Faculty

Faculty of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media represent many different disciplines, areas, and expertise. These snapshots provide a glimpse of the wide range of expertise in the Center.

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Sherry Pagoto, PhD

Director 
Professor
Department of Allied Health Sciences
University of Connecticut

Dr. Pagoto is a Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut and Director of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. Her research, funded by the National Institutes of Health for over 17 years, focuses on leveraging technology in the development and delivery of behavioral interventions designed to reduce risk for the top 2 causes of death in our country: cardiovascular disease and cancer. She has published 200 papers on these topics. Devoted to communicating behavioral science to the public, she has >28K followers on Twitter and has written for the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Salon, US News and World Report, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Psychology Today. Her work has been featured in major news outlets including CNN, NPR, NBC News, ABC News, and Good Morning America.

Molly Waring, PhD

Molly Waring, PhD

Director of Methodology Core
Associate Professor
Department of Allied Health Sciences
University of Connecticut

Dr. Waring is an epidemiologist, Associate Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut, and Director of the Methodology Core of the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media. Her program of research focuses on leveraging technology and social media for health promotion, with a topical focus on weight management among pregnant and post-partum women. She has served as the PI of 4 grant-funded projects to develop and test the feasibility of interventions that deliver evidence-based weight loss strategies via social media or interactive websites, including currently a NHLBI R34 to conduct a feasibility randomized controlled trial to compare a post-partum weight loss delivered via Facebook versus in-person groups. In addition to leading digital health research studies as PI, Dr. Waring is a collaborative methodologist, serving the role of statistical scientist on projects utilizing social media for participant recruitment, intervention delivery, or public health surveillance.

Ran Xu, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Allied Health Sciences
University of Connecticut

Dr. Ran Xu is an applied statistician and Assistant Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences. His methodological research interests include (1) general quantitative methods such as causal inference methods, econometrics, and applied machine learning; (2) systems science approaches such as social network analysis, agent-based modeling and system dynamics modeling. He has developed new statistical and simulation models for longitudinal analysis, contagion effects in social networks, and implementation science within the organizational context. He also has a broad substantive research interest in social media and health, such as the spread of health misinformation, e-health communication and how social networks mediate interventions delivered by social media to affect various health outcomes. His works have appeared in peer-review journals such as Molecular Ecology, Social Science Computer Review, Social Networks and System Dynamics Review. 

Kim Gans, PhD, MPH

Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
University of Connecticut

Dr. Gans is a Professor in the University of Connecticut Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Institute for Collaboration on Health, Interventions and Policy. She is also an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Gans has a BS degree in Biology from Duke University, an MPH from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Rhode Island. She has over 30 years of experience in intervention development and evaluation research in community-based settings to improve eating habits, prevent/control obesity and/or increase physical activity. Her research utilizes mixed methods and the socio-ecologic model to develop and evaluate multi-level interventions that influence diet and physical activity behaviors across different spheres including childcare, work, school, health care settings, homes and neighborhoods. She also studies how environmental interventions interface with educational interventions to enhance behavior change. Another focus of her research is on applying computerized tailoring of behavior change interventions using print, video, web and text messaging. Most of her work has focused on underserved populations including racial/ethnic minorities, low income and/or those with low literacy levels.

Loneke T Blackman Carr, PhD, RD

Assistant Professor
Department of Nutrition
University of Connecticut

Dr. Blackman Carr is an Assistant Professor of Community and Public Health Nutrition and registered dietitian. Her research focuses on addressing inequity in obesity by optimizing the effectiveness of behavioral weight control interventions for black women. Through her work, she examines the social and cultural contexts that influence dietary and physical activity behaviors connected to weight. She has leveraged digital technologies for self-monitoring via mobile apps and Facebook to enhance social support during weight loss. In the future she will continue to harness the power and reach of mHealth technology and social media to improve dietary and physical activity behaviors to alleviate obesity and weight-related health disparities.

