Clinical and Health Psychology

Gullett Wins Pilot Project Grant

Joseph Gullett, a PhD graduate and postdoctoral research associate in CHP, received an award acknowledgement from Dr. Todd Golde, Director of the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute, and the 1Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. The project entitled, “Machine Learning Diagnostic Prediction using Multi-modal Neuroimaging, LASSI-L performance, and Disease Progression Information," will utilize baseline characteristics and longitudinal data to predict which patients will later go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Gullett and colleagues hope that this information can inform patients with mild cognitive impairment of their individual risk for converting to Alzheimer’s disease.

Boissoneault Receives NIH Grant

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has awarded Dr. Jeff Boissoneault, an assistant professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, an R21 grant to study the effects of alcohol use on chronic pain. Entitled, “Acute Effects of Alcohol Use on Chronic Orofacial Pain,” the study summary reads: "Self-medication of pain with alcohol is a common, yet risky, behavior among individuals with chronic orofacial pain. Chronic pain status may affect the degree to which alcohol use relieves pain, but the independent contributions of pain chronification and alcohol-related expectations and conditioning have not been previously studied. This project addresses this gap in knowledge and will inform further research and clinical/translational efforts for reducing risk associated with these behaviors."

The department congratulates Boissoneault on this important award.


Environmental and Global Health

EGH Awards Students for Excellence in Public Health

Several students in the Department of Environmental and Global Health received awards for their hard work and commitment to public health research and service during their graduate studies this academic year: 

• Jesse Johnson, an MHS graduate this spring, was awarded the Outstanding Master’s of Health Science Student Award.

• Jenna Daniel and Molly Falcone were both recognized as Outstanding Master of Public Health Students.

• Sara Humes, a One Health PhD student, was awarded the Outstanding Student Research Award, and Amanda Buerger, an Environmental Health PhD student, was awarded the Outstanding Student Service Award.

The department congratulates all of its students. (pictured from left: Sara Humes and Amanda Buerger)



Epidemiology PhD Student Receives NIDA F-31 Fellowship

PhD student Verlin Joseph received a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) F-31 Fellowship for a project titled, “Patterns of Marijuana Use for HIV/AIDS Pain Management: A Mixed Methods Approach.” The F-31 Fellowship provides support to doctoral students who perform dissertation research and training in specific health related areas. The aims of this grant are to identify biological, social, psychological, and substance use predictors of pain severity among people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS; assess predictors of cannabis use disorder among those reporting pain; and conduct thematic open-ended interviews targeting marijuana use for severe pain. The training goals focus on gaining clinical trial experience in measuring pain, enhancing conceptual and practical understanding of how marijuana affects pain in PLWH, and developing professional skills including first authored manuscript production, scientific presentations, and grant writing.

UF HealthStreet Teams Up with the Melrose Fire Department

UF HealthStreet joins forces with the Melrose Fire Department to train off duty firefighters as certified community health workers (CHWs). The program’s CHWs connect community members to resources through UF HealthStreet while attending community events, answering 911 calls through the fire department, and engaging with people in the community every day. The CHWs talk to community members about their health care needs and concerns, perform blood pressure screenings, and administer health assessments to determine community members’ eligibility to participate in current research studies at the University of Florida. Kayvon Yazdanbakhsh and Kelly Likos, two UF students and volunteers with the Melrose Fire Department, will be the first firefighters certified as UF HealthStreet community health workers. This program started with the help of UF HealthStreet co-founder Linda Cottler, PhD, MPH, and Associate Dean for research in the College of Public Health and Health Professions.


Health Services Research, Management and Policy

Mainous Awarded for Best Published Research Paper

Arch G. Mainous III, PhD, chair of the Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, received the Council of Academic Family Medicine’s Educational Research Alliance (CERA) Best Published Research Paper Award. The award was presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine held in Toronto.

Mainous’ article, “Institutional NIH Research Funding and a Culture of Support for Family Medicine-Their Relationship to Family Medicine Specialty Choice,” was published last year in the journal Family Medicine. Mainous and his co-authors found that higher levels of National Institutes of Health funding at an institution are associated with less support for family medicine and lower proportions of medical students choosing to specialize in family medicine. These issues appear to be even more influential in private medical schools.

