New publication by HISTP Scholar

See all News


2015 Spring Training Institute


Interested in becoming an HISTP scholar?

Email us to receive notification of the application process launch for the next cohort of scholars.


 J. Njeri Kagotho, PhDN.KagothoCropped

Ohio State University School of Social Work

Mentor: Bridget Freisthler, PhD, Ohio State University

HISTP Mentor: Fred Ssewamala, PhD, Columbia School of Social Work

Dr. Njeri Kagotho is an assistant professor at Ohio State University. She earned her PhD from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research explores the incontestable link between a family’s wealth holdings and the well-being of its members. Dr. Kagotho’s research, which primarily takes place in sub-Saharan Africa, has focused on the impact of chronic illness on wealth creation and wealth preservation, and on the intersection of HIV and AIDS and the intergenerational transmission of human capital. Currently Dr. Kagotho is examining best practices in working with low-income HIV impacted households in their attempts to navigate the socio-cultural and legal constraints to family economic security.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Hifadhi Mali: Long-term Wealth Retention in HIV Impacted Households in Kenya


Terrinieka Williams Powell, PhD
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Mentor: Nick Ianlongo, PhD, Johns Hopkins University

HISTP Mentor: Leo Cabassa, PhD, Columbia School of Social WorkT.Powell

Dr. Terrinieka Williams Powell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health and a core faculty in the Center for Adolescent Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She earned her PhD in Community Psychology from DePaul University and completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with the Kellogg Health Scholars Program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Powell’s career path has been driven by her desire to bolster the positive health outcomes of vulnerable young people by improving the places where they live, learn and pray. Accordingly, she has worked with and in underserved communities to better understand the social and interpersonal factors that influence individuals who are at risk of acquiring HIV. Findings from Dr. Powell’s research have been disseminated through peer-reviewed publications, as well as professional conferences and community presentations. As an HISTP Scholar, she will assess to what extent genetic predispositions interact with contextual factors to influence substance use and sexual risk-taking among urban youth.

HISTP Pilot Study:  Gene-Environment Influences on Adolescent Sexual Behaviors


Laurens Van Sluytman, PhDL.VanSluytman
Morgan State University School of Social Work

Mentor: Halaevalu Vakalahi, PhD, Morgan State University

HISTP Mentor: Theo Sandfort, PhD, Columbia University Department of Psychiatry

Dr. Laurens Van Sluytman is an Assistant Professor of Social Welfare at Morgan State University. He earned his PhD from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York. His research examines disparities among marginalized communities. Specifically, his work focuses on building theory to develop and test models of the ways in which individual, community, and local/global-level factors influence disparate outcomes. This agenda expands the lens of traditional examination of disparities within marginalized communities, explores association between outcomes and large geopolitical and social environments and establishes an evidentiary base for interventions and policies that serve a diverse population. Presently, he is PI on When They Return: Examining the impact of individual, community and local/global-level factors on changes in family complexity, poverty and disparities in health outcomes among post-incarceration Black men.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Generation Boom: Medication Adherence and the Technogenerian




DELACRUZJuan_HeadshotJuan J. DelaCruz, PhD
Lehman College

Mentor: Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, PhD, Lehman College
HISTP Mentor: Elwin Wu, PhD

Dr. DelaCruz is an Associate Professor of Economics and Business at Lehman College and faculty of the Doctor of Public Health Program at the City University of New York. He earned his PhD in Economics from the New School for Social Research. Dr. DelaCruz is a health economist who works on HIV research, in particular for underserved minority populations within the context of health disparities and economic costs to health systems. His current research addresses the complexity and significance of older adults living with HIV. The purpose of his work is to identify psycho-social and economic determinants of health as well as to assess the needs of Older Hispanics with HIV.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Morbidity and Mortality among HIV Positive Older Hispanics in NYC: Toward Cost-Effective Interventions

Larry Keen II, PhDKEENLarry_Headshot
University of Florida / Virginia State University

Mentor: William Latimer, PhD, University of Florida
HISTP Mentor: Elwin Wu, PhD

Dr. Keen is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. He earned his PhD from Howard University. The long-term objective of Dr. Keen’s research program is to examine neuropsychological and psychosocial determinants of HIV/AIDS health outcomes among African American populations through tailored intervention programs, with an emphasis on neuropsychological performance and substance use. His current research focuses on the neuropsychological, psychosocial, and substance abuse risk factors of HIV prevention among heterosexual African American men. Specifically, his work examines the role of alcohol and marijuana use, sexual risk behaviors, neurocognitive performance, and psychological determinants in HIV infection risk and immune function in HIV positive heterosexual African American adult men.

