Andrés Alvarado-Avila, B.A., (he/him) is a research study assistant for the SMART project. 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.
Rocco Bagnarol, B.A., (he/him and they/them) is a Data Assistant with the EDIT team. Rocco’s professional experience in serving the LGBTQ+ community and working along the HIV-care continuum has allowed him to engage with community-based organizations in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as in Chicago. He previously worked at Chicago House and Social Service Agency as a PrEP Care Coordinator, navigating clients vulnerable to HIV and STIs in understanding, accessing, and adhering to PrEP. Thanks to his experiences there, Rocco was able to further his clinical skill sets within a client-centered, trauma-informed framework. Currently, Rocco is pursuing his Master of Science in Global and Migrant Health Policy through the School of Public Health at the City University of New York. While his passion for this work is strong, he does devote quite a bit of free time to studying new languages, such as Levantine Arabic and Portuguese, and to playing with his orange tabby, Cork.
Kate Banner, M.A., (she/her) is a project manager with the Network Canvas project at ISGMH. 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, 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.
Josh Boegner, M.P.H., (he/him or they/them) is a research project coordinator with the Evaluation Center 2.0 with EDIT. 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 at ISGMH. 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.
Kitty Buehler, M.S., (she/her) is a research study coordinator for the RADAR study 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 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 RADAR 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 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 with 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.
Allie Chinander, B.A., (she/her) is a temporary research study assistant for the SMART project. 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.
Peter Cleary, B.A.,(he/him) is a research study coordinator 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.
Alexandra Coello, B.S., (she/her) is the social media program coordinator for the IMPACT Program, as well as the social media project coordinator for the RADD Team. She received her B.S in Marketing and International Business from Marquette University. Prior to joining ISGMH, Alex worked as a Research Study Recruitment Coordinator for NUCATS. She is currently completing a master’s degree in Counseling from DePaul University and is passionate about increasing access to mental health care. Alex enjoys cooking, exploring bookstores, and listening to her favorite albums on repeat.
Adam Conway, M.A., (he/him) is a senior 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.
Diogo Costa, B.S. Student, (he/him) is a Research Assistant under the 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 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.
Abbey Dean, M.A.,(she/her) 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. In her role at ISGMH, Abbey works on the Keep It Up! 3.0 project. She loves music, trying new recipes/restaurants, animals, traveling, dancing, and mindfulness.
Dylan Felt, B.A., (they/them or she/her) is a Research Project Coordinator with the EDIT program, where they currently 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) 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 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.
Christopher Garcia, B.S., (he/him) is a research study coordinator on the 2GETHER Project. 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 at ISGMH directing 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.
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/his) is a research study assistant with the SMART project at ISGMH. 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.
Justin Patrick Jones, M.P.H., M.P.P., M.A., (he/him) is a senior project manager with Keep It Up! 3.0. 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, B.A., (he/him) is a research study assistant with ISGMH. Kyle is currently attending Northwestern University earning his M.A. in Clinical Psychology. Kyle earned his B.A. in English language and literature from the University of Michigan (UM) in 2013. After spending the next several years working in hospitality, he returned to UM in 2017 to prepare for a career in research by completing coursework in psychology and volunteering in Dr. Ashley Gearhardt’s Food Addiction Science and Treatment (FAST) Lab. Broadly speaking he is interested in addiction and health disparities among minority communities. Kyle plans to apply PhD programs after completing his masters, and to focus his coursework in neuropsychology while studying here at Northwestern. Outside of school, Kyle enjoys reading, movies, and spending time with his co-dependent deaf cats, Woodhouse and Dicky.
Grant Kayes, B.A.,(he/him) is an associate software developer creating web applications with the Research Application Design and Development 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.
