DHP Post-Doc Fellows
- Ashley Townes, PhD, MPH
- Krishna Kiran Kota, PhD, MS
- Neetu Abad, PhD, MA (2011-2013)
- Tiffiany Cummings Aholou, PhD, MSW (2014-2016)
- Erin Bradley, PhD, MPH (2016-2019)
- Darigg Brown, PhD (2009-2011)
- Taleria R. Fuller, PhD, MA (2004-2006)
- Malendie T. Gaines, DrPH, MPH (2018-2020)
- Angelica Geter, DrPH, MPH (2016-2019)
- Tanisha S. Grimes, PhD, MPH (2009-2011)
- Grace Hall, PhD, MPH (2014-2016)
- Kirk D. Henny, PhD, MA (2004-2006)
- Darrel H. Higa, PhD, MSW (2009-2011)
- Gladys Ibanez, PhD (2002-2004)
- Emiko Kamitani, PhD, RN (2014-2016)
- Yzette Lanier, PhD, MS (2009-2011)
- Ashley C. Lima, PhD, MPH (2016-2019)
- Khiya Marshall Mullins, DrPH (2007-2009)
- Mercedes M. Morales-Alemán, PhD (2011-2013)
- Carolyn P. Parks, PhD (2007-2008)
- Carla A. Stokes, PhD, MPH (2002-2004)
- Carlos Toledo, PhD (2002-2004)
- Lari Warren-Jeanpiere, PhD, MA (2007-2009)
- Scyatta Wallace, PhD (2002-2004)
- Kim Williams, PhD, MSW (2002-2004)
- Leigh A. Willis PhD, MPH (2007-2009)
Current DHP Post-Doc Fellows
Ashley Townes, PhD, MPH
Dr. Ashley Townes earned a PhD in Health Behavior with a minor in Epidemiology from Indiana University-Bloomington, and an MPH and a BS in Health Promotion and Education from the University of Cincinnati. Her broad interests include understanding the sexual experiences of African American/Black women accessing health information and utilizing sexual health services. Prior to becoming an ORISE HIV Prevention in Communities of Color postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Townes served as Epidemiologist for the Ohio Department of Health.
As an ORISE fellow, Dr. Townes has worked on projects that examined trends of HIV diagnoses among Black/African American adolescents and adults, and racial and ethnic disparities among persons living with undiagnosed HIV infection. Additionally, Dr. Townes’ work focused on PrEP use and adherence among transgender persons, HIV testing patterns and PrEP indications among Black/African American women.
Dr. Townes has co-authored MMWR assessing HIV testing behaviors using commercial and Medicaid insurance data and has collaborated across DHP to conduct systematic reviews, update national guidelines (i.e., non-occupational post exposure prophylaxis and HIV cluster, detection, and response), and contribute to efforts to address HIV-related stigma. Thus far, Dr. Townes has presented her work at two conferences – Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (2021) and International Association of Providers of AIDS Care (IAPAC) Adherence Conference (2021) and other platforms within DHP.
Krishna Kiran Kota, PhD, MS
Dr. Krishna Kiran Kota earned a PhD in Public Health from Georgia State University, a Master of Science in Biotechnology from Georgetown University. During his PhD training, Dr. Kota served as a fellow VECD Global Health Fellowship, at the National AIDS Research Institute, Pune, India. Dr. Kota’s research examined the role of psychosocial factors associated with HIV risk and health disparities among transgender women (TGW) in the US. Dr. Kota conducted a mixed-methods study examining the syndemic effects of mental health outcomes, substance use, and violence victimization on HIV risk in TGW, and men who have sex with men (MSM), in India.
As a Communities of Color postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Kota received training at the Office of Health Equity and HIV Research Branch. In Office of Health Equity, Dr. Kota’s training focused on two studies on HIV prevention strategies and stigma, discrimination, and mental health outcomes among TGW, and another study that examined the social determinants of health and racial/ethnic disparities in HIV diagnoses among US adults. Dr. Kota’s training, in the HIV Research Branch, focused on two studies on reasons and barriers for PrEP uptake and preferences for future PrEP options among MSM. Dr. Kota has a stellar publication and presentation record including fourteen publications in peer-reviewed journals including AIDS Patient Care and STDs, Journal International AIDS Society, AIDS, and Public Health Reports and oral presentations at APHA.
