunteering at numerous community healthcare organizations as a phlebotomist, she completed two terms of AmeriCorps service through the National Health Corps program, where she provided HIV/STI testing services and care coordination for LGBTQ+ folx in Jacksonville, FL (2017-2018) and Chicago, IL (2018-2019). In her free time, Chitra can be found exploring a local forest preserve or a thrift shop, doing yoga, DIYing a new project or singing to her foster cats.
Tony Johnson, M.P.H., (he/him) is a Clinical Research Associate and Project Director of the RADAR study with the IMPACT Program. Before coming to ISGMH, Tony worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago for Project WISH as a research associate supporting the coordination of several studies with the HIV Prevention Trial Network, HIV Vaccine Trial Network, and the CDC. During his time at Loyola University Chicago, Tony directed the Black Men Evolving (B-ME) study and served as a study coordinator for the Health Professional Opportunity Grant. Tony also has experience as a health counselor, outreach specialist, and case manager before launching a career in health services research. He is passionate about building resilience in communities affected by HIV/AIDS. Tony is completing his Ph.D. in social work at Loyola University Chicago. He also holds an M.P.H. degree and a B.A. degree in biology with a minor in gender studies from Indiana University Bloomington. Tony’s dissertation focuses on using psychological self-sufficiency (PSS) to understand health behavior and healthcare utilization among Black men who have sex with men (MSM). Tony also enjoys spending time with his family and partner as well as writing music.
Justin Patrick Jones, M.P.H., M.P.P., M.A., (he/him) is a Senior Project Manager for Keep It Up! with the IMPACT Program. He earned his B.S. from Northwestern University, during which time he majored in theatre. Later in life, he discovered a passion for public health with a focus on sexual and gender minorities. For his first master’s degree, an M.A. in Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University, Justin completed an original, qualitative research study examining discrimination in healthcare among gay and lesbian young adults. In his subsequent degrees, an M.P.H. and an M.P.P. from the University of California, Berkeley, he worked on diverse projects ranging from designing product solutions for San Francisco, CA’s largest farmers’ market to homeless encampment policy for the city government of Oakland, CA to a policy analysis focused on mental health services for youth and young adults living in Chicago neighborhoods highly impacted by adverse childhood events. Combined, he has more than a decade of experience in HIV services, nonprofit leadership, and policy advocacy.
Kyle Jozsa, M.A., (he/him) is a Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Newcomb. His clinical and research emphases are behavioral health, with a focus on the sexual and relational health of sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations. He currently works as a facilitator on the 2GETHER project providing relationship education to male couples. He has also worked with Dr. Kathryn Macapagal on Looking and PrEP 4 the Future, projects related to the sexual health and development of sexual minority adolescents. Kyle is particularly interested in learning how urban and rural contexts affect the health of SGM people, and in how romantic relationships and telehealth can improve the health and wellbeing of these populations.
Grant Kayes, B.A., (he/him) is an Associate Software Developer creating web applications for the Research Application Design and Development (RADD) Team. He graduated from Georgetown University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and a minor in Japanese Language and Culture. His professional interests lie in using technology and data to provide insights on how to be your best self in all aspects of life. Outside of work, he can be found producing house and electronic music, exploring local coffee shops, and learning about East Asian languages and culture.
Brennan Keiser, M.S.W., (he/him) is a Research Project Coordinator for ISC3I at the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research, where he organizes and communicates among 65 different HIV implementation science academic-community partnerships across the U.S. With experience living and working in 8 different countries, Brennan’s work is guided by a belief that we all have a human right to health. He is passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights and has contributed to local advocacy efforts to modernize HIV-specific criminal statutes in Missouri and aided in the design of programs globally that promote gender equity, menstrual hygiene, and adolescent sexual health. Before coming to ISGMH, he spent 4 years coordinating events and mentoring undergraduates in the International and Area Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis while he completed his master’s degree. With the free time he has reclaimed since graduating in 2019, he’s getting reacquainted with hobbies like baking needlessly complex cakes, plunking around on the piano, and lip syncing along with his favorite drag queens.
Kai Korpak, B.A., (he/him) is a Research Assistant for the Bisexual+ Youth Project study with the IMPACT Program. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2018 from DePaul University majoring in Psychology with a minor in LGBTQ Studies. Before coming to ISGMH, Kai worked as an Emergency Medical Technician in the Chicagoland area, where he developed a passion for improving medical care for SGM individuals. Previously he worked as a research study assistant on ASAP, Looking, Bisexual+ Visibility Project & Text2Protect before moving into his current role. Kai’s research interests include the use of geosocial networking applications for sexual orientation and gender identity development of trans teens, the accessibility of hormone blockers for transgender youth/adolescents, and resiliency within the LGBTQ community. Kai is pursuing these interests by completing a Master’s in Social Work.
