PhD, University of Amsterdam, 2016
MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2008
MSW, University of Maryland, 2008
BS, Cornell University, 2001
My overall area of interest is in developing behavior change interventions, particularly the process of adapting and evaluating evidence-based interventions for use among indigenous adolescent populations. My current research is conducted exclusively with reservation-based samples of American Indian youth in the rural Southwestern U.S., and draws on a combination of methodologies including community-based participatory approaches, qualitative research, needs assessments, and biostatistics. My main areas of research include: 1) substance use and abuse; and 2) sexually transmitted infection and HIV/AIDS. In the first area, I am studying the risk and protective factors for youth substance use, in particular binge substance use. I work on a case control study of binge drinking and drug use as a form of intentional self-injury among American Indian adolescents. I also work on a randomized trial of an entrepreneurship education intervention for American Indian youth, which is striving to work upstream and prevent engagement in high-risk behaviors by keeping youth connected to school, positive peers and their future academic and career aspirations. In the second area I am leading two randomized controlled trials of culturally adapted, evidence-based interventions. The first trial is evaluating the impact of "EMPWR"-- a brief counseling and personalized STI risk-reduction intervention for American Indian adults engaged in binge substance use. In this trial we are also piloting the use of self-administered sample collection for STI screening to address endemic rates, health care access barriers and increase uptake in rural, under-served communities. The second trial is part of a national evaluation of teen pregnancy prevention programs sponsored by the Office of Adolescent Health. In this trial, we are evaluating "Respecting the Circle of Life"-- a culturally adapted evidence-based sexual and reproductive health program for American Indian youth and their parents. In this program youth receive 8 group-based sessions during a summer camp, followed by a session at home with their parent or another trusted adult. All sessions are facilitated by American Indian paraprofessional community health workers from the participating community.