Former DHP Post-Doc Fellows
Dr. Neetu Abad earned her PhD and M.A. in Social Psychology from the University of Missouri, and her B.A. in Psychology, English, and Women’s Studies from Truman State University. During her time as an ORISE fellow in the Prevention Research Branch in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the CDC, Dr. Abad received training and mentorship in providing scientific expertise and technical guidance to the Operational Research Team and the Research Synthesis and Translation Team. Projects on these teams involved the adaptation of evidence-based behavioral interventions for incarcerated girls and women and a systematic review of HIV/STI prevention interventions for female commercial sex workers. Dr. Abad has presented her research at numerous scientific meetings, including the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues, the American Public Health Association, the STD Prevention Conference, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene.
Dr. Abad is currently a behavioral scientist in the Global Immunization Division at CDC focusing on assessing and intervening on the behavioral drivers of vaccine hesitancy globally. She also served as a behavioral scientist in the 2014 West Africa Ebola Outbreak Response, and in the Division of STD Prevention. She conducts research and programmatic work on understanding behavioral and structural factors underlying undervaccination in lower and middle-income countries, the sexual transmission of Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fevers, HIV/STI transmission among at-risk populations, and preventing gender-based violence.
Dr. Tiffiany Cummings Aholou earned a PhD in Child and Family Development with a certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies at The University of Georgia, an MSW from Clark Atlanta University, and a BA from Michigan State University. As an ORISE DHAP Community of Color Fellow, she served on the Minority Health and Health Equity (MHHE) Activity of the Epidemiology Branch. Dr. Aholou worked on several projects that focused on health disparities among various populations disproportionately affected by HIV. She was the lead qualitative analyst/author on three co-authored research publications that addressed: 1) Black heterosexual men’s behaviors and disclosure patterns after participation in an HIV testing random control trial; 2) Black pastors’ perspectives around HIV-related stigma and the role of the Black Church in rural Alabama; and 3) missed opportunities for HIV prevention communication during sexual and intimate encounters among Black gay and bisexual men in NYC. Dr. Aholou also co-authored a book chapter entitled The Social, Structural, and Clinical Context of HIV Prevention and Care for Black/African American and Hispanic Women/Latinas in the United States as well as collaborated scientist across DHAP on a manuscript that examined protective and risk factors among women in the US using a national dataset. In addition, Dr. Aholou led the adaptation of a faith-based HIV-related stigma reduction intervention for faith communities in rural settings. During her tenure as a fellow, Dr. Aholou presented her work at two national conferences – American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (2015) and National HIV Prevention Conference (2015) and other platforms within DHAP.
Presently, Dr. Aholou is a Behavioral Scientist, HIV Prevention Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB, Center for Global Health, CDC.
Dr. Erin Bradley earned a PhD and MPH in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University, and a BA in Psychology from Spelman College. Her broad interests include research methods, measurement, and intervention development, with an emphasis on multilevel interventions to address intrapersonal, social, and/or structural factors that contribute to disparities. Most of her work focuses on women and African Americans. Prior to becoming an HIV Prevention in Communities of Color (CoC) postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Bradley was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Spelman College, and a Senior Public Health Program Associate at Emory University where she worked on several NIH-funded HIV/STI risk reduction studies for African-American adolescent and young adult women. As a CoC fellow, Dr. Bradley received mentorship and training in providing technical support to Minority AIDS Research Initiative grantees for the Minority Health and Health Equity Activity of the Epidemiology Branch and to special projects in the Office of Health Equity. She also received training and mentorship through participating on CDC work groups and committees, including a discussion series with women’s HIV prevention experts to identify preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use barriers for women. Her equity-focused research examined disparities in HIV diagnoses among women, strategies to increase PrEP uptake among women, the role of psychological and social determinants in treatment adherence and viral suppression among black women with HIV, acceptability of HIV testing in dental clinics, and the effectiveness of a faith-based HIV stigma reduction intervention. Manuscripts stemming from her work have been published in the Journal of Women’s Health, Women’s Health Issues, Health Equity, Health Promotion Practice, AIDS Care, PLOS One, and MMWR.
Dr. Bradley is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health at Agnes Scott College.
