Institute for Translational Research Education in Adolescent Drug Abuse (ITRE)

Scholars


Each year, 12-15 students are accepted into a cohort of Institute scholars. Institute scholars are a diverse group of students, representing a variety of academic departments, including psychology, school counseling, nursing, rehabilitation and mental health counseling, child and family studies, public health, social work and criminology. Some scholars are enrolled in master's or doctoral degrees, while others work full-time at community-based agencies. Over the past four years, nearly 90 percent of scholars have been women and more than 40 percent identify as racial or ethnic minorities.

See below for more information about our scholars and cohorts

ITRE Cohort 4

COHORT 4 (2016 – 2017)

Andre Clark - Andre earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Florida and currently works as a social emotional program specialist for Frameworks, a non-profit organization.

Nicole Crawford - Nicole is a licensed clinical social worker and works as the clinic coordinator for the USF Memory Disorders Clinic. She is a DrPH student and previously earned her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology, Master of Social Work, Master of Public Health, and Certification in Public Health at the University of South Florida.

Caitlin Hill - Caitlin is pursuing her master's degree in psychology at the University of South Florida-Saint Petersburg and plans to pursue a doctorate in public health. She completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at Kent State University.

Amanda (Jennings) Farris - Amanda is a master's student in the School of Social Work at the University of South Florida, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. She is currently an MSW intern with Pasco County Schools and volunteers with Suncoast Kids Place, an agency dedicated to providing peer support groups and activities for children, teens and their families following the death of a loved one.

Lauren Julian - Lauren works as a research support specialist with the Department of Child and Family Studies in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida. She earned her bachelor of science in criminology at the University of South Florida in 2009.

Jason Kora - Jason currently works for a large managed care organization in Tampa and is aiming to eventually attain a master's degree in public health. He earned a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of South Florida in 2011.

Jana Leyrer - Jana is a master's student in the Department of Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor of arts in cognitive psychology.

Alexis McKinley - Alexis recently graduated with a bachelor's in public health at Northern Arizona University. She plans on going to the University of Arizona for a master's in public health and aspires to become a certified health education specialist.

Monica Rousseau - Monica is a DrPH student at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health. She earned her master of public health at the University of South Florida in 2012, is certified in public health, and is a certified health education specialist.

Sarah Sheffield - Sarah is a master's student in the Department of Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the University of South Florida, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. She earned a bachelor of arts in psychology with a minor in behavioral health at the University of South Florida and Hillsborough Community College Honors Institute.

Vanessa Tate - Vanessa is pursuing a master's in public health with a concentration in behavioral health. She earned her bachelor's degree in 2007 from the University of South Florida in women's studies and sociology.

Enya Vroom - Enya is a master's student in the Department of Child and Family Studies at the University of South Florida, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. She earned her bachelor of arts at USF, where she majored in psychology and minored in history.

 

ITRE Cohort 3

 

Cohort 3 ( 2015 – 2016)

Monica Chambers - Monica recently graduated with a master of arts in rehabilitation and mental health counseling at USF. She earned a bachelor of arts in philosophy and has a desire to serve the community.

Melody Chavez - Melody is a national registered dietitian and currently works at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital and Clinics. She earned her master of public health from USF in 2015 and bachelor of science in human nutrition and food service from New Mexico State University in 2004.

Ericka Duncan - Ericka is a master's student at USF in the Department of Community and Family Health with a concentration in health education. Ericka has research experience as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Illinois Public Health Association at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Elizabeth "Lee" Dunn-Gader - Lee is a master of public health student with a behavioral health concentration in the College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida. She also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from USF.

Aldenise Ewing - Aldenise is a doctoral student in the Department of Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health. In 2011, she earned her master of public health in behavioral science and health education at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and earned her bachelor of arts from Vanderbilt University in Spanish and medicine, health and society in 2009.

Sarah (Lokey) Gonzalez - Sarah is a graduate student in social work at the University of South Florida and aspires to study public health in the future. She earned a bachelor of science with honors in legal studies and a certificate in victim advocacy from the University of Central Florida.

Shalay Jackson - Shalay is a school social worker for the Citrus County School Board and an adjunct professor at Saint Leo University, serving human services and social work students. She earned a bachelor of social work from Florida State University and a master of social work at the University of Michigan.

Gina-Maria Roca - Gina-Maria is a master of science in public health student in the Department of Community and Family Health the University of South Florida. She earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Tampa.

Christine Rollins - Christine is an art therapist and social worker in the Tampa Bay area, and is a master of public health student with a concentration in behavioral health at the University of South Florida. She earned a master of social work from the University of South Florida in 2014, and a master of arts in art therapy from George Washington University in 2001.

