BCHS Student Stories

BCHS students are making an impact in all areas of public health. Here are a few profiles and some of the latest news about our students.

Totoni and Fabisiak examine lead contamination in hunted meat

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - MPH student Samantha Totoni (EOH '21), associate professor James Fabisiak, and BCHS's Martha Ann Terry look into lead contamination in hunted meat. Despite the mounting concerns over lead exposure from wild game, lead ammunition use continues as hunters and their families remain unaware or deeply mistrustful of the dangers. Who’s warning hunters and their families?  

Beth Hoffman, using systems science and social media data

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Doctoral student Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19 '23) uses system science methods to analyze social media data related to health topics such as vaping and vaccination. Her master's thesis examining anti-vaccine sentiment on Facebook through social network analyses was featured by multiple media outlets including CNN, Newsweek, and NBC's WPXI.  

Jessica Frankeberger, modeling social-ecological contributions to postpartum opioid use

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In her dissertation work, doctoral student Jessica Frankeberger (BCHS '23) will use spatial analysis and modeling approaches to understand the social-ecological contexts that contribute to opioid use and related problems among postpartum women.  

Jessica Thompson, using systems science in community health

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Doctoral candidate Jessica Thompson (BCHS '21) is interested in community-engaged approaches, chronic disease prevention, rural and Appalachian women's health, mixed-methods research, and systems science approaches to community health research.  

Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement

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HULU - Available now on the streaming service, Vice Investigates “Anti-Vaxx Fever” explores the growing anti-vaccine movement. The documentary features in-depth looks at the varied work of professor Mark Roberts and of student Beth Hoffman (BCHS ’19 ’23). Each uses system science methods to investigate the dangers of this movement, generating compelling images that are powerful tools for communicating science to the public.  

Students present interdisciplinary content in community session on health justice

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On a wet Wednesday night, December 4, Pitt Public Health student advocates Sarah Sanders (BCHS ’22), Sarah Bigelow (BCHS ’20), Paris Ekeke (EPI ’20), and Amy Raslevich (HPM ’22) joined peers from the schools of law and nursing for a Health Justice Night at Pitt's Community Empowerment Center in Homewood. The evening was powered by PechaKucha, aimed to spark community level engagement and inter-professional collaboration by offering a unique look... 

Students & community collaborators create 'Disrespecting the Border' mural

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Pitt student Camilo Ruiz (BCHS/Anthropology '20) collaborated with artists Leah Patgorski and Gil Rocha on a community mural-making workshop resulting in a magnificent art piece entitled "Disrespecting the Border."  An artist and teacher from Laredo, Texas, Rocha facilitated a diverse group of nineteen people through the five-day process of creating the mural which aims to" dignify and make visible the Latinx presence in Pittsburgh."  

A systematic review of health outcomes associated with provision of representative payee services

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PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES - Kinsky S, Creasy S, Hawk M find that representative payee services are largely beneficial or neutral in terms of health and behavior outcomes. Negative findings mainly involved the client-payee relationship. Given that more than five million individuals have a representative payee, assessing the impact of these services with more rigorous research designs is worthwhile  

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BCHS Student Videos

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Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement 

Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement

HULU - Available now on the streaming service, Vice Investigates “Anti-Vaxx Fever” explores the growing anti-vaccine movement. The documentary features in-depth looks at the varied work of professor Mark Roberts and of student Beth Hoffman (BCHS ’19 ’23). Each uses system science methods to investi... (02/26/2020)
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Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video) 

Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video)

WPXI - Antivaxxers left negative business reviews for Kids First Pediatrics after they posted a social media video encouraging HPV vaccination. So, they teamed up with researchers at Pitt including Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) who found that we have to "...start thinking about how to deliver tailor... (04/29/2019)
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BCHS team tries new technique to share research with LGBTQ youth (video) 

BCHS team tries new technique to share research with LGBTQ youth (video)

Post-doctoral researcher Robert Coulter (BCHS '17), BCHS's Jessica Burke, and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) tried using a video approach to share highlights of Coulter's recent research on how welcoming school environments reduce drinking among both LGBT+ -identified students and their heterosexual count... (11/24/2018)
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Celebrate 70: Burke presents on using collaborative filmmaking to explore menstrual practices in Napal (VIDEO) 

Celebrate 70: Burke presents on using collaborative filmmaking to explore menstrual practices in Napal (VIDEO)

On behalf of BCHS doctoral student, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS '19), JESSICA BURKE presented their work in combining filmmaking with community based participatory research. They developed collaborative filmmaking to study chlaupadi in Napal. “It is a local practice where women are banished to sheds during ... (04/19/2018)
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SisterFriend and BCHS host "Periods Gone Public Pittsburgh" discussion (video) 

SisterFriend and BCHS host "Periods Gone Public Pittsburgh" discussion (video)

SisterFriend and the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences hosted an event to encourage discussions about menstrual hygiene in the region and to raise awareness about it as a critical public health issue. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, the author of Periods Gone Public , gave a talk about he... (03/28/2018)