Dr. Striley Selected for National Honor Society

Assistant professor and director of the master of science in epidemiology and certificate in psychiatric epidemiology programs, Catherine Striley, PhD, MSW, MPE, will be inducted as a faculty member in the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society at the annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, on April 7. Named after Dr. Edward A. Bouchet, the first African American to receive a PhD in any discipline and the 6th person in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded the PhD in physics, chapters of the Society “seek to develop a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support, and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy.” The University of Florida chapter of the Bouchet Society joined 13 other universities with chapters in 2016. Congratulations, Dr. Striley!

New Shands Quasi-Endowment Studies Funded

Each year the Shands Quasi-Endowment program awards grants to enhance the mission of Shands and other Health Sciences Colleges. This year two Epidemiology faculty, Dr. Cindy Prins (left) and Dr. Yan Wang (right) were selected for funding for the College of Public Health and Health Professions.

Dr. Prins will conduct a project entitled, “Efficacy analysis of an automated hand hygiene monitoring system,” which will extend an existing trial of a badge monitoring system at UF Health. This will allow the team to compile more data on outcomes including healthcare-associated infections and patient and healthcare worker satisfaction in the units participating in the trial. The project is in collaboration with Dr. Irene Alexaitis, Scott Brown, Janet Gerner, and Dr. Nicole Iovine.

Dr. Wang’s project, “Improving alcohol use screening among HIV infected patients through advanced psychological testing,” will be conducted in conjunction with the SHARC Center for Translational HIV Research. The study will apply the Implicit Association Test (IAT) for improving alcohol use screening among HIV patients, as the basis for designing more effective and individualized alcohol intervention.

Genomic Virology Workshop Collaboration

In early March a Genomic Virology Workshop was held at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Sponsored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the event was co-organized by Epidemiology associate professor Mattia Prosperi, PhD, MEng, along with Dr. Alberto Riva from Computational Biology at UF, in association with Genome Quebec. Epidemiology doctoral student Jae Min joined Dr. Levent Albayrak from the University of Texas Medical Branch as guest presenter. The free workshop drew 20 students, including both academics and professionals, and covered bioinformatics approaches for viral characterization using Next Generation Sequencing data. The workshop was quite successful, earning rave reviews from participants. Sponsors are arranging with Dr. Prosperi to host the event again next year in Montreal.


Health Services Research, Management and Policy

Health Services Research PhD Student Young-Rock Hong Publishes in JHM

The paper, “Multigroup Path Analysis of the Influence of Healthcare Quality, by Different Health Insurance Types” was published in the Journal of Healthcare Management in the March/April edition. The Journal of Healthcare Management (JHM) is the official journal of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). In the study, Young and his co-authors examined the moderating effects of health insurance on healthcare quality as measured by general health status, satisfaction with received care, financial burden, and perceived value of the healthcare system. Congratulations to Young-Rock! Read more 

UF MHA Case Competition Team Advances to the Final Round

The UF MHA program was well represented at this year’s University of Alabama at Birmingham Health Administration Case Competition. Each year, the students receive a health administration case in advance of the competition and begin researching the problem and potential solutions. Each team then presents their recommendations to solve the case before a panel of judges at the competition. The 2017 team was made up of Venessa Bibeau, Clara Engelmann, and Alex Cardoso, along with observers Jackie Svekis, Natalie Boruk, and Ciera Hall. Together they beat out 30 teams to be finalists with five other teams. The department is very proud of these students and the hard work they put into this performance. Congratulations!

(left to right: Jackie Svekis, Ciera Hall, Natalie Boruk, Venessa Bibeau, Alex Cardoso, Clara Engelmann)


Occupational Therapy

OT Department Faculty to Lead Many Scientific Sessions at the 2017 American Occupational Therapy Conference  

The OT Department will be strongly represented at the American Occupational Therapy Conference (AOTA) and Centennial Celebration, in Philadelphia, March 28 - April 2. Approximately 35 UF OT students and 10 faculty are participating in this prestigious event. Occupational therapy faculty will lead scientific or practice presentations via institutes, workshops, research panels, and short courses; while many students will showcase their research posters. Contributions from within the department, calling for national distinction, include a book release, entitled: Driving Simulation for Assessment, Intervention, and Training: A Guide for Occupational Therapy and Health Care Professionals, edited by Dr. Sherrilene Classen; and induction of Dr. Joanne Foss and Emily Pugh into the AOTA Roster of Fellows. Faculty and students are excited to showcase the department’s research, expertise, and commitment to enhancing the evidence-informed practice of occupational therapy.​




Occupational Therapy Faculty to Present Cutting Edge Research at a Summit of Scholars Symposium