Dr. Darigg C. Brown earned a PhD in Biobehavioral Health from the Pennsylvania State University, an MPH from Saint Louis University and a BS in Environmental Health from the University of Georgia. During his post-doctoral research experience with the Prevention Research Branch (PRB), he divided his time between the Intervention Research Team and the Research Synthesis and Translation Team. Dr. Brown lent his expertise to the Preventing African-American Transmission of HIV/AIDS among Heterosexual Men (PATHH4Men) Project in the areas of intervention component testing and curriculum development to funded grantees. He also provided assistance to project officers and received training on duties related to a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for 12 cities to develop Enhanced Comprehensive HIV Prevention Plans (ECHPP). Another major component of Dr. Brown’s activities was a systematic review conducted with a team of other branch staff. The review involved synthesizing and coding relevant intervention literature related to HIV medication adherence, which later became a published meta-analysis. His work with PRB also included a first author book chapter on African Americans and HIV (in Hall, Hall & Cockrell, 2011).
Currently, Dr. Brown is a Research Public Health Analyst with RTI International. He provides leadership on several projects, including the design of a series of enhanced evaluation studies, as well as plans for the dissemination of those study outcomes for the CDC-funded Community Transformation Grants program. Dr. Brown is also involved in the evaluation of a national comprehensive cancer control program, as well as community engagement efforts around hepatitis B prevention among foreign-born populations in the U.S.
Dr. Taleria R. Fuller earned a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology from Wayne State University, a M.A. in Sociology from Wayne State University, and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Her experience has focused mainly on the mental, reproductive, and sexual health of women and adolescents. Previous experience focused on HIV prevention among communities of color, including a study examining HIV knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among African and African American adolescents and young adults. As an ORISE fellow, Dr. Fuller received training in providing scientific expertise, leadership, and technical assistance for the CDC-funded Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Intervention (DEBI) project. She also received training on several female-focused DEBI HIV prevention interventions including: Sisters Informing Sisters about Topics on AIDS (SISTA), Sisters Informing, Healing, Learning, and Empowering (SIHLE), Women Involved in Life Learning from Other Women (WILLOW), and the Real AIDS Prevention Project (RAPP). For 10 years, Dr. Fuller served as a Health Scientist with the CDC Division of Reproductive Health (DRH), Adolescent Reproductive Health Team. In her role, she managed cooperative agreements as part of Promoting Science-Based Approaches to Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Community-Wide Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiatives. She also served as a Scientific Collaborator for the Effectiveness of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs Designed Specifically for Young Males cooperative agreement. The purpose of this research project is to support the evaluation of innovative interventions designed for young men aged 15-24 years old to reduce their risk of fathering a teen pregnancy. Presently, Dr. Fuller serves as the health equity lead for the DRH Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology team, which is responsible for partnering with national membership organizations and state health departments to build capacity in MCH epidemiology. She specifically works on projects related to geospatial analysis and access to critical obstetrical services and reducing inequities in maternal health outcomes. In addition, Dr. Fuller served as lead author for a manuscript on the social determinants and teen pregnancy prevention, as well as co-author for several additional papers, including Racism, African American Women, and Their Sexual and Reproductive Health: A Review of Historical and Contemporary Evidence and Implications for Health Equity, and a special supplement in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Implementing Community-Wide Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiatives. Last, she serves as co-chair for the National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion Equity Workgroup, is a member of the newly formed DRH Health Equity Workgroup, and continues to mentor and provide support to CDC interns and fellows.
Dr. Malendie Gaines earned a DrPH concentrated in Epidemiology from East Tennessee State University, an MPH from Mercer University, and a BS in Biology from Tuskegee University. Dr. Gaines’ research focus is the social determinants of health factors contributing to HIV disparities in communities of color. Previously, Dr. Gaines held a position at Mercer Medicine and an ORISE postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Office of Director, Office of Health Equity.
Dr. Gaines is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention’s Epidemiology Branch. To date, she received mentoring and training in leading projects focused on racial disparities in HIV prevention and care. These include the following: 1) comparing social determinants of health factors and HIV risk behaviors among Black MSM Subgroups; 2) mental health practices among primary care providers in the Southeast; 3) HIV testing practices among primary care providers in the Southeast; and 4) racism and HIV among African Americans. She is also receiving mentoring and training in disseminating HIV prevention tools on social media to influence African American women. In addition to these projects, she was afforded the opportunity to present at the 2019 National HIV Prevention Conference. Dr. Gaines is dedicated to presenting the underlying factors affecting communities of color through manuscripts, presentations, and collaborations.