Danielle Love (she/her) is a Research Assistant for the IMPACT Program. She works with the RADAR Project on recruitment and 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 a Project Manager for the txt2protect and Keep It Up! studies with the IMPACT Program. She also provides technical support for a community based implementation of Keep It Up! in Jackson, MS. 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. Prior to joining ISGMH, Krystal worked on a study focused on sexual risk behaviors and substance use among MSM. Krystal’s research interests include health disparities and STI prevention in overlooked populations such as queer women and older adults.
Maggie Matson, M.P.H., (she/her) is a Research Study Coordinator for the ASAP study with 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.
Joshua Melville, M.Sc., (he/him) is a Lead Developer for 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.
Melissa Mongrella, M.H.S., (she/her) is a Program Coordinator for the Research Application Design and Development (RADD) Team. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Spanish at the University of Chicago and later earned her Master’s of Health Science in Mental Health from Johns Hopkins University. Her master’s thesis evaluated the relationship between experiences of stigma and drug overdose. Her broad research interests include adolescent sexual health and eating disorders in underserved communities.
Kevin Moran, M.P.H., (he/him) is a Data Analyst for the SMART Project with the IMPACT Program. 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.
Julia Napolitano, B.A., (she/her) is a Research Study Coordinator for the RADAR Project with the IMPACT Program. 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.
Jack Novotny, B.S., (he/him) is an Associate Software Developer creating web applications with the Research Application Design and Development (RADD) Team. He graduated from DePaul University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science and began at Northwestern as an intern at the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies. Aside from coding, Jack loves to play and watch hockey, enjoy the beauty of nature, and explore different genres of music.
Madeline Oklesen, B.A., (she/hers) is a Program Assistant for ISGMH. Madeline has been part of the Northwestern family for two years, previously working at the Office of the President while also studying for an M.S. in Healthcare Communications. Prior to Northwestern, Madeline worked at a women’s health center for 7 years, and prior to that, Planned Parenthood. Madeline received her B.A. in International Studies, with a minor in Spanish and Gender & Women’s Studies, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of work, Madeline enjoys trying new restaurants in Chicago, traveling, and cuddling with her two cats.
Josephine Owusu, B.S., (she/her) is a Research Assistant for Keep It Up! with the IMPACT Program. Keep It Up! is an online HIV intervention for young men who have sex with men (YMSM) who have recently tested negative for HIV. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral/Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology from Loyola University Chicago. Josephine has previous research experience working at University of Illinois at Chicago School of Medicine, where she was active in the investigation of the unique and addictive effects of cocaine dependence and HIV infection on behavioral loss aversion and its underlying neural processes. Her research interests also include disparities in healthcare accessibility, the effects of STI and substance use on HIV acquisition, and the impact of care and prevention policies in reducing transmission.
Yelena Pearson, B.A., (she/her or they/them) is a Research Assistant for the RADAR Project with the IMPACT Program. She received her B.A. in Psychology from DePaul University with a concentration in Human Development. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as a research intern on projects focused on mentoring effectiveness for children dealing with environmental-based trauma, ingroup/outgroup dynamics, and effects of high-stress environments for adolescents living in under-resourced areas. Their recent work investigates factors that impact college adjustment and attrition rates for students of color. Their personal work and research interests include community and intergenerational trauma, and recovery through a combination of mental healthcare, community advocacy, and reclamation of cultural spiritual practices.
Esrea Pérez-Bill, B.A., (she/her or they/them) is a Data Assistant for the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program. She is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College, holding a BA in Gender and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Spanish. Her concentration was in Critical Whiteness Studies, where she created, facilitated, and implemented academic curriculum. They are currently enrolled in a post-bacc program at Northwestern, studying how settler colonialism [re]produces social stratifications and power dynamics. Esrea enjoys engaging relationships between decolonial theory, language, body politics, and consciousness. When not working, you can find Esrea boxing, reading, or running by the lake.
Michael Pulte, B.S., (he/him) is a Research Assistant and Phlebotomist for the RADAR Project with the IMPACT Program. He recently graduated in April 2017 from the University of Michigan with a degree in Biology while minoring in History with a focus on sexual and gender identities. As an undergraduate, Michael worked as a research intern in the Department of Psychiatry on studies encompassing stress and anxiety disorders. He also was very involved in global health and education programs on campus, spending summers participating in medical relief trips while tutoring student in the Detroit Public Schools during the year.
