Alumni—Trainees

Zainab Balhas completed a master’s degree in 2014 in mechanical engineering from the American University of Beirut (adviser: Alan Shihadeh). She is now an instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the American University of Beirut.

Dr. Omar El-Shahawy completed his Ph.D. in social and behavioral health from VCU (adviser: Jennifer Elston Lafata) in 2015. He is now a postdoctoral fellow at New York University School of Medicine in the Section on Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Use, Department of Population Health.

Mariam Fawaz completed a master’s degree in 2015 in mechanical engineering from the American University of Beirut (adviser: Alan Shihadeh). She is now a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Omar El-Hajj completed a master's degree in 2016 in Mechanical Engineering (advisor: Alan Shihadeh). He is now a doctoral student at the air quality and climate research laboratory at the University of Georgia, in the School of Civil, Environmental, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Carolina Ramôa completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the CSTP in 2016 (adviser: Thomas Eissenberg). She is now a pharmacologist at FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

Dr. Alexa Anderson (previously: Lopez) completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the CSTP in 2016 (advisor: Thomas Eissenberg). She then worked as psychologist position at Joint Base Lewis McChord, a part of the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. In 2018, she accepted a position as a technical editor-writer in the Research Service at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison, WI.is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee College of Nursing.

Dr. Michael Sawdey completed his Ph.D. in epidemiology from VCU (adviser: Elizabeth Prom-Wormley) in 2017. He is now an epidemiologist working at FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

Dr. Eric Soule completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the CSTP in 2017 (adviser: Thomas Eissenberg). He is now an assistant professor at East Carolina University in the Department of Health Education and Promotion.

Khairallah Atwi completed a master’s degree in 2017 in mechanical engineering from the American University of Beirut (adviser: Alan Shihadeh). He is now a doctoral student at the Air Quality and Climate Research Laboratory at the University of Georgia in the School of Civil, Environmental, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering.

Maha Yazbeck completed a master’s degree in 2017 in mechanical engineering from the American University of Beirut (adviser: Alan Shihadeh). She is now a doctoral student at the College of Engineering at the Ohio State University.

Dr. Tory Spindle completed his Ph.D. in health psychology (adviser: Thomas Eissenberg) in 2018. He is now a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit.

Dr. Ahmad El-Hellani completed a post-doctoral fellowship with Alan Shihadeh in 2018 at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He is now a research assistant professor in the department of chemistry at the American University of Beirut.

Dr. Nicole Nicksic completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the CSTP in 2018 (advisor: Andrew Barnes) and then a fellowship with the Massey Cancer Center at VCU in 2019 (advisor: Andrew Barnes). She is now a Research and Analytics Lead at Integrated Benefits Institute.

Dr. Marzena Hiler completed her PhD in Health Psychology (advisor: Thomas Eissenberg) in 2019. She is currently a Health Scientist at the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products, in the Office of Science.

Dr. Linday Morgan Snell completed her PhD in Healthcare Policy and Research (advisor: Andrew Barnes) in 2020. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University.

Dr. Alyssa Rudy completed her PhD in Health Psychology at VCU (advisor: Caroline Cobb) in 2020. She is currently a Regulatory Affairs Coordinator for the CSTP at VCU.


Alumni—Staff

Kendall Pettaway was a research assistant with the CSTP from 2013-2015. She is now a Clinical Data Manager at Atlantic Research Group in Charlottesville. She is also pursuing her Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Kathleen Osei was a research assistant with the CSTP from 2013-2015. She is now a Research Compliance Analyst for the Department of the Navy Human Research Protection Program (DON HRPP).She also completed a master’s in public health at East Tennessee State University.

Julia Rozman was a research assistant with the CSTP from 2015-2016. She is now a COVID-19 Research Area Clinical Research Manager for The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine in support of the USU Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program. 

Hannah Mayberry was a research assistant with the CSTP from 2015-2017. She is now a Ph.D. student in the brain and cognitive sciences program at Temple University.

Caroline Smith was a research assistant with the CSTP from 2015-2017. She is now a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University.

Ally Wolf was a research assistant with the CSTP from 2015-2017. She is now a medical student at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Makeda Austin was a Research Assistant with the BHRL/CSTP from 2014 –2016. She began the PhD student in the Personality, Development and Health Psychology doctoral program at Northwestern University as a PhD student in 2016, and obtained a Master of Science degree June 2018.

Megan Scott was a Research Assistant with the BHRL/CSTP from 2014 – 2016. She is now a Research Coordinator at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in the Pediatrics department. 

Hannah Rumsey was a Research Coordinator with the BHRL/CSTP from 2015–2016. She is now a Research Assistant at the Preventative Medicine department of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and has completed a creative writing certificate.  

Parker Webster was a Research Coordinator with the CSTP from 2015–2016. He completed a bachelors in nursing in 2019 and is now working as a clinical nurse at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Emergency Department.

Sanyam Patel was a Research Assistant with the CSTP from 2015–2017. He is now a MS student in the Biology program at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Catherine Wall was a Research Assistant with the BHRL/CSTP from 2016 –2018. BHRL After working in the BHRL/CSTP, she joined the Social Perception and Intergroup Inequality Lab at Cornell University to work as a lab manager. She has since returned to Virginia Commonwealth University to pursue a PhD in Health Psychology.

Phoebe Brosnan was a Research Coordinator with the CSTP from 2016-2018. She was awarded a Master's degree in clinical psychology from Boston University.  She is continuing her training at the Boston Child Study Center, working towards her doctorate.

Jacob Graham was a Research Assistant with the CSTP from 2016–2018. He is now a Lab Research Specialist at the Virginia Commonwealth University Biobehavioral Research Lab.

Nadia Chowdhury was a Research Assistant with the CSTP from 2016–2018. She is now working ata NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center as a clinical research coordinator.

Nancy Sey was a Research Assistant with the CSTP/BHRL from 2015-2016. She is now a PhD student studying the genetics of substance use in the Neurobiology program at University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. She was awarded a NSF GRFP fellowship in April 2020.

Lauren Ratliff was a Research Assistant with the CSTP from 2017-2019. She is now an MPH student in the Epidemiology program at Colorado State University.

Melanie Crabtree was a Research Assistant with the CSTP from 2017-2020. She is now a Clinical Research Coordinator with the Neonatology Clinical Research Team at the University of California, San Diego.

Rebecca Lester Scholtes was a Research Coordinator with the CSTP from 2015-2021. She is now a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Internal Medicine at the VCU Health Medical Center.

Megan Underwood was a Research Assistant with the CSTP from 2019-2021. She is now a nursing student at the University of Virginia.

 

This research is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health and the Center for Tobacco Products of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under Award Number U54DA036105. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the Food and Drug Administration