When Boston University hosts the prestigious 6th Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars Symposium in June, UF’s Department of Occupational Therapy (OT) will be represented with three cutting edge scientific presentations. Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, FGSA, will present interim findings from a Department of Defense funded effectiveness trial of a simulator-based occupational therapy driving intervention for combat veterans. Sandra Winter, PhD, OTR/L, will present qualitative findings informing the effectiveness trial, and elaborate on a grounded theory model for understanding combat veterans’ driving difficulties, strategies, and intervention preferences. Consuelo Kreider, PhD, OTR/L, will present findings of a NSF funded study to develop a comprehensive model for supporting the academic and health/wellness needs of college students with learning disabilities. We look forward to highlighting UF OT research at this program that focuses on advancing the science of occupational therapy while building connections among OT researchers nationally.

(left to right: Drs. Consuelo Kreider, Sherrilene Classen, and Sandra Winter)

OT Founder's Day

The Department of Occupational Therapy faculty celebrated 100 years of the profession on Founder’s Day, March 15th. The department has a rich history of contributions to occupational therapy education, research, and practice.


Physical Therapy

Patten Collaborates with HERS Institute

Dr. Carolynn Patten was recently selected for an exciting educational opportunity with the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Institute. HERS is an academic leadership development institute specifically tailored to improve the presence of women in academic leadership roles. Dr. Patten will spend two weeks in residence at Bryn Mawr this summer. Read more

PT Students and Faculty Present at APTA CSM Conference

The faculty, students and alumni of UF PT’s doctor of physical therapy and rehabilitation science PhD program presented posters and poster platforms, received awards, and hosted an Alumni and Friends reception at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) in San Antonio,TX last month. Read more

(pictured: Dr. Bill McGehee and Alumna Nicole Trivison)

Bialosky Named Recipient of the James A. Gould Excellence in Teaching Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Award

Dr. Joel Bialosky received this APTA Orthopedic Section award during the Annual APTA CSM meeting. The award recognizes and supports excellence in instructing orthopedic physical therapy principles and techniques through the acknowledgment of an individual with exemplary teaching skills, the ability to motivate students, and service as a mentor and role model with evidence of strong student rapport.

 (left to right: Zach Stearns ’17, Dr. Joel Bialosky, and Jordan Kooiman ’17)


Rehabilitation Science

Hawkins Receives APTA Academy of Neurologic PT Award

PT RSD student Kelly Hawkins, PT, DPT (left), mentored by Dr. Emily Fox (right), was awarded the APTA Academy of Neurologic PT Post Professional Student Research Award. Hawkins received the award for her project entitled, “Thinking About Walking: Functional Neuroimaging Demonstrates Increased Demand for Executive Control of Walking in Adults with Mobility Deficits.”

RSD Students Receive Travel Awards

Congratulations to six rehabilitation science PhD (RSD) program students: Katie Butera, Brendan Doyle, ML Lee, Shabnam Medhizdah, Pallavi Sood, and Joseph Wasser, who were awarded program travel awards to present their data at national meetings. The students represented the RSD program at the following meetings: APTA Combined Sections; Experimental Biology; Academy Health Annual Meeting; the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialist; and the Annual Meeting of American College of Sports Medicine. Read more

(clockwise from top left: Wasser, Sood, Doyle, Butera, Medhizdah, Lee)

Spring RSD Program Social

The spring Rehabilitation Science PhD Program Social was held last month at Tall Paul’s and was a success! Thanks to the students and faculty who broke away from exam-taking, teaching, and paper-writing for some pizza, salad, socializing, and an opportunity to provide some constructive RSD program feedback.

(pictured: current RSD Faculty and Students at Tall Paul's)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Esther Piervil Inducted into Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society

Esther Piervil, doctoral candidate in the social and behavioral sciences program, has been selected to be inducted into the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. The Bouchet Society seeks to develop a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support and serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy. Esther will have the opportunity to network with other Bouchet Fellows and present her preliminary research findings during the Bouchet Society’s, 14th Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education, during Yale's spring conference April  7 - 8, 2017.

Doctoral Student, Kanathy Haney, Wins Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award in Palm Beach County

Kanathy Haney, doctoral student in the social and behavioral sciences program and professor at Palm Beach State College, won the Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award in Palm Beach County. Kanathy is chair of the Palm Beach State College Human Trafficking Coalition, member of the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches, and member of Rescue Upstream, the anti-human trafficking initiative of Journey Church. Kanathy has been instrumental in bringing together multiple community partners to address human trafficking through awareness, prevention, and service campaigns. She has created exercise programs to empower victims to conquer consequent mental health issues, volunteers at a call center to find missing children and those sexually exploited, has started scholarship opportunities, and created a service learning course to train aspiring abolitionists. Kanathy created an event for January’s Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month.

