Deputy Director of Operations, EPRC; Senior Research Specialist, Smoke-Free Homes Project: Lucja T. Bundy, MA, EdM Ms. Bundy completed her degree in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University and has over 15 years of project management experience. She has worked on several large-scale research projects involving interventions and technology to improve the quality of care and quality of life of dementia patients in Special Care Units, and telemedicine for diabetes management. Ms. Bundy has worked at Emory University for the last eight years coordinating a skin cancer prevention project (Pool Cool), a glaucoma project (I-SIGHT: Interactive Study to Increase Glaucoma adHerence to Treatment), and on multiple projects with the Cancer Prevention Control and Research Network. Currently, Ms. Bundy serves as Deputy Director of Operations and project lead for the Emory Prevention Research Center's Smoke-Free Homes project. This is a NIH funded project to develop, evaluate, and disseminate a Brief Intervention to Create Smoke-Free Policies in Low-Income Households.
Associate Director for Research, Intervention Development Dissemination and Implementation: Sean N. Halpin, MA Mr. Halpin completed his degree in Developmental Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has over 10 years of project management and coordination experience including NIH funded Phase 3 clinical trials and R01 studies, and developmental mixed methods studies. He has worked in a variety of settings, including the Yale University Program on Aging; Atlanta-VA Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center; and, most recently, at Emory University. At Emory University, Mr. Halpin works with the Emory Prevention Research Center and the Intervention Development, Dissemination, and Implementation (IDDI) core. The IDDI provides shared resources to members of the Winship Cancer Institute to access expertise in behavioral science research methods. In addition, Mr. Halpin has led studies related to his area of interest, non-pharmacological treatments for maintaining health into older age. His most recent publications appear in The Gerontologist, Gerontology and Geriatrics Education, Educational Gerontology, and Patient Education and Counseling.
Evaluation Specialist: April Hermstad, MPH Ms. Hermstad holds a Master of Public Health from Emory University and she joined the EPRC in 2007. She has more than 10 years of experience coordinating research and evaluation projects focused on policy, system, and environmental improvements related to heathy eating and physical activity behaviors, cancer screening, and access to health care and health-supporting environments. Notable current and past projects include evaluating Healthcare Georgia Foundation’s Two Georgias Initiative to achieve greater health equity among rural Georgians; coordinating a clinical trial in Emory Healthcare breast centers to increase genetic counseling referral for women at risk for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer; evaluating colorectal cancer screening programs throughout Georgia; and numerous research studies and evaluations of socio-environmental health promotion programs. Her professional interests include evaluating health promotion programs, understanding the role of lifestyle factors in preventing and reversing chronic diseases, and reducing health disparities.
Research Coordinator: Erin Lebow-Skelley, MPH. Ms. Lebow-Skelley earned her Master of Public Health degree in Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. Before joining the EPRC in 2015, Ms. Lebow-Skelley worked on the Evaluation Team of the Prevention Research Centers Program at the CDC, where she and a team designed and implemented the evaluation of the Prevention Research Centers network. While in North Carolina, she worked on a variety chronic disease prevention projects, including a smoke-free multi-unit housing communication initiative with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and several local food systems projects with UNC’s Prevention Research Center. Ms. Lebow-Skelley also has a background in early childhood development, pre-and post-natal care, and home visiting. Her interests include program evaluation, dissemination and implementation research, and policy, systems, and environmental strategies to prevent chronic disease and improve health equity.
Research Associate: Shadé Owolabi Ms. Owolabi recently completed a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Penfield College, Mercer University. She joined the EPRC three years ago as a Research Interventionist for the NIH funded Smoke-Free Home's project. Since 2012, she has worked on multiple research and evaluation projects within the EPRC. Prior to joining the EPRC team, Ms. Owolabi trained in applied behavioral science and worked as a behavior data analyst at the Marcus Center. Her research interests include addiction and chronic disease health education, as well as the intersection between mental health and public health; her clinical interests include substance abuse, mental health disparities in low-income and minority communities, and risky health behaviors.
Center Coordinator: Deborah Stephenson, EdM Ms. Stephenson is responsible for coordinating administration and managing communications for the EPRC . She has an extensive background in project management, communications, process improvement, training, and organizational change management. Before coming to Emory Ms. Stephenson worked as Marketing and Operations Manager for a small business and spent 20 years working in Fortune 500 corporations providing consulting services in a wide variety of business functions. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Georgia and a Project Management Professional Certification from The Project Management Institute, Inc.
