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About LinCS 2 Durham

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Logos UNC Center for AIDS ResearchUniversity of North CarolinaNorth Carolina Central UniversityFHI Durham County Health Department

Key Staff (expanded)

Family Health International

Kathleen MacQueen

Kathleen M. MacQueen, PhD, MPH, serves as principal investigator and provides overall leadership for the project. Dr. MacQueen is a senior social scientist with the Behavioral and Biomedical Research Division at Family Health International. She is also adjunct faculty with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine and in the Health Behavior and Health Education Program, School of Public Health. She has a PhD in anthropology from Binghamton University and an MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.  Both domestically and internationally, she has provided leadership on the social, behavioral, and ethical dimensions of trials of HIV vaccines, microbicides, and the prophylactic use of antiretrovirals to prevent acquisition of HIV.  She also conducts research more broadly on the social dimensions of HIV risk. Her work is heavily focused on participatory research and community engagement, and it includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Before coming to FHI in 2001, she worked 10 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a research anthropologist and science director in the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHSTP). While at CDC she served as member and co-chair on the institutional review board and also as human subjects coordinator for the NCHSTP.

Natalie Eley

Natalie Eley, MPH, BA, serves as project coordinator. Ms. Eley is a research associate with the Behavioral and Biomedical Research Division at Family Health International. She has an MPH in community health education and a BA in psychology. She has many years of experience in project coordination and has been involved in multiple research projects in the fields of HIV and reproductive health. On previous projects, Ms. Eley has served in various roles including data manager, data collector, and qualitative data analyst.

Monique Mueller

Monique Peloquin Mueller, MSPH, BA, serves as a research associate with the Behavioral and Biomedical Research Division at Family Health International. She has an MSPH in health policy and administration with a focus in international health and a BA in sociology. She has been working with FHI since 2006, with experience in project coordination and management, data collection, qualitative data analysis, and training. Currently, she is working on the Social, Behavioral and Community (SBC) study associated with the multi-site FEM-PrEP HIV prevention clinical trial as project manager and site specialist to Zambia and Malawi. Prior to working at FHI, she worked at the Chatham County Public Health Department as the social research associate and coordinator for the Healthy People 2010 collaboration. She has also worked in the Republic of Moldova with the Peace Corps and at an information and referral service for health and human services in Middlesex County, NJ.

Elizabeth Robinson

Elizabeth T. Robinson, MS, BA, serves as communications specialist for the project.  Ms. Robinson is an associate director of the Knowledge Management Department at Family Health International (FHI), as well as project director for FHI’s participation in the Knowledge for Health (K4H) Project with Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Communication Programs. As head of FHI's Information Programs unit, she manages FHI publications and research and program-related dissemination activities, as well technical assistance services in strategic communication for research studies. She is the co-author of Qualitative Methods in Public Health: A Field Guide for Applied Research (Jossey Bass, 2005). Since joining FHI in 1985, she has served in various capacities, including as managing editor for FHI's scientific periodicals; editor of numerous reports, books, and articles; member of FHI's Gender Advisory Committee; Web architect for multiple health Web sites (including with the World Health Organization and UNAIDS); and founder of FHI's international health journalism training programs. Ms. Robinson is a member of the steering committee of the Microbicides Media Communications Initiative (MMCI) and serves as a communications advisor to the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. She has taught scientific paper writing programs for international researchers since 1986, including courses in English, French, and Spanish for NIH-affiliated researchers studying malaria. She has served on interagency working groups on female genital cutting, emergency contraception, microbicides, and gender, and has held consultancies with the World Health Organization, the American Social Health Association, and the International Monetary Fund. In the early 1980s, she worked as a journalist in metropolitan New York; Washington, DC; North Africa; and francophone West Africa. Ms. Robinson received an MS in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York and held a fellowship in the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs Fellows Program.

Kate Hilgenberg

Kate Hilgenberg, BA, serves as communications assistant for the LinCS 2 Durham project. She holds a BA in Politics.