Joel Salisbury, MFA

Assistant Professor
Web & Interactive Media Design
University of Connecticut

Joel Salisbury is an assistant professor in the UConn Digital Media & Design Department, a founding director of the UConn DMD Digital Experience Lab, interaction designer, and web/mobile app developer. With a professional background in interactive media design, programming, and digital product management, and as a member of the UConn School of Fine Arts faculty, his current work deals with “lowering the barrier to entry” to digital solutions in health, wellness, and the community. Most recently, he has led UX design and app development on WellSCAN, a multi-year ongoing software product (collaboration with UConn’s Rudd Center), developed for use in food bank across the country. This ongoing work is supported by the Dell Foundation, Partnership for a Healthier America, and Feeding America, among others.

Salisbury has completed freelance web and mobile work for clients ranging from local companies to global brands such as Indeed.com, Land Rover North America, NADA Used Car Guides, PBS MotorWeek and Vera Bradley, Inc. Additionally, he has served as a member of several technology and marketing-related advisory groups and councils at UConn, including the Academic Technology Council, WordPress (project Aurora) Developer’s Group and Code Audit Team, Mobile Standards Committee, and the Communications & Marketing Council. Joel is also a creative partner in a local digital marketing agency.

Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
University of Connecticut

Dr. Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut, where she conducts research in the Human-Computer Interaction lab. Her research focuses broadly on the use of social media for information sharing as a form of communication. Specifically, her work investigates the effects of using social and mobile media to engage with news, health, and science content. She teaches courses on media effects, communication technology, and social media. Her work spans communication and information science, with publications and presentations in both fields.

Debs Ghosh, PhD, MPhil, MA

Associate Professor
Department of Geography
University of Connecticut

Dr. Debs Ghosh is an Associate Professor of Geography at UConn. She is also a PI of the Institute on Collaboration for Health Intervention and Policy, co-director of mHealth/ehealth research interest group, and affiliated with Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. As a health geographer, Debs’ research and teaching are primarily focused on the reciprocal relationship between ‘place’ and health, where place is a multidimensional unit, connecting people (vulnerable populations), things (facilitators and barriers), and environment. Central to this is her diverse yet complementary skill set including GIS, spatial statistics, social network analysis, mHealth (mobile-health), and more recently, designs of randomized controlled trials. Dr. Ghosh’s ultimate goal is to conduct ‘spatial behavioral interventions’ where research findings are translated to practice. Her current research, funded by NIH and foundations, among others include: effect of connections between people, places, and risks on the interface of substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, mobile technology systems for medication adherence, accessibility of healthcare in the US, Uganda, and India, and disproportionate effects of housing foreclosures on community health. Dr. Ghosh incorporates research into pedagogy by teaching seminars on ‘Health and Medical Geography’, ‘Spatial Analysis of Social Issues’, and a hands-on course on ‘GIS Applications in Health Research’.

Jolaade Kalinowski, EdD

Assistant Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Studies
University of Connecticut

Dr. Kalinowski is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her primary research interests are centered on exploring pathways between stress and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in black women, who face disproportionate CVD morbidity and mortality. To that end, she is also interested in developing novel and innovative interventions to assess and intervene on stress in black women. She is currently conducting a study utilizing  mHealth strategies for managing stress in black women with elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. She holds a doctoral degree in Health and Education from the department of Health and Behavior Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Roman Shrestha, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Department of Allied Health Sciences
University of Connecticut

Dr. Roman Shrestha is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and a Principal Investigator at the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP). He completed his doctorate at the University of Connecticut and a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Shrestha’s research has primarily centered on interventions and implementation science at the interface of HIV and substance use with a particular focus on HIV prevention and treatment issues. Specifically, his work emphasizes on the design, delivery, and placement of biomedical and behavioral interventions for optimal use in various settings. More recently, his research has evolved to include the development, adaptation, and testing of mobile technologies (mHealth) apps to improve treatment outcomes in key populations. He has conducted research in a range of settings, including community and healthcare, addiction treatment, and criminal justice settings, both domestically and internationally. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator on three NIH-funded grants and an industry-funded grant: Domestic projects (NIDA – R21DA051934 & Gilead – IN-US-412-5629) with focus on HIV and substance use prevention in people who use drugs (PWID) and International projects (NIDA – K01DA051346 & Fogarty – R21TW011665) with an emphasis on using mHealth app to promote HIV testing and linkage to HIV prevention services among sexual minority group (i.e., MSM and TGW) in Malaysia. Dr. Shrestha is also a Senior Lecturer in Medicine at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tricia Leahey, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Allied Health Sciences
University of Connecticut

