Program Faculty

Health Promotion and Health Behavior

Primary faculty

Joseph Catania, Ph.D.

Joe’s 37 years of research experience includes studies concerning sexual health, sexual trauma and dysfunctions, survey method and translation science (dissemination, implementation, sustainability). He’s worked with multiple age and ethnic/racial groups in the U.S. and Africa with emphasis on youth, young adults, and LGBTQ populations.

Peggy Dolcini, Ph.D.
(HPHB Graduate Program Director)

Peggy's research focuses on infectious diseases, including HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Her current work on sexual health among urban ethnic minority youth addresses the impact of gender on development and sexual behavior, and on new intervention approaches.

Karen Elliott, PhD, MS, CHES
Senior Instructor
(Public Health Undergraduate Internship Coordinator)

Karen's instructional interest is experiential learning, including internships, practicums and service learning. Undergrad Public Health Internship.

Brian Flay, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor

Brian's research interests include health promotion and disease prevention research; mass media for health promotion and prevention; smoking and drug abuse prevention; violence prevention; youth HIV/AIDS prevention; positive youth development; comprehensive school reform; prevention research methods and theory; prevention research training.

Jessica R. Gorman, Ph.D., MPH
Assistant Professor

Jessica's research focuses on reproductive and sexual health, health communication, and implementation of strategies to reduce the negative effects of cancer and cancer treatment on the lives of cancer survivors and their partners. She conducts community-engaged research focused on improving health outcomes and promoting health equity.

Veronica Irvin, Ph.D., MPH
Assistant Professor

Veronica’s research focuses on the idea that how medical and science information is presented can change someone’s behavior. Her first project assesses health literacy and communication methods in order to better understand how people manage their health. In her second project, she evaluates the content of information on clinical websites and consent forms in terms of accuracy, reading level and sentiment.

Cynthia Mojica, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Cynthia conducts health services research and program evaluation in cancer prevention and control among ethnic minority and underserved populations, particularly Latinos. Her research engages community-based organizations, health centers, and community members in the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions.

Kari-Lyn Sakuma, Ph.D., MPH
Assistant Professor
(HPHB Undergraduate Program Director)

Kari-Lyn's research focuses on race/ethnic disparities, particularly as it relates to tobacco use, including new and emerging products and other substances. Other areas of interest and experience are in co-parenting, sibling, obesity prevention, and substance use prevention interventions.

Sheryl Thorburn, Ph.D., MPH

Sheryl's research focuses on discrimination in healthcare, its effects on the healthcare and health-related behavior of disadvantaged populations, and its contribution to disparities in health and healthcare.

Associated faculty

Jonathan Garcia, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Jonathan works both globally and domestically on health disparities that emerge at the intersection of sexuality, gender and race. His work has focused on devising community-led approaches to social inclusion, HIV prevention and Hepatitis C treatment access, especially among Latinos and LGBT populations.

Stephanie Grutzmacher, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Stephanie's research focuses on food security, nutrition literacy and the development and evaluation of family, school and community-based nutrition education programs for low-income populations.

S. Marie Harvey, DrPH, MPH

Marie's research focuses on the sexual and reproductive health of young adults. She has published widely in the area of risk and prevention of unintended pregnancy and STIs among high-risk women, men and couples and the influence of relationship and contextual factors on protective behaviors and sexual risk-taking.

Sunil Khanna, Ph.D.

Sunil's research interests include the complex interrelations of biology, culture, gender, ethnicity and health in South Asia and the United States.

Carolyn Mendez-Luck, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Carolyn's main research focus has been to examine the motivations and meanings of the caregiver role and the interpersonal dynamics within the caregiving dyad. Her expertise is in qualitative, survey, and intervention research methods, which she has applied to understanding the social and cultural factors associated with adult development and aging in Latino families.