Research Fellows

 

Sara C. Flowers
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Michael T. LeVasseur
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

DPH, CUNY Graduate Center/CUNY Graduate School of Public Health

MPH, The George Washington University
BA, The George Washington University



Sara is a CUNY adjunct professor for York College and the School of Public Health. As an advocate for evidence-informed practice and emotional intelligence in sexuality health education, her research interests focus on fidelity and adaptation of sexuality health education curricula in the urban classroom, and other sexual health topics as they relate to disparities, youth of color, and abortion access.

 

Since 2009, Sara has worked as Program Director of the Leadership Empowerment and Awareness Program (LEAP) for Girls, a behavior change intervention program of Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education. In this role, Sara oversees the implementation of all aspects of the HIV prevention and leadership development program for young women of color in East Harlem, Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx.  Sara’s responsibilities include coordinating quantitative and qualitative program evaluation & reporting, cultivating & maintaining community partnerships, hiring & managing the freelance health education team, and recruitment & retention of LEAP Alumnae.

 

Until recently, Sara was a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF), serving as manager of data and evaluation. When she isn’t teaching or working on her dissertation, you can find Sara enjoying life in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her husband, George, and their daughter, Zora.

Jagadisa-devasri Dacus
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

PhD, Social Welfare, CUNY Graduate Center

MSSW, Columbia University
BASW, University of California at Berkeley



Jagadisa-devasri Dacus, LMSW, is a doctoral candidate in the Social Welfare Program at the Hunter College School of Social Work – City University of New York Graduate Center.  His National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded research focuses on sustained HIV-negativity among HIV-Black men who have sex with men (MSM).  He is a University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare Emerging Scholar and a research fellow in the NIMH Minority Researcher Skills in Youth, Community, Family and HIV Fellowship (RHISC).  Mr. Dacus currently teaches human services courses in the Department of Social Sciences, Human Services, and Criminal Justice at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC). 
 

Jude E. Elysee
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

Doctoral Candidate, School & Clinical Psychology, Kean University

MS, Psychology, Mercy College
BA, Psychology, Hunter College of The City University of New York



Jude Elysée is a doctoral candidate in School & Clinical Psychology at Kean University.  He is an adjunct professor of psychology in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Mercy College. He has received his Masters degree in Psychology from Mercy college, with his graduate research focusing on spirituality and gay-identity in the GLBT populations.

Crystal George-Moses
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

Doctoral Candidate, Social Welfare, CUNY Graduate Center

MSW, Fordham University

BS, Syracuse University



Currently Ms. George-Moses is a doctoral student in Social Welfare at The Graduate Center, a part of The City University of New York.  While pursuing this degree, she is examining child welfare policy and practice and the impact of child welfare systems upon families and children.  Other research interests include social welfare policy especially antipoverty programs, child welfare policy, and economic inequality.  She also consults providing case management and counseling to clients through the family court system and conducting staff training.  She has expertise in best case practices, strengths-based supervision, program development, training, group work facilitation especially parenting groups, curriculum writing, conference presentations, advocacy, and quality assurance and auditing.

Ryan A. Levy
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

Doctoral Student (Phase II), Department of Anthropology, University at Albany--SUNY

MA, Anthropology, University at Albany--SUNY

BA, Anthropology, State University of New York, College at Geneseo

 

Ryan Levy is a doctoral student in anthropology at the University at Albany--SUNY. He is also serves as a member of the Training and Academic Affairs Subcommittee of UAlbany's LGBTQI Concerns Committee and has acted as research associate for the AIDS Council of Northeastern NY. Ryan's research focuses on ethnic diversity in sexual identity and its importance for public health outreach projects. Particularly, Ryan studies Latin American populations of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the US (NYC metro area). Through incorporating ethnographic methods, Ryan uses an intersectionality framework to nuance targeted risk frameworks and advocate for holistic and humanistic approaches to health promotion.