HISTP Pilot Study:
The Effects of Racial Discrimination and Social Support as Determinants of HIV-Related Health Outcomes and the Potential Mediating Effect of Executive Function in Heterosexual Black Men

Lynn Murphy Michalopoulos, PhDMICHALOPOULOUSLynn_Headshot
Columbia School of Social Work

Mentor: Nabila El-Bassel, PhD, Columbia School of Social Work
HISTP Mentor: Susan Witte, PhD

Dr. Michalopoulos is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work. She earned her PhD from the University of Maryland and has an extensive background in clinical social work and research related to trauma and HIV. Her current research consists of the impact of culture on trauma outcomes and the relationship between trauma and HIV risk behavior, especially among populations in non-Western low and middle income countries. She is currently working with the Victims of Torture Fund through USAID and Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Mental Health Research group on a project developing global and regionally specific trauma scales across cultures and populations. She is also an investigator on a study examining tuberculosis factors in Central Asian migrants through USAID. She is in the initial stages of conducting a mixed-methods pilot study examining the relationship between trauma and HIV risk behavior among labor migrants in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, as well as in Ndola and Solwezi, Zambia.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Trauma Outcomes and HIV Risk Behavior among Labor Migrants in Zambia

Tawandra L. Rowell-Cunsolo, PhDROWELL-CUNSOLOTawandra_Headshot
Columbia University School of Nursing

Mentor: Nabila El-Bassel, PhD, Columbia School of Social Work
HISTP Mentor: Elwin Wu, PhD

Dr. Rowell-Cunolo is an Assistant Professor of Social Welfare Science at the Columbia University School of Nursing. She earned her PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rowell-Cunsolo completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Behavioral Science Research in HIV Infection at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the New York Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. Dr. Rowell-Cunsolo is interested in the role of incarceration, substance abuse, and sexual behavior in HIV acquisition and transmission in vulnerable populations. She is currently examining the feasibility and acceptability of the “seek, test, and treat” strategy among urban populations. Dr. Rowell-Cunsolo is also in the process of adapting an HIV risk reduction intervention for formerly incarcerated Black Americans returning to communities in the New York City metropolitan area.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Medication adherence and HIV risk behaviors among HIV infected formerly incarcerated individuals

Olga Villar-Loubet, PhDVILLAR-LOUBETOlga_Headshot
University of Miami

Mentor: Victoria Behar Mitrani, PhD, University of Miami
HISTP Mentor: Nabila El-Bassel, PhD

Dr. Villar-Loubet is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She earned her PsyD from Carlos Albizu University and is a clinical health psychologist, licensed in the state of Florida. Dr. Villar-Loubet’s research interests include the development, tailoring and implementation of culturally-sensitive intervention-based behavioral research on HIV, substance use and mental health. Her research publications address issues related to HIV prevention, treatment, and health promotion, substance use, sexual behavior, medication adherence, and stress management. Dr. Villar-Loubet has been PI on NIH and CDC grants in the US and Co-Investigator on NIH grants in the US and sub-Saharan Africa targeting HIV-positive prevention among individuals, pregnant women and couples, as well as substance use and mental health issues.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Sexual Communication and Risk Reduction among HIV Serodiscordant Heterosexual Hispanic Couples 


fellows-1213-kristina-Kristina B. Hood, PhD
Mississippi State University

Mentor: Faye Belgrave, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University
HISTP Mentor: Susan Witte, PhD