Dr. Angelica Geter earned a DrPH in Health Behavior with a minor in Biostatistics from the University of Kentucky, a MPH in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education from Emory University and a BS in Psychology from Mississippi College. She also completed the Health Policy Leadership Fellowship at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute of Morehouse School of Medicine, under the mentorship of former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher. Dr. Geter’s research and intervention experience has focused on sexual health, HIV and STI disparities in the South, and sex trafficking prevention among underserved youth.
Dr. Geter is a fellow in the Minority Health and Health Equity (MHHE) Activity group of the Epidemiology Branch. She received training and mentorship on leading three projects with a focus on the HIV care continuum among black men and women: 1) a study examining disparities of viral suppression among women, 2) a study on HIV testing in emergency room settings among MSM, and 3) a study on disparities of HIV treatment and care among black women. She is also a co-author for two studies: 1) examining PrEP uptake among black MSM and 2) addressing trauma as a barrier to HIV prevention among black MSM. She also received training and leadership in providing technical assistance and support to Minority AIDS Research Initiative (MARI) grantees. She also served as a postdoctoral fellow on several planning committees and workgroups, all with a focus on social determinants of health and addressing the HIV epidemic in the South.
Dr. Geter is committed to being a servant leader by telling the stories of underserved populations through research and the advancement of health equity. She has published more than 20 articles as an early career scientist and presented at numerous scientific meetings including the American Public Health Association annual meeting and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention STD Prevention Conference.
Dr. Grimes earned a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior from the University of Georgia College of Public Health, an MPH from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and a BA in English and Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She also has a certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research. She was a fellow from 2009-2011 in the Program Evaluation Branch where she assisted CDC scientists with the development and implementation of an outcome monitoring and evaluation study with 3 Community Based Organizations (CBOs) funded by CDC to deliver the community level HIV prevention intervention Mpowerment. In that capacity, she guided the development of the data collection tools and protocols using the Questionnaire Development System (QDS) and provided technical assistance to sites on QDS and in conducting outcome monitoring and evaluation activities. Furthermore, Dr. Grimes also participated with CDC scientists in the data collection and dissemination of the Adaptation and Implementation of Mpowerment (AAIM) which focused on the adaptations of the Mpowerment intervention. Finally, alongside with senior Branch leadership she was a guest editor for a special supplement on The Monitoring and Evaluation of HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral and HIV Testing Services in AIDS Education and Prevention. Currently, Dr. Grimes is a Program Manager of the Georgia Child Traumatic Stress Initiative at the Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Dr. Grimes earned a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior from the University of Georgia College of Public Health, an MPH from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and a BA in English and Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She also has a certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research. She was a fellow from 2009-2011 in the Program Evaluation Branch where she assisted CDC scientists with the development and implementation of an outcome monitoring and evaluation study with 3 Community Based Organizations (CBOs) funded by CDC to deliver the community level HIV prevention intervention Mpowerment. In that capacity, she received training and mentorship in guiding the development of the data collection tools and protocols using the Questionnaire Development System (QDS) and providing technical assistance to sites on QDS and in conducting outcome monitoring and evaluation activities. Furthermore, Dr. Grimes also participated with CDC scientists in the data collection and dissemination of the Adaptation and Implementation of Mpowerment (AAIM), which focused on the adaptations of the Mpowerment intervention. Finally, alongside with senior Branch leadership she was a guest editor for a special supplement on The Monitoring and Evaluation of HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral and HIV Testing Services in AIDS Education and Prevention.
Currently, Dr. Grimes is a Program Evaluation Consultant, Health Research Evaluation Services, Greater Atlanta area.
Grace Hall (known as Chela) earned her PhD in Health Education and Behavior from the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health, an MPH from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, an MPP from Rutgers University, and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from DePauw University. She was a Peace Corps Health Promotion Volunteer in Paraguay from 1990-1993. She was also an HIV Prevention Trials Network Scholar while working at Howard Brown Health Center in Chicago. Chela’s doctoral dissertation entitled “HIV Screening Patterns in sub-Sahara Africa: Evidence from the Demographic and Health Surveys” compared differential screening patterns across 26 countries. Chela has been involved in HIV and AIDS prevention work with various populations including substance using men and women, South African sex workers, MSM, and transgender women. Chela was previously a Community of Color ORISE fellow in the Prevention Research Branch on Operational Research Team (ORT).
