Meet our Doctoral Students

Cohort 1

Nessa Ryan

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Marybec Griffin

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Cohort 2

Keely Jordan

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Filippa Juul

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Kristen Krause

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Rachael Piltch-Loeb

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Elizabeth Stevens

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Cohort 3

Drew Blasco

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Sasha (Alexandra) Guttentag

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Sarah Lieff

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Patricia McGaughey

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Cohort 4

Ariadna Capasso

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Margaux Grivel

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Jacqueline Litvak

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Gabriella Meltzer

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Jamie Murkey

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Temitope Ojo

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Nessa Ryan

Nessa is happy to be one of four individuals who comprise the inaugural cohort of PhD candidates at CGPH. Her research interests lie in global women's health, particularly in understanding and addressing the barriers to health care experienced by women and girls in low resource settings. Nessa's dissertation research focuses on informing the implementation of an intervention to support coping among women with obstetric fistula in Ghana. She is also a TL1 pre-doctoral fellow at the NYU School of Medicine Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) where she focuses on global health and mixed methods translational research, particularly in West and East Africa where she has lived and worked.  As Research Director for the non-profit Restore Health, Nessa works within a collaborative team dedicated to developing innovative and accessible solutions for women living with the devastating indignities of obstetric fistula (https://restore-health.org/).  As an assistant adjunct faculty, Nessa enjoys teaching MPH students in NYC and Cross Continental MPH students in Ghana.


Marybec Griffin

Marybec  is a fourth year doctoral candidate at the College of Global Public Health.  Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Marybec worked with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to design Ryan White funded programs for people living with HIV/AIDS and conduct a city-wide assessment of available sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents.  Marybec received a BA in Political Science and International Affairs from the University of St. Thomas, a MA in International Affairs from the New School, and a MPH from New York University.  Her research is on the subject of LGBTQ healthcare access, specifically the decisions around coordinating primary and sexual healthcare services.


Keely Jordan

Keely Jordan is a doctoral student at the College of Global Public Health of New York University, specializing in global health policy. Keely received her undergraduate degree in political science and sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in global health from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  Prior to joining NYU she worked on the Lancet Commission Global Health 2035 and is currently the lead researcher on ethics and equity for the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era. Her work focuses on how to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries in order to provide quality care, with an emphasis on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. 


Filippa Juul

Filippa Juul is a doctoral student at the College of Global Public Health of New York University, specializing in nutritional epidemiology. Filippa is originally from Stockholm, Sweden. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain, and thereafter pursued a Master’s degree in Public Health Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to joining NYU Filippa worked as a researcher at Karolinska Institutet, where her work focused on obesity epidemiology. She also has practical experience of working with public health initiatives, including obesity prevention among young children. Filippa is broadly interested in the impact of nutritional factors on chronic diseases. For her dissertation, Filippa will examine the role of food processing in the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Kristen Krause

Kristen Krause is a doctoral candidate in the Social & Behavioral Sciences concentration. She completed her MPH at New York University in 2015 with a concentration in community and international health and she has been working at the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) since 2014. Her work examines resilience as it relates to biological, psychological, and social health states among older gay HIV+ men and she is also broadly interested in LGBT Health Disparities. During her tenure at NYU thus far, she has co-chaired the Young Adult Advisory Committee of the New York State Ending the Epidemic task force, served on the CGPH Student Governing Council as the Financial Officer, PhD Representative, and President, respectively, and is the PhD student representative on the CGPH Accreditation Committee. Additionally, she is a TL1 scholar in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the NYU Langone School of Medicine. Originally from Michigan, she received her BA in Anthropology with Honors from the University of Michigan in 2011.


Rachael Piltch-Loeb

Rachael Piltch-Loeb is a doctoral candidate at NYU’s College of Global Public Health and assistant research scientist within the Program on Population Impact, Recovery, and Resilience. Rachael has been a part of the program from its inception at NYU, working on projects related to health, well-being, and long-term recovery from disasters. Her prior work has supported systems improvement initiatives specifically in the area of public health preparedness as a research assistant and consultant at Georgetown University working on a sub-project of the Harvard School of Public Health's Preparedness Emergency Response Research Center. Rachael received her master’s degree from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. Her current research focuses on influences in intervention receptivity and health decision making during emerging disease events, particularly the Zika virus, disasters, and other adverse events.


