PhD, Public Health Student Profiles

Kevin E. Cevasco

Bio

Kevin Cevasco is a 2020 graduate of the Global and Community Health, and 1989 Computer Science Graduate of Volgenau. He has served in pro bono leadership roles as Chairman of Friends of Patients at the NIH and as an advisor to HOSA Future Health Professionals. Patients can face emotional, financial, and logistical challenges during their NIH clinical trials, and his experience working with NIH staff and patients inspired a return to GMU for an MPH and doctoral degree in epidemiology. His professional career has been dedicated to developing health IT solutions and architectures for programs such as improving veteran access to care. As an active member of the GMU’s Northern Virginia Area Health Education Center (NVAHEC) he advocates for the Center’s workforce development programs. As COVID-19 spread in the spring of 2020, he led a group of MPH graduate students in publishing a study and data set on COVID-19 university closures. He was awarded the CHHS 2020 Graduate Award for Excellence in Leadership. His public health efforts continued after MPH graduation working with the National Association County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to publish a Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) Targeted at the Opioid Overdose Epidemic. 

Publications

Cevasco KE. Conducting Affordable Care Act, Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) Targeted at the Opioid Overdose Epidemic. National Association of County and City Health Officials; 2020. Available from: https://www.naccho.org/uploads/downloadable-resources/Opioid-Focused-CHNA-K-Cevasco.pdf 

Cevasco KE, North HM, Zeitoun SA, Wofford RN, Matulis GA, Gregory AF, et al. COVID-19 observations and accompanying dataset of non-pharmaceutical interventions across U.S. universities, March 2020. Shaman J, editor. PLOS ONE. 2020 Oct 16;15(10):e0240786.  

Cevasco KE, North H, Zeitoun S, Gregory AF, Wofford RN, Hassan MH, Matulis G, Abdo AD, Farris D, Roess AA, von Fricken ME. How U.S. Public Universities Responded to the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020: Lessons learned from the variations in timing of key decisions. 69th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, virtual meeting, Nov 2020. 

von Fricken ME, Cevasco KE, North H, Wofford RN, Zeitoun S, Gregory AF, Hassan MH, Matulis G, Abdo AD, Farris D, Roess A. Driving forces behind timing and decision-making for U.S. Public and Private Universities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 69th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, virtual meeting, Nov 2020. 

Education

  • Masters of Public Health (MPH), Epidemiology, 2020, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA) 1992, Virginia Tech, Falls Church, VA 
  • Bachelors of Science, Computer Science, 1989, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 

Research Interests

  • COVID mitigation, interventions, and return to work 
  • Public health informatics 
  • Opioid misuse epidemic 
Julia Mandeville

Faculty MentorJhumka Gupta

Julia Mandeville

Bio

Originally from Barbados, Julia Mandeville earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology with Microbiology from the University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and her Master of Public Health with a specialization in Global Health from the University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom. In 2016 she began working with a Barbadian NGO which focused on women's health. She was responsible for developing the programmatic and community health activities for the organization and during that time she gained certificates in Gender & Development and NGO Management from the University of the West Indies. Additionally, she worked with other researchers on a project that aimed to describe and characterize the impact of symptoms of menstrual health disorders on daily life among a sample of women currently living in Barbados. Julia was most recently a program analyst working on the Injury and Violence Prevention portfolio, at the National Association of County and City Health Officials. Through this work, she has also become interested in learning more about how health departments apply a health equity lens in drug overdose response and prevention initiatives. With this PhD her hope is to continue evaluating women's health outcomes, particularly in BIPOC and immigrant populations.

Publications

Mandeville, J. S., Best, D. A., & Waterman, F. (2021). Characterizing the impact of menstrual and pelvic health disorders in a convenience sample of women in Barbados. Journal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders, 13(3), 211–220. https://doi.org/10.1177/22840265211024437

Education

  • Master of Public Health (MPH)-Global Health 2017, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • Bachelor of Science- Biology with Microbiology 2010, University of the West Indies-Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Research Interests

  • Reproductive Health
  • Women's Health
  • Minority Health
  • Social Determinants of Health
  • Immigrant and Migrant Health

Joanna Marroquin

Bio

From the start, Joanna knew that she wanted to make a difference in women’s health. She started her career as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, and during her time working in a clinical setting, she discovered her true passion was in public health. She went back to school to obtain her MPH and was able to gain experience in research at Inova Women’s Hospital. She worked on gynecologic and obstetrical research studies with women at different stages of life. She was also part of the Children’s National Inova Collaborative Research Program. She enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her partner, her Labrador Retriever, and her tuxedo cat during her free time. 