Stella Kirkendale

Stella Kirkendale, MPH, BA, serves as community liaison. Ms. Kirkendale is senior community program manager with the Behavioral and Biomedical Research (BBR) Division at Family Health International (FHI). A public health educator with a background in community-based HIV prevention, she manages community engagement and capacity-building activities for FHI's clinical research initiatives, such as FEM-PrEP, a multi-site clinical trial on oral pre-exposure prophylaxis being conducted sub-Saharan Africa.  Upon joining FHI in 2000, Ms. Kirkendale initially served as community program manager for the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network and Microbicide Trials Network, where she developed, oversaw, and coordinated the networks’ community involvement programs to support partnerships with the communities where HPTN/MTN research was being conducted.  This included assisting in the development and maintenance of international community advisory boards (CABs) and other engagement mechanisms to ensure participant populations were included in research decision-making.  She is co-author of FHI’s Research Ethics Training Curriculum for Community Representatives.  Before coming to FHI, Ms. Kirkendale worked locally in North Carolina in HIV prevention. She was director of community education for the AIDS Service Agency of North Carolina from 1993 to 1999. She also served as an AIDS educator with the NC Lesbian and Gay Health project from 1991 to 1993, where she managed a risk reduction program for gay and non-gay identified men who have sex with men in five North Carolina counties. Ms. Kirkendale served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where she managed an agricultural extension project. She has a BA in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College and an MPH in health behavior/health education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is fluent in German, Italian, and Sierra Leone Krio, and proficient in American Sign Language. 

Lisa Marie Albert

Lisa Marie Albert, MS, BS, serves as a University of North Carolina—Family Health International research fellow on the project. She expects to complete her MPH in May 2010 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) in the Public Health Leadership Program, Gillings School of Global Public Health.  She has an MS in biomathematics from North Carolina State University and a BS in applied mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  Her research interests include using photovoice, videovoice, and other community-based participatory methods to explore health and social justice issues. Before beginning her MPH program at UNC-CH she worked as an instructor and statistical programmer at SAS Institute, PPD, GlaxoSmithKline, and Family Health International (FHI).  For FHI, she provided statistical programming in the analysis stages of an acceptability study on male circumcision in Uganda, and on an HIV clinical trial site-identification project using Demographic and Health Survey data. She is also a documentary photographer and film maker and has a certificate in documentary studies from Duke Center for Documentary Studies.

Caleb Parker

Caleb Parker, MA, BA, serves as a qualitative and geographic information systems (GIS) data analyst.  Mr. Parker is a research assistant with the Behavioral and Biomedical Research Division at Family Health International.  In addition to his role on LinCS 2 Durham, he is also an analyst on a qualitative data team for the multi-site FEM-PrEP HIV prevention clinical trial, and supports the study as a GIS analyst as well.  Mr. Parker is a 2005 and 2007 graduate of East Carolina University’s Geography program.  He has a background in GIS and qualitative and quantitative methodologies.  In the Geography program, he focused on Human Geography, which seeks to understand the relationships and interactions of society within the social constructs of “place.”  His master's thesis explored the politics of church space (as a socially-constructed sacred place) in North Carolina’s United Methodist Churches as it relates to the often-times volatile issue of homosexuality.  Currently, Mr. Parker facilitates a grassroots movement within The United Methodist Church in central North Carolina that works for full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer persons into the church.

Ivra Bunn

Ivra Bunn, AAS, served as administrative manager.  Ms. Bunn is a former budget administrator with the Behavioral and Biomedical Research (BBR) Division at Family Health International (FHI).  She has over 30 years of administrative experience which includes budget preparation and monitoring, meeting coordination, and funding proposal submissions.

North Carolina Central University

LaHoma Smith Romocki

LaHoma Smith Romocki, PhD, MPH serves as co-investigator and supports efforts to build partnerships with multiple stakeholders and increase health research literacy. Dr. Romocki is a faculty member in the Department of Public Health Education at North Carolina Central University, a historically black public institution located in Durham.  She also has an adjunct appointment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Romocki has spent more than 20 years developing health communication and training programs on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in various contexts and settings.  At the global level, she led Family Health International’s efforts to develop communication strategies for national AIDS programs. She provided technical assistance in conducting information and training needs assessments, developed educational materials, and designed training curricula. At the national level, Dr. Romocki served as a senior policy analyst for the White House Office of National AIDS Policy to coordinate and provide support on international AIDS issues.  At the North Carolina Division of HIV/AIDS, Dr. Romocki monitored and evaluated statewide AIDS prevention activities and services at local health departments, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and community-based education and risk reduction programs. Dr. Romocki has worked closely with research organizations to integrate and communicate findings to service providers, policy-makers, and community stakeholders.  Her programmatic and research interests are in the area of health communication, and she served on the North Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health's Task Force on Health Literacy. 

