Featured SHARP Alumni

Tania B. Huedo-Medina, PhD
Tania B. Huedo-Medina, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, UConn
Tania B. Huedo-Medina, PhD, worked with SHARP until 2012, when she became an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics in the Allied Health Science department at UConn. She earned her doctorate at the National University of Madrid and then worked with Prof. Johnson, first as a post-doctoral fellow and then as an assistant research professor, funded by NIMH and AHRQ grants, and publishing numerous high-impact articles and monographs on health promotion topics. She has collaborated on numerous SHARP projects, ranging from HIV prevention to exercise’s role in improving mental health outcomes for cancer survivors. Here she discusses an important research project she conducted with Prof. Johnson on the efficacy of anti-depressants. Her current research centers on developing and applying statistics to health promotion topics at both the individual and community levels. Her main goal is to obtain more precise estimations of the biological-behavioral-contextual relationships that help to understand and predict behavioral and biological changes, and ultimately create evidence-based knowledge for reducing inequalities and improving health care. (CHIP bio | Allied Health profileGoogle Scholar)

Jennifer J. Harman
Jennifer J. Harman, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Colorado State University
Jennifer Jill Harman is currently an Associate Professor of Applied Social and Health Psychology at Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO), and has a joint appointment at the Colorado School of Public Health in the Community and Behavioral Health Program (Denver, CO). She earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2005 working with Prof. Johnson. Dr. Harman’s research interests lie primarily in the area of interpersonal relationships and health, particularly in the area of HIV prevention among international, minority and underserved populations. She is motivated by an interest in developing and testing psychological theory and applying these theories to real world applications and public policy. To accomplish this goal, her research investigates relationship processes related to a wide range of social and health attitudes and behaviors in laboratory as well as field settings. She is an accomplished and awarded teacher, and has published many peer-reviewed articles and text books on intimate relationships, such as The Science of Relationships: Answers to your Questions about Dating, Marriage and Family. She is also an editor and regular contributor to, a relationship science resource for the on-line community. Her columns, “Adventures in Dating: Memoirs of a Single Mom” and “Adventures in Dating: Memoirs of Midlife Relationships” draw large audiences, and she frequently answers questions submitted by readers about their relationships for the Science of Us (NY Magazine). (Departmental SiteRelationship BlogResearchGate)

Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon
Associate Research Professor, Brown University
Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon was initially hired as SHARP’s first full-time research assistant when SHARP moved to UConn in 1999. After 3 years in this role, she earned a Doctorate working with Prof. Johnson. As an undergraduate, she worked with Dr. Johnson’s very first PhD student, Cynthia Symons, who is a professor at Hougton College; she completed a Master’s degree at St. Bonaventure University, working with Dr. Johnson’s 4th PhD student, Robin [Turco] Valeri. After receiving her PhD in 2005, her first position was as an assistant research professor at Syracuse University, working with long-time SHARP collaborator, Prof. Michael P. Carey. Dr. Scott-Sheldon subsequently moved to Brown University along with Dr. Carey; she is now an Associate Research Professor. A specialist in health psychology and quantitative methods, her research broadly focuses on health promotion and disease prevention in the domains of sexual health, HIV, and alcohol use. Most of her research uses meta-analytic methodology and statistical analyses to determine the efficacy of behavioral, social, and biomedical interventions to promote health and to evaluate individual, contextual, and structural factors that facilitate behavior change. Dr. Scott-Sheldon also has an extensive line of primary-level research investigating facilitators and barriers of sexual health in the context of alcohol use, and HIV/STIs. Many of her publications are highly cited, including several that are SHARP articles, such as those focused on HIV risk reduction for adolescents, the role of eroticization in risk reduction, and how interventions can reduce sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. In 2013, she was awarded her first NIH regular grant (R01). (Department ProfileGoogle Scholar)

Judy Y. Tan, PhD
Judy Y. Tan, Postdoctoral Scholar, UCSF School of Medicine
Judy Y. Tan completed her PhD in 2011, working with not only Prof. Johnson but also Prof. Felicia Pratto. Her first professional position was as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the UCSF School of Medicine in the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS). Dr. Tan’s research focuses on HIV-related behaviors among gay men of color and is guided by her interest in the health and behavioral impact of social inequality in marginalized and disenfranchised populations. Her work utilizes theory and advanced quantitative methods that include daily process methods and multilevel analyses. Dr. Tan headed the first SHARP meta-analysis focused on Asians, published in 2011 in Social Sciences & Medicine. (Department ProfileGoogle Scholar) In January, 2015, she was awarded her first grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Marcella H. Boynton
Marcella H. Boynton, Postdoctoral Fellow, UNC
Marcella H. Boynton completed her PhD in 2009, working with Prof. Johnson. Generally, her research program has focused on four main areas: (1) the study of the attitude-behavior relation, (2) the application of basic social psychological theory to the understanding of health-related behaviors, (3) the impact of acculturation on mental health and health decision-making, and (4) the development of innovative quantitative methods and tools. In particular, her work has concentrated on how health intervention methods and content can be better informed by basic social psychology research. She has examined this issue using a variety of methods (e.g., meta-analysis, correlational and experimental studies, daily diary techniques) and focusing on a number of topics (e.g., smoking, alcohol use, HIV risk, cardiovascular health). Additionally, she has served as a secondary data analyst for a number of intervention projects. Dr. Boynton is currently a Statistician and Psychometrician at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (CHIP Profile | SPN Bio)

Katherine Picho
Katherine Picho
 Katherine Picho completed her PhD in educational psychology in 2011, working with Prof. Scott Brown of the Neag School of Education. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), Bethesda, MD. Dr. Picho’s research focuses primarily on examining the role of social learning contexts in elevating stereotype threat among women in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In her work, she strives to understand the key contextual factors that exacerbate stereotype threat in educational settings and how these interact with psychological factors to sabotage achievement in STEM. Katherine often takes an integrative approach to her research projects by combining her background in program evaluation, and expertise in quantitative modelling to formulate and address key questions that inform policy.
Others will be added in time!

