Current Ph.D. Students

Ligia Vasquez

Education:
Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, High Point University, 2010
Master of Science in Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, 2013

Research Interests:
Children and physical inactivity, obesity, Latino population

Dissertation Title: Pending

Dissertation Chair: Pending

About me:
My academic background in exercise and physical activity has shaped my research goal to decrease the trend towards obesity in our country, more specifically in children and Latinos, in order to prevent chronic diseases and other comorbidities to weight. In my free time I enjoy reading, traveling, hiking, and when possible, doing it all with my dog Odin.



Keri Elliot
Keri Elliot

From: Hiddenite, NC

Education

Bachelor of Science in Health Education, Appalachian State University, 2007

Master of Science in Nutrition, Physical Activity, & Public Health from the University of Bristol, England, 2012

Research Interests:

Physical activity in adolescents and young adults, Health Disparities among minority youth, Global health 

Dissertation Title: Pending 

Dissertation Chair: Pending 

About me:

I am a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and former middle school health teacher.  I am very interested in what motivates children and adolescents to engage in physical activity.  I am also interested in how health disparities play a role in the health behaviors of minority youth.  I enjoy traveling and volunteering abroad, particularly in under-developed countries; I have done projects in both Nepal and Ecuador.  I would like to combine my passion for health education with my passion for working with under-served populations.  I am currently working with Dr. Mark DeHaven, Dean W. Colvard Distinguished Professor, on a project that examines the effect of health behaviors on educational outcomes of under-served youth in the Charlotte Area and on a project to develop a work site wellness program tailored specifically to Latino populations.  Personally, I enjoy yoga, watching football, painting, playing with my dog, and visiting with family and friends. 



Corliss Allen
Corliss Allen

Education:
2007, BS in Psychology
2009, MPH with a concentration in Health Behavior and Education
 
Research Interests:
My academic, personal and professional goals are all fixated on decreasing chronic disease rates among minority populations. More specifically, it is my desire to explore the impact of stress on the engagement level and health behaviors of minority women living with a chronic disease(s).
 
Dissertation Title: Pending
 
Dissertation Chair: Pending
 
About me:  
As a Miami native, the health status of my community has fueled my public health passion. I live by the motto  “don't let the state of your community influence you, but ultimately, influence your community”. Outside of my professional and academic work, my time is spent cheering on my favorite sport teams and enjoying the performing arts.



Kenesha Smith, MSPH
Kenesha Smith, MSPH

Education:
2012, BS, Exercise Science
2014, Master of Science in Public Health
 
Research Interests:
Maternal and Child Health, Birth Outcomes, Adolescent and Young Adult Health, Mental Health
 
Dissertation Title: Evidence of adult psychiatric outcomes among those born preterm
 
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Larissa Huber
 
About me:  
Due to my professional and personal experiences with young children throughout life, I have a strong passion to learn more about this age group and their health outcomes. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and my cat, Kenya.
 



Purva Korgaonkar
Purva Korgaonkar

From: Mumbai, India

Education:
Bachelor of Dental Surgery (India, 2008)
Master of Science in Public Health (UNCC, 2013)

Research Interests:
Tobacco-use related health conditions, Infectious diseases, International health, Oral health, Epidemiology

Dissertation Title: Pending

Dissertation Chair: Pending

About me:
Dentist by training and Public health worker by choice, my goal is to be competent in research and its application to meet the challenges of globally-changing health problems. I want to work for international organizations such as the WHO in the future to address the issues of disease epidemiology and its health determinants. Personally, I like travelling to & exploring new places, reading medicine and crime fiction. I also love spending time with my husband and visit family in India.



Erin Vinoski

From: Boston, MA

Education:
Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Neuroscience, Northeastern University, 2010
Master of Public Health- Behavioral Science and Health Education, Emory University, 2012

Research Interests:
Body image, weight discrimination, physical activity, and non-diet approaches to health promotion/chronic disease prevention

Dissertation Title: Pending

Dissertation Chair: Pending

About me:
I seek to understand the way we, particularly women in the US, conceptualize weight and body size as components of health and disease. I am currently working with Dr. Jan Warren-Findlow (PHS) and Dr. Jennifer Webb (Health Psychology) on a number of projects concerning body image and the prevention and self-management of hypertension among diverse populations. Personally, I enjoy dancing, watching the Patriots win, and visiting my family and friends across the country.