(pictured: Arch Mainous, PhD, (center) receives the Best Published Research Paper Award from Beat Steiner, MD, (left) president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine and Dean Seehusen, MD, (right) chair of the CERA Steering Committee)


Occupational Therapy

Classen Graduates as a 2019 Fellow of SECU-ALAP

Dr. Sherrilene Classen, who is a Provost-selected Fellow for the Southeastern Conference of Universities (SECU) Advanced Leadership Program for Academics and Professionals (ALAP), recently completed this one-year intensive leadership training. 

Classen states that she has been exposed to some of the most dynamic leaders and leadership practices in the SECU and UF administration. She says, “I have learned so much about leadership practices in a research intensive university, and have a renewed appreciation for the incredible role that administrative leaders are demonstrating—every day!  Indeed, leadership is about crafting a dynamic and inspiring vision, instilling trust, aligning resources with people, and unleashing talent” – four competencies that she aspires to, always!

(pictured: Dr. Chris Hass, UF Associate Provost for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Sherrilene Classen)

Apostol Accepted into the FOTA Leadership Development Program

First year OTD student, Jianne Apostol, has been accepted into the Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) Leadership Development program. As a participant she will engage in a day of continuing education and dynamic discussions on the topic of leadership and service in the context of the state professional association for occupational therapy. A variety of speakers, presentations, and discussions will be provided on leadership practices and principles as well as the diversity of roles in leadership that exist in FOTA. The event will culminate with participants identifying and committing to aspects of FOTA that they would like to be involved in. Participants will be connected to a current FOTA leader who can act in the capacity of mentor and facilitate increased service to FOTA and guide leadership development.


Physical Therapy

PT Faculty Present at WCPT

Judi Schack-Dugre, PT, DPT, MBA, EdD, and Federico Pozzi, PT, MA, PhD, presented at the World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) Congress in Geneva, Switzerland, held on May 10-13.

Schack-Dugre and two colleagues submitted three accepted abstracts around the theme of interprofessional education (IPE) strategies for health professions students in the online environment. Schack-Dugre’s talk, “Forging a path to globalize healthcare education: A comparison of hybrid and traditional online deliveries,” was presented in the state of the art education platform. This designation is provided to those projects deemed to most likely change practice.

Pozzi gave a poster presentation on “Predatory journals and conferences – can you spot them?”

(pictured from left: Judi Schack-Dugre and Federico Pozzi)

DPT Commencement and Award Presentations

On May 2, over 400 guests arrived to watch 67 Doctor of Physical Therapy students graduate and receive their white coats. Dr. Tara Jo Manal, Director of Clinical Services and Residency Training and Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at University of Delaware, delivered the Barbara C. White Lecture.

Several students received awards, including:

• Grace Kupiszewski – Martha C. Wroe Outstanding Clinical Student

• Brett Zebelian – The Dr. Mark H. Trimble Memorial Scholarship 

• Grace Kupiszewski, Erin Ginn, and Brett Zebelian – Scholastic Achievement Award 

AdditionallyAlison Kraus, PT, DPT, NCS, received the Outstanding Clinical Educator of the Year award for displaying excellence in clinical instruction and dedication to the education of entry-level PT students.

(pictured: DPT students receiving their white coats during graduation dinner at the Evans Champions Club, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium)


Public Health

Public Health Honor Society Induction

The UF Chapter of Delta Omega, Beta Upsilon, held its annual luncheon and inductions of new members on May 2 at Emerson Alumni Hall. The keynote speaker was Dr. William Foege. 

• The honorary member inductee was Dr. Sonja Rasmussen, Joint Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology.

• The faculty inductee was Dr. Eric Nelson, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Environmental and Global Health.

• Five new alumni members were inducted: Shantrel Canidate, Lisa Chacko, Jennifer Fiddner, Blosmeli Leon-Depass, and Kiarash Rahmanian.

• Eight new graduate student members were inducted: Alyssa Berger, Samari Blair, Maria Bolanos, Benjamin Caoili, Andrew Manhan, Cynthia Miller, Omari Richins, and Meagan Sullivan.

• Three new undergraduate student members were inducted: Hannah Douglas, Brionna Everitte, and Ryan Romero.