Kathleen Kish, M.A., (she/her) is the HR Program Coordinator for ISGMH. She is excited to join the team in this newly created position. Kathleen has spent much of her professional career working in myriad areas of Higher Education/Administration and Operations. Her first job post-English BA, was as a Research Assistant in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Michigan. In her most recent administrative role, Kathleen served for nine years as the Division Administrator for the Undergraduate Social Sciences program at the University of Chicago (The College). Prior to The College, she worked in the Biological Sciences Division as the Associate Director of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation where she focused on new systems implementation, general development, and large-scale event based fund-raising. In her last year, the UCCRF Grand Auction raised almost $1,000,0000; the bulk going directly to cutting-edge cancer researchers. Outside of Higher Ed, Kathleen holds an MA from Northwestern in Film/TV and has experience in video production in Chicago (does anyone local remember the “Continental Furniture/Muebleria Continental” commercials of the 2000s)? She loves the medium of television, despite its detractors. Kathleen is a former competitive and still avid swimmer who coaches and teaches swimming and lifeguarding to folks of all ages and abilities. Kathleen is passionate about lifelong learning, hot sandy beaches, crossword puzzles (particularly the NYT) and all shapes of water, except the frozen varieties.
Kai Korpak, B.A., (he/him) is a research assistant for the Bisexual+ Youth Project study within the IMPACT Program of ISGMH. 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 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 manager for the txt2protect and Keep It Up! 2.0 studies within 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 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.
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.
Melissa Mongrella, M.H.S., (she/her) is a program coordinator with 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. 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 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.
Jack Novotny, B.S.,(he/him) an associate software developer creating web applications with the Research Application Design and Development 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.
Josephine Owusu, B.S., (she/her) is a research assistant for the Keep It Up! (KIU) 3.0 study, an online HIV intervention for young MSM 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. 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 program assistant at ISGMH. 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/phlebotomist with the RADAR team. 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.
Sarah Quain, M.A., (she/her or they/them) is the 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.
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.
Jason Roth, B.A., (no preference) is a Data Assistant Associate with the EDIT team. 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 with the EDIT team 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 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 at 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 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 Chicago.
Reno Stephens, M.P.H.,(he/him) is a research study coordinator for the Keep It Up! 3.0 project. 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.
Vic Swaney, B.A., (she/her or they/them) is a program/financial coordinator for ISGMH. She received her B.A. in Non-Profit Public Relations from Columbia College Chicago with a focus on women and gender studies. During her time at Columbia, she worked closely with institutes such as Howard Brown and Center on Halsted. She has always been interested in working for the LGBTQIA+ Community and she is very passionate about gender equality in healthcare and beyond. Outside of work, Vic enjoys cooking, streaming services, theatre, traveling, and trying out all the restaurants Chicago has to offer.
Greg Swann, M.A.,(he/him) is a senior 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.
Jeevan Topgi, B.S. (he/him) is an associate software developer on 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.
Ro Truong, B.A.,(he/him) is a senior research project coordinator at ISGMH. He is the senior administrator to Dr. Brian Mustanski and currently works on various research projects including RADAR and SMART. Ro has been with Feinberg and ISGMH for 5+ years. Prior to moving into infectious diseases, his previous research work was in immunotherapy regimens and stem cell transplants with hematology oncology patients. Ro obtained his Bachelors in Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley; he is currently completing his Masters in Public Health at Northwestern University. His passion lies within health policy and advocacy for underserved and marginalized communities – increasing access to health care, holding pharmaceuticals to equitable drug pricing, and advocating for a single payer healthcare system. Outside of work, Ro is an avid crossfitter and enjoys participating in volleyball tournaments. You can usually find Ro and his pup at Montrose Dog Beach during the Chicago summers.
Krystal Wang, M.A.,(she/her) is a data analyst for the R01 YRBS project with the EDIT team. 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.
Jackie (Jiayi) Xu, M.S.W., (she/her) is a Data Coordinator with the 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 Associate 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.
Arielle Zimmerman, B.A., (she/her) is a research study coordinator on the FAB 400 project. Arielle started at ISGMH as an intern on FAB 400 and ASAP, and then worked as a research study assistant on FAB 400 and 2GETHER for two years prior to her current role. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Northwestern University in June 2017. At Northwestern she was involved in various feminist student groups and co-led Take Back the Night her junior year. Arielle’s research interests include mental health, healthy relationships, and minority stress among LGBTQ+ individuals. Her other interests include dog walking, scoping out the best desserts in Chicago, and making Spotify playlists for her friends.
Cate Durudogan, B.A. student, Northwestern University (she/her)
Jack Gara, B.S. student, University of Illinois at Chicago (he/him)
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)
Sofia Sytniak, B.S., DePaul University (she/her)