 

PhD, Epidemiology, Drexel University

MPH, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Hunter College
BA, Molecular Biology & Medical Anthropology, Sarah Lawrence College



Michael's research focus is on social networks and the application of network methodologies in diminishing health disparities and developing novel modeling techniques to prevent future outbreaks of infectious disease. He has held positions at the HIV Research Center of Columbia University, the Bureau of Environmental Policy and Surveillance at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Population Council, and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Charles Wampold
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

PhD, Center for Human Sexuality Studies, Widener University

JD, New York University School of Law

BA, Anthropology, Rice University

 

Charles Wampold's dissertation, Early/Late, Top/Bottom: Fraternal Birth Order and Anal Erotic Roles of Men who Have Sex with Men, won the 2017 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University. The dissertation examined erotic diversity within the MSM community by seeking to determine if certain known biological correlates of homosexuality in males are also predictors of a MSM's propensity to engage in penetrative or in receptive anal-erotic role behavior. The dissertation provided evidence that the fraternal birth order effect applies only to MSM whose anal-erotic behavior is mostly receptive and not to "versatile" MSM or to MSM whose anal-erotic behavior is mostly penetrative. These findings suggest that prenatal factors may significantly influence a MSM's adult motor-erotic behaviors. Charles' primary research interests involve the interplay of an individual's innate sexual propensity's and the sexual norms of such individual's culture and how that interplay may shape the individual's sexual behaviors and desires. His other research interests include long-term romantic love, the evolution of human sexual systems, and best practices for protecting the sexual rights of elderly or mentally impaired individuals who live in group homes or institutional settings.

Vincent Jones
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

EdD Candidate, Health Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

MS, Health Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

MA, Education Policy, Teachers College, Columbia University

MS Candidate, Applied Statistics, Teachers College, Columbia University

BA, Sociology/Anthropology, Middlebury College



Vincent Jones, a Health Education doctoral student with a concentration in Applied Statistics, is a Gates Millennium Scholar at Teachers College, Columbia University in the department of Health and Behavior Studies. Jones holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology with minors in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and Music from Middlebury College in Vermont. He also earned a Master’s in Education Policy from Teachers College in 2014. Jones wrote his interdisciplinary master’s thesis, “Exploring Undergraduate Gender Play on Facebook,” under the direction of Professors Aaron Pallas and Hope Jensen Leichter. He also served as a research assistant to Prof. Angel Harris doing academic achievement gap research at Princeton University.

Jones has been a diversity advocate. He served as a college counsellor to underserved youth in Middlebury, Vermont and Northern California. As a Supplier Diversity intern, he supported AT&T’s efforts to procure 22% of their supplies from companies owned by women, people of color, queer-identified people, and disabled veterans.

 

Jones has interest in student affairs, and worked in multicultural recruitment and residential services for three years. He recently concluded his tenure as a faculty member at Choate Rosemary Hall, a preeminent boarding school, where he taught health and dance, coordinated student activities, developed gender studies curriculum directed summer service learning.

His research interests include the health implications of technology-mediated sex among travelers, education policy, and gender presentation on social media. He is fellow with the Teachers College Survey Research Institute where he collaborates on institutional research on secondary schools. 

In his spare time, Jones studies jazz voice, teaches dance fitness classes, mentors students, and is an avid photographer. Jones resides in Harlem, New York.

Dana Watnick
Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow

DPH Candidate, CUNY Graduate Center

MPH, Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
MSSW, School of Social Work, Columbia University
BA, Women’s Studies, University of Michigan



Dana has been a Project Director for multiple NIH-funded research initiatives on HIV and pregnancy prevention among inner-city youth; adolescent couples and HIV risk; and linkage to and engagement in HIV primary care. Her research focus is on neighborhoods and early pregnancy risk among young men. She is currently the Director of Research Methods and Data Analysis at the Preventive Intervention Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

 

 

Trevon Turner
Graduate Research Fellow
Ality Aghedo
Graduate Research Fellow

BS, Earth and Physical Science (Geology), York College of The City University of New York

 

Ality is pursuing his bachelors in the Earth and Physical Science Department. Upon completion, his educational goals include attending either Medical or Graduate School. Ality is currently applying to the two-year Master in Public Policy (MPP) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Following his military studies at the Colin Power School of Civic and Global Leadership (City College-CUNY Army ROTC), Ality chose to attend HKS to gain new perspectives on national security issues, perspectives that are gleaned through other parts of public policy. His future goals include scientific research discovery, win a Nobel Peace Price award and elected as the future President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

 

Victor Dominguez
2014 Undergraduate Research Fellow

BS (Student), Social Work, York College of The City University of New York



Victor is currently a senior at York College and will be completing his bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Since matriculating at York, Victor has been fueled by a desire to succeed academically and professionally. Upon graduating, Victor plans to get his Master’s degree at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. To Victor, Social Work represents a unique profession that seeks to improve, through evidenced based practice; the physical, social and biological wellbeing of marginalized individuals and/or groups. It is the Social Work profession emphasis on social justice that has inspired Victor to become a professional in this field of study. Victor plans to integrate all the knowledge he will acquire as he advances within the Social Work discipline, to his work within the field of Gerontology. While he is not sure of where the Social Work profession will lead him, Victor anticipates his future endeavors with much excitement.

