Nicole Brasseur is a Master of Public Health student in the Department of Community and Family Health focusing in Health Education and Maternal Child Health. During her undergraduate degree, she majored in Interdisciplinary Studies with a self-designed focus in Cultural Contexts of Gender at Miami University. Nicole's research interests include women's health, STI and unintended pregnancy prevention, preconception care, and family planning. Although she had been interested in women's health for some time, Nicole found her passion for health promotion while serving as a Health Extension Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Madagascar. Nicole believes that although women have unique health needs, numerous gender disparities exist in health statuses and health care because of larger soci-cultural complications. Nicole adds to the collaborative efforts of CTR-WH through her interdisciplinary training and enthusiasm for women's health issues.
Amanda Ellis is a second-year, Behavioral Health MPH student in the Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, at the University of South Florida. She holds a B.A. from the University of South Florida in Anthropology, with a minor in Public Health. Her research interests include children's mental health services, adolescent suicide prevention, positive youth development, and program evaluation. She has performed data collection and analysis, social marketing, and fundraising with Girls on the Run, a positive youth development through sport program for 3rd-5th grade girls. As part of her field experience, she is conducting an outcome evaluation of Girls on the Run, in collaboration with the USF Healthy Weight Clinic. Her background in anthropology, mental health service delivery, program development, evaluation, and event planning contribute to the holistic approach of the CTR-WH.
Nolan Kline, M.A.
Nolan Kline is a PhD student in the department of Anthropology and an MPH student in Community and Family Health. He holds a MA in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida, and a B.A. from Rollins College. Nolan's research interests include social determinants of health, health disparities, im/migrant health, oral health, the political economy of healthcare, and the syndemic interaction between numerous health conditions. Nolan's interest in women's health stems from a broader interest in vulnerable populations' disparate access to health services, increased burden of health problems, and higher rates of poverty hindering access to healthcare. Worldwide, women experience a higher burden of poverty in addition to a higher burden of disease than men for numerous health concerns. At the CTR-WH, Nolan's work is informed by a critical medical anthropology perspective. As a dual degree PhD/MPH student, Nolan's training is transdisciplinary in nature, and he embraces collaborative research.
Erika Thompson, M.P.H.
Erika Thompson is currently a first year doctoral student in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of South Florida. She has a Bachelors in Health Science and a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology from the University of Florida. While conducting research at the University of Florida, she discovered her interests in maternal and child health and women's health. Erika believes that women's health is an important component to our public's health. By improving the health of women, we can set the foundation for healthy babies and families. Erika brings the epidemiology perspective to the transdisciplinary team.
Laura Merrell, M.P.H., C.P.H.
Laura Merrell is currently a second year doctoral student in the Department of Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida. She has an MPH in Global Health from the University of South Florida and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Laura’s research interests lie in maternal and child health. Specifically, she is interested in the formation of attitudes and perceptions towards mode of birth and obstetric intervention among women. Also interested in global health, Laura has done research on obstetric fistula in Niger and the role of village health workers to provide community based primary care in rural India. She first became interested in women’s health as an undergraduate political science student learning that poor health, lack of education, and disenfranchisement not only affected women, but prevented the achievement of sustainable development. Along with her enthusiasm for women’s health and passion for women’s rights, Laura brings a systems thinking approach to the center.
Laura Marsh is currently working on Master of Public Health, specializing in Maternal and Child Health in the Department of Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science at the University of Michigan. During her undergraduate career, she shadowed physicians in a private practice and at an area-of-need obstetrics/gynecology clinic in Toledo, OH. These experiences showed her the huge disparities present between those with insurance and those without, motivating her to pursue a degree in Public Health. Her interest in women's health has been ongoing; she believes women tend to be underrepresented in research and medicine, even though their needs are unique. Laura's research interests focus on women's health, both reproductive and non-reproductive, as well as eating disorders in college women. Nutrition and physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle are also interests, which she shares as a Girls on the Run coach. Laura brings leadership, organizational, and writing skills to CTR-WH.
Erin O'Connell is a student in the Accelerated Second Bachelor's Degree Program in the USF College of Nursing. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and a Master of Public Health with a major in Reproductive Health from Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. Erin discovered her passion for health, and particularly women's health, while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland, the country with the highest HIV prevalence in the world. She has been trained in epidemiology through a two year Fellowship with the Florida Department of Health's Epidemic Intelligence Service and worked as an epidemiologist for the Miami-Dade County Health Department. Her primary research interests are in the areas of global health, maternal and child health and infectious disease surveillance. As a nursing student, she also hopes to bring a clinical perspective to the CTR-WH and she is excited to be a part of diverse, collaborative projects that enhance and promote women's health.
Mackenzie Tewell is a dual master's student in the College of Public Health (Department of Community and Family Health) and the Department of Anthropology. Mackenzie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests include sexuality and health, HIV/AIDS, sociocultural determinants of health and health disparities. She is currently conducting research with a local organization providing case management, housing, food and emergency assistance and counseling among HIV positive individuals in Tampa. By conducting interviews, she seeks to gain an understanding of how an HIV positive diagnosis affects the experiences of sexuality and intimacy among black/African American women. Mackenzie's past research includes assessing HPV and cervical cancer awareness among rural Costa Rican women. At the CTR-WH, Mackenzie hopes to contribute through an anthropological perspective, and with her experience conducting qualitative research on sensitive, often stigmatized topics in women's health.
Christopher Wheldon, MSPH, M. Ed.
Christopher Wheldon is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Community and Family Health. His research interests are in the areas of health behavior and education. His current research projects focus on HPV prevention and related behaviors, specifically in sexual minority populations. He is also interested in the interpersonal processes that link men's and women's health outcomes. Chris's educational background is psychology, women's studies, education, and public health. Pulling from his diverse background in the social sciences, he approaches women's health issues (and men's health) from a gender-relations approach that emphasizes the role of structural relationships and social institutions in the production of health disparities and associated health behaviors. Utilizing this approach to women's health, along with his interest in reducing health disparities experienced by LGBT populations, Chris brings a unique perspective to the center and its research activities.