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Arnold School of Public Health

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Our team at the UofSC consists of faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Jim ThrasherJim Thrasher, Ph.D.
Jim Thrasher is a Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education & Behavior in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. For almost two decades, he also has been a Researcher and Visiting Professor at the Mexican National Institute of Public Health, where much of his research is based. His research projects assess the effects of media and policy on eating and tobacco use across countries. In recognition of his research productivity and impact on science and policy – both nationally and internationally – he received the World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day Award in 2016. He is also on the Food and Drug Administration’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee, which provides information and recommendations to the FDA Commissioner around tobacco product regulation.

Yoojin ChoYoojin Cho, Ph.D.
Dr. Cho is a postdoctoral research associate at the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. Her research interests include development of population-level tobacco and obesity policies that effectively communicate risk information and promote healthy behavior. Her experiments and observational studies have evaluated national and international tobacco control policies, particularly tobacco product warning labels and marketing restrictions. She has worked with Dr. Thrasher since 2014.

Victoria LambertVictoria Lambert, MSPH
Victoria Lambert is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. She is interested in how the effectiveness of antismoking messages is influenced by social network characteristics. Victoria’s dissertation research aims to evaluate how sociocultural and social network characteristics influence conversations about smoking cessation messages among Mexican and Mexican American smokers.

Ntansah CharityCharity Ntansah, MPH
Charity Ntansah is a doctoral student in in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. She is conducting research on ways to leverage communication to promote healthy behaviors like smoking cessation among minority and vulnerable groups. Prior to UofSC, Charity worked as a health communication specialist on several national campaigns and participated in CDC’s Zika Pregnancy and Birth Defects Task force as an ORISE fellow.

Adebusola OgunnaikeAdebusola Ogunnaike, MPH
Adebusola Ogunnaike is a doctoral student in in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. She is passionate about reducing Non-Communicable Diseases, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Prior to enrolling at the UofSC, Adebusola worked on tobacco control issues in the Nigerian Ministry of Health and led tobacco control advocacy trainings in several African countries.

Gabriela ArmendarizGabriela Armendariz, MD, MPH
Gabriela Armendariz is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior.  She is interested in the design and evaluation of population-level health interventions to prevent overweight and obesity during childhood.  Her dissertation research focuses on the influence of school food policy environments on children’s dietary behaviors. 

Emily LoudEmily Loud, MPH
Emily Loud is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. Her interests include tobacco control, health communication, and global health, with specific interests in health literacy and risk perceptions associated with tobacco use. Before joining the HPEB department as an MPH student, Emily served in the Peace Corps in Rwanda from 2016-2018.

Farahnaz IslamFarahnaz Islam, MSPH
Farahnaz Islam is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Biostatistics. She is interested in the analysis of revealed preference data collected from discrete choice experiments, having conducted these studies in a variety of countries (i.e., Australia, Canada, US, Mexico, Guatemala).  Her dissertation aims to bridge the gap between the theoretical foundation and validation of this method, while assisting tobacco control researchers with its practical application.

Brian Senk, MS
Brian Senk is a doctoral student in the department of Biostatistics. He supports the team by conducting cross-sectional and longitudinal data analyses he has learned in the classroom over many years.

Chung Li WuChung Li Wu, MS
Chung Li Wu is a Doctoral Student in the Department of Biostatistics. He leads the team’s analyses of real-time, intensive data collection through ecological momentary assessment.  This work dovetails with his professional interests in correlated data analysis, statistical methods in clinical trials, and statistical programming.

Julia BudionganJulia Budiongan
Julia Budiongan is a Masters student in the Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Department. She is passionate about health communication and behavior, social networks, and non-communicable disease. She is particularly interested in working with low- and middle-income communities and for social justice.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an undergraduate Honors College student working toward a degree in Public Health. He is passionate about preventive medicine and healthcare equity. He has been involved with research projects related to tobacco messaging and reproductive healthcare access.

Addyson HaageAddyson Haage
Addy Haage is an undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Health. She has done research in STEM learning, ecology, diabetes, and most recently she has worked on studies involving smoking cessation with cigarettes and e-cigarettes. She is passionate about the intersection between psychology, public health, and health equity.

 

Claudia LagneseClaudia Lagnese
Claudia Lagnese is an undergraduate student at the Arnold School of Public Health pursing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Health. She is most interested in the interdisciplinary relationship between the environment and health.

