PhD Degree Programs

Current PhD Students


Research Interests: Psychoeducation for family caregivers, and exploring how spirituality, hope, and resilience, combined with innovative telehealth approaches, can significantly improve their mental health and well-being.

Headshot of Raheleh Bahrami

Raheleh Bahrami

Research Interests: Alcohol Use, Risky Sexual Behaviors, Condom Nonuse, Sexual Violence, Alcohol Expectancies 

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Weiqi Chen

Research Interests: Supportive Care/Palliative Care for Individuals Living Alone with Dementia, Dementia-Specific Education for Frontline Healthcare Workers, and Care Transitions for Individuals Living with Dementia 

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Sara Crance

Research Interests: Women's mental health, Maternal mortality, Reproductive/maternal mental health, Maternal suicide, Maternal/child health, Behavioral Health Integration, Health and Mental Health Policy, Suicidology/Suicide Prevention, Peer Support 

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Cindy Herrick

Research Interests: Immersive reality, Heart rate variability, Biofeedback, Chronic Pain, Neuromodulation, Digital therapeutics, Rural health interventions 

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Jane Hook

Research Interests: Cancer rehabilitation, Exercise referral, Decision-support algorithm, Survivor empowerment, Supportive care

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Nancy Howe

Research Interests: Alzheimer's Diseases Related Dementia (ADRD), Caregiving, Sleep Health, Social Connection 

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Yingyan Huang

Research Interests: Parenting, parent-child interactions, child behaviors, child sleep, especially how parenting affects child behaviors including sleep 

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Nana Jiao

Research Interests: Cognitive changes within normal and abnormal aging, Early indicators of Alzheimer’s Disease, Transition in cognitive health to atypical aging , Non-pharmacological interventions to prevent and/or delay cognitive decline, Cognitive assessments and/or cognitive stimulation for preventive measures

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Raena Johnson

Research Interests: The experience of a Latino caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other related dementia across their caregiving life-span.  Also, developing accessible interventions that promote resilience and mindfulness in this population.  

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Alma Manzo

Research Interests: Maternal Health, Maternal Safety, Racial Concordance, Black Populations, Minority Health, Health Disparities, Community Based Research, Survey Development 

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Kadeeja Murrell

Research Interests: Primary and secondary prevention of substance use disorders with a special interest in young adults, adverse life, neurovisceral integration model and its application in addiction research, severe mental illness management, heart rate variability biofeedback for substance use disorders, stress, resilience coping, and post-traumatic growth. 

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Lakshmi Nair

Research Interests: I am interested in exploring and examining strategies that support caregivers of persons with dementia to thrive during and after the dementia caregiving process.  

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Gemma O'Donnell

Research Interests: Indigenous health research, addressing health disparities, cultural sensitivity, community, engagement, policy and advocacy, holistic approach, culturally appropriate interventions, cultural competency, ethical considerations, cultural appropriate methodologies, traditional healing, social determinants, environmental factors, cultural safety, self-determination, cultural resilience, community-based participatory research. 

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Kristin Payestewa

Research Interests: LGBTQ Health, Sexual Health, Adolescent Health, School-Based Health, Substance Use, Mental Health, Mattering, Belonging, School-Based Interventions, Health Education, Social Emotional Learning

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Sarah Portle

Research Interests: Pediatric healthcare philosophy, pediatric healthcare, health policy and systems, healthcare ethics, low-value care  

Headshot of Clare Schuchardt-Vogt

Clare Schuchardt-Vogt

Research Interests: simulation-based competency assessment, simulation to mitigate workplace violence, understanding of simulation nurse faculty workload, and situation awareness

Headshot of Chantal Skon

Chantal Skon

Research Interests: screening and prevention of dementia/mild cognitive impairment (MCI), risk reduction for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD), prevalence of dementia/MCI in vulnerable populations including older adults experiencing homelessness 

Headshot of Alisa Squires

Alisa Squires