All SHARP Alumni

Former Graduate Students:

  • Robert E. Low
  • Hayley V. MacDonald
  • Carter A. Lennon
  • Jessica M. LaCroix
  • Angela C. White
  • Michael L. Bruneau, Jr.
  • TaShauna Unique Goldsby
  • Grant W. Farmer
  • Judy Y. Tan
  • Marcella H. Boynton
  • Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon
  • Jennifer J. Harman
  • Aaron Smith-McLallen
  • Paige A. Muellerleile
  • Daniel S. Bromberg
  • M. Matthew Frank
  • Kenneth D. Levin
  • Ley A. Killeya-Jones
  • Hung-Yu Lin
  • Robin Maria [Turco] Valeri
  • Steven D. Hurwitz
  • Cynthia Sheppard Symons

Research Associates, Post-Doctoral Advisees, Sabbatical Visitors, Professional Interns (Partial Listing)

  • Natalie Dove [Smoak] (PhD, Purdue University, 2004)
  • Kristina Petkova (PhD, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1979), January-June 2005, supported by a Fulbright Fellowship
  • Karin Weis (Diplom-Psychologin, University of Heidelberg, Germany; PhD, 2005), April 2006-April 2007, supported by a Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany
  • Tania B. Huedo-Medina (PhD, University of National Long Distance Education [UNED], Madrid, Spain, 2006), supported by NIMH and AHRQ grants
  • Hung-Yu Lin (PhD, Syracuse University, 1994), August 2007-August 2008, sabbatical visitor.
  • Simon Chang (PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 1993), August 2007- August 2008, sabbatical visitor.
  • Mireia Orgilés (PhD, University of Murcia, 2003), August 2008-January 2009, July-August 2010, sabbatical visitor.
  • Isaac Ruiz (BA, Psychology, Universite de Elche, Spain), August 2009-February 2010
  • Cleo Protogerou (PhD, University of Bath, 2008), January 2012-August 2012
  • Antoni Brugués Méndez (B.A., Geography, Universite Autònoma de Barcelona), June 2012-January 2013

Former Honor’s Students:

  • Alyssa R. Zaban, B.A., Psychology and Sociology, 2016
  • Rabale Hasan, B.A., Psychology, 2015
  • Emily Pirro, B.A., Psychology, 2013
  • Addison Zhao, B.A., Psychology, Women’s Studies minor, 2013
  • Evan A. LeClair, B.A., Psychology, Religion and Philosophy minors, 2012
  • Michelle Spina, B.A., Psychology, Cognitive Science and Neuroscience minors, 2012
  • Sonja Plavsic, B.A., Psychology, Business Fundamentals minor, 2012
  • Tyler Lane, B.A., Psychology, 2006
  • Julie Monteagudo, B.S., Psychology (Pre-Med), 2006
  • Kiandra Hebert, B.A., Psychology, Women’s Studies minor, 2004
  • Sara Cronin., B.A., Psychology, 1998
  • Ruth Kelso, B.A., Psychology, 1998
  • Brian E. Covotta, B.A., Psychology, 1995
  • Patrick Leary, B.A., Psychology, 1995

Former Full-Time Research Assistants:

  • Michelle Spina (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2012-2013
  • Estrellita Ballester (B.S., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2011-2012
  • Michelle R. Warren (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2009-2011
  • Jennifer Ortiz (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2006-2008
  • Jessica M. LaCroix (B.S., Psychology and Mathematics, Quinnipiac University), 2005-2006
  • Pamela LaVallee (B.A., Psychology, Swarthmore College), 2003-2004
  • Allecia E. Reid (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2002-2003
  • Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon (M.A., Psychology, St. Bonaventure University), 1999-2002
  • Allison Lemon (B.A., Psychology, Syracuse University), 1998-1999

Recent Part-Time Research Assistants:

  • Angela H. Suh (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2014-2016
  • Michael Sagherian (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2010-2014
  • Ruth Fetter (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2013-2014
  • Gianfranco La Marca (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2014
  • Janisse Ramirez (B.A., Psychology, University of Connecticut), 2014
  • Tashmia Bryant (University of Connecticut), 2015

Other Alumni of Note:

  • Charles A. Pierce  (B.S., Psychology, Syracuse University), 1988-1990 (now Great Oaks Foundation Professor of Human Resource Management and Chair of the Department of Management, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis)
  • Jessica Suckle (B.A., Psychology, Syracuse University), 1992-1993 (now Associate Professor, Southern Connecticut State University)
  • Jason Maddock (B.A., Psychology, Syracuse University), 1990 (now Dean, School of Public Health, Texas A&M University)