About Us –
Editors of Volume 7

Susan Blake, Ph.D. – Editor In Chief

Professor Blake is an Associate Research Professor in the Department of Prevention & Community Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. She is a Health Psychologist and behavioral scientist by training and former NHLBI research fellow with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Minnesota Heart Health Program, a three-community cardiovascular risk prevention trial. Her primary interests lie in applying behavioral and ecological theories to prevent adverse health outcomes and disparities, and to promote health and mental health in populations. She has led efforts to design and evaluate health promotion, education and communication programs nationwide.

Previously, Dr. Blake served as Senior Research & Evaluation Officer at the Academy for Educational Development, Inc., Program Area Director for Behavioral Assessments & Interventions at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and Research Manager of HIV/AIDS Education Evaluation at the American National Red Cross. Her research in schools, clinics and communities has focused primarily on women, children, youth and families, on parent-child communications, and on the determinants of, risk for, and interventions to prevent, HIV, STDs and pregnancy, intimate partner violence, tobacco smoke exposure, and obesity. Her publications have appeared in various journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Preventive Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics, Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health, Maternal & Child Health, Psychology & Health, and Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Claire Boozer, MPH Candidate – Senior Managing Editor

Claire is a second year student in the Health Policy track at The George Washington University. She also works part-time as an intern for the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. She served as a Managing Editor for Volume 6 of the journal and is now responsible for guiding the Volume 7 Editors through the manuscript submission and review process, as well as updating policies and procedures of the journal.

Claire received a BS and BA in Psychology and Sociology, respectively, in 2008 and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology in 2009 from the University of Georgia where she also worked in both the Social and Developmental Psychology Departments. Claire was a research assistant on the Family Relationships in Late Life project, which was funded by the National Institute on Aging. She has presented posters at Southeastern Student Mentoring Conference in Geriatrics and Gerontology (2007, 2008, & 2009) and the Gerontological Society of America annual conference (2010). She worked with the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Georgia to develop a training program for emergency department medical professionals, focusing on the unique issues with treating an older patient through emergency services. Before moving to Washington, she served as Outreach Coordinator for the Athens Community Council on Aging in Athens, Georgia. In this role, she oversaw the marketing, public relations, and development strategy for the agency for over two years.

Ashley Kallarakal, MPH Candidate – Managing Editor

Ashley Kallarakal is a second year student in the Global Health Communications track at The George Washington University with an interest in social media and marketing. She has a very broad range of interests and currently working at Regnet Environmental services as an environmental health policy-consulting assistant. Her previous internships have validated her interest in global health and the use of effective communication channels for healthy behavior changes.

Ashley has a BS in Biochemistry and a minor in International Studies from Boston College. When she is not studying or at work, Ashley is also a dance-based fitness instructor for Dhoonya–a South-Asian dance-based fitness organization, primarily in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia area and New York City. Ashley also grew up in Northern Virginia and is excited to be back in the area.

Jillian Pugatch, MPH Candidate – Managing Editor

Jillian is a second year student in the Public Health Communication and Marketing track at The George Washington University. She is a Corporate Communications Specialist for Dimensions Healthcare System and a Media Content Analysis Intern at FHI360. Prior to her graduate work, Jillian received a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). During her time at NICHD, she worked on longitudinal studies researching the effects of maternal depression on infants and toddlers, as well as normative child development from infancy through emerging adulthood.

She is a graduate of the University of Rochester, where she earned a BA in Developmental Psychology and received high honors and the Zimmerman Award for her undergraduate thesis entitled “Voluntary Disclosure in Emerging Adulthood.” Her professional interests include mental health, obesity prevention and nutrition, and prevention of unplanned pregnancy. Upon completion of her MPH, Jillian would like to pursue social marketing with a focus on branding for public health.

Lauren Rabinovitz, MPH Candidate – Managing Editor

Lauren is a second year student in the Maternal and Child Health track within the Prevention and Community Health Department at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. She also works part-time as a Research Assistant at the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools at GWU. Lauren received an MSW from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in 2008 and a BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2005. Lauren is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW-C) with expertise in early childhood mental health and child development. Before starting the MPH program, Lauren worked as a Clinical Case Manager in the District of Columbia Foster Care System from 2008-2009. She also worked as a Mental Health Consultant at the University of Maryland School of Medicine: Center for Infant Study providing expertise to families and program staff at a Head Start in Baltimore City regarding children’s mental health from 2009 to 2011.

After graduation, Lauren’s career goal is to promote, develop, and evaluate prevention-oriented programs and services within the community. She has specific interests in systems of care, health care reform, child welfare, and early childhood mental health. Lauren is from the suburbs of Washington, DC.

Meghan Sansivero, MPH Candidate – Managing Editor

Meghan is a second year, full-time student in the Public Health Communication & Marketing track at The George Washington University. She is currently working for Salter>Mitchell as a Marketing Assistant with their Behavior Change Marketing Team. Prior to her work at Salter>Mitchell, she was a Programs Intern for the National Kidney Foundation and in the Renal Transplant Unit at Albany Medical Center in New York.

Meghan has a BS in Biobehavioral Health from Penn State University. There, she participated in a Motivational Interviewing-based research project to combat binge drinking among students. In 2008, she interned at the Center Pole Foundation in Crow Agency, Montana to work with local Crow Indian youth. After graduating, Meghan plans to pursue a career developing public health communications and marketing campaigns for government and non-profit organizations. She is originally from Albany, NY.

Jenny Twesten, MPH Candidate – Managing Editor

Jenny is a second year student in the Public Health Communications and Marketing track at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. She is currently a research assistant at the Center for Health Care Quality within the Department of Health Policy at GW working on Urgent Matters, a dissemination vehicle for best practices and quality improvement in emergency departments. She also serves as a Health Communications Intern at The George Washington University Cancer Institute where she has developed a strategic communications plan for their Thriving After Cancer clinic for adult survivors of pediatric cancers during her practicum and is currently working to implement and evaluate her recommendations. She plans to continue researching how to communicate with this population through her culminating experience.

Jenny holds a BS in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies from Ramapo College of New Jersey in Mahwah, NJ. She previously worked in the dental field for five years before discovering her passion for public health and social marketing. She hopes to continue working on health care quality improvement initiatives and focus her research on cancer prevention and preventing the development of chronic disease in survivors of cancer. Jenny is originally from northern New Jersey.