Anna Austin is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Maternal and Child Health. She received an MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from Yale School of Public Health and worked as a Fellow for the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers Partnership. She was also a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow at NC DPH|IVPB and received the CDC/CSTE Hillary B. Foulkes Memorial Award. Research interests include the prevention of child maltreatment and other adverse childhood experiences, and parenting in the context of substance use.
Natalie Blackburn is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Behavior at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. She holds a Master’s in Public Health in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University. Prior to starting the PhD program at UNC Natalie was an ORISE fellow in the Division of Viral Hepatitis at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta where she focused on strengthening the evidence for screening of hepatitis C among persons who use drugs. Her research interests include treatment for opioid use disorders and the implementation of substance use treatment services in infectious disease clinical settings.
Jess Bousquette is a first-year MPH student in Health Behavior. She received a BA in International Studies: Political Science from the University of California San Diego. Prior to attending the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Jess served as the Child Protection Policy Advisor at World Vision, where she focused on violence against children, child labor and children affected by armed conflict. Her research interests include the prevention of adverse childhood experiences, social determinants of health, and school-based interventions.
Venita Embry is a third-year Health Behavior doctoral student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Since graduating with her MPH at Emory University, she has worked on a variety of research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects related to behavioral health, violence, health services, and criminal justice outcomes. For six years, she has worked at RTI International in the Center for Courts and Corrections which is housed in the division of Applied Justice Research. Her research interests include violence prevention interventions, court system responses to public health problems, and the effects of justice involvement on health.
Alex Gertner is a sixth-year MD/PhD candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management. He received a BA in Anthropology with a certificate in Global Health and Health Policy from Princeton University and worked as a coordinator for the Health and Human Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. He is the recipient of a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. His research interests include the effects of state and federal policies on overdose and suicide rates.
Laurie Graham is a fifth-year doctoral candidate in the School of Social Work. Prior to the doctoral program, she received an MSW from UNC-Chapel Hill and worked at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, first as the Crisis Response Coordinator and then as Programs Director. Ms. Graham has worked in gender-based violence intervention and prevention for over 10 years in varying capacities. She received the Hometown Hero Award from 97.9 WCHL and Performance AutoMall and the Statewide Peer Support Award from the NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Currently, as a recipient of the Caroline H. and Thomas S. Royster Fellowship from the UNC Graduate School, her research focuses on the prevention of sexual and intimate partner violence perpetration. She is particularly interested in prevention work with vulnerable and underserved communities, as well as the development, implementation, and evaluation of strategies that prevent the perpetration of multiple types of violence.
Sarah Treves-Kagan is a doctoral candidate in the Health Behavior department in the Gillings Global School of Public Health. Her research focuses on structural approaches to preventing violence, with a specific focus on gender-based violence and sexual assault among vulnerable populations. She has published her research in several peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, PLoS One, BMC Public Health, Global Public Health, and AIDS and Behavior. She has also received several fellowships and awards including the Royster Society of Fellows award and the Jamie Kimble Scholarship for Courage while at UNC; and the Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau Traineeship with at the University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Master in Public Health from the Maternal and Child Health department at the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Catherine Paquette is a second-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program. She received her master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. Before graduate school, she worked as a program manager at a community-based public health non-profit in Washington, D.C. that provides direct services to sex workers and people who use drugs. She also worked for two years at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, where she worked on NIDA-funded projects addressing the health impacts of injection drug use. Her research interests include treatments for substance use and health risk behaviors, with a focus on empirically-supported interventions and harm reduction approaches for underserved and high risk populations such as people who inject drugs.
Kathleen Shumaker is a 2nd year MSW student in the School of Social Work with a concentration in Community Management and Policy Practice, and MPH student in the School of Public Health in the Maternal and Child Health department. Previously, she worked at InterAct as a Youth Education Specialist and a Crisis Intervention Counselor, providing support and resources to people experiencing intimate partner and family violence. She has partnered with Wake County Schools, local universities, and other community organizations to bring a violence prevention curriculum, focusing on the prevention of dating violence and sexual assault, to students ages 8-24. She also facilitated a psycho educational group for children exposed to domestic violence. Her research interests include juvenile justice and the school to prison pipeline, community violence, restorative justice, and trauma-responsive interventions to keep children engaged and supported in school.
Venera Urbaeva is a second-year MPH student in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. She has a graduate degree in international human rights and has worked in the area of child protection and child rights promotion in development and humanitarian contexts for over 8 years. She is a current Rotary Peace Fellow. Her interests include the prevention of child abuse and violence against children, program monitoring and evaluation, and adolescent health programming. She is a national of Kyrgyzstan, a small, mountainous country, located in the heart of Central Asia.