Dr. Hall is currently an Evaluations Monitor, Capacity Building Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, CDC.
Dr. Kirk D. Henny earned a Ph.D. and MA in Sociology from Howard University, and BS in Sociology from James Madison University. Dr. Henny’s research experience is primarily in mental health, particularly among HIV-seropositive populations. As an ORISE fellow, he researched topics on community-based HIV prevention and intervention initiatives including the Health and Housing project and Epidemiological Aid Investigations on HIV Incidence in Prisons.
Dr. Kirk D. Henny currently serves as the Associate Director for the Office of Health Equity (OHE) in the Division of HIV Prevention (DHP). His CDC experience includes extensive work in the field of HIV prevention and care as a behavioral scientist and epidemiologist. As a health scientist, Dr. Henny has authored over 40 papers in scientific peer-reviewed journals and other publications. His research addresses a range of HIV-related topics including HIV behavioral interventions for African American heterosexual men, housing, interpersonal violence, eHealth interventions and other related topics. Dr. Henny also served as guest editor for the AIDS and Behavior special issue, “HIV in the South” published in 2019.
Beyond his research record, Dr. Henny has supported DHP-funded projects including a number of demonstration projects, HIV risk reduction intervention research studies, and fact sheet development workgroups. Dr. Henny also served a detail as the Assistant Deputy of Program Operations for the Ending the HIV Epidemic initiative, which involved coordinating various programmatic and operational activities within the division to support the federal initiative.
Additionally, Dr. Henny has been involved in several CDC emergency responses including the 2015 Ebola Response in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and 2016 Zika Response. He has also been an invited speaker at several national conferences and professional meetings. In his spare time, Kirk loves spending time with his family, enjoying international travel, and nurturing his hobbies as an avid jogger, cyclist, and music aficionado.
Dr. Darrel Higa earned a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Washington, and an MSW and BA in Psychology from the University of Hawai’i. During his post-doctoral research experience with the Prevention Research Branch (PRB), he divided his time between the Intervention Research Team and the Research Synthesis and Translation Team (RSTT). Dr. Higa co-authored a book chapter on men who have sex with men (MSM) and HIV (in Hall, Hall & Cockrell, 2011). Dr. Higa also received mentoring and training in conducting and publishing a systematic review on HIV prevention intervention studies for MSM.
Currently, Dr. Higa is a behavioral scientist and Deputy Team Lead for RSTT. He is also the project officer for the Prevention Research Synthesis (PRS) project that is charged with identifying efficacious HIV prevention interventions for risk reduction, medication adherence, and care engagement. As a lead author, he has published systematic reviews on linkage to, retention and re-engagement in care and has co-authored systematic reviews and meta-analyses on integrated interventions for persons with HIV, HIV prevalence among transgender persons, patient navigation, co-location of HIV prevention services, and serosorting among MSM. He is leading a systematic review on interventions for re-engaging persons with HIV who have fallen out of care and mentoring junior scientists on conducting systematic reviews.
Dr. Gladys Ibañez received her PhD in Community Psychology from Georgia State University in 2002. Shortly after receiving her doctorate, she was awarded the ORISE HIV and Communities of Color Post-doctoral Research Fellowship at CDC DHAP. During her 2-year fellowship at CDC, her research primarily focused on drug-using populations and men who have sex with men (MSM). For example, she was part of the INSPIRE study, a multi-site intervention for HIV-positive injection drug users to reduce sexual and injection risk behaviors. She also published findings from the SUMIT project regarding sexual risk among MSM. Her research interests include HIV prevention in communities of color, particularly Latino populations, aging with HIV, and complementary medicine. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Florida International University in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work. She serves as either principal investigator or co-investigator on several federally funded projects, including an exploratory clinical trial pilot testing a mind-body intervention for older adults living with HIV.
Dr. Emiko Kamitani received her PhD in Nursing from University of California, San Francisco in 2013. While she was in the doctoral program, she served as the Director of Nursing Services at Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center that provides HIV-related care to Asian and Pacific Islanders and the transgender community in San Francisco. She also worked as a research assistant in the doctoral program, and was involved in several HIV-related research studies at San Francisco General Hospital and community-based organizations. She received her Master’s degree from University of California, San Francisco where she studied advanced community health and international nursing with HIV/AIDS as a minor. She holds a registered nursing license and has been working as a nurse since 2006. She also is licensed as a public health nurse and community health clinical nursing specialist.
