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Research Assistants

Adrian Bertrand

Adrian Bertrand is a BS-MS student in the Department of Health Studies. Adrian is currently working on a research project with Dr. Liz Cotter on the Common Threads Grant, a study, which aims to understand parents and children opinions on health and ways to improve future cooking and health programs. His graduate research thesis focuses on the influence of social media on health behaviors within the hispanic population in Washington DC. His research interests are in youth health, education and artificial intelligence and digital technologies as tools to enhance health promotion programs.

Feven Fisseha

Feven Fisseha is a PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program at American University. She is currently working with Dr. Kate Gunthert at the Stress and Emotion Lab where she is analyzing data from multiple research projects that primarily focus on the role of sleep on various health outcomes, including emotion regulation, stress perception, and the development of psychopathology.

Genae Hatcher

Genae Hatcher is a senior in the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program pursuing a BA in Sociology with a minor in Public Health. She is passionate about global health and particularly interested in nutrition and eliminating food insecurity, mental health care access and utilization, sexual health, and sexual violence prevention. She is currently working as a research assistant with Dr. Deanna Kerrigan and Wendy Davis to explore community-based combination HIV prevention in Tanzanian women at heightened risk.

Daniel Jenks

Daniel Jenks is a BA student in Sociology finishing up their senior year. They are working with Dr. Ernesto Castañeda on researching health disparities and unaccompanied youth present in Central American communities within the DMV. Their research interests include the intersections between geography, environment, and economics - including migration, community-building, and sustainability.

Mariam Khan

Mariam Khan is a PhD student in the Department of Public Administration and Policy. She is currently working with Dr. Taryn Morrissey on a research project, which examines the effect of the availability of Head Start programs on children’s health. Her dissertation will focus on the societal impacts of paid family leave, including its impact on female workforce and the health outcomes of children and parents.

Cristian Mendoza Gomez

Cristian Mendoza Gomez is a first-year student and a Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholar. He is an intended Public Health major with a potential Sociology double major or minor. He is working with Dr Kerrigan with research in empowering female sex workers living with HIV. His interests include global public health, health disparities, and HIV/AIDS research. 

Ingrid Noriega

Ingrid Noriega pursued a bachelor's degree from the School of International Service while at American University. She assisted Dr. Deanna Kerrigan, Tahilin Karver, and Wendy Davis with an international health HIV/AIDs research project targeting vulnerable populations of the Dominican Republic and Tanzania. Ingrid's primary interests are in the public health, social services, and economic development sectors.

Dashiell Nusbaum

Dashiell Nusbaum (Dash) is a Sophomore majoring in Sociology. He is also interested in the fields of statistics and data science. Dashiell is currently working with Professor Molly Dondero on a project examining the association between immigration policies, enforcement actions and the health of immigrants and their children in the United States. In addition to the sociology of immigration, the sociology of sport and demography also intrigue Dash.

Anthony Orsino

Anthony Orsino is currently a second-year Public Health (BS) major at American University with a minor in Health Promotion. Anthony is currently working with Dr. Cotter in the Behavior Health and Well-being Lab. He looks forward to gaining experience and insight into different focuses within the fields of public health, health promotion, and psychology in this role. After graduation, Anthony hopes to pursue his Master of Public Health degree and enlist in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. 

Julia Remy

Julia Remy is a junior majoring in Public Health in the Department of Health Studies with a focus on health science and global health. She loves to travel and just returned from a semester in Nairobi, Kenya. Her research is with Dr. Maria de Jesus and focuses on female sex workers with HIV living in the Dominican Republic.

Blaine Smith

Blaine Smith is a BA-MA student in Sociology and Political Science. He currently serves as a Research Assistant for Dr. Ernesto Castañeda's research on homelessness and health disparities in El Paso, TX. He also works as a Research Specialist at Whitman-Walker Health on a sexual health study for young MSM of color. His research interests including housing and homelessness, urban communities, sexualities, and social policy.

Emma Vetter

Emma Vetter is an MA student in Sociology Research and Practice. She currently works as a Research Assistant for Dr. Nicole Angotti, piloting research methods to study aging South Africans. Her research interests include social networks, historical sociology, and health sociology.

Neely Wester

Neely Wester is a MA student in Sociology Research and Practice. She is currently working as a research assistant with Dr. Nicole Angotti, examining aging with HIV/AIDS in rural South Africa. Her research interests focus on power dynamics and community conflict resolution and cohesion in post-colonial societies.