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.

BCHS Student Profiles and News

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  

Intimate partner violence and depression among black transgender women in the USA: The potential suppressive effect of perceived social support

JOURNAL OF URBAN HEALTH - Bukowski LA, Hampton M, Escobar C, Sang JM, Creasy SL, Chandler CJ, Stall, R. find there was a 20% lower likelihood of increased depressive symptomatology for every 1-unit increase in perceived social support reported by participants. These findings perceived social support may be an important intervention point for helping to improve the mental health and wellbeing of black transgender women.  

Koesarie, Risser, Totoni instrumental in Pitt providing menstrual products around campus

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THE PITT NEWS - The pad and tampon dispensers in women’s bathrooms across campus have sat empty for years. But check again. Pitt is stocking a number of bathrooms with menstrual products, and there’s no payment required. Kathleen Koesarie (MMPH), said “it’s important that students who need menstrual products have access to them without leaving school. It’s a period equity issue, it’s an equality issue, and it’s a public health issue.”  

Public Health. Period.

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Lauren Risser (BCHS '20), Kathleen Koesarie (MMPH '18), and BCHS's Martha Ann Terry table at the Women's Health Activist Movement (WHAMglobal) Birthing a Movement art and activism event. The event addressed issues of  maternal mortality and women's health. Risser co-founded the Pitt Public Health chapter of Period, a non-profit which aims to reduce the stigma of mensuration and provide hygiene products to those in need.   

Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline

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Professor Jessica Burke and student Teagan O'Malley (BCHS '12 '19) developed a framework for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which responds to over 1000 calls for help each day. Burke and O'Malley engaged multiple stakeholders including service providers, users, and experts via a content-mapping research methodology to isolate what matters most and to establish metrics for monitoring this vit... 

Baumann Investigates Illegal Practice Against Women in Nepal

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INSIDE UPMC - Sarah Baumann (BCHS '19) spent the past nine months in Nepal, in part conducting qualitative research and data collection on  chhaupadi , an illegal cultural tradition that isolates menstruating women – who are considered “unclean” – to huts, basements or livestock sheds. Baumann has long researched the practice, most recently with a study published in the journal Global Public Health that assessed the role of caste (a cultural and... 

Meet joint-degree student Alyssa Amendola (BCHS/GSPIA), Coverdell Fellow

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The Peace Corps showed Alyssa Amendola that she wanted to pursue public health. She chose Pitt because of our focus on global health, eclectic research interests, and strong faculty. Her time in the Peace Corps also helped prepare her for graduate school. "I gained a new perspective that I would not have otherwise [and] I am getting more out of my graduate experience than I would have if I had not volunteered with the Peace Corps."   

Meet joint-degree student Laurenia Mangum (BCHS/SocWk), Coverdell Fellow

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Laurenia Mangum worked within the children, youth, and family sector in the Philippines while in the Peace Corps. “The BCHS program compliments my social work background and serves as a great transition from the Peace Corps. It meets my needs without compartmentalizing the studies into one particular focus…but rather provides the opportunity for the student to customize his or her own studies.”  

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BCHS Student Videos

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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)
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Meet Amber Chaudry, MPH student in BCHS  

Meet Amber Chaudry, MPH student in BCHS

Amber Chaudry, an MPH student in Pitt's Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, shares some of her passion for a career in public health and how helping those around her is integral to her own vision of success.  (05/01/2017)