Dr. Tricia Leahey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and Co-Director of the UConn Weight Management Research Group. She completed her clinical psychology internship and post-doctoral fellowship at Brown University with specializations in behavioral medicine and lifestyle interventions for obesity treatment. Dr. Leahey is a leader in the field of behavioral interventions for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Her research focuses on developing and evaluating cost-effective lifestyle interventions for obesity treatment and on testing new approaches for weight loss maintenance. Specifically, Dr. Leahey is currently PI or Co-I on several large NIH trials that involve examining the effects of patient-provided care, web-based technologies, and behavioral economics strategies to promote weight loss or weight maintenance. Her research has been continuously funded by the NIH throughout her career. She was a standing member of the NIH’s Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section, has served as Chair or Co-Chair of NIH grant review panels, reviews for over 30 scientific journals, has over 50 publications, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. Dr. Leahey has received several awards for her work including The Obesity Society’s  Excellence in Science in eHealth/mHealth Award and the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Research Citation Award. She has also been recognized for both her teaching and mentorship, including receipt of UConn’s Teaching Excellence Award and Brown University’s Psychology Research Mentor Award. Her research findings have been featured by major news outlets including NPR, The Wall Street JournalTime Magazine, ABC News, Forbes, and The Huffington Post.

Eileen Carter, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor
School of Nursing
University of Connecticut

Eileen Carter, PhD, RN is an Assistant Professor at University of Connecticut School of Nursing. Dr. Carter is a health services researcher passionate about the use of patient facing digital interventions to improve the uptake of research evidence. She has received competitive extramural grant funding to support her research pertaining to the judicious use of antibiotics and infection prevention.

Shiri Dori-Hacohen, PhD

Assistant Professor
Computer Science & Engineering
University of Connecticut

Prof. Shiri Dori-Hacohen is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Connecticut, and the Founder, CSO & Chair of the Board at AuCoDe. Her career in both academia and industry spans Google, Facebook, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst among others. She received her M.Sc. and B.Sc. (cum laude) at the University of Haifa in Israel and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she researched computational models of controversy. Prof. Dori-Hacohen is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2011 Google Lime Scholarship and first place at the 2016 UMass Amherst’s Innovation Challenge. She has taken an active leadership role in broadening participation in Computer Science on a local and global scale.

Leila Daneshmandi, PhD

Assistant Professor
School of Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Department
University of Connecticut

Dr. Leila Daneshmandi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Department. She is the co-founder and COO of Encapsulate, a biotech startup in cancer precision diagnostics that has raised over 1M in non-dilutive funding and that is conducting preclinical studies in partnership with Hartford Healthcare. Encapsulate has received numerous awards and accolades nationally and internationally including the prestigious Technology-in-Space Prize for $653k from The International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory and Boeing. Leila holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s in Global Entrepreneurship from the University of Connecticut. In 2020, she was selected as a Women of Innovation Finalist by the Connecticut Technology Council and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, and awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Scalable Venture by the Connecticut Entrepreneur Awards. Leila teaches Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship I & II to students in the Schools of Engineering and Business and is the PI for the Master’s of Engineering in Global Entrepreneurship program and the ThirdBridge Grant that are offered to student entrepreneurs by the School of Engineering.

Saraswathi (Saras) Bellur, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Communication
University of Connecticut

Saraswathi (Saras) Bellur (Ph.D., Penn State University, 2012) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Connecticut (UConn). Situated in media effects, Dr. Bellur’s research focuses on understanding the psychological and physiological effects of interactive media on key communication processes and outcomes. With several publications in flagship journals in the field, Dr. Bellur’s work has contributed to both theoretical and empirical body of knowledge surrounding interactivity research. Dr. Bellur’s research has also focused on explication and measurement issues related to interactivity, cognitive heuristics and user engagement. Dr. Bellur has co-developed a new theoretical framework called the motivational technology model, which examines how we can harness unique affordances of new media, such as interactivity, to boost individual’s intrinsic motivation, and encourage them to engage in preventive health behaviors. Her recent work has also examined the effects of media multitasking on learning and enjoyment. Dr. Bellur looks forward to pursuing innovative and collaborative projects that contribute toward a theory-driven understanding of communication technologies and their effects.