Elizabeth Stevens

Liz is a doctoral candidate focusing on Implementation and Decision Sciences. She was born and raised near Albany, New York. She received her AB in Biological Anthropology from Princeton University and a MPH in Epidemiology from University at Albany. During her master’s studies Liz served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa, where she first became interested in Implementation Science. She currently works in the Division of Comparative Effectiveness and Decision Science in the Department of Population Health at NYU School of Medicine. Under the mentorship of Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala, Liz’s dissertation is focusing on factors contributing to the use of implementation science in the health research community.


Drew Blasco

Drew is a second year doctoral student in Public Health at New York University. She received a BA in Global Health and BS in Psychology in 2015. Additionally, she graduated with an MA in Global Health from Arizona State University where she focused on the stigma associated with obesity. Her training in the disciplines of psychology and global health led to her current research focus on mental illness, the effects of labeling, and stigma. After graduation, she plans to pursue a tenure-track position where she can incorporate her passion for research and teaching.


Sasha (Alexandra) Guttentag

Sasha is a second-year PhD student in Dr. Tom Kirchner's mHealth Lab. Originally from the SF Bay Area, she graduated from Johns Hopkins with a B.A. in Public Health in 2013 and completed a Fulbright Fellowship in southern Brazil in 2015. Sasha spent Fall 2017 completing a visiting research fellowship at ISPUP in Portugal, where she analyzed longitudinal data to evaluate patterns in smoking related to neighborhood deprivation and residential mobility amongst Portuguese women. Her main research interest centers on the applications of mobile technologies in health surveillance and behavior change. Her current research project at CGPH uses mobile phone systems to evaluate the harm reduction potential of electronic cigarettes amongst cigarette smokers. Outside of CGPH, she is an active member of the NYU Squash Club, and volunteers with Crisis Text Line. 


Sarah Lieff

Sarah is a Research Fellow and second-year doctoral student in the Social and Behavioral Sciences track. She earned a BA in Psychology from Columbia University and an MPH in Health Behavior from UNC Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health. Her primary research interest is the impact of policy on the social determinants of mental health among underserved and vulnerable populations. Specifically, she aims to test innovative programs and policies to reduce stigma, increase access to care, and improve the quality and cultural competency of mental health services. Before enrolling at NYU, she led the evaluation of Maimonides Medical Center's Health Home, which aimed to utilize health-enabled IT to integrate care for patients with serious mental illness.


Patricia McGaughey

Patricia McGaughey joined the doctoral program in NYU’s College of Global Public Health in 2016. A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) with almost 10 years’ experience, Patricia is on the Healthcare Management track of the PhD program. She currently provides intrapartum care at  Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Patricia practiced full-scope midwifery with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for 7 years and served as interim Director of Midwifery at the hospital. Her clinical and administrative duties covered nine community health centers in the Boston area, as well as an in-hospital adolescent clinic, triage, labor and delivery, and postpartum. Her clinical experience drives her passion for research. Patricia is interested in the connections between quality, safety, leadership and organizational structure. She strives to optimize the organization of women’s healthcare to promote effective care for all women and newborns. She provides clinical teaching and is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in the NYU College of Global Public Health. She holds an MSN from Yale University School of Nursing and a BA in Biology (Spanish Minor) from Eureka College.


Ariadna Capasso

Ariadna Capasso is a first year PhD student in Social & Behavioral Sciences. Prior to joining NYU, Ariadna was a senior technical advisor at Management Sciences for Health, where she provided strategic leadership and managed a wide range of sexual and reproductive health projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Thematic focuses of her work included adolescent sexual and reproductive health, women's empowerment, persons with disabilities and maternal and intercultural health.


