Florida Prevention Research Center

Graduate Assistants & Volunteers

Aldenise is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health. She joined the Florida Prevention Research Center as a graduate assistant in December 2014 and has been involved with numerous research projects related to colorectal cancer prevention and screening interventions.  Aldenise takes interest in social justice issues and eliminating health inequities through community-engaged research and social marketing.  She received her Masters of Public Health from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Behavioral Science and Health Education (2011).  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University in Spanish and Medicine, Health and Society (2009).
Vijay Prajapati is a graduate research assistant at the Florida Prevention Research Center. As an assigned graduate assistant to Dr. Claudia Parvanta, Director, FPRC, his duties include project management at the FPRC as well as the Chiles Center. It includes evaluation and dissemination for center’s research projects, site visits, qualitative and quantitative data assessment, program management and social media marketing. He is a first year Masters in public health student studying epidemiology at College of Public health at University of South Florida. He acquired his bachelor’s in dental surgery from Gujarat University, India in 2016. His focus of interests lie in the field of health disparities, cancer screening surveillance, infant mortality, oral and maxillofacial disorders and chronic infectious diseases.
Silvia Sommariva is a doctoral student in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida. She has an MPA from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, State University of New York and a MSc from Bocconi University (Milan, Italy). At the FPRC, she is a research assistant for the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Social Marketing and Social Change, working on social marketing training development and research. Her research interests are immigrant and minority health disparities, social marketing and health communication.
Juliana is a Masters in Public Health candidate for Public Health Education at the University of South Florida College of Public Health. She has been a graduate assistant at the FPRC since Fall 2018 where she started as OPS. She has been a part of the FQHC intervention and has gone to the replenishing trips to Orlando/Sanford. She continues to attend health fairs where we showcase the inflatable colon and advocate for CRC screening. She is working on finalizing the Protect Your Assets website, which is the employer-based resource that serves as a guide for how to increase screenings for CRC for employees through health promotion. Currently, she is in the process of working on other topics that employers have an interest in for their employees where we can model what we have done with CRC, for other topics. In the future, she hopes to get her Ph.D. and work at a university continuing to promote health among communities, especially in college populations.
Joannie Marlene Bewa is a research assistant at the Florida Prevention Research Center (FPRC), University of South Florida. She earned a Doctorate in Medicine (MD) from Faculte des Sciences de la Sante (FSS), Universite d’Abomey Calavi in Benin Republic, a Master’s degree in public health specialized in maternal and child health from the University of South Florida where she is also pursuing a PhD in Public Health. She is certified in public health (CPH) with academic training and experience in maternal health, adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health, contraception, breastfeeding, autism and colorectal cancer.

 She joined the Florida Prevention Research Center in 2018 and is currently co-leading the Southwest Florida Cancer Collaborative (SWFCCC) activities, as well as assessing refugees and immigrants’ reproductive health needs. Her previous research has focused on the cost of vaginal delivery and caesarian sections and its affordability for households in Benin, on identifying barriers to breastfeeding in Florida, and serving as an evaluation and research assistant for Complex Systems Innovation on a five million dollar grant from SAHMSA which aimed at improving the system of care and access to substance abuse treatment in North Carolina. In 2018, she won the USF Health Best Research Poster award for her research on assessing the relationship between child autism and severity on maternal mental health, was awarded the USF Health WELL Grant for Cultural Competency Workshops, as well as the inaugural Lisa De Safey Interdisciplinary Award for her innovative research on improving patient’s centered communication using mobile applications technologies. She is a teaching assistant and co-teaches public health courses.

Prior to joining USF, she was practicing as a physician and led international maternal, sexual, reproductive health projects and advocacy initiatives with nonprofits, United Nations agencies and bilateral donors in Africa, Europe and America. She served as a technical consultant for the United Nations Fund for Population, Oxfam Quebec, One World UK, and HIV /AIDS Young Leaders Fund.

Emily Coughlin is a graduate research assistant at the FPRC and a Master of Public Health student in Epidemiology and Global Health Practice. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion and Behavior from the University of Georgia where she researched Zika and infant feeding in emergencies. Her work at the FPRC includes website creation, graphic design, social marketing and assisting with data analysis. She is pursuing a career in cancer epidemiology research and hopes to study the relationship between physical activity and cancer prevention and survivorship. 
Emanuelle Dias serves as a graduate research assistant at the Florida Prevention Research Center. In this position, Ms. Dias is gaining experience with grant writing, data analysis, manuscripts, and conference abstract development, along with working with interdisciplinary professional teams to disseminate products for the center. In addition, Ms. Dias serves as a Health Communications Specialist at the Birth Defects Surveillance Program, producing health education materials for the Florida Department of Health. Ms. Dias received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology in 2017 and will complete her Master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Public Health Education in 2019. Her research interests include minority health, cancer prevention and control, and implementation science/quality improvement efforts.
Andrea Espina Rey is a graduate research assistant working on a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology and a Graduate Certificate in Biostatistics at USF. She returned to USF after receiving a bachelor’s of science in Microbiology in 2015. Currently, her duties at the FPRC include quantitative data analysis, field visits, and English-Spanish translation. Her interests are on cardiovascular disease, opioid addiction, cancer prevention, environmental health and clinical research. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering as a medical interpreter and health promoter at free clinics locally and abroad.
Bola Yusuf is a graduate student in the Master of Public Health program at the University of South Florida, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health. She is also a foreign trained physician with experience in general practice. Bola is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at the Florida Prevention Research Center where she assists with the center’s research projects. Some of her duties at the FPRC include data entry and analysis, conducting literature reviews, and writing abstracts for conference presentations. She also assists in writing reports of research findings, manuscripts and in field work projects. She is interested in health disparities, reducing maternal morbidity and mortality, adolescent health, and cancer prevention. 

The College of Public Health at the University of South Florida is the parent organization for the Florida Prevention Research Center and is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreement number 1-U48-DP-005024.