One Cow, One Family: Program Evaluation in Rwanda

Kelsea LeBeau, master of public health student in the social and behavioral sciences program, traveled to Rwanda, Africa to conduct research with the UF Global Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in September 2016. Kelsea worked closely with Dr. Kathleen Colverson to investigate the gendered implications of the Government of Rwanda's 10-year-old "One Cow per Poor Family" program, known as "GIRINKA". The GIRINKA program was implemented to improve income and nutrition of poor households throughout Rwanda. The program has provided dairy cows to households so they could sell the milk to increase income and drink the milk to improve nutrition. In order to understand how the program could be enhanced, Kelsea and Dr. Colverson interviewed partner organizations and participant farmers to understand how gender has played a role in the successes and challenges of GIRINKA. They are currently working on finishing the final report, distributing the report to the organizations, and publishing the report.


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Helping Children Who are Deaf Learn to Talk

Ninety-six percent of children born with hearing loss are born to parents with normal hearing. Not that long ago, it was difficult for these children to develop spoken language, but technology has changed all that. We can now identify these children at birth and provide useable hearing to them. But as good as current methods are, children with hearing loss still face challenges as they learn to talk. This summer, the department of speech, language, and hearing sciences will continue research focused on exploring ways to further improve spoken language outcomes for children with hearing loss. Seventy-six teenagers who have participated in a longitudinal study since infancy and who hail from across the United States will visit the research laboratories within the College of Public Health and Health Professions to have their language skills assessed as part of a larger study designed to advance our abilities to help children who are deaf learn to talk.

Project Yucatan Celebrates 15 Years by Expanding Its Scope

For the 15th year, UF Audiology students and faculty volunteered their time and talents in Mexico for Project Yucatan 2017. Led by Dr. Scott Griffiths, the UF team joined faculty and students from UF’s College of Pharmacy, the Autonomous University of Yucatan, and the University of Oklahoma to see 1440 children and adults in 5 days of work in towns and cities around the peninsula. Included this year were over 2 dozen infants with a history of maternal Zika virus infection. The team provided hearing, balance, and diabetes screenings, hearing conservation counseling (new this year), and hearing aid cleaning/repairs.

UF Speech-Language Pathology Joins Project Yucatan for the First Time

The team provided hearing, balance, and diabetes screenings, hearing conservation counseling (new this year), and hearing aid cleaning/repairs. The Project Yucatan team was excited to have speech-language pathology faculty and students join us for the first time. They provided parent education regarding hearing loss, listening and spoken language, language development, and functional communication related to other developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down Syndrome. In addition, they provided education and training to special education teachers, education students, and speech-language pathologists in the region. Dr. Kim Crass and Lori-Ann Ferraro led the group of four graduate clinicians: Jennifer Beguiristain, Lesley Summers, Emily Iler, and Meganne Muir.



Dr. Susmita Datta, Professor, Department of Biostatistics:  Book Publication

Dr. Susmita Datta, professor in the Department of Biostatistics, recently had her book, Statistical Analysis of Proteomics, Metabolomics, and Lipidomics Data Using Mass Spectrometry, published by Springer. This book presents an overview of computational and statistical design and analysis of mass spectrometry-based proteomics, metabolomics, and lipidomics data. This contributed volume provides an introduction to the special aspects of statistical design and analysis with mass spectrometry data for the new omic sciences. The text discusses common aspects of design and analysis between and across all (or most) forms of mass spectrometry, while also providing special examples of application with the most common forms of mass spectrometry. Also covered are applications of computational mass spectrometry not only in clinical study but also in the interpretation of omics data in plant biology studies. Read more

UF Researchers Detail New Tactics Against Zika

University of Florida scientists presented new research outlining ways to prevent the spread of the Zika and dengue viruses through the development of a Zika vaccine and a focus on spraying indoors to control mosquitoes.

Ira Longini, PhD, a professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine; and Natalie Dean, PhD, a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Biostatistics,  organized the panel during the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston.

