University of California, San Francisco & Berkeley Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars

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(2014-2016) Cohort 12 Scholars

Photograph of Joan Casey, PhD
Joan Casey, PhD

Joan Casey is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose research focuses on using electronic medical records to study the effects of environmental exposures on population health. Her dissertation work suggests that living near industrial agriculture may put residents at risk for antibiotic-resistant infections. This research has been published in JAMA Internal Medicine and Environmental Health Perspectives. Joan’s area of interest also extends to investigating the impact of unconventional natural gas development on community and individual health. As a Health and Society Scholar, Joan hopes to build on her body of research by utilizing electronic medical records to study the built and social environments’ interaction with environmental exposures. This includes investigating changes in the microbiome due to widespread antibiotic exposures from industrial agriculture operations. Joan received a B.S. in Biological and Environmental Engineering from Cornell University and a M.A. in Applied Physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University. In her spare time, Joan enjoys coaching track and field, listening to audiobooks, and travelling, which she hopes to one day reconcile with her concerns about global sustainability.

 

Photograph of Kara Rudolph
Kara Rudolph, PhD

Kara Rudolph is a social epidemiologist who applies causal inference methods to study social and contextual influences of mental health and substance use in disadvantaged, urban areas. She received a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and M.H.S. in Biostatistics from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2014). Her dissertation examined effect heterogeneity in the association between living in a disadvantaged neighborhood and adolescent anxiety and depression. Currently, Kara is a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins working on sensitivity analyses addressing measurement error in propensity score models and analyzing gun policy. As a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar, Kara will focus on applying causal inference approaches to evaluating policy/program interventions designed to improve urban health. Kara received an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University and B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan. When she’s not analyzing data, Kara is probably making ice cream, gardening, or finding beautiful places to hike with her husband, William.

 

Photograph of Jacqueline Torres
Jacqueline Torres, PhD

Jacqueline Torres is completing her Ph.D. in Community Health Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles. Jacqueline’s research brings theoretical contributions from the life-course perspective and transnationalism to the field of immigrant health. Her published work examines whether or not pre-migration context and continued cross-border social ties matter for the health of immigrants and their families after arrival in the US. Her dissertation addresses the health impacts of family member migration to the US for older Mexican adults, and is funded by the NIH/National Institute on Aging. As a RWJ scholar, Jacqueline plans to further examine the psychological mechanisms linking cross-border social ties to health outcomes. Her research will also address the potential for cross-border family separation to adversely influence health outcomes for immigrants and their families in an effort to understand the health impacts of US immigration policy. Jacqueline received her M.P.H. in Community Health Sciences and M.A. in Latin American Studies from UCLA and her B.A. from UC Berkeley. During her free time Jacqueline can be found on outdoor adventures with her daughter and husband.

(2013-2015) Cohort 11 Scholars

Parissa Jahromi Ballard, PhD
Parissa Jahromi Ballard, PhD

Parissa Jahromi Ballard is a doctoral candidate in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on understanding positive social development during childhood and adolescence. In her dissertation, she examines the psychological characteristics and social conditions that support civic engagement among youth from immigrant backgrounds. She believes that civic engagement can contribute to healthier lives and that unequal access to civic opportunities is an important equity issue for young people. As a RWJ scholar, she hopes to investigate whether civic engagement promotes physical and psychological health among adolescents, under what conditions, and by what mechanisms. Parissa grew up in Maryland, earned a B.A. and an M.A. in psychology from Wake Forest University, and spent a year in the Netherlands as a Fulbright fellow before moving to California. Her favorite activities include traveling, looking for reasons to travel, and planning trips. She also enjoys hiking, tennis, dancing, and yoga.

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Lindsay Hoyt, PhD
Lindsay Hoyt, PhD

Lindsay Hoyt is interested in social, psychological, and behavioral contributions to positive health and wellness. In particular, her work examines positive health across adolescence, a sensitive period of development when individual experiences can have longstanding effects on lifelong health. In her dissertation, she explores the relationship between positive psychological well-being, pubertal timing, and biomarkers of stress and health. As a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar, she will be seeking new methods to measure and promote positive health for youth. Lindsay is a strong proponent of multidisciplinary and policy-relevant research. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame, with a double major is Psychology and Peace Studies. She is currently a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University in the Department of Human Development and Social Policy, as well as an active member of Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health at the Institute for Policy Research. Lindsay also enjoys a number of activities that promote her own well-being, especially running, photography, and hiking.

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Keely Muscatell, PhD
Keely Muscatell, PhD

 

Keely A. Muscatell is a social neuroscientist whose research focuses on elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms that link the social environment and health. Her work is highly interdisciplinary, as she employs theory and methods from social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and psychoneuroimmunology. Keely’s dissertation explored the neural processes that are engaged when we experience social stress, and how those neural systems link with stress-induced changes in pro-inflammatory cytokine activity and gene expression. She has also examined how social status affects neural processes related to understanding others and perceiving threat in the environment. As a Health & Society Scholar, Keely will investigate how other social-environmental factors, such as experiencing discrimination or being of low socioeconomic status, are represented by the brain and translated into physiological changes that affect health. She will explore the neural mechanisms by which biobehavioral risk factors affect disease progression and quality of life in breast and ovarian cancer. Keely received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA in June 2013, an MA in Psychology from UCLA in 2009, and a BA in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Oregon in 2006. When not in the lab, Keely can be found reading Dave Eggers, visiting microbreweries with family at home in the Pacific Northwest, or watching college football.

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