Health Promotion Sciences Graduate Students

Tanya Adler

Program and semester started: MS Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Dr. Michael Copenhaver

Research interests: Substance abuse and addiction, HIV prevention/risk-reduction, neurocognitive impairment, opioid use disorder treatment

Biography: Tanya is from Shelton, CT and graduated from UConn with her B.S. in Allied Health Sciences in May 2020. In addition to a MS in Health Promotion, she is also working towards receiving a Certificate in Health Psychology. Tanya loves spending time with family and friends, and while currently unsure of exactly which career path she will follow she is determined to make a change and impact the lives of others.

Richard Bannor

Program and semester started: PhD Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Dr. Sherry Pagoto

Research interests: Social media, digital health, health behavior, healthcare innovation adoption, pandemics

Biography: Richard received his Master of Public Health degree, Bachelor of Science in Administration (Health Services Administration), and Diploma in Accounting all from the University of Ghana. He has several journal and conference publications, and also serves as a reviewer for a number of journals and conferences. Richard worked as a Health Service Administrator at the Ghana Health Service and is currently a doctoral student in the Health Promotion Sciences graduate program and a Graduate Research Assistant at the UConn Center for mHealth and Social Media.

Hanna Caridad

Program and semester started: Coordinated Program in Dietetics + MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2019

Advisor: Ellen Shanley

Research interests: Social media and the effect of at-home cooking on fruit and vegetable consumption. Additional interests include eating disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and nutrition in athletics and sport

Biography: As a CT native and the daughter of two UConn alumni, it only made sense that I would complete both my BS in Nutritional Sciences in 2019 and my MS in Health Promotion at this wonderful university. I am hopeful that following the completion of my program, I will gain a position as a clinical dietitian somewhere in the northeast. Hobbies include cooking for my family, hiking with my dogs and Olympic weightlifting!

Lauren M. Lamberti Corso

Program and semester started: PhD in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2018

Advisor: Dr. Jeanne McCaffery

Research interests: Obesity, Cardiometabolic health, exercise, biomarkers, physiologic mechanisms of human health and disease

Biography: Lauren is an Illinois native and earned her BS in medical laboratory science and MS in Kinesiology from UConn. She was also an undergraduate student-athlete, and member of the UConn women’s volleyball team. She is currently pursuing a PhD in health promotion sciences with a focus on physiological predictors of cardiometabolic health and weight gain.

Olivia Ford

Program and semester started: Coordinated Program in Dietetics + MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Ellen Shanley

Research interests: Mindful eating and its effects on behavior change in adults as well as its effects on the reduction of irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal disorder symptoms.

Biography: I am a Rhode Island native and recently graduated from the University of Rhode Island in May of 2020 with a B.S in Nutrition and Dietetics. Rhode Island is all I have ever known so I am more than thrilled to be part of the UCONN community and expand upon my love for nutrition and its preventative powers.

Erin Gallacher

Program and semester started: MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Michael Copenhaver

Research interests: Behavioral change interventions, health education

Biography: I have a passion for teaching and helping others to lead a healthier lifestyle.  In addition to my masters degree, I am working toward a Certificate in Health Psychology and becoming a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

Carnisha Gilder

Program and semester started: PhD in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2016

Advisor: Dr. Tricia Leahey

Dissertation: Impact of Social Connectedness on Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance and Exploration of Race as a Moderator

Biography: Carnisha is a native Detroiter and Cornell Alumna (B.S.). She ventured to The University of Connecticut where she earned a M.S. and is currently studying for a PhD in Health Promotion Sciences.

Benjamin Giroux

Program and semester started: Coordinated Program in Dietetics + MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2019

Advisor: Dr. Valerie Duffy

Research interests: Physical activity/nutrition for sport

Biography: Ben is a 2nd year MS candidate with a background in exercise science, athletic training, and nutritional sciences. Ben aims to become registered dietitian and to work in performance nutrition.

Jared Goetz

Program and semester started: PhD in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2018

Advisor: Dr. Sherry Pagoto

Research interests: Digital health, obesity, weight loss and weight loss maintenance, eating behavior, affect and health behaviors

Biography: Jared has always wanted to be a biobehavioral health researcher. Before returning to school to join the PhD program in Health Promotion Sciences, Jared has lived a variety of roles including stay-at-home parent, medical student, and research staff in labs studying digital health, weight loss, and post-traumatic stress disorder. As an undergrad he majored in philosophy and psychology at Brandeis University.

Korina Hahn

Program and semester started: MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Dr. Tricia Leahey

Research interests: Behavioral weight control, adult obesity treatment, physical activity

Biography: Korina is a New Hampshire native and University of Rhode Island Alumna (B.S). She has worked as a research assistant in the field of behavioral weight research at the Miriam Hospital in collaboration with Brown University.