Indoor residual spraying involves spraying for mosquitoes in hot spots inside people’s homes — the backs of closets and other dark, cool places where mosquitoes like to linger. Indoor residual spraying works because it places the insecticide where the mosquitoes are actually biting people, according to Longini. The spray remains effective for several months. Read more


Clinical and  Health Psychology

CHP Student Wins Outstanding Oral Abstract Submission

Congratulations to Allyson Diggins for receiving the Outstanding Oral Abstract Submission in the Student Award Category for her research entitled, “A Qualitative Examination of the Influence of Culture on Engagement in Physical Activity among Black Women.” She will receive this prestigious award at the 2017 Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) annual meeting in San Diego, CA on March 30, 2017 during the Ethnic Minority and Multicultural Health Special Interest Group (EMMH SIG) business meeting. During the annual meeting, Allyson will also give an oral presentation on her research as part of the African American Women’s Health paper session. She is looking forward to presenting her research at the conference and continuing to contribute to ethnic minority and multicultural health. Ms. Diggins’ mentor is Dr. Nicky Whitehead, a faculty member in CHP.

Students Win SPPAC 2017 Travel Awards

Each year the Society of Pediatric Psychology (Division 54 of the American Psychological Association) awards a select number of competitive travel grants to graduate students based on the merit of their submitted research to be presented at the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference.

Marie Chardon, a third year student mentored by Dr. David Janicke, won a travel award to present her research on “The Moderating Role of Family Functioning on the Relationship between Parental Distress and Youth Disease-Related Quality of Life.” Sarah Stromberg, a fourth year student also mentored by Dr. Janicke, won a travel award to present her research on “Family Mealtime Functioning Moderates the Relationship between Youth Body Dissatisfaction and Weight Control Behavior Use.” Rachel Sweenie, a first year student mentored by Dr. Dave Fedele, won a travel award to present her research on “Sleep Disturbance, Quality of Life, and Asthma Status in Youth.” The Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference will be held on March 30th  – April 1 in Portland, OR.

(left to right: Rachel Sweenie, Sarah Stromberg, Marie Chardon)

Peace of Mind

Dr. Glenn Smith, Elizabeth Faulk professor and chair of Clinical and Health Psychology has been awarded an Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Consortium grant from the Florida Department of Health. This $450,000 award will establish a collaboration between the Florida Department of Health funded Memory Disorders Centers at UF, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, and Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare to study neuroimaging impacts of behavioral interventions in Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Dr. Jared Tanner is a collaborator on this grant, and Dr. Smith’s students, Deirdre O’Shea and Liselotte De Wit, will also support the project. The study was recently renamed the “Physical Exercise And Cognitive Engagement Outcomes For Mild Neurocognitive Disorder (PEACEOFMND)” study.

(left to right: Liselotte De Wit, Glenn Smith, Dierdre O’Shea)


Dean's Office

PHHP  2017 Superior Accomplishment Award Winners Named

College of Public Health and Health Professions employees Glenn Ashkanazi, PhD, Vera Hemphill, Margaret Odom Renner, and Caronne Rush have been named UF Superior Accomplishment award winners in the Health Science Center division. They were honored at an awards banquet March 2.

The award program recognizes employees who contribute outstanding service, efficiency and/or economy to the university, or play a role in the quality of life provided to students and employees. Health Science Center division winners are submitted as nominees to compete for the university-level Superior Accomplishment Awards. Read more

(clockwise from top left: Glenn Ashkanazi, PhD, Vera Hemphill, Caronne Rush, Margaret Odom Renner)

PHHP’s Dance Marathon Team Raises over $10,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network

This was PHHP’s second year participating in the Dance Marathon for the Children’s Miracle Network at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and it was a big success. The student-driven team of 20 students raised a grand total of $12,250 this year, which is more than double what they raised last year ($5,055). They earned a total of 11 dance spots for the 26.2 hours of dancing, celebrating, and sharing. All 11 of the tired but accomplished participants lasted through the whole marathon! Way to go, Team PHHP!


Environmental and Global Health

Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood Elected President of SESOT

Dr. Tara Sabo-Attwood, associate professor and chair of the Department of Environmental and Global Health, has been elected as the next President of the Southeastern Regional Chapter of the Society of Toxicology (SESOT). This organization serves as a venue to bring together individuals from academia, government, and industry that share an interest in toxicology. The Chapter encourages interactions among members in the SE region which is represented by Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The SESOT strongly supports scientific and educational programs and offers excellent networking opportunities for students. The organization sponsors an annual SESOT conference every Fall. Read more

Dr. Joseph Bisesi to be Inducted into Delta Omega Society

Dr. Joseph Bisesi has been selected as one of only three 2017 inductees into the Beta Upsilon Chapter of Delta Omega, the Honorary Society of Public Health. Dr. Bisesi will be honored at an induction ceremony in April of this year. The national Delta Omega society was founded in 1924 in order to recognize outstanding achievement in the field of public health, with the Beta Upsilon chapter being founded in 2009. Those inducted are selected based on their dedication to and support for the values and practices of Public Health.