As a fellow in the Research Synthesis and Translation Team, Prevention Research Branch, Dr. Kamitani received training and mentorship in leading the overview of systematic review project for evaluating the effectiveness of physical exercise among people living with HIV. In addition to her several peer-review publications, she has written several articles on nursing journals and given lectures at universities and medical centers in Japan.
Dr. Kamitani is currently a Behavioral Scientist, Prevention Research Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, CDC.
Dr. Yzette Lanier earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in Developmental Psychology from Howard University, and a B.S. in Psychology also from Howard University. Her previous research experience, which has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and presented at various professional conferences including the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association of Black Psychology (ABPsi), focused on risk and resilience in people of African descent, primarily Black youth. Her dissertation examined the protective role of racial identity in the relationship between contextual stress and psychosocial adjustment among African American middle school students. As an ORISE Fellow, Dr. Lanier receive training and mentorship on several projects aimed at reducing HIV-related health disparities. She conducted qualitative and quantitative analyses to assess the effectiveness and utility of a sexual history taking instrument in increasing the number of HIV/STD screenings administered to African American male patients during routine medical visits. Additionally, she completed a project with the DC Department of Health (DC DOH) exploring correlates of HIV infection among Black women living in the District of Columbia. Findings from this work have been presented at the American Psychological Association Convention and Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Her manuscript on reframing preventive healthcare services for young black men was recently accepted for publication by the American Journal of Public Health. Dr. Lanier completed a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow with joint appointments in the Center for Global Women’s Health and the Center for Health Equity Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and is currently an Assistant Professor at New York University College of Nursing.
Dr. Ashley C. Lima earned a BS in biology from Spelman College and completed her MPH and PhD in health promotion and behavior at the University of Georgia. Her previous research experience focused on substance use and sexual behaviors among college students and explored young African American women’s experiences with their sexual partners. She also led data collection efforts for an NIH-funded, Liberia-based study researching drug use, intimate partner violence, and HIV risk behaviors in a post-conflict context. Finally, before becoming a postdoctoral fellow with DHAP, she worked as a health communications specialist at CDC.
As a fellow with the Capacity Building Branch, Dr. Lima received training and mentorship in conducting two quantitative analyses: one using the National Survey of Family Growth, and another using DHAP’s National HIV Prevention Monitoring & Evaluation dataset. Her research was focused on HIV prevention among African American women and the social determinants of health that contribute to racial disparities in HIV infection among women. She also participated in a CDC High Impact Prevention (HIP) intervention training of facilitators, presented at the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine annual meeting, led two first-authored manuscripts, and contributed substantive written content as a co-author on two additional papers.
Dr. Lima is currently a Health Scientist in the Center for Global Health’s Division of Global HIV and Tuberculosis. She is permanently detailed to the Department of State’s Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy where she monitors global HIV program results and impact.
Dr. Khiya Marshall Mullins earned a Dr.PH and an MPH from the University Of North Texas Health Science Center- School Of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Community Health, and a BA in Sociology from Spelman College. Her interests include health equity and social determinations of health as well as and violence and HIV prevention among people of color. As an ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Mullins received training and mentorship in providing expertise for the Micro-enterprise Project, which examined micro-enterprise as an HIV prevention intervention for impoverished African American women living in the southeastern United States. Additionally, she also received training in leading a qualitative review that examined the risk and protective factors associated with sexual-risk behaviors among African American youth and identified evidence-based HIV interventions for dissemination in a book chapter. Dr. Mullins also served as a postdoctoral fellow on the Transit TV Project for African American adolescents, and she co-authored several scientific papers, including meta-analytic reviews focusing on African American women, African American heterosexual men, and HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States.
Dr. Mullins is presently a behavioral scientist in the Research and Evaluation Branch, Division of Violence Prevention (DVP), National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). Dr. Mullins is co-leading the National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention programs and the systematic screening and assessment project for Hospital-Based Violence Prevention programs. In addition, she is the founder and President of the CDC Employee Association for Spelman College, a member of the Race and Violence Workgroup in DVP and tries to increase workforce diversity as a member of NCIPC’s Committee on Diversity.