David Jolly

David Jolly, DrPH, serves as investigator for the project. He assists largely with the ethnography component of the project and helps to lead the field team.  Dr. Jolly is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Public Health Education at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). He has been involved in several research and service projects in the fields of tobacco control and HIV. These include one project to test the effectiveness of the popular opinion leaders strategy of HIV prevention at a historically black university and another to encourage young African American MSM to be tested for HIV and help those who test positive receive ongoing care.  He currently serves as the faculty advisor to Project SAFE, NCCU’s HIV/STI peer education program.  Before teaching, Dr. Jolly spent more than 15 years working in public health, mostly in the field of HIV/AIDS.  From 1987 to 1990, he served as the first branch head of the North Carolina AIDS Control Branch, directing the state’s AIDS prevention and surveillance program and serving as the program’s primary contact to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  From 1991 to 1994, he managed the North Carolina AIDS Training Network, where he coordinated statewide trainings for health care workers on HIV/AIDS issues.  From 1994 to 1998, he worked for the American Social Health Association, first as the manager of the Training Department of the CDC National AIDS Hotline and then as director of  the Hotlines Project Office, where he coordinated the CDC National AIDS Hotline, the CDC National STD Hotline, and the CDC National Immunization Hotline.

Christopher Reed

Christopher Reed, BS, serves as a research assistant. Mr. Reed is pursuing an MA in general psychology with a focus in clinical psychology at North Carolina Central University. He holds a BS in psychology from Wingate University with a minor in fine art. Mr. Reed is currently working in conjunction with the University of North Carolina Greensboro on the Brothers Leading Healthy Lives project, which examines the various sexual risks and sexual practices of African American males as dictated by their views on masculinity. He is currently working on a thesis centered on the actual risk versus the perceived risk of sexually transmitted infection in undergraduate and graduate populations. Mr. Reed's areas of interest include child therapy, school psychology, and community psychology with a heavy emphasis on program creation and intervention implementation.

Alexandra Horne

Alexandria Horne serves as a research assistant on the field team. Ms. Horne recently received her BA in psychology and a BS in family consumer sciences with a concentration in child development and family relations from North Carolina Central University. Before joining LinCS 2 Durham, Ms. Horne worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) in the Health Disparities Department, with Project Connect, a project that encourages minority involvement in research and helps address health disparities. At UNC-CH, she worked as a research assistant helping to identify the project’s younger demographic within their participant registry. In this position, she also developed a poster and presented her findings in the H.T. Friersion Research Symposium.

Kimberly Gibson Hooks

Kimberly Gibson Hooks serves as a research assistant on the field team. Ms. Hooks is a full-time undergraduate student at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). She is currently working toward a degree in public health education. Before attending NCCU, she was a resident of Wilson, where she volunteered with local organizations working to prevent teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. She also worked with faith-based organizations to provide assistance to teen mothers and low-income residents in Wilson.

Durham County Public Health Department

Tekola Fisseha

Tekola Fisseha, MPH, BA, serves as a liaison for the project. Mr. Fisseha is the director of the Division of Health Education at the Durham County Health Department. He received a BA in geography and an MPH in health behavior and health education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). He also completed a three year study at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Mr. Fisseha is an adjunct instructor with the UNC-CH School of Public Health in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. He has provided HIV risk reduction education, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to Southern Sudanese refugees in the Dima and Fendika communities. Mr. Fisseha has also been involved in the computerization of the Ethiopian alphabets with Duke University. The final result of this effort was a Computer Assisted Language Instruction Service (CALIS) for Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia.

Randy Rogers

Randy C. Rogers, MS, BSSW, serves as coordinator and facilitator for the project’s CAB-partnership (newly titled Collaborative Council) activities. Mr. Rogers is a public health education specialist with the Division of Health Education at the Durham County Health Department. He has been involved in multiple research and service projects focusing primarily on Black men’s wellness in the fields of HIV and prostate and colorectal cancer awareness and prevention. Some of his responsibilities have included curriculum development and review, development and review of focus group guides, focus group coordination and facilitation, coordination and facilitation of special tasks groups and advisory boards, and facilitating relevant trainings and informational sessions associated with studies. Mr. Rogers has worked in the field of human services with special emphasis in social work and public health for more than 15 years. His focus has been varied: he has worked in family development research, family program development and coordination, adult and child mental health services and HIV, focusing on education, research, consumer service coordination, project management, counseling, and testing. He has experience working in diverse environments including nonprofit organizations, the private sector, university settings (NCCU and UNC), and state and county government.