Dr. Hood is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and African American Studies at Mississippi State University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Christopher Newport University, her Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Sociology and Psychology, and her Doctor of Philosophy in Social Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Hood’s active research program focuses on preventive health behaviors and promoting positive health outcomes among people of color and underserved populations. More specifically, she studies HIV prevention, condom use attitudes and persuasion, psychosocial determinants of health behavior, and sexual health promotion among African American women. Her current research involves using the components of persuasion and principles of edutainment (entertainment education) to change attitudes and perceptions about condoms through the use of social media. Dr. Hood’s plan is to develop and implement individual and group level interventions using social media with the goal of changing attitudes and promoting consistent condom use among African American women.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Increasing Access to HIV Prevention Interventions through the Use of Social Media

fellows-1213-jamilaJamila K. Stockman, PhD, MPH
University of California, San Diego

Mentor: Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, UCSD
HISTP Mentor: Louisa Gilbert, PhD

Dr. Stockman is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Global Public Health, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego. She received her PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University. She completed post-doctoral fellowships at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Stockman has worked in a variety of academic and governmental settings relevant to the prevention of HIV and other adverse health outcomes among vulnerable women. As a trained infectious disease epidemiologist, Dr. Stockman specializes in HIV prevention, with a specific focus on the role of gender-based violence and substance abuse among low-income underserved women. Currently, she is addressing these intersecting epidemics among substance-using and ethnic minority populations in the following locations: San Diego, CA; the Mexico-U.S. border region; Baltimore, MD; and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her ultimate goal is to develop culturally tailored, multilevel HIV prevention interventions that address gender-based issues for women at risk for HIV infection. Dr. Stockman’s peer-reviewed research has been presented at national and international conferences and also disseminated through peer-reviewed scientific journals.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Application of the Danger Assessment to Identify Potentially Lethal Relationships and Facilitate Safety Planning and HIV Risk Reduction Among Stimulant-Using Women in Abusive Relationships

fellows-1213-nicoleNicole Ennis Whitehead, PhD
University of Florida

Mentor: William Latimer, PhD, University of Florida
HISTP Mentor: Susie Hoffman, DrPH

Dr. Whitehead is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida. Dr. Whitehead received her PhD from Kent State University in 2001. She completed an APA approved internship at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital and then went on to complete a Research Fellowship at the University of Miami on an NIMH-funded T32, “The Biopsychosocial Processes in Immunology and HIV/AIDS Research.” The long-range objective of Dr. Whitehead’s research program is to improve HIV and STI related health outcomes among underserved minority populations through effective and culturally sensitive interventions, with an emphasis on the role of drug abuse. Dr. Whitehead’s current program of research focuses on the drug abuse aspects of HIV prevention among older adults. Specifically, her work examines the role of drug use, sexual risk behaviors, cognitive functioning, and psychological factors in HIV infection risk among older African American adults.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Social Support, Depression and Health Behavior Outcomes in HIV Positive Adults 50 years old and older

fellows-1213-lilianeLiliane Cambraia Windsor, PhD, MSW
Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey

Mentor: Ellen Benoit, PhD, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.
HISTP Mentor: Rogério Pinto, PhD

Dr. Windsor is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, School of Social Work. Dr. Windsor is affiliated with the Rutgers Center for Behavioral Health Services and Criminal Justice Research, the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, and the Special Populations Office at the National Development and Research Institute. Born and raised in Brazil, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from FCH-FUMEC, Brazil in 1998. She moved to Texas in 2000 to pursue her Master of Science and doctoral degrees in Social Work from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Windsor’s research focuses on substance use, criminal justice, HIV prevention, and social justice with special emphasis on low income Latinos and Blacks using community based participatory research (CBPR). Combining critical consciousness theory with social and behavioral sciences literature, Dr. Windsor conducts CBPR to study the mechanisms of oppression in the development of knowledge and its implications in the design and implementation of culturally tailored health interventions among individuals with a history of incarceration and substance abuse. Her research interests are aligned with a call for the use of CBPR as a paradigm to optimize implementation of tested interventions. Dr. Windsor has expertise in measurement development, meta-analysis, ethnography, and treatment development and evaluation.

HISTP Pilot Study:
Community Wise: Understanding the Process of Critical Consciousness Development