University of South Carolina


Rachel DavisRachel Davis, MPH, Ph.D.

Rachel Davis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior.  Her research uses qualitative and quantitative methods to better understand how culture, race, and ethnicity influence health communication and survey methodology, with a particular focus on working with Latinx and African American populations.  Her research with Dr. Thrasher’s team had evaluated the effectiveness of cigarette warning labels and cessation messages across diverse populations, as well as international research on the health equity impact of food policies. 

James HardinJames Hardin, Ph.D.
James Hardin is a Professor of Biostatistics whose research involves correlated data analysis, including generalized estimating equations and mixed models. He also actively researches discrete data regression models including bivariate outcomes for which joint probabilities may be estimated using copula functions.  He has worked with Dr. Thrasher on a variety of NIH-funded projects.

Sei-hill KimSei-hill Kim, Ph.D.
Sei-Hill Kim is a Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications whose research interests are at the intersection of the media and social issues, particularly as they relate to public health, science, politics, and public relations. He examines how these issues are presented in the media and the effects these representations have on key audience segments.  His work with Dr. Thrasher has focused on media coverage of tobacco policies, including regulation of novel tobacco products, in the context of the US and South Korea.

Andrea HendersonAndrea Henderson, Ph.D.
Andrea K. Henderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology.  Her research focuses on the role of religion among minoritized populations, especially Black Americans, in the face of major life events, stress and racial discrimination. She has been studying how religiosity may explain the differential impact of tobacco control policies across minority and majority groups in the US. 

Diego LealDiego F. Leal, Ph.D.
Diego F. Leal is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina.  He applies systems science methods, particularly network analysis and agent-based models, to the study of international migration, and network inequalities.  He brings this expertise to study the social network and cultural characteristics that influence diffusion of smoking cessation messages and their effects.

National Institute of Public Health, Mexico

Edna Arillo Santillán, MS
Edna Arillo-Santillán is a Research Professor in the Department of Tobacco Research at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico.  For 20 years, she has been conducting research to evaluate school and federal policies to prevent tobacco use in Mexico, with a particular focus on tobacco warning label policy.

Rosibel Rodríguez-Bolaños, MD, MS, Ph.D.
Rosibel Rodríguez-Bolaños, PhD is a Research Professor in the Department of Tobacco Research at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) in Mexico.  Her tobacco control research takes a gender perspective on adolescents and adult smokers in Mexico, including using text messages to promote smoking cessation.  Her current research focuses on smoking, e-cigarette use, and other substance use among sexual minorities in Mexico.

Katia Gallegos-CarrilloKatia Gallegos-Carrillo, Ph.D.
Katia Gallegos-Carrillo is an investigator in the Epidemiology and Health Services Research Unit of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS). Her research assesses and develop interventions that reduce non-communicable disease by addressing key behavioral risk factors like physical activity, diet, and smoking.  She is particularly interested in binational approaches that compare Mexico and the US.

Inti Barrientos-Gutierrez, MBA
Inti Barrientos-Gutierrez is a Researcher in the Center for Research in Evaluation and Surveys of the Mexican National Institute of Public Health (INSP). His research is focused on product placement and advertising of tobacco products, nicotine consumption in adolescents, and new forms of nicotine consumption.

Lizeth Cruz JimenezLizeth Cruz Jiménez, MS
Liz Cruz-Jiménez is a Researcher in the Center for Research in Evaluation and Surveys of the Mexican National Institute of Public Health (INSP). Lizeth has participated in the planning, development, and dissemination of research projects related to the consumption patterns of tobacco products and the sexual health of adolescents. She is a special interest in preventive health and also in the design and evaluation of programs with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodological approaches.

Rafael Landivar University, Guatemala

Joaquin BarnoyaJoaquin Barnoya, MD, MPH
Joaquin Barnoya is a physician who completed a Masters in Public Health and a postdoctoral fellow on tobacco control and health services research.  Currently he works at the Cardiovascular Surgery Unit of Guatemala, Integra Cancer Institute and Health Sciences Research Institute at Landivar University in Guatemala.  His main research interest includes chronic disease prevention focusing on populations strategies for tobacco and obesity control.

Jose MonzonJose Monzon, MD, MPH
Jose Monzon is a medical doctor with a Master of Science in epidemiology. He works at the Health Sciences Research Institute at Landivar University in Guatemala. His research interests include chronic disease risk factors and prevention strategies like tobacco control and nutritional policies to improve quality of life.


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