Morgan Purrier, M.A., (he/him) is a Program and Financial Coordinator for ISGMH. He earned his B.S in Social Policy and Linguistics from Northwestern University and his M.A in Sociology from the University of Michigan. Currently, he is completing his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Michigan with an ethnographic dissertation focused on the intersections of sexuality, race, and space in segregated cities. His previous work includes working with qualitative and quantitative research teams around sexual desire, health, and partner search processes. Outside of work, Morgan loves exploring the city, especially his neighborhood, with a good book and an iced coffee.
Sarah Quain, M.A., (she/her or they/them) is a Senior Communications Coordinator for ISGMH. Sarah previously worked in the communications offices at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. She graduated with an M.A. in Modern and Contemporary Literature from the University of Sussex, where her dissertation focused on gender and parenthood in the novels and poetry of Djuna Barnes. She completed a B.A. in English at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.
Maria Beatriz Rocha, B.A. student, (she/her) is a Research Assistant for the Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program, working with Dr. Lauren Beach on the CHAMBERS study. She is currently an undergraduate student at Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences pursuing a double major in Neuroscience and Global Health Studies and a minor in Economics. Although born and raised in Portugal, she moved to China, where she completed the International Baccalaureate Program at United World College Changshu, before coming to the United States to study at Northwestern University. While at UWC, she developed her interest in issues related to minorities’ healthcare provision and research. Since then, she has been part of Arti5+, an interactive exhibition promoting queer visibility and acceptance in Shanghai, interned at Universidade do Minho investigating the effects of isolation in elder’s dementia development as well as binge drinking in adolescent’s brain development. She is also working on a project related to high-risk kidney transplant’s allocation and discard. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, hiking, and camping.
Jason Roth, B.A., (no preference) is a Data Assistant Associate for the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program. At Brown University, she studied Cognitive Science and researched Perception/Action in the Virtual Environment Navigation Lab. He also taught sex-ed in the greater Providence community. Jason’s other degree is in Performance Studies; he acts in plays, produces their own solo work, and moved to Chicago to be part of the Improv and Dance communities. Jason hails from New Jersey and hopes to keep exploring this big old world.
Megan Ruprecht, B.A., (she/her) is a Data Assistant Associate for the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program, specifically focusing on the R01 YRBS Project. She graduated with honors from New York University in 2019 with a BA in Global Public Health and Anthropology and a minor in Spanish. Her undergraduate thesis focused on structural obstacles to breastfeeding and new mothers’ use of social media for informal breastfeeding support. Megan’s broad research interests include mental health in LGBTQ populations, expanding access to evidence based substance abuse treatment programs, reproductive equity, and maternal health. In her free time, Megan enjoys cross stitch, musical theatre, and going to the dog beach.
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.
Rana Saber, M.S., M.S.L., (she/her) is the Director of ISGMH’s Research Application Design and Development (RADD) Team. Rana began working with ISGMH on the SMART, KIU 2.5, and messaging platform while she was the Director of the Behavioral Intervention Technologies Development Core Center at Northwestern. She has Master’s degrees in Immunology, Microbiology and Law (with a focus in Technology related Entrepreneurship and Regulatory Compliance). Before transferring to the health tech world, Rana worked as a basic science researcher and program manager for several years until she ultimately changed her focus to Health Tech.
Shannon Sotomayor, B.A., (she/hers) is a Program Assistant for ISGMH. She earned her B.A. in English and Theatre Arts from Brown University in 2017. While there, she worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant for the performance studies department, and simultaneously as a Communications and Social Media Intern for the Brown University Alumni Association. Most recently she worked in administration for Eyas Landing, a Chicago-based pediatric therapy clinic offering physical, occupational, speech, behavioral, and developmental therapy services. Her broad professional interests include LGBTQIA+ advocacy and workers’ rights. She is also a Chicago-based actress and has worked with Teatro Vista, Women’s Theatre Alliance, Cuckoos Theater Project, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Reno Stephens, M.P.H., (he/him) is a Research Study Coordinator for Keep It Up! with the IMPACT Program. He earned both his Undergraduate and Master in Public Health degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the past, he interned with the Chicago Department of Public Health in the HIV/STI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Research Unit where he researched social and societal barriers to accessing HIV care for Young BMSM in the city of Chicago and the racial and environmental disparities based on geographical location of where they lived. Before coming to Northwestern, he worked as a clinical research assistant at Lurie Children’s Hospital in the department of cardiology working on studies pertaining to sudden cardiac death and its relation to potentially preventative genetic factors. He loves to travel, try new and exotic foods, play sports, drum, and serve as an amateur flight agent for family and friends.
