SHINE Conference 2014 Presenter Biographies

PANEL I: Identifying Risk and Protective Factors among Vulnerable Populations

Abigail Muldoon:

Title: “Lifeskills: Religiosity as a Preventative Factor Against HIV for Young Transgender Women”

Abigail Muldoon earned her Psychology, with a minor in Women’s Studies from Florida State University. She is currently a graduate student at DePaul University in the department of women’s and gender studies. Additionally, Abigail is the Data Manager for the Center for Gender, Sexuality, and HIV Prevention at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She works on several projects, including Life Skills, a behavioral HIV prevention intervention for young transgender women in the Boston and Chicago areas. Her research interests include the role religion plays in the lives of LGBT individuals and women. Specifically, she is interested in Christian-motivated harassment and the role religiosity can play in preventing HIV infection for the LGBT community.  She also hosts a blog on titled, Feminist Christian. Once Abigail completes her master’s degree, she plans on enrolling in a social psychology PhD program. In her spare time, Abigail enjoys volunteering with pit-bull rescues in the Chicago area and going to the dog park with her husband, Patrick, and their own pit-bull, Tennessee.

Lance Keene:

Title: “Social Identity Processes and Disclosure of Sexual Orientation among Black Gay Men”

A second-year PhD student at the University Of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, Lance is broadly interested in race, sexuality, stigma, and minority stress. More specifically, he is interested in investigating the role of community-based organizations in Black LGBT psychosocial health and well-being. Prior to pursuing his PhD, he completed his Master of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While there, he established and led a weekly discussion group for LGBT people of color. Lance also holds a B.A. in Sociology from Michigan State University.

Elizabeth Bowen:

Title: Vulnerably Housed and Vulnerable to HIV: The Relationship between Prior Homelessness and HIV Risk for Residents of Single Room Occupancy Housing in Chicago.

Elizabeth Bowen is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She graduated with her PhD in August 2014 from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Elizabeth received the 2014 Doctoral Fellows Award from the Society for Social Work and Research to support her dissertation research on HIV risk behaviors among residents of single room occupancy (SRO) housing in Chicago. She is a 2004 graduate of SSA’s Master’s program, where she focused on clinical social work. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Elizabeth worked as a social worker for several years in various settings, including managing supportive housing programs for homeless HIV positive individuals. Her current research interests include place-based health disparities, social determinants of health and risk behaviors, housing  and drug policy, homelessness, and HIV/AIDS and addiction as intersecting epidemics.

Iman Little:

Title: “Bridging the Gap: A Needs Assessment for HIV High-Risk African American Heterosexual Youth in”

Iman is the project coordinator for PrEP Chicago and PS-PrEP with the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination. PrEP Chicago is an innovative project that is exploring the relationship between social networks and diffusion of innovation among African American MSM on Chicago’s Southside. The project is recruiting peer change agents to train on PrEP and track the diffusion through a popular social media website (Facebook). PS-PrEP is a project in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health targeting high risk HIV negative clients and providing an enhanced linkage to PrEP care. Prior to joining the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination she was working with the Chicago Department of Public Health on the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system with high risk heterosexuals on Chicago’s south and west sides. While working with CDPH she discovered her innate passion to educate and equip the next generation in the fight against HIV and overall health literacy. She is interested in high risk behaviors among African American youth. Iman’s graduate thesis focused on HIV high-risk African American heterosexual youth in Chicago. Iman holds a Master of Public Health with distinction from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Howard University.

PANEL II: Moving Beyond the Individual: Innovative Interventions to Prevent HIV/AIDS

Kathryn Barringer:

Title: PS-PrEP: Planning & Implementing a Multi-Modal, Multi-Level Partner Services Intervention

Kathryn Berringer is a Research Project Coordinator for the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination (CCHE) at the University of Chicago Medicine, where she is the Interventionist for the Partner Services PrEP (PS-PrEP) project. The PS-PrEP project is a randomized controlled trial of a pilot intervention involving enhanced linkage to PrEP care for high-risk HIV negative individuals in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health. Prior to joining CCHE, Kathryn coordinated HIV interventions and counseling, testing, and referral programs for currently and formerly incarcerated women at a re-entry organization in Washington, DC. She also received her clinical social work training working on interdisciplinary teams at the Trauma Unit at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County as well as the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. Kathryn is a graduate of the Master’s program at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration where she was enrolled in the Graduate Program in Health Administration & Policy as well as the Violence Prevention program of study. While at SSA, she served as Co-Editor of the SSA Student Journal Advocates’ Forum and received the Mary H. Bachmeyer Award for academic achievement and leadership promise in the field of health administration and policy. Kathryn received her B.A. in Religion from Carleton College.