Dr. Mercedes M. Morales-Alemán earned her doctoral degree in Ecological-Community Psychology from Michigan State University in 2011. Her graduate work included sexual health research and program evaluations with communities of color and disproportionately affected youth. She worked as a fellow within the Minority Health and Health Equity (MHHE) Activity of the Epidemiology Branch between 2011 and 2013. Dr. Morales-Alemán’s research focused on social determinants of health and HIV-related health disparities in communities of color. While at MARI, she received training and mentorship in leading a qualitative review of the literature about access to HIV testing and healthcare services in Hispanic/Latino populations in the Southern region of the United States, which was published in AIDS Care. She also collaborated with the Behavioral and Clinical Surveillance Branch (BCSB) on an activity that provided training and mentorship in conducting an analysis of data from the Partner Study, a cross-sectional study on the intersection of sexual risk and intimate partner violence in Black/African-American and Latina/Hispanic women. This paper was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Currently, Dr. Morales-Alemán is an Assistant Professor, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.
Dr. Carolyn P. Parks came to the ORISE Fellowship with almost 20 years of teaching, research and practice experience at the university level as a community health education specialist. Dr. Parks earned a Ph.D. in health education from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, an M.S. in health education from Western Illinois University, and a B.S. in biology from Wheaton College (IL). Her community research and practice has focused on the development, implementation and evaluation of grassroots health promotion and disease prevention strategies for African-Americans, vulnerable populations, and other groups of color. As an ORISE Fellow, Dr. Parks received mentorship and training in serving as an active member of the SISTA (Sisters Informing Sisters about Topics on AIDS), SIHLE (Sisters Informing, Healing, Learning, and Empowering), and WILLOW (Women Involved in Life Learning from Other Women) Diffusion Team and the Science Application Team of the Capacity Building Branch (CBB) in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. SISTA, SIHLE and WILLOW are the three major CDC-funded HIV and AIDS interventions for African-American women. Specifically, Dr. Parks assisted with developing the instrument and procedures for the administration of a capacity building training evaluation for the over 350 national community-based organizations that have sent staff to be trained in the SISTA Intervention. The evaluation also assessed implementation readiness and the technical assistance needs for delivery of SIHLE and WILLOW. In addition, Dr. Parks received training and mentorship in conducting extensive reviews and revisions of all intervention packages associated with the SISTA, SIHLE and WILLOW interventions; participated in the SISTA Training of Trainers (TOT) and Training of Facilitators (TOF) course, and the pilots of the SIHLE and WILLOW Interventions; and conducting and/or moderating various workshops and presentations on HIV and AIDS in the African-American community and the role of faith communities in HIV prevention. After ORISE, Dr. Parks remained in CBB, where she served as a behavioral scientist on the Science Application Team. Her primary work included serving as the technical monitor and subject matter expert for the diffusion of three women-focused interventions: WILLOW, Sister to Sister, and Healthy Love. In 2012, Dr. Parks was admitted to Cohort 14 of the International Experience and Technical Assistance Program (IETA) in the Division of Global Health, where she completed a four-month TDY in Nairobi, Kenya, working with CDC Kenya staff to adapt and scale up HIV and AIDS interventions for women and youth. In addition, in 2013, she assembled and led a five member training team to conduct TOFs and TOTs on the WILLOW intervention for female community leaders and organizations in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Dr. Park is currently retired.
Dr. Carla Stokes is an internationally recognized women’s and adolescent health and behavior expert, professional youth empowerment speaker and certified success coach. She provides health education, self-empowerment, and personal development programs for women, youth and girls through her speaking, coaching and consulting practice. She is also the founder of Helping Our Teen Girls In Real Life Situations, Inc. (HOTGIRLS)®, an award-winning 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering underserved young women and girls to develop leadership skills, create positive social change in their communities and realize their full potential.
Dr. Stokes graduated cum laude from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree and departmental honors in Psychology. She earned Doctor of Philosophy (with distinction) and Master of Public Health degrees in Health Behavior and Health Education (with a cognate in Social Work) from the University of Michigan. Her doctoral dissertation research was funded by a competitive Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation/Johnson & Johnson Dissertation Grant in Women’s Health and won honorable mention in the University of Michigan Distinguished Dissertation Awards competition.