Vinita Sharma - Vinita is a doctoral student in the Department of Community and Family Health at the University of South Florida, College of Public Health. Vinita earned a bachelor of public health from Pokhara University and a master of public health at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is a certified trainer of community oriented primary care (COPC).

Mariana Stavig - Mariana earned her bachelor of arts in anthropology and gender and sexuality studies from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. While applying for a PhD in counseling psychology, Mariana pursued two graduate certificates: translational research in adolescent behavioral health and children's mental health.

Ashley Walker - Ashley earned a bachelor of science degree in public health and currently works for a non-profit organization, Frameworks of Tampa Bay. Ashley plans to pursue a master of science in public health with a concentration in public health education.

 

ITRE Cohort 2

COHORT 2 ( 2014 – 2015)

Shawna Green - Shawna is currently pursuing a PhD at USF in public health with a focus on adolescent behavioral health. She previously earned her master of social work and master of arts in public policy and management.

Jessica Koelsch - Jessica earned her master of public health with a concentration in behavioral health and is certified in public health. She is also a certified health education specialist.

Kristen McCallum - Kristen earned her master of science in mental health counseling and is currently practicing as a licensed mental health counselor.

Lauren Nieder - Lauren is currently pursuing a master of science in public health with a focus in behavioral health.
Florence "Flossie" Parsley - Flossie earned her master of social work and is a school social work services coordinator for Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Sharlene Smith - Sharlene recently earned her doctor of nursing practice at USF and is an assistant professor in the College of Nursing at USF. She is also an advanced registered nurse practitioner and a certified pediatric nurse practitioner.

Ashley Souza - Ashley recently earned her master of public health with a concentration in behavioral health from USF. She is currently working at the University of Tampa.

Bailey Thompson - Bailey earned her bachelor of science in public health from USF and was a peer health educator at USF's Wellness Center. She plans to pursue a degree in nursing.

Jessica Vazquez - Jessica earned her education specialist degree in school psychology and a master of science in school psychology from USF. She is currently a school psychologist intern in Cleveland.

Heather Walders - Heather earned her master of public health (concentration in behavioral health) and master of social work at USF and is certified in public health. She currently works as a clinician with a health care agency in Tampa.

 

ITRE Cohort 1

 

COHORT 1 (2013 – 2014)

Alexandra Albizu-Rivera - Alex earned her master of public health with a concentration in behavioral health from USF and is currently working as a technical assistance liaison on a SAMHSA grant and as a research coordinator at Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute.

Nichole (Snyder) Fintel - Nichole earned her master of science in public health from USF and is currently a technical assistance liaison for a SAMHSA grant.

Shivani Gogna - Shivani earned her master of public health with a concentration in global health from USF and is certified in public health.
Chanelle Henderson - Chanelle earned her master of arts in rehabilitation and mental health counseling at USF and is a certified rehabilitation counselor. She is a licensed professional counselor resident in Roanoke, Va.

Humberto Lopez Castillo - Humberto is a postdoctoral research fellow at USF in Mental Health Law & Policy and earned his PhD in public health with a focus in behavioral health. He has also earned a doctor of medicine from the University of Panama, a master of education from Latin American University for Science and Technology, and a master of clinical sciences with a concentration in pediatrics from the University of Panama.

Mathew Lynch - Mathew earned his PhD in criminology from USF. He also holds a master of science in education in community, agency, and mental health counseling from Duquesne University and a bachelor of arts in psychology and English from Washington and Jefferson College.

Vickie Lynn - Vickie is a doctoral student and adjunct professor at USF in the College of Public Health with a focus in behavioral health. Vickie previously earned her master of public health (concentration in behavioral health) and master of social work.

Andrew McFarlane - Andrew earned his master of arts in counseling and is a certified addictions professional. He is the director for Prevention and Health Services for a community-based health care agency in Tampa.

Kimberly Menendez - Kimberly earned her master of science in educational leadership and is a certified prevention specialist. She is the senior curriculum writer for a non-profit focused on preventing adolescent substance use.

Catherine "Cat" Randall - Cat earned her PhD in social work from USF and is a licensed clinical social worker for Hillsborough County Public Schools.

Tommi Lynn Rivers - Tommi earned her bachelor of arts in psychology and works as a senior quality improvement analyst for a large managed care organization.

Monica (Solomon) Simmonds - Monica earned her master of science in public health with a focus in behavioral health from USF and is a certified health education specialist.

Kristina Soderstrom - Kristina earned her master of social work from USF. She currently works with adolescent girls as a counselor for a non-profit agency.

Sara Beth Wolicki - Sara earned her master of public health with a concentration in health education at USF. She is certified in public health and is a public health grand rounds fellow for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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The Institute for Translational Research Education in Adolescent Drug Abuse is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under award number R25DA031103.