Doctoral Alumni

Doctoral Alumni

Priti Bandi, PhD '19

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Amarilis Cespesde, PhD '17

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Marybec Griffin, PhD '18

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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. 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.”

 


 

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 at New Jersey City University in their Health Sciences Department.  She maintains a research affiliation with Rutgers University and is also involved with research projects at NYU focused on sexual assault at electronic dance music festivals and condom distribution programs.  

 


 

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.

 


 

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 data 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 decisions makers.