 

 

Rudlof Nisanov
2013 Undergraduate Research Fellow

PhD (student), Psychology, Queens College/CUNY

BA, Psychology, York College of The City University of New York

AS, Kingsborough Community College/CUNY



Bio Coming Soon.

 

 

Alexandra Thakkar
2012 Undergraduate Research Fellow

MSW, Hunter College of The City University of New York

BS, Social Work, York College of The City University of New York
AA, Borough of Manhattan CC of The City University of New York



Alexandra was an inaugural member of the undergraduate research fellows program with CRG-HPP.  A a recent graduate of CUNY Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work, she has specialized in health and mental health.  Alexandra’s past experience includes Foster Care Case Planning and Inpatient Psychiatric Social Work. Alexandra has worked with adults and children and within the most vulnerable populations such as the mentally disabled and those with physical disabilities. Alexandra is currently practicing Social Work in the managed care arena and providing counseling to the employee market consumers telephonically. Future plans for Alexandra include obtaining Clinical Social Work Licensure.

 

 

MA (Student), Mental Health Counseling, City College of The City University of New York

BA, Linguistic & Religion Studies, York College of The City University of New York

 

Bio coming soon!

 

 

Malika Jones
2014 Undergraduate Research Fellow

BS, Community Health Education, York College of The City University of New York



Malika is driven by her passion and enthusiasm for health promotion and disease prevention. Her goal is to help individuals, communities and populations, locally and globally, to improve their quality of life through effective health initiatives and interventions. She has international experience working with the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), the Ministry of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Dominican Republic in addressing the global issue of food insecurity. She appreciates CRG-HPP’s interdisciplinary approach to solving some of our society’s emerging and complex health issues, viewing it as an improved approach by addressing the multi-level determinants of health.

 

 

Stephane Labossiere
2012 Undergraduate Research Fellow

MS (student), Health Care Management, Johns Hopkins University

MS, Community Health Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

BS, Community Health Education, York College of The City University of New York



Stephane Labossiere, M.S., CHES aspires to become a public health professional in the areas of cardiovascular disease prevention, health systems strengthening, health disparities, and patient-centered care. He was selected in the summer of 2014 from among 1,300 applicants to be one of the 47 Columbia Public Health Scholars funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mr. Labossiere plans to build Haiti Community Health Center (HCHC)—a medical clinic that will provide health services at little to no cost to patients. Additionally, he plans to start a scholarship fund for students in Haiti and in the United States, which would allow deserving students to study and serve in impoverished communities and countries in the areas of public health or medicine. 

Mr. Stephane Labossiere’s research interests include health care quality measurement and improvement; the development and assessment of materials and interventions to provide health care consumers with information to support them in choosing and using health care services. Moreover, his work focuses on sustainable health prevention programs for improving population health in the United States and developing countries. Stephane hopes to become an authority on the use of qualitative and mixed methods in health services and health policy research. 

 

Vicky Rajcoomar
2014 Undergraduate Research Fellow

MPH, Health Policy and Management, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center

BS, Community Health Education, York College of the City University of New York

AS, Health Sciences, Queensborough Community College of the City University of New York



From a young age, Raj has been interested in cultivating and propagating healthy lifestyle behaviors and attitudes. His desire to fully endorse and understand the motto of “Health is wealth” led him to York College of the City University of New York, to complete a bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education. Raj continued his studies at SUNY Downstate Medical Center where he also completed a Master’s of Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Policy and Management. With new skills, competencies, and confidence acquired, he will pursue management and leadership positions within the field of health care administration, in order to understand, guide, and improve our public health and healthcare systems. Additionally, Raj has his eyes set on becoming a public health advocate to benefit the lives of children and minority populations, locally and internationally as well. His time spent working with the Collaborative Research Group on Health Policy and Promotion provided him with valuable tools to help foster his interests and actions in health promotion, practice, and management.

 

 

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