Publications

Alshiek, J., Marroquin, J., & Shobeiri, S. A. (2021a). The Fresh Frozen Cadaveric Study of Direct Pouch of Douglas Laparoscopic and Robotic Trocar Insertion for Vaginal Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery. J Minim Invasive Gynecol, 28(2), 320-324. doi:10.1016/j.jmig.2020.06.010

Alshiek, J., Marroquin, J., & Shobeiri, S. A. (2021b). Vaginal ultrasound-guided Pouch of Douglas robotic entry in a live ovine model and human female cadaveric specimens. J Robot Surg. doi:10.1007/s11701-021-01203-w

Education

  • Master of Public Health (MPH), The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Bachelor of Science, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Rochester Institute of Technology

Research Interests

  • Epidemiology
  • Women’s Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Research Design and Methods

Kimberly McNally

Bio

Kimberly McNally is a registered nurse. She has experience working with TB, STIs, immunizations and disease surveillance at a community health department. She worked as a community health nurse aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. She recently moved here with her family. McNally is a military spouse with 3 children and 2 dogs. In her free time she likes to rock climb, read and listen to podcasts.   

Publications

McNally, K., Metcalfe, S., & Whichello, R. (2019). Interventions to Support Diversity in Nursing Education. The Journal of Nursing Education58(11), 641–646. https://doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20191021-05

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree from Rutgers University- Camden (Social Work)
  • Bachelor’s Degree from Western Carolina University (Nursing)
  • Master’s Degree from Western Carolina University (Nursing Education) 

Research Interests

  • Connection between communicable disease and behavioral Science
  • Vaccine preventable diseases, vaccine acceptance and hesitancy
  • Access to harm reduction interventions and the acceptance of harm reduction in different communities

Rachel Morrison

Bio

Rachel Morrison spent the last four years researching vector-borne infectious disease research with Dr. Michael von Fricken and the Smithsonian Institution. In 2019 she joined Walter Reed Biosystematics Unit at the Smithsonian to work on the DoD GEIS project “A Pan-Regional Vector Biosurveillance Network to Detect, Characterize, and Predict Endemic and Emergent Zoonosis in East and Central Africa”, conducting field research and lab work in Kenya and Chad. 

Education

  • George Mason University
    • PhD Epidemiology (current)  
    • MPH Epidemiology, 2020
    • BS in Global and Community Health, 2014 

Research Interests

  • Vector-borne infectious disease research primarily in East Africa.

Grace Nyambura

Bio

Grace Nyambura graduated from Morgan State University (MSU) in Baltimore, MD with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Masters of Public Health. While at MSU she was introduced to the world of scientist where she conducted organic synthesis research. She was also accepted to the NIGMS-RISE program at MSU. This program allowed her to present her research to 13 regional and national conference presentations. After graduation with her BS in chemistry, she worked as an instructional assistant. Morrison thoroughly enjoyed serving students and this sparked in her an interest in public health. As she pursued public health, she had a better understanding of the connection between science and public health. As she was pursuing her master degree in public health, Morrison did an internship at International Rescue Committee (IRC) where she provided services to incoming refugees. After graduation, she worked at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Epidemiology for the AIDS Linked to Intravenous Experience (ALIVE) study. She worked with intravenous drug users to understand the social and behavioral pathways necessary to improve survival and quality of life for persons aging with HIV, especially those who are socially marginalized, historically disadvantaged, and are in resource-constrained HIV-infected communities. 

