Doctoral Alumni

Doctoral Alumni

Priti Bandi, PhD '19

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Drew Blasco, PhD '21

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Amarilis Cespesde, PhD '17

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Marybec Griffin, PhD '18

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Sasha Guttentag, PhD '21

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Keely Jordan, PhD '21

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Filippa Juul, PhD '20

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Patricia McGaughey, PhD '21

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Pricila Mullachery, PhD '19

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Rachael Piltch-Loeb, PhD '19

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Nessa Ryan, PhD '19

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Benjamin Spoer, PhD '19

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Elizabeth Stevens, PhD '19

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Dr. Drew Blasco obtained her PhD in Public Health in May 2021. 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.

 


 

Dr. Priti Bandi obtained her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology in May 2019. Dr. Priti’s research focuses on the population-based surveillance of modifiable cancer risk behaviors, with an emphasis on tobacco use. She studies national and global patterns of diverse tobacco and nicotine products, with a focus on social disparities in their use behaviors.  Her dissertation was entitled “Evolution of Educational Inequalities in Tobacco Use in Low- and Middle-Income Countries.” She currently works as a Principal Scientist in the Surveillance and Health Services Research Department of the American Cancer Society, Atlanta. 

 


 

Dr. Amarilis Cespesde is GPH's first doctoral graduate who obtained her PhD in November 2017. Her dissertation was entitled “An Examination of the Relationships between Family Functioning, Asthma Self-Care Behaviors, and Asthma-related Morbidity in Young, Urban Latino and African American Adolescents with Uncontrolled Asthma.” She currently holds a position as City Research Scientist at NYU Health Department.

 


 

Dr. Marybec Griffin obtained her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in May 2018. She has previously completed a MPH at NYU and holds a MA in International Affairs from the New School. Marybec’s research focuses on healthcare access among LGBTQ young adults, including the role of identity and health policy.  Her dissertation was entitled “A Mixed Methods Examination of Barriers and Facilitators to Healthcare Access among Young Adult Gay Men.” She has worked at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the areas of HIV/AIDS policy and program design as well as helping to evaluate the quality of sexual health services and contraceptive coverage in NYC.  

Dr. Griffin is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Behavior, Society and Policy at the Rutgers University School of Public Health. She is also involved with research projects at NYU focused on sexual assault at electronic dance music festivals and condom distribution programs.

 


 

Dr. Sasha (Alexandra) Guttentag obtained her PhD in public health in May 2021. She was a 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. At GPH, she used mobile phone systems to evaluate the harm reduction potential of electronic cigarettes amongst cigarette smokers. Outside of GPH, she is an active member of the NYU Squash Club, and volunteers with Crisis Text Line. Currently, she holds a position as City Research Scientist at NYU Health Department.

 


 

Dr. Keely Jordan obtained her PhD in Public Health in September 2021, 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.

 


 

Dr. Filippa Juul obtained her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology, specializing in nutritional epidemiology, in September 2020. 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 examined the role of food processing in the risk of cardiovascular disease. She is currently holds a position as the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow.

 


 

Dr. Patricia McGaughey obtained her PhD in public health in May 2021. 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 School of Global Public Health. She holds an MSN from Yale University School of Nursing and a BA in Biology (Spanish Minor) from Eureka College.

 


 

Dr. Pricila Mullachery obtained her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Public Health Policy and Management in September 2018. Her dissertation was entitled “Brazil’s Health Policies 2000-2013: Did they reduce Health Care Inequities?” She currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship at the Urban Health Collaborative at the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. Pricila will be part of NIH-funded study to examine the effects of population density on health outcomes in Latina American and U.S. cities.

 


 

Dr. Rachael Piltch-Loeb obtained her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in May 2019. She has been working primarily on influences in intervention receptivity and health decision making during emerging disease events, particularly the Zika virus, disasters, and other adverse events.Her dissertation was entitled "Optimizing Risk Communication in an Emerging Threat: The Impact of Information Seeking Behavior and Information Source on Intervention Receptivity." She currently holds positions as associate research scientist with the Program on Population, Impact, Recovery, and Resilience at NYU GPH and a preparedness fellow at the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development.

 


 

Dr. Nessa Ryan obtained her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology in May 2019. Nessa’s research focus is understanding and addressing gender-specific threats to health for women and girls in developing settings through developing and implementing culturally-informed intervention. Nessa is currently the Director of Research for non-profit startup Restore Health, where they are planning a clinical trial of an insertable cup to help women manage urinary incontinence due to obstetric fistula and improve quality of life. She is also a Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU Clinical and Translational Research Institute and Team Lead at ISSE Lab.

 


 

Dr. Benjamin Spoer obtained his PhD in Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in May 2019. Benjamin is a spatial epidemiologist focusing on how we define exposure in neighborhood studies. He has been working primarily with GPS data and thinking about how we can improve the way we define neighborhoods. His dissertation was entitled, “Built, Food, and Sociodemographic Environments in GPS and Administrative Unit Geographies and their Associations with BMI, Obesity, and Type Two Diabetes.” He is currently the manager of metrics and analytics for the City Health Dashboard at the NYU School of Medicine. The Dashboard provides over 35 different health and health-related metrics at the city and census tract level for the 500 largest cities in the US. You can explore our data at cityhealthdashboard.com

 


 

Dr. Elizabeth Stevens obtained her PhD in Public Health in January 2019. Under the mentorship of Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala in the Department of Epidemiology, Liz’s research focused on Implementation and Decision Sciences with her dissertation entitled “Advancing The Practice Of Implementation Science: An evaluation of the factors contributing to the use of implementation science in the health research.” Liz is currently performing research evaluating the impact of health policies and interventions to help inform decision makers. She also holds positions as Scientific Director at NYU School of Medicine Section on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Use as well as Research Scientist at NYU School of Medicine Division of Comparative Effectiveness and Decision Science.