Jocelyn Steinke, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Communication
University of Connecticut

Dr. Jocelyn Steinke is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. She has served as PI for two and Co-PI for one National Science Foundation grant-funded projects. Her research focuses on the influence of media images of STEM professionals on adolescent girls’ interest in STEM and STEM identity development. She is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow, serves on the Science Communication Editorial Board, and has served as an advisory board member and consultant for several NSF-funded projects. Dr. Steinke’s research has been published in a range of interdisciplinary journals including, Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Science Communication, International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and Journalism Educator. She has served as an expert source, commenting on research on gender disparities in STEM featured in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Pacific Standard, and other publications. She received an A.B. degree in Biology and English from Mount Holyoke College, M.P.S. degree in Communication from Cornell University, and Ph.D. degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Megan O’Grady, PhD

Assistant Professor
Public Health Sciences
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Megan O’Grady is an Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Dr. O’Grady is an applied social psychologist and health services researcher. Her research and evaluation program aims to improve the system of care for and prevention of substance use disorders and focuses on three main areas: 1) implementation of integrated care practices, 2) development and implementation of technology tools for health and addiction care settings, and 3) quality improvement and systems-level interventions. She is currently a co-investigator on 4 NIH-funded studies focused on the implementation of substance use services and system-level quality improvements. Dr. O’Grady also provides evaluation support and technical assistance on SAMHSA- and State-funded projects in partnership with New York State and the State of Connecticut. In addition, she serves as a lead in the Center for Prevention Evaluation and Statistics at UConn Health. She received her PhD from Colorado State University and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine Alcohol Research Center.

Marcus Stallworth, LMSW

Academic Specialist
School of Social Work
University of Connecticut

Marcus Stallworth, LMSW, operates with a strength based, hands on approach.  Spending close to 20 years providing Child Protective Services, he is recognized by the State of Connecticut as an expert witness for providing testimony. He has spearheaded several initiatives to promote the engagement of Fathers, the prevention of abuse and neglect, and the dangers of social media. He has direct experience educating and supporting Human Trafficking and Sexually Exploited victims, including those in Foster Care. He played a leadership role in Connecticut’s Disaster Behavioral Health Response Network and oversaw recovery efforts in Newtown CT after the events on December 14, 2012. Marcus is the Director of Training and Implementation for the Child Welfare League of America. He is also co-owner of Welcome 2 Reality, LLC which focuses on providing media literacy and education for students and parents regarding social media and technology. Stallworth and his team are credited for getting Public Act 17-67 passed into law Connecticut, mandating steps be taken to provide Social Media Literacy education be taught in all public schools. He developed and taught a self-created elective entitled: “Social Media: The Good, Bad, and the Ugly” at the University of Bridgeport. He has taught courses at Post University, the University of Connecticut, the University of South Florida, and currently teaches in Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Work. Marcus serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Connecticut’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and plays a leadership role in Connecticut’s Media Literacy Advisory Council.

Jiyoun Suk, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
University of Connecticut

Jiyoun Suk is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Connecticut. She is also a core faculty member of the Program of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. In her research, she looks at how the communication processes in the contemporary media environment shape social trust, activism, and political polarization, primarily employing computational methods. Her primary line of research examines the role of networked communications in bringing out voices of social justice and equality, as in the case of the #MeToo movement. She currently looks at how digital activism is contextualized across specific geographies and social media platforms. She holds a doctoral degree in Mass Communications from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Rebecca Puhl, PhD

Professor
Department of Human Development and Family Sciences
University of Connecticut