Program coordinator: Betelihem Getachew, MPH Ms. Getachew received her MPH degree from Emory’s Rollins School of Public health in 2012. After graduation, she worked with Rwanda Zambia HIV Research Group as a project coordinator. Her position with the RZHRG exposed her to international research, working as a liaison between the three countries, managing communication between research teams and stakeholders. In 2014, Beth joined the Behavioral Science and Health Department at Rollins, as a project coordinator for Project DECOY - a two year longitudinal mixed method study on tobacco product use among adolescents in Georgia. She oversees the general operation of the research and compliance with regulatory affairs. Ms. Getachew has an extensive background in research both local and international, in the areas of family planning, HIV/AIDS and most recently tobacco. She is interested in both infectious and chronic diseases and the socio contextual determinants of health. She is also interested in program planning, evaluation research and implementation of scientific research based interventions.
Graduate Research Assistant: Kate Anderson Kate is a second year MPH student in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education. Her research interests focus on access to healthcare services in complex contexts, both domestically and internationally. Kate has been a member of the EPRC since September of 2016, working the Smoke-Free Homes and Healthy Homes Healthy Families projects.
Research Assistant: Bridget Harding Ms. Harding recently completed a Bachelor of the Arts degree at Emory University, majoring in Human Health and minoring in Nutrition Sciences. She will be pursuing a Master of Public Health degree in Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University starting in Fall 2018. Ms. Harding joined the EPRC in 2018 as a Research Assistant working on the Healthy Homes Healthy Families project. She is interested in nutrition and physical activity, and the ways that they can be applied to chronic disease prevention.
Graduate Research Assistant: Carlie Rhiness is a Masters of Public Health Student at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health in the Behavioral Sciences and Heath Education Department. She is a Graduate Research Assistant at the EPRC working on the Two Georgias Initiative Evaluation and the Healthy Homes, Healthy Families 2-1-1 Project. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan where she conducted research with head and neck cancer survivors and female veterans. She also interned at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Injury and Violence Prevention Department on their Youth Suicide Prevention Program. Her research interests include program evaluation and chronic disease control and prevention. She hopes to continue her work in program evaluation following graduation.
Public Health Program Associate: Shelby Rentmeester, MPH Ms. Rentmeester received her Master of Public Health degree from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in 2016. She then joined the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education staff as a public health program associate working with Dr. Kelli Komro’s research group. She helps to coordinate project outcome dissemination and publications for the Cherokee Nation Prevention Trial. Before coming to Emory, Ms. Rentmeester studied at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities focusing on child psychology and the intersection between health behaviors and human development.
Evaluation Director: Terrence Kominsky, PhD Dr. Kominsky works for the Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health and works on externally funded grants and internal research projects that are expected to improve the quality of services provided by the Behavioral Health Department to the Cherokee Nation. Dr. Kominsky’s work focuses on understanding how the continuum of culture within a tribe can be used to improve therapeutic service delivery and how within-tribe discrimination may impact health. Dr. Kominsky received his PhD from Oklahoma State University in Lifespan Developmental Pyschology and continues to work on health promotion and prevention projects with Native American populations.
NIAAA-funded Postdoctoral Fellow: Brady Garrett, PhD Dr. Garrett is an enrolled citizen of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation. He earned his PhD in counseling psychology from New Mexico State University and completed his clinical internship at the Southwest Consortium Doctoral Psychology Internship in Albuquerque, NM. He works on location in Tahlequah conducting research and engaging in clinical practice at Cherokee Nation Behavioral Health. Brady’s role in the Cherokee Nation Prevention Trial was as a supervisor for the CONNECT program as well as to gain experience in both research and grantsmanship by working closely with Dr. Kelli Komro and her team of prevention and implementation scientists. His research interests include American Indian health disparities across the lifespan, protective aspects of American Indian cultural identity, and the MMPI-2-RF in relation to American Indian cultural identity. Brady’s clinical interests include psychological assessment, clinical implementation of the MMPI-2-RF, brief psychotherapy, and evidenced-based treatment of anxiety disorders.
Community Intervention Supervisor: Dallas W. Pettigrew, MSW Mr. Pettigrew holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. In the Cherokee Nation Prevention Trial, he supervised the Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA) intervention. Pettigrew is now Community Faculty at the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work in Tulsa, OK. His primary of interest is macro social work practice, empowering people and communities to solve their own problems, and giving parents tools to support their parenting skills.