Issue 6, Summer 2009

There are approximately 40 doctoral students in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. Their research interests and undergraduate training varies from health disparities, to chronic illness self-management to health communications and from psychology, to genetic counseling to anthropology. A doctoral student organization provides students a forum in which to meet, share ideas, and generate suggestions for improvements to the program.

Graduates of the doctoral program in HBHE are currently employed as professors, research scientists and investigators, project directors for public health programs, and as liaisons between research and practice settings. They work in health care systems, governmental organizations, academia, and the private sector. Some have established independent research institutes while others work as freelance consultants.

Below is a brief introduction to a few of our new doctorate students along with their advisors and research area of interest.

Jennifer A. Hartfield
Advisor: Amy Schulz. 
Research Interests: Social determinants of health, health disparities, and program evaluation.


Aisha T. Langford
Advisor: Ken Resnicow
Research Area: Health communications and health disparities
Background: Public relations, adult literacy and cancer prevention.  Aisha is currently the Manager of Community Outreach for the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.  She is from the San Francisco Bay Area and obtained her B.A. from the University of Virigina.  She obtained her MPH in behavioral science and epidemiology from Saint Louis University School of Public Health. 
Diego Lucumí
Advisor: Amy J. Shulz
Research Area: Prevention of chronic disease in developing countries. Diego hopes to gain a deep understanding about the relationship between chronic diseases with poverty, policy factors, and urban environments in developing countries.

Minal Patel
Advisor: Noreen Clark
Research area: Chronic disease management in medical and community settings; Physician-patient communication.

Rachel Petrak
Advisor: Cathleen Connell
Research Area: Rachel's research area is focused on Identifying social, structural, and personal factors supporting positive academic and healthcare experiences for people affected by disabilities. Other areas of interest include long term intervention planning for children and adolescents with disabilities and chronic illness as an organizing category for intervention.

Danielle Robling
Faculty Advisor: Cathleen Connell
Research Interests: Aging, life transitions, risk and patient/provider communication, disease management


Lori Wallace
Advisors: Harold Neighbors, Amy Schulz and Cleo Caldwell.
Research area: Mental Health, Lori is interested in neighborhood effects and mental health in the African American community, especially with regard to trauma/PTSD.

Check out the HBHE student bloggers:




Carrie Rheingans




Valentina Stackl