Dr. Rebecca Puhl is Professor of Human Development & Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut. She is also the Deputy Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health where she leads research and policy efforts aimed at reducing weight-based stigma and discrimination. Dr. Puhl received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Yale University. She has authored more than 160 research articles on topics including weight-based bullying in youth, the impact of weight stigma on health, weight stigma in health care and the media, and policy strategies to reduce weight-based bullying and discrimination. As a national research expert on weight stigma, Dr. Puhl has testified in legislative hearings on weight discrimination and routinely provides expertise on strategies to reduce weight stigma to national and international health organizations. She has also developed evidence-based trainings to reduce weight bias in health care that have been implemented in medical facilities across the U.S., and her work is frequently cited in the U.S. national media. Dr. Puhl has received multiple national awards for her research, from organizations like the National Eating Disorders Coalition, the Obesity Action Coalition, and The Obesity Society who selected Dr. Puhl as the recipient of the national scientific achievement award for excellence in an established research career. She was also the inaugural recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Research Award in Public Scholarship at the University of Connecticut. You can visit www.uconnruddcenter.org for more information about Dr. Puhl’s work.

Rory McGloin, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Communication
University of Connecticut

Rory McGloin, Ph.D. is an award-winning communication professor at the University of Connecticut. Rory’s career in higher education spans 15+ years, including engagements with over 10,000 learners to date and 31 peer-reviewed journal publications. During this time, Rory has curated a wealth of knowledge on how the process of communication impacts every element of our lives. Rory’s current work is focused on the use of communication best practices in organizational training and development programs. Rory’s mission is centered around the improvement of employees’ communication skills through an increased value of communication. Rory is also an entrepreneur who owns and operates his own communication consulting firm, in which he shares his expertise with organizations seeking to engage in meaningful transformations through the power and value of effective communication.

ACADEMIC PARTNERS

EMMANUEL AGU

Emmanuel Agu, PhD

Associate Professor
WPI Computer Science

Emmanuel Agu is currently an associate professor in the computer science department at WPI having received his Masters and PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research interests are in the areas of computer graphics, mobile computing, and wireless networks. He is especially interested in research into how to use a smartphone as a platform to deliver better healthcare. In collaboration with researchers at WPI and at UMass Medical School, he is currently working on an NSF research project that will design and develop a mobile application for advanced diabetes and wound care management for users with foot ulcers. His research has been funded by the NSF, the US department of education, US Army Research Labs, Google, Nvidia and AMD. His research has been published in various ACM and IEEE conferences.

DAVID ATKIN

David Atkin, PhD
Department of Communication
University of Connecticut

Dr. Atkin’s research interests include the uses and effects of new media – including a current project investigating uses of the Internet for health information. In 1999, Dr. Atkin received the Kreighbaum Under 40 Award, recognizing the field’s top junior journal scholar, and in 2000, he received a University Distinguished Scholar Award. He has taught courses on communication and campaigns, in addition to doing research on the diffusion of new media technologies. He has worked on research grants and contracts supported by the Ameritech Foundation, Cleveland State University, Crowell and Moring Attorneys at Law, the National Association of Broadcasters, Northern Telecom University Interaction Program and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Education. Dr. Atkin also serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media and Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly & the American Journal of Media Psychology.

ED BOUDREAUX

Edwin Boudreaux, PhD

Professor
Department of Medicine
UMass Medical School

Dr. Boudreaux is a Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Emergency Medicine, Psychiatry, and Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine. He has extensive experience with applying ecological momentary assessments (EMA) with medical patients. He has recently completed a NIDA funded study that created a cell phone- delivered, interactive voice response EMA assessment for cardiac patients who smoked cigarettes. He is particularly interested in measuring how affective and stress states influence health behaviors.

SOPHIE DESROCHES

Sophie Desroches, RD, PhD

Associate Professor
Laval University School of Nutrition

Dr. Sophie Desroches, PhD, RD, is an Associate Professor at the School of Nutrition of Laval University, in Quebec City, Canada. She is also a research scientist at the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods and at the Population Health and Optimal Health Practices Research Unit, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Quebec (CHU de Quebec), of Laval University. Her research program aims to study the conceptual, methodological and practical bases for developing and evaluating knowledge translation strategies that will optimize adherence to dietary advice. She is the lead author of the Cochrane systematic review “Interventions for enhancing adherence to dietary advice for preventing and managing chronic diseases”. Her more recently funded research projects have explored shared decision making in nutrition counseling, and the use of social media, and more specifically blogs, as knowledge translation strategies to enhance adherence to evidence-based dietary advice for preventing and managing chronic diseases.