Publications

Winstead, A. J., Nyambura, G., Matthews, R., Toney, D., & Oyaghire, S. (2013). Synthesis of quaternary heterocyclic salts. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)18(11), 14306–14319. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fmolecules181114306 

Education

  • Morgan State University  
    • Bachelor of Science Chemistry, December 2013
    • Master of Public Health, May 2017 

Research Interests

  • Social Determinants of Health 
     

Amarachukwu F. Orji

Bio

Prior to graduating with her MA in Sociology from UMBC, Amarachukwu Orji worked at the center for Immunization, Maryland department of health as a research associate. She was responsible for conducting data quality reviews and interpreting providers ‘Assessment, Feedback, Incentives, and eXchange (AFIX) records and Immunization Quality for Providers (IQIP) eligibility which was used to develop Vaccine for Children assessment materials. It was there and then, she realized her passion for research, data management, and public health. Amarachukwu is passionate about women and immigrants’ health and is currently pursuing this degree in hopes of impacting the lives of women and disadvantaged groups. Outside of school, she enjoys reading for pleasure and binge-watching medical or legal TV dramas.

Education

  • George Mason University
    • PhD, Public Health in Epidemiology (Current)
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    • Master of Art, Applied Sociology, May 2020
    • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in the Nonprofit Sector, May 2020
  • University of Ibadan, Nigeria
    • Bachelor of Science, Sociology, December 2016

Research Interests

  • Epidemiology
  • Cancer epidemiology
  • Health disparities
  • Social Inequality

 

Jessica Reilly

Bio

Jessica Reilly is currently a Graduate Research Assistant with the Department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University. Her current research includes amblyopia and physical activity in children aimed at preventing or reversing signs of metabolic syndrome, obesity, high blood pressure, and other morbidities.  

Her passion lies in helping people prevent chronic diseases, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease through changes in lifestyle especially through nutrition. When not studying and volunteering, she likes to read, run 5Ks, spend time with her husband, and swim. 

Education

  • George Mason University
    • Master of Science, Nutrition
    • Graduate Certificate, Nutrition
  • Park University
    •  Bachelor of Science, Social Psychology

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Graduate Award- Park University 
  • Pi Gamma Mu-International Honors Society in Social Sciences 
  • Alpha Kappa Delta- International Honors Society of Sociology 

Volunteer

  • Master Food Volunteer- April 2018-Present
  • MVLE- Cooking and Nutritional Program Manager June 2018- Present

Research Interests

  • Disease Prevention
  • Microbiome
  • Obesity 
  • Nutrition 
  • Chronic Diseases 
Lauren Elaine Cooper Russell

Faculty Mentor: Kenneth Griffin

Elaine Russell

Bio

Elaine graduated from George Mason University (GMU) with a Bachelor of Science in Community Health in 2015 and a Master of Public Health degree in 2017. While completing her MPH at GMU, Elaine was a Graduate Assistant for the Student Support and Advocacy Center, where she developed, planned, and executed health prevention and awareness programs related to nutrition, stress management, and substance abuse to improve health outcomes among university students. Shortly after graduation, she returned to GMU as an Adjunct Professor within the Department of Global and Community Health, where she taught "Introduction to Public Health", up until beginning the PhD in Public Health program. In her full-time role, Elaine is a Government Consultant within the Health Account at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she works to improve high reliability within the Military Health System. Elaine has nearly a decade of experience supporting the military, and an extensive background in technical writing and editing. In her free time, Elaine loves running, hiking, traveling, and trying new foods.

Publications

Hutter, P. J., Roski, J., Woodson, J., Middleton, A., Kneeland, R., Worthy, A., ... & Cooper, E.* (2019). Readiness of medical providers in the military health system: overview of operational and policy considerations. Health Affairs, 38(8), 1274-1280.
https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00336

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Community Health; Concentration in Nutrition; Minor in Communication, George Mason University, May 2015
  • Master of Public Health (MPH); Concentration in Global and Community Health, George Mason University, May 2017
  • Change Management Advanced Practitioner (CMAP) Certification, Georgetown University, March 2020

Research Interests 

  • Military Health
  • Substance Abuse
  • Mental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
Cheyu Zhang

Professional Website

Google Scholar

 

Faculty MentorJhumka Gupta

Cheyu Zhang 

Bio

Cheyu Zhang graduated from the George Washington University (GWU) with a Master of Public Health in Biostatistics degree. After graduation, she worked as a research associate at GWU. Currently, she is pursuing her doctor's degree in Public Health at George Mason University, in hopes of understanding and helping preventing gender-based violence against women.

Education

  • Master of Public Health, Biostatistics, the George Washington University, May 2019
  • Bachelor of Science, Ecology, Shandong University, May 2017

Research Interests

  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • COVID-19
  • HIV Prevention
  • Epidemiology