Greg Swann, M.A., (he/him) is a Senior Data Analyst for Keep It Up! and FAB 400 Projects with the IMPACT Program. 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.
Jeevan Topgi, B.S. (he/him) is an Associate Software Developer for the Research Application Design and Development (RADD) Team. He builds web and mobile applications to support ISGMH’s research visions. Jeevan earned a BS in Biology at Loyola University Chicago. Afterwards, he worked for a cancer diagnostics company where he created programs to optimize the researchers’ workflow. He then came to the Northwestern Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies where he developed web applications and eventually joined RADD with his team.
Lizeth Turk, B.A., (she/her) is a HR Program Coordinator at ISGMH. Lizeth previously worked as a People Operations Manager at Arrive Mobility. She graduated with a B.A in English Literature from Loras College in Dubuqe, IA. Lizeth is a Chicago native, but loves to travel and explore new cities and countries. Outside of work, Lizeth enjoys to golf, spend time with friends, family, and her two rescue dogs.
Krystal Wang, M.A., (she/her) is a Data Analyst for the R01 YRBS Project with the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program. She received her B.A.s with honors in Psychology and Econometrics and Quantitative Economics at the University of Rochester and recently earned her M.A. in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, concentrating on psychology. Her past research has focused on analyzing perceived partner responsiveness in romantic relationship and evaluating a literary-based intervention to improve children’s empathic concern. Her current research interests are technology in healthcare, longitudinal data analysis in clinical population and health disparities among racial, gender and sexual minority groups. She intends to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology in the future. Krystal’s other interests include photography, music and art, and 3D puzzles.
Scarlett Winters, M.S., (she/her) is a Research Data Analyst Associate with the CONNECT program. She earned her Bachelor’s in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago and earned her M.S. in Information Systems Management from Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business. Previously, Scarlett worked at a leading healthcare SaaS company facilitating data integration to join clinical and hospital financial data into one analytics platform. She transferred this experience into a Client Trainer role at the same company before joining the CONNECT team. While in her graduate school program, Scarlett led a team to conduct requirements analysis, data collection, and consulting with FEMA representatives and disaster relief non-profits in Puerto Rico to build a community-driven, geo-spatial, disaster relief information system. This project, Project IBIS, emphasized underrepresented rural and LGBTQ+ populations. This system has since been used to source and deliver over 11,000 face masks to over 150 healthcare entities in Illinois. Scarlett is heavily involved in the Chicago and global #rstats community. Between 2019-2020 she served on the board for R-Ladies Chicago, a group dedicated to empowering marginalized genders to be data science leaders. In her free time, Scarlett enjoys cooking, practicing Krav Maga (yellow belt), and watching nature documentaries.
Jackie (Jiayi) Xu, M.S.W., (she/her) is a Data Coordinator for the Evaluation, Data Integration and Technical Assistance (EDIT) Program. Her previous work experiences focus on program evaluation on the effectiveness of capacity building programs in the social services and education field for low-income individuals or families with children. She also gained volunteer experiences working with local nonprofit organizations in rural China. Jackie received a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, with a concentration in international social and economic development. Outside of work, trying new foods, traveling, and watching documentaries are her favorite ways to explore the world.
Jen Zhou, M.B.A., (she/her) is the Institute 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.
Alex Chang, B.A. student, Northwestern University (she/her)
Caleb Curry, B.A. student, Case Western Reserve University, (he/him)
Caty DeBroux, B.S. student, Northwestern University (she/her)
Karishma Desai, B.A., Northwestern University (she/her)
Cate Durudogan, B.A. student, Northwestern University (she/her)
Siobhan Ihenacho, B.A. student, Northwestern University (she/her)
Junye Ma, B.A., University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (he/him)
David Mata, M.S., M.D. candidate, Loyola University (he/him)
David McCuskey, B.S. student, Northwestern University (he/him)
Sophia Pirog, B.S., St. Mary’s College of California, M.A. student, Northwestern University (she/her)
Julia Shenkman, B.A., M.P.H. student, Northwestern University (she/her)
Grace Teeple, B.A. student, Northwestern University (she/her)
Angela Yu, B.A., New York University (she/her)