Ben is currently a medical student at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. He served nine years in the U.S. Army as a Chinese and French linguist. He then spent three years as a U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer in Mali and China. He graduated with an A.A. in Mandarin Chinese from the Defense Language Institute in 2002, magna cum laude with a B.A. in International Relations from Hawaii Pacific University in 2006, and a pre-medical certificate from Goucher College in 2016. He worked for two years with President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) across Mali to expand HIV testing and treatment on military bases, and he worked with the Chinese Aibai NGO in Sichuan to destigmatize HIV infection in Southwest China and advocate for progressive government policy regarding HIV/AIDS. With Dr John Schneider and in partnership with several Greek physicians and NGOs, Ben’s is working on a research project that explores the network characteristics of Athenian MSM especially in regards to assortativity of risk-behaviors. He is originally from Colorado and lives in Chicago with his partner who works at the Israeli consulate and their dog, Osiris. Ben is interested in a career as an Infectious Disease physician and global health.
2017 NIDA Intern
Kayla is a native of Chicago, IL. She is an undergraduate student at Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Kayla is currently interested in community intervention and clinical practice within different socially marginalized communities. She is interested in becoming an advocate for those who were once inmates within the correctional setting, those living with a mental illness and/or addiction, and etc. Kayla is very excited to be involved in the research project at CCHE.
Jared is an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago studying Biology and Chinese. He is interested in working in public health and is excited to be involved in a few different projects at CCHE, including "StepUp TestUp" and "Your Voice! Your Health!".
Aditya is a computational epidemiologist and statistician, and is interested in combining data and mathematical and statistical models to understand infectious disease dynamics and prevention mechanisms. He works on assessing the applicability of models and modeling frameworks, and the epidemiological, demographic and public health implications of such computational and modeling work. Aditya completed his PhD in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (QERM), and MS degrees in Statistics and QERM at the University of Washington (UW). His prior work has involved network modeling of HIV transmission dynamics in several populations: circular migrants, pregnant women, serodiscordant couples in various regions of Africa, and men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States. He has been a part of the Network Modeling Group at the UW, and worked in the Internantional Clinical Research Center in UW's Department of Global Health. While in Seattle, he also volunteered for the Shanti program, which provided emotional support to individuals with HIV and other terminal illnesses. More professional details are available here.
2017 NIDA Intern
Kiana is the Temporary Research Assistant for the CCHE. She will be accompanying Rodal in the data collection and analysis process for BARS. In addition to this, she will collaborate with Santhoshini and Kayla on a systematic literature review. Kiana recently graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with her Bachelor of Science in Public health. She is a member of the Connecticut Public Health Association and the National Honor Society for Public Health Eta Sigma Gamma. Kiana has prior experience in the field of prevention working with STEPS, a Drug Prevention Coalition in Connecticut as an intern. She aspires to obtain her Master in Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the near future. She is interested in the distribution, and determinants of diseases in certain populations, particularly in minorities and at-risk populations.
Social Service Clinical Intern, PrEP Retention (CPR) program.
Cindy worked for 10 years in community mental health coordinating and providing case management services to homeless and housed adults living with serious and persistent mental illness. She is currently completing her Master's of Social Work at the University of Chicago School of Social Services Administration.
Nina Pieroni is an Erikson Fellow working with the CCHE team. She will provide HIV prevention counseling, risk assessment, and referral for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among high-risk individuals who seek care in the Emergency Department. Nina is a graduate student at the University of Chicago. She is studying clinical social work and is in the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy. Nina is particularly interested in crisis intervention and mental health system design. Nina has previous experience working in a Medicaid managed care organization and an integrated care organization. Nina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Studies and Psychology from the University of Michigan.
Shirish is a Pritzker School of Medicine student interested in global health. He is currently working on a project examining how skin color is related to network positions among a group of Indian men who have sex with men in South India.
Santhoshini is an undergraduate at the University of Chicago who is studying biology and is interested in public health and community based research. Santhoshini had been working as the HIV FOCUS project intern conducting post-test counseling with HIV negative patients, and is currently transitioning to helping out with a few different projects at CCHE including the PrEP Chicago project.
Kellie is a medical student at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She is currently working on a project assessing the impact of social network attitudes and experiences of stigma on PrEP awareness and use in men who have sex with men. Her previous experience includes HIV-related research and program implementation work for the US Office of Rural Health Policy, as well as instrument development and semi-structured interviews to investigate the sexual and reproductive health needs of young HIV+ women in South Africa. She is particularly interested in prevention science focusing on HIV in an international context, as well as the clinical practice of HIV care. Kellie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Tim is a medical student at Florida State University College of Medicine. As an undergraduate at University of Chicago, Tim first met Dr. Schneider in 2009. During this time, Tim began work as a volunteer on a pilot study that explored patterns of HIV prevention service utilization and went on to write his senior honor’s thesis on this project with Dr. Schneider as his mentor. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 2011, Tim taught 9th grade Biology at Johnson College Prep on Chicago’s south side for two years with Teach For America. Tim then returned to CCHE where he worked on a variety of projects including Project nGage, the Transmission Reduction Intervention Project, and PrEP Chicago. As a medical student, funding from the HIVMA Medical Student Program enable Tim to explore goal-setting in PrEP Chicago. Tim is interested in a career as an Infectious Disease physician and is thrilled to continue to be a part of the team at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination.
Lindsay is a Postdoctoral Scholar. Her work examines the roles played by communication networks in bringing attention to and solving important social problems, particularly within marginalized and hard to reach communities. Specifically, Lindsay’s research underscores three crucial roles that communication networks play toward affecting social and behavioral changes: (1) networks as diffusion mechanisms through which innovative ideas and practices spread, (2) networks as systems of social and emotional support to be leveraged during the change process, and (3) networks as means and outcomes of mobilization strategies to affect change at the institutional level. Other relevant research interests include civil society organizations, community development and well-being, social capital, and collective action dynamics. Prior to joining the CCHE research team, Lindsay was a doctoral student at Northwestern University in the Media, Technology, and Society Program, where she was a member of the Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Research Lab. There, she managed two projects that explored the network contexts of collective action around environmental sustainability issues. She completed her Doctoral degree in August 2014.