• Ms. Gay Koehler-Sides, HIV/AIDS Program Coordinator for the Alachua County Department of Health, was recognized with the Public Health Champions Award.

William Foege, MD, MPH, is a physician and epidemiologist credited with designing the strategy that led to the eradication of smallpox. Hailed as both a giant and a hero in public health, his contributions to child survival, preventive medicine, social justice, and the role of global health leadership and partnerships have shaped the world we live in. Today, he serves as Emeritus Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health, Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.


Rehabilitation Science

T32 Training Program Renewal

The Interdisciplinary Training in Rehabilitation and Neuromuscular Plasticity T32 training program has officially been renewed.

David Fuller, PhD, Director of the Rehabilitation Science program and PI of the grant, along with Andy Judge, PhD, Associate Professor, and Krista Vandenborne, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, submitted the renewal application earlier this year.

The five-year renewal will enable the RSD program to continue funding up to seven doctoral students, host the annual Neuromuscular Plasticity Symposium, and make a strong contribution to the excellent training environment at UF.

Congratulations Spring Graduate

A big congratulations to Alicia Vose, PhD, CCC-SLP, for graduating with her doctoral degree from the Rehabilitation Science program on May 3. Vose successfully defended her dissertation titled, "Mechanisms Underlying Laryngeal Vestibule Airway Protection Patterns," under the direction of her mentor Ianessa Humbert, PhD, CCC-SLP, an Associate Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Vose is now a postdoctoral fellow supported on the Breathing Research and Therapeutics (BREATHE) T32 training grant.

(pictured from left: Alicia Vose and Ianessa Humbert)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

MPH Student Receives Scholarship

Isabel Walker, a first year Master of Public Health student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration, was recently awarded the UF Health Shands Auxiliary Grace Winslow Scholarship. The scholarship was awarded based on above average grades, a strong commitment to the ideals and endeavors of the applicant's profession, and service/volunteer experience. This scholarship from the UF Health Shands Auxiliary was made possible through profits from the hospitality cart established to service patients and staff and has provided students $12,300 in scholarship funding since its establishment in 1961.

Hart Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Mark Hart, EdD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and also serves as the Director of Online Learning for the College of Public Health and Health Professions and MPH Coordinator for Social and Behavioral Sciences. He recently had a manuscript accepted for publication in the American Journal of Medicine. The article is titled “Lack of Measles Vaccination of a Few Portends Future Epidemics and Vaccination of Many” and is anticipated to be published in the journal’s December 2019 issue.


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

BHS-CMS Student Awarded University Scholars Fellowship

Emily McHugh, a Bachelor of Health Science – Communication Sciences and Disorders (BHS-CMS) program student, has been awarded a University Scholars Program fellowship to pursue a research project examining the relative ease with which people learn new words in sign versus oral language. McHugh will be working with Dr. Lori Altmann on this project. There are only 200 students who receive these fellowships across the entire university, and McHugh is thrilled to be included in this group.



Welcome Shu Wang

On behalf of the Department of Biostatistics, please welcome Dr. Shu Wang who joined the department on May 6 as a Research Assistant Professor. She also serves as a faculty biostatistician in the Division of Quantitative Sciences and the Biostatistics Shared Resource of the UF Health Cancer Center. In 2015, she earned a master’s degree in biostatistics from Columbia University. In 2019, she earned a PhD degree in biostatistics from the University of Pittsburgh where she collaborated with multiple research groups. Wang has extensive experience in clinical phenotype identification and observational studies with research interests in unsupervised machine learning and Bayesian approaches.

Ji-Hyun Lee Elected to the ASA Board of Directors

Dr. Ji-Hyun Lee, Director of the Division of Quantitative Sciences at the UF Health Cancer Center and Professor in the Department of Biostatistics, was elected to the American Statistical Association (ASA) Board of Directors as the Council of Chapters Representative. This is a prestigious accomplishment. Currently there are a total of 74 chapters from three regions/six districts under the ASA.

The ASA’s mission is to promote the practice and profession of statistics. Its vision is a world that relies on data and statistical thinking to drive discovery and decisions. The ASA is governed by an elected board of directors whose work is shaped by the ASA’s strategic plan. The Board of Directors is the policy-making and legislative body of the ASA, and consists of 16 members.