Mary DeCoster

Mary DeCoster, MPH, MLS, BA, serves as a liaison for the project. Ms. DeCoster is a program manager with the Division of Health Education at the Durham County Health Department.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ronald Strauss

Ronald Strauss, DMD, PhD, MA, BA, serves as co-investigator and provides leadership for building partnerships with multiple stakeholders in North Carolina.  Dr. Strauss came to the University of North Carolina (UNC) in 1974 and, at the time of his appointment as executive associate provost, held joint appointments in three schools – as Dental Friends Distinguished Professor and Chair in the School of Dentistry’s department of dental ecology, professor in the School of Medicine’s department of social medicine, and clinical professor in the School of Public Health’s department of epidemiology.  Since 1977, Dr. Strauss has been the dental director of the UNC Craniofacial Center.  He earned a BA in biology from Queens College, his doctorate in dentistry from the University of Pennsylvania, and a subsequent MA and PhD in sociology, also from the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Strauss is a trained ethnographer and has used qualitative and survey research methods in numerous projects. He actively helps investigators communicate research results to the community and improve the enrollment and retention of minority participants and women. Dr. Strauss has been engaged in relevant community and clinical studies, involving members of racial and ethnic minorities and persons with HIV/AIDS as research participants and community advisors.

Kia Caldwell

Kia Lilly Caldwell, PhD, MA, AB, serves as investigator on the project. She assists largely with the ethnography component of the project and helps lead the field team. Dr. Caldwell received her PhD in social anthropology as well as her M.A. in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She received an A.B. in Romance languages from Princeton University.  Dr. Caldwell is an assistant professor in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies and adjunct assistant professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is currently conducting research on HIV prevention for Black women in Brazil and the southeastern United States.  Dr. Caldwell is a participant in the American Psychological Association’s Cyber Mentors Program for Developing HIV Research in Communities of Color.  Her book, Negras in Brazil, was published by Rutgers University Press in 2007.  She has also published scholarly articles in Frontiers, The Journal of Negro Education, Transforming Anthropology, Estudos Feministas (Brazil), and Genero (Brazil).

Vanessa White

Vanessa White, MPH, BA, serves as a research associate.  Ms. White has an MPH in community health education and a BA in bicultural anthropology. She has more than eight years of research experience working on stigma and quality of life projects in populations with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, craniofacial differences, and HIV/AIDS. Currently, Ms. White manages the Community Outreach, Dissemination and Education Office (CODE) for the University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). She works to provide a linkage between researchers, communities, and community agencies. She actively helps CFAR investigators communicate research results back to the community and conduct outreach to minority populations. Ms. White organizes and works closely with community advisory boards, and is currently working on building community–academic health center partnerships.

Allison Mathews

Allison Mathews, BA, serves as a research assistant on the field team.  Ms. Mathews, a doctoral student in the Sociology Department at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has recently completed her master's thesis, "Black Masculinity: An Examination of the Strategies used by Black Men to Deal with Pressure to Conform to Masculinity." Her thesis analyzes data collected from 30 open-ended interviews and 10 participant observation to examine the ways in which Black gay and straight men navigate their racial and gender identities in environments that pressure them to conform to masculine gender norms.  She is currently working on a paper with Jacqueline Hagan, Professor of Sociology at UNC-CH on Mexican immigrant religious conversion and cultural hybridity. As a member of the Men's Health Research Lab at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health, she is collaborating with an interdisciplinary team of researchers on a paper entitled, "Does Religious Coping Moderate the Impact of Racism-Related Stress on Depressive Symptoms Among African American Men?" Ms. Mathews expects to receive her PhD in 2012.

Independent Evaluation Consultant

David Napp

David Napp, MPH, BS, serves as an independent evaluation consultant.  Throughout the course of this multi-year project, he will conduct a process evaluation of the CAB-partnership (newly titled Collaborative Council), focusing on its formation, development, and sustainability. Mr. Napp has more than 20 years of experience in public health and human services research and practice. He provides consulting services to community groups, coalitions, nonprofit organizations, foundations, universities, and local, state, and federal agencies to enhance their organizational effectiveness and help them better meet the needs of the communities they serve. His services include needs and assets assessment, strategic and program planning, program evaluation, instructional design and training, and group facilitation.


All staff photographs by Lisa Marie Albert.

For more information on participating institutions, please click here.


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