WERNER KUNZ

Werner Kunz, PhD

Associate Professor
College of Management

Werner H. Kunz is Associate Professor of Marketing and Director of the Global Center for Digital Media and Innovative Services at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He received his doctorate from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. His research interests are in social media, social networks, innovation, and service marketing. His work has been published in the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Service Management, and Computational Statistics and was multiple times awarded. Werner Kunz is member of the editorial board of the Journal of Service Management, Journal of Service Marketing, Journal of Business Market Management and International Journal of Marketing Studies and he is the current chair of the Service Marketing Special Interest Group (SERVSIG) of the American Marketing Association (AMA).

ROSALYN NEGRON

Rosalyn Negrón, PhD

Associate Professor
UMass Boston Anthropology

Rosalyn Negrón is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, specializing in urban social anthropology. Broadly, Rosalyn’s research deals with the interpersonal dimensions of ethnicity in diverse cities, with a special focus on social interaction and social networks. With a range of applications, Rosalyn’s work bridges multiple substantive and methodological areas, including social network analysis, sociolinguistics, health disparities, and disparities in STEM participation. She has conducted research in Jamaica, Florida, New York City, and Boston. Rosalyn’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Ford Foundation, and the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity.

LORI PBERT

Lori Pbert, PhD

Professor
Department of Medicine
UMass Medical School

Dr. Pbert is a Professor of Medicine, Associate Chief of the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and founder and Director of the Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training (CTTRT). She is a Clinical Psychologist and clinical and translational researcher specializing in tobacco and obesity prevention and treatment, optimizing organization and health care systems to improve delivery of health care services, development and evaluation of clinician-delivered behavior-change interventions protocols, and chronic care management. Dr. Pbert has an interest in the use of technology to enhance the reach, acceptability, and effectiveness of health behavior change interventions, particularly in adolescent and difficult to reach populations. Current related work includes the use of a smartphone app to help adolescent smokers learn and apply mindfulness in their efforts to quit, and the use of the photovoice method to enhance the design, content and delivery of patient navigation linking low SES and minority patients with tobacco treatment. Dr. Pbert is involved in multiple national and international collaborations and has been continuously funded by NIH for her research programs. She is a Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and was elected to the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research for her national and international behavioral medicine research work.

MILAGROS ROSAL

Milagros C. Rosal, MS, PhD

Professor
Department of Medicine
UMass Medical School

Dr. Milagros C. Rosal is a Professor in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and a faculty member in theh Clinical and Population Health Research Ph.D.  Program. Dr. Rosal is a health disparities researcher specializing in clinical trials of health behavior change interventions that address cultural preferences and literacy needs of socio-economically disadvantaged and racial/ethnic minority populations at risk for obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases.  Dr. Rosal has content expertise in the areas of diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, gestational weight gain and post-partum weight loss, adherence to cancer screening recommendations, psychosocial influences on health, and health care utilization. Dr. Rosal has an interest in the use of technology for increasing the reach of behavioral interventions to populations that bear the burden of health disparities click here and here for recent publications. Dr. Rosal directs the Research Center for Behavior and Community Health Solutions in the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine. She is Co-Director of the CDC-funded UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center (PRC), and Co-PI of the NIH/NIMHD Center for Health Equity Intervention Research, funded by the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities. Dr. Rosal is involved in several national and international collaborations and her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Dr. Rosal is a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and a member of several professional organizations, including the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.

CAROLINA RUIZ

Carolina Ruiz, PhD

Associate Professor
WPI Computer Science

Carolina Ruiz’s research interests are in data mining, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Together with her graduate and undergraduate students, colleagues in computer science and biology, and medical doctors, Ruiz investigates and develops data mining algorithms for genomics and for clinical medicine. In addition to being a faculty member in computer science, she is a founder and active member of the bioinformatics and computational biology program at WPI. She enjoys teaching courses, and advising undergraduate and graduate research projects in data mining and machine learning.

BENGISU TULU
Bengisu Tulu, PhD
Associate Professor
WPI School of Business

Areas of expertise include design and development of health information technologies, implementation of health information technologies, and implications of health information technologies on healthcare organizations and consumers.