Carlos Toledo received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Child and Family Development in 2001. As an ORISE fellow, Carlos was assigned to the Program Evaluation Branch (PEB) in DHAP, Dr. Toledo worked on a number of projects including the evaluation of Program Announcement 01163, “HIV Prevention Projects for Community-Based Organizations Targeting Young Men of Color Who Have Sex With Men,” the evaluation of the Minority AIDS Initiative, and several other Branch evaluation activities. In 2006, he was accepted into the International Experience and Technical Assistance (IETA) program where he completed field assignments in Zambia and Thailand. Through the IETA program, Dr. Toledo worked on projects examining HIV infection and risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Zambia, Thailand, and Laos. He also completed a detail in the DHAP Office of the Director serving as an Associate Director for MSM Disparities in HIV/AIDS. Dr. Toledo served as the HIV Prevention Branch Chief at CDC-South Africa for four years and is currently the Team Lead for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision in the Division of Global HIV and TB in Atlanta.
Dr. Lari Warren-Jeanpiere earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in sociology from Wayne State University, and a B.A. in sociology from Hampton University. Her research expertise includes qualitative methods, racial/ethnic health disparities, women’s health, the social construction of African American sexuality, and intergenerational sexual health communication within African American families, particularly related to mothers and daughters. As an ORISE Fellow, Dr. Warren-Jeanpiere received training and mentorship in serving as a qualitative analyst on a project regarding the HIV/AIDS Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors (KAB) among students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). These findings are published in the American Journal of College Health and the Journal of College Student Development. In 2008 Dr. Warren-Jeanpiere was a recipient of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) Loan Repayment program based upon her commitment to becoming an independent HIV/AIDS investigator in order to combat the HIV/AIDS crisis in the African American community.
Currently, Dr. Warren-Jeanpiere is an Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park.
Dr. Wallace received her doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Fordham University and her BA in Psychology from Yale University. Her interests include community engaged research examining gender and cultural influences associated with health outcomes among urban Black adolescents and young adults, providing health education to youth/youth serving organizations and informing social policy.
Dr. Wallace has won numerous awards and honors for her work including receiving the Carolyn Payton Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association Division of Psychology and Women.
She is currently an Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Psychology at St. John’s University, where she teaches and mentors students. She has served as principal investigator on several federally funded projects examining HIV risk among formally incarcerated young Black men. In addition, she is the lead on projects focused on urban Black youth, including her work with teen girls/young women.
Dr. Kim M. Williams earned a Ph.D in Medical Sociology from Howard University, an MSW in planning and administration from The Ohio State University and a BS in Social Work from Morgan State University. Her clinical experiences have been in the areas of mental health counseling and case management. As an ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow, she received training and mentorship in designing and implementing a study that examined the use and provision of HIV/AIDS and STD services to young women at risk for infection.
Dr. Williams is currently a Behavioral Scientist in the Prevention Research Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. She served as Co-Project Officer for the “HIV/AIDS Risk Reduction Interventions for Heterosexually-Active African-American Men” study – a multi-site cooperative agreement funded to support the development and pilot testing of novel interventions targeting at-risk heterosexual African-American men. She also served as co-lead for the Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative Fund for Care and Prevention in the United States and as a scientific steering committee team member for the project entitled, “An Economic Intervention for Impoverished Women in the Southeastern U.S. She is a previous Co-Chair for the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention’s Health Equity Work Group and is a Guest Editor on a special supplement for Public Health Reports entitled, “Applying Social Determinants of Health to Public Health Practice.”
Dr. Leigh A. Willis earned a Ph.D. in Medical Sociology and an M.P.H. in Health Behavior from the University of Alabama, Birmingham and a B.A. with Department Honors in Sociology and Human Services from Albion College. Specifically, his research focuses on the sexual risk of heterosexual African-American men and adolescents. He has presented and published in all of these areas. As an ORISE Community of Color Fellow in the Prevention Research Branch he received training and mentorship in: 1) leading a meta-analytical review of parent-child communication interventions; 2) providing technical assistance on the Intervention Research Team (IRT) as a postdoctoral fellow on the Preventing African American Transmission of Heterosexual HIV Project (for Men) (PATHH 4MEN), Groundbreaking Interventions Project (Transgender and Heterosexually Active African-American Men, Transit TV (African-American Youth); 3) serving as a team member on the Replicating Effective Programs (REP) Team for Project AIM, an intervention for which he was an original interventionist;. Dr. Willis is currently a behavioral scientist in the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Health Communication Science Office. He is the Chief Evaluator for NCHHSTP’s Health Communication Science Office (HCSO) and currently the Project Office of the National Prevention Information Network (NPIN).