2020 Summer Scholars
Anna Alikhani is a rising second-year doctoral student who focuses on issues impacting maternal and child health outcomes. Her primary research interests involve infant feeding practices, responsive parenting and identifying ways to improve patient-provider interactions prenatally and postpartum. Anna holds a B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South and received an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This summer, she plans on working with Drs. Patrick Vivier and Patricia Risica on their respective maternal and child health projects and studies.
Kelsey is a rising second-year student in the MPH program at Brown University’s School of Public Health. She received her B.S. in biology from Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where she concentrated in health professions. She then worked as a clinical research assistant at Rhode Island Hospital in the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center, where her primary research focus was on dating violence prevention and emotion regulation in early adolescence. In this position, she worked closely with parent/adolescent dyads in communities in the greater Providence area and gained knowledge in health promotion, health services and the social determinants of health for children. This experience led her to focus on addressing health disparities and childhood adversity. As a Hassenfeld Summer Scholar, she will be working with the Core Research and Evaluation Unit to identify resources for addressing food insecurity for pregnant women and young children in Rhode Island.
Jack Briano is a rising senior at Brown University pursuing a double concentration in neuroscience and classics. His research interest centers on the genetic and physiological causes of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Outside of the lab, he volunteers as a medical assistant and Spanish interpreter at the Rhode Island Free Clinic, which provides much-needed health care to Providence’s uninsured residents. As a Hassenfeld Summer Scholar, Jack is excited to be working with Dr. Eric Morrow, who co-leads the Hassenfeld Institute's Autism Initiative, to investigate 17q12 deletion syndrome, a rare genetic disorder linked to ASD that causes a wide range of behavioral, neurological and physiological complications. He hopes this work will lead to better care and improved outcomes for children living with the disorder, in addition to a better understanding of the molecular underpinnings of ASD.
Michaela Carroll just completed the first year of the MPH program at Brown University’s School of Public Health. She received a B.A. in physics from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. For the past three years, she worked in living donor transplantation, focusing on racial and economic disparities in transplant. Michaela focused on increasing rates of living donor kidney transplantation among minorities and the low-income populations through a variety of innovative methods, including making house calls to provide education and reimbursing lost wages to address the economic impact of kidney donation. As a Hassenfeld Summer Scholar, she will be working with Dr. Patrick Vivier in the Core Research and Evaluation Unit to increase access to pediatric and obstetric providers in Rhode Island and reduce disparities in maternal and child health across the state.
Jasmine Ngai is a rising senior at Brown University studying public health and English on the premedical track. She is passionate about reducing health disparities through community-based interventions and addressing social determinants of health in the delivery of accessible, equitable health care, especially in pediatrics. This summer, she will be exploring the intersection between health and education with the Hassenfeld Core Research and Evaluation Unit under the guidance of Dr. Patrick Vivier, with a focus on examining third-grade reading proficiency in Rhode Island as a public health issue. She will be researching and compiling existing resources for families to promote childhood reading and language development skills. Additionally, she will be helping to develop a summer literacy program aimed at improving third-grade reading proficiency in the Central Falls School District for future implementation.
Kaitlyn Rabb is a 2020 graduate of Brown University starting the fifth year of the AB/MPH program. She plans on concentrating in maternal and child health, with an emphasis on Black and underrepresented populations. As an undergraduate at Brown, she was a Bonner Community Fellow with the Swearer Center and was the site leader for the STEMS tutoring program at Hope High School. As a Hassenfeld Summer Scholar, Kaitlyn will be working in the Healthy Weight, Nutrition and Fitness Initiative and plans to investigate obesity interventions in low-income communities. She is eager to work with Dr. Elissa Jelalian, who co-leads the initiative, and Dr. Whitney Evans, and she is looking forward to researching how COVID-19 might impact obesity interventions.
Christine Schremp is a rising junior at Brown University studying neuroscience with an interest in developmental disorders. During the school year, she conducts research on autism spectrum disorder in the lab of Dr. Eric Morrow, who co-leads the Hassenfeld Institute's Autism Initiative. She also tutors individuals with disabilities and works as an EMT. As a Hassenfeld Summer Scholar, she will analyze data from the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) to examine why girls tend to receive a diagnosis of autism later than boys. She hopes that her research will lead to an expanded understanding of the disorder and earlier detection in female children.
Julia Tetreault is a rising senior concentrating in neuroscience on the premedical track at Brown University. As the younger sibling of a brother with an acquired brain injury, she has always had a passion for supporting and serving those in the developmental disability community. Guided by this passion, as well as her interest in pediatric health care, she has focused her studies on developmental disorders and psychopathology. In addition, she is involved in research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the lab of Dr. Steven Sheinkopf, who co-leads the Hassenfeld Institute's Autism Initiative. Specifically, she assists Dr. Danielle Sipsock with her study concerning adolescents with co-diagnoses of ASD and depression. This summer, she will continue working to better the lives of children and families affected by ASD. Through her research in the Hassenfeld Summer Scholars program, she hopes to acquire skills and knowledge to serve the developmental disability community as a medical professional.
Kathryn Thompson is a third-year doctoral student in health services research in Brown University's School of Public Health. Kathryn is primarily interested in Medicaid policy. Specifically, her research focuses on how changes in Medicaid policy affect HIV-positive pregnant women and their access to health services, their birth outcomes and their adherence/persistence to antiretroviral therapy. Her previous research includes working with a national representative sample of HIV+ and HIV- Medicaid beneficiaries to evaluate disparities among adverse birth events and antiretroviral therapy use. As a Hassenfeld Summer Scholar, Kathryn will be working with the Data Core team to assess pediatric HEDIS measures, Bright Futures preventive care measures and social determinants of health within the Rhode Island Medicaid data.
Caitlyn White just completed the first year of the MPH program at Brown University’s School of Public Health, where she is concentrating in maternal and child health. She received her B.S. from Clemson University in South Carolina and her MSN from Vanderbilt University. She spent the last four years working as a pediatric nurse practitioner in a variety of settings. Through her clinical work, Caitlyn discovered her passion for child welfare and advocacy, with a focus on child abuse and neglect. As a Hassenfeld Summer Scholar, she will be working with the Core Research and Evaluation Unit to promote access to pediatric primary care services and educate parents about the early intervention programs available to families in Rhode Island.