Margaux Grivel

Margaux Grivel is a first-year doctoral student in the Social Behavioral Sciences track. Immigrating to the U.S. from Brignoles, France, as the second-oldest sibling of five, Margaux’s background has fostered exceptional openness to, and captivation with, others' backgrounds, sensitivities, experiences, and perspectives. During her undergraduate and post-bac development at the University of Maryland, Margaux managed numerous projects for Dr. Derek Iwamoto including one longitudinal study focused on identifying distinct alcohol use trajectories among young adults, and examining sociocultural predictors of latent class membership. During her time at Teachers College, Columbia University, in the Clinical Psychology MA program, Margaux completed a clinical placement at the Center for Prevention and Evaluation, one of few clinics worldwide that treats individuals with Attenuated Psychosis Syndrome, and had the opportunity to examine the relationship between history of trauma, clinical presentation, and transition to full psychosis in this population. Concurrently, Margaux worked with Dr. Lawrence Yang in the Global Mental Health, Psychosis, and Stigma lab and worked on a meta-analysis examining cognition in drug-naïve schizophrenia in collaboration with the late Dr. Larry Seidman (Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry) which has led to an R01 grant from NIMH (PI’s: Yang, Phillips, Keshevan), and a review of substance use stigma in collaboration with Dr. Deborah Hasin (Columbia University). Dr. Yang's exemplary work in identifying cultural variations in mental illness stigma and intervening with stigma,  in addition to the program’s commitment to identifying the underlying social, behavioral and structural factors that contribute to health disparities motivated Margaux to continue her work with Dr. Yang here at CGPH.


Jacqueline Litvak

Jacqueline (Jackie) is a doctoral student in public health concentrating in Epidemiology.  She is a born and raised Jersey girl who has always dreamed of living in New York City.  Jackie received her bachelors of science degree in Neuroscience from Union College, a M.S. in Human Nutrition from Columbia University, and a MPH in Chronic Degree Epidemiology from the Yale School of Public Health.  Her research interests focus on the intersection of maternal and child health and nutritional epidemiology.  After receiving her PhD, Jackie hopes to pursue a career in academia.


Gabriella Meltzer

Gabriella is a first-year doctoral student concentrating in Epidemiology, with a focus on environmental justice in the US and throughout the developing world. Originally hailing from Chicago, Illinois, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with her B.A. in Health and Societies, and her undergraduate research examined the public health issue of electronic waste, using Accra, Ghana as a case study. Following graduation, Gabriella worked at the Council on Foreign Relations as a Global Health Research Associate, where she focused on global health governance, pandemic preparedness, and environmental health in China. She hopes to pursue a career in academia with a strong emphasis on global health education.


Jamie Murkey

Jamie Murkey is a first-year doctoral student in the PhD program at the New York University College of Global Public Health. He’s interested in research related to identifying and better understanding the impact of social and structural factors on adverse health outcomes among marginalized communities, particularly as it relates to chronic diseases. Jamie holds a BS in Nutritional Sciences from Pepperdine University and a MPH in Health Policy and Leadership from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, where he was inducted into the Delta Omega Honorary Society. Prior to New York University, Jamie worked as a research manager at the University of California, Los Angeles on a variety of clinical and behavioral research projects involving the reduction of cardiovascular disease risk factors among HIV/Hepatitis C co-infected patients, HIV prevention using gamification, and an unbiased clinically validated metagenomic Next-Generation Sequencing (mNGS) diagnostic used to detect pathogens in hospitalized patients with infectious diseases. He has previously worked on other studies concerning marginalized populations within the University of California, San Francisco’s HIV and AIDS Division, RAND Corporation, and City of Pasadena.


Temitope Ojo

Temitope (Temi) is a doctoral student in Public Health, with a concentration in Epidemiology. She received her BA in Biochemistry, with a minor in Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. She spent three years as a clinical research assistant and fellow, working on  chronic kidney disease studies in Boston, MA and Abuja, Nigeria. She went on to receive her MPH in Chronic Disease Epidemiology from the Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT. Her research interests focus on cardiovascular disease management and the continuum of care in low resource settings, through the lens of  implementation science.