Rachel Hildrey, RDN CDN

Program and semester started: MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2019

Advisor: Dr. Valerie Duffy

Research interests: Providing nutrition education and instilling healthy lifestyle habits in adolescents at a title 1 middle school. The research consists of an online liking survey about food, beverages, and activities which provides tailored health messages based on responses; an online nutrition education game that students can play on computers or chrome books; plate waste assessments; and other community outreach in line with the East Hartford Hunger Action Team.

Biography: Outside of the classroom, I enjoy taking spin classes, cooking, hiking, and spending time with friends and family. After graduation, I hope to work in Boston as an outpatient or clinical dietitian with the pediatric population.

Breanna Karabeinikoff

Program and semester started: Coordinated Program in Dietetics + MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Ellen Shanley

Research interests: childhood obesity, plant-based diets, eating disorders, food insecurity

Biography: I am from Meriden, CT and graduated from the University of Hartford in 2019 with a B.S in Health Science/Pre-Professional. My career goal is to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and help individuals overcome diseases or disorders with the power of a healthy diet, lifestyle, and mindset.

View Breanna's resume and undergraduate research presentations.

Rama Kattan

Program and semester started: Coordinated Program in Dietetics + MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Dr. Valerie Duffy

Research Interests: Childhood obesity prevention

Biography: Other than my love for food and traveling health promotion is my true passion. Preventing chronic disease through healthy eating and lifestyle choices is something I am dedicated to.

Jaclyn Lerner

Program and semester started: MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Dr. Valerie Duffy

Research interests: Nutrition, dental health, behavior change, social media, food security

Biography: I'm a registered dietitian working in Student Health and Wellness and on the SNAP-Ed team. My work for SNAP-Ed focuses on tailored messages to promote good nutrition and dental health for children ages 2-17.

Colleen Mistler

Program and semester started: PhD in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2019

Advisor: Dr. Michael Copenhaver

Research interests: Opioid use prevention, opioid use disorder treatment, HIV/AIDS prevention research, harm reduction

Biography: Colleen came to UConn in 2019 with a Master of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from Springfield College. She is currently funded by a NIMH T-32 training grant for the Social Processes of HIV/AIDS. She works closely with her advisor on accommodating neurocognitive impairment for behavioral interventions for HIV prevention among people in treatment for opioid use disorder.

Kayla O'Connor

Program and semester started: MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2020

Advisor: Dr. Tricia Leahey

Research interests: Physical activity, behavioral weight management, obesity health disparities

Biography: Kayla is a Springfield, MA native and earned her B.S. from Trinity College. She worked with the UConn Weight Management Research Group for the past 2 years and is currently the graduate coordinator for the Physical Activity Choices Everyday (PACE) NIH-funded clinical trial.

Lauren Roe

Program and semester started: MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Spring 2020

Advisor: Dr. Jessica Beaudet

Research interests: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV vaccination uptake among various populations

Biography: Lauren is from Berlin, CT and earned her B.S. in Allied Health Sciences from UConn in December of 2019.  She is currently working towards receiving UConn’s Graduate Certificate for College Instruction (GCCI) along side her M.S. in Health Promotion Sciences as she teaches current Allied Health Science undergraduates how to write human subject research proposals.  In the future, Lauren is interested in going into clinical research to continue improving the lives of others.

Aviana Rosen

Program and semester started: PhD in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2018

Advisor: Dr. Tania Huedo-Medina

Research interests: HIV/STI prevention, sexual health promotion, infectious disease prevention, chronic disease prevention, global health, health disparities among Latino populations

Biography: Aviana is a PhD candidate in the Health Promotion Sciences program, as well as a T32 fellow for the NIMH grant Social Processes of HIV/AIDS. Previously, Aviana worked as the Project Manager for an Ibero-American health initiative to promote health and reduce health disparities in Cuba, Spain, and the US. She graduated with honors from the University of Connecticut in 2014 with a double major in Psychology and Human Development Family Studies.

Lilly Tartsinis

Program and semester started: Coordinated Program in Dietetics + MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2019

Advisor: Dr. Valerie Duffy

Research interests: How dietary restraint influences diet quality and weight stigma in young women

Biography: I come from Windham CT and have always wanted to go to UConn since I was a little girl, I was lucky enough to graduate a year early from the Nutritional Sciences BS at UConn and join the CPMS program. My career goal is to become a Registered Dietitian and to help others who have a hard time living a well-balance lifestyle due to limitations in their diet.

Jessica Tucker

Program and semester started: Coordinated Program in Dietetics + MS in Health Promotion Sciences, Fall 2019

Advisor: Dr. Jillian Wanik

Research interests: The utilization of Facebook and Text Messaging as an effort to increase mindful eating.

Biography: Jess is a second year in the CPMS program interested in educating others on the link between lifestyle choices and health conditions and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Check out her Professional Eportfolio to learn more.