Michael Newcomb:

Title: Development, Feasibility and Acceptability of a Healthy Relationships Program for Young Male Couples: The 2GETHER Intervention

Michael E. Newcomb, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences and a core faculty member of the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed his pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Behavioral Medicine. Newcomb’s research focuses on health disparities in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth and adults and he focuses on sexual risk behavior and HIV/AIDS, alcohol and substance use, and mental health problems. He also has interests in psychosocial resiliency factors that buffer against negative health outcomes in LGBT individuals. Newcomb is Principal Investigator of a research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to examine the conditions under which prospective observational risk behavior surveys become self-monitoring interventions for binge-drinking and drug-using young men who have sex with men (YMSM). He is also the dual Principal Investigator (with Dr. Brian Mustanski) of a research contract with the Chicago Department of Public Health to conduct CDC’s National HIV Behavioral Surveillance-YMSM Supplement (NHBS-Y) with YMSM ages 13-17. Newcomb collaborates on a variety of other research projects funded by NIH and other foundations as a research scientist in the IMPACT Program. Newcomb’s clinical interests focus on treatment of depression and anxiety in the context of chronic medical illness using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and he has received training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Newcomb is interested in pursuing clinical intervention development as it relates to LGBT health.

Britt Lavik:

Title: Network Viral Load: A Novel Strategy for HIV Prevention Implementation?

Britt is a third year doctoral student in Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago. She received her MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her B.A. in Sociology from DePaul University. Britt is currently the program manager of the Transmission Reduction Intervention Project (TRIP) and the uConnect study at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination. Her research focuses on advancing HIV/STI epidemiology through social and sexual network analysis. Britt is particularly interested in the effect of social policy and social institutions on network composition. She has been involved in HIV research since 2006, and previously worked as an Epidemiologist with the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Chicago Developmental Center for AIDS Research. Britt is currently a pre-doctoral fellow in the University of Chicago and Northwestern Integrated Health Services Research Training Program.

Shannon Sapolich:

Title: A Call for Creativity in the Evaluation of Low-Threshold HIV Services

Shannon Sapolich is a recent graduate of the School of Social Service Administration’s clinical social work program. She is currently a housing resource specialist in the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program at Heartland Alliance Human Care Services, a youth outreach volunteer with The Night Ministry, and a volunteer counselor at the Chicago Women’s Health Center. She has witnessed firsthand the challenges of completing rigorous research and program evaluation with vulnerable populations, particularly in her research positions with the University of Chicago’s The Thirty Million Words Initiative and Project READY. Shannon is dedicated to advancing professional accountability and clinical competencies in social work to better meet the needs of LGBT and homeless populations.

PANEL III: Improving Outcomes across the Continuum of HIV Care

Sara Baghika

Title: “Lessons learned from the development and implementation of a routine opt-out HIV screening model in the Emergency Department”

Sara Baghikar is a Graduate Research Assistant for Project HEAL, the routine HIV testing initiative at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System Emergency Department. Sara is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her special interests are health disparities, immigrant health, and health systems. Sara is a native of Germany and graduated from Heinrich-Heine University School of Medicine with honors in 2008.  Before starting her MPH program she was a resident in internal medicine at Malteser Hospital in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Kaitlyn Jaffe:

Title: Strategies for Participatory Adolescent Engagement and Retention in Care.

Kate Jaffe is the project coordinator for Project nGage and co-coordinator of YMAP and the Youth Health Leadership Corps at the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination at the University of Chicago. Her previous experience includes sexual assault response, reproductive health advocacy, and facilitating youth programs in underserved communities. Prior to joining CCHE, Kate was a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines, working with child survivors of sexual abuse. Kate holds a Master’s degree in Social Science from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Carolina.

Kim Fisher:

Title: Strategies for Participatory Adolescent Engagement and Retention in Care.

Kimberly Fisher is the project coordinator for the Young Men’s Affiliation Project (YMAP) and Project Ready. Prior to joining CCHE Kimberly was a health educator at the Center on Halsted where she provided HIV testing, community outreach, and youth sexual health and wellness programming. She holds a Master’s in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Rebecca Eavou:

Title: A second chance at retention in care: The role of routine HIV screening programs in the re-identification and linkage to care of known seropositive patients

Rebecca Eavou is the program manager of the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination at the University of Chicago Medicine. While she currently works on a variety of HIV prevention and care projects within the Center, her primary role is in routine HIV screening as the coordinator for the multi-site Expanded HIV Testing and Linkage to Care program (xTLC) and the Gilead FOCUS program.

Bria Berger:

Title: Successes and Challenges of a Community-Based Retention Intervention: The Chicago House Connect 2 Care and Gaining Ground Programs

Bria M. Berger is an intensive housing case manager at Chicago House and Social Service Agency. Prior to work at CHASSA, she worked as a research assistant on HIV and LGBTQ-youth focused projects at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, where she graduated in 2014. Bria has previously worked with international refugees, in community-based case management, and in program development.

A Conversation with Rae Lewis Thornton

Keith Green

Keith Green is a founding member and principal evaluator for the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, as well as an award-winning spoken word artist, HIV/AIDS activist, social justice advocate, and community journalist. He maintains a regular column in the nation’s most widely read HIV treatment education journal, Positively Aware, and has been a frequent contributor to both and Keith earned a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, where his primary research interest is in the integration of behavioral and biomedical HIV prevention interventions within community based organizations.