Health Behavior Student News – Spring 2019

April, 2019

The Health Behavior Equity Committee initiated a study of the experience of people of color and underrepresented racial or ethnic minority while studying in the Department of Health Behavior. Participants must have completed at least one semester of study in the Department of Health Behavior at UNC between 2012-2018 and be willing to participate in a 2-hour focus group discussion or 1-2 in-depth interviews, please consider this opportunity to share your experience in the department.


Feb. 22, 2019

Sarah Treves-Kagan

Sarah Treves-Kagan, MPH, doctoral candidate in health behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is the author of “Sexual and Physical Violence in Childhood Is Associated With Adult Intimate Partner Violence and Non-partner Sexual Violence in a Representative Sample of Rural South African Men and Women,” published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

The study showed that children in rural South Africa who experience violence as a child are more likely to not only experience sexual violence and interpersonal violence (IPV) as an adult but also perpetrate IPV in their adult lives.

“One important difference between rural and urban communities is access to support and social services,” commented Treves-Kagan. “This study area is characterized by high unemployment, high rates of poverty and overburdened social support systems. All of these contextual issues influence children’s and adults’ vulnerability to violence. Our research highlights an important social and health issue to be addressed and can help inform planning in an area with limited resources.” Read the study.

Jan. 21, 2019

Photo: From left to right: Natalie Blackburn, Venita Embry, Sarah Treves-Kegan and Jess Bousquette

Fellows from the Department of Health Behavior, from left to right: Natalie Blackburn, Venita Embry, Sara Treves-Kagan and Jess Bousquette

Health behavior doctoral students Natalie Blackburn, Venita Embry and Sara Treves-Kagan, and master’s student Jess Bousquette were named among the first group of fellows at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. The fellows will work with center-affiliated faculty mentors and gain experience conducting research, programming or policy in the area of injury prevention.

The UNC Injury Prevention Research Center is a national leader in recruiting and educating the next generation of injury and violence prevention researchers and practitioners.

Additional fellows from include Anna Austin,  Alex Gertner and Venera Urbaeva from the Gillings School, Laurie Graham from the School of Social Work, and Catherine Paquette from the clinical psychology program.

Read more about the fellows.

Dec. 5, 2018

Photo: Yesenia Merino

Yesenia Merino

Doctoral student Yesenia Magaly Merino recently published  her research on diversity and inclusion was published in Pedagogy in Health Promotion. The article entitled “What Do Schools of Public Health Have to Say About Diversity and Inclusion?” presents findings from a content analysis of the websites of the 59 schools of public health accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH) as of the end of 2016.

She found that most schools do not have a clear definition of diversity, inclusion or equity despite CEPH competencies that point to a need for schools of public health to increase attention to inclusion and equity. One third of the schools’ websites do not mention diversity, inclusion or equity as a central tenant; 20% do not mention having strategic goals or plans related to the these elements; only 12 of the 59 schools define diversity. Read the story.

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