This is a series to introduce CPRC members to a broader community.
September 27, 2021
Discipline/Training Background: Population and Family Health
Department: Heilbrunn Department of Population & Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health
Started at Columbia: I completed my MPH in 2012 and returned as faculty in 2019.
What research are you working on currently?
My main project is ICAP's Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) survey in Haiti. Carried out under the leadership of national ministries of health, PHIA data benchmark a country's progress towards controlling the HIV epidemic. I also work on multiple phone-based surveys, including one in New York City and multiple in sub-Saharan Africa. These phone surveys span a variety of subject matters and allow me to answer pressing methodological questions.
What motivated you to research in your specialized subject matter?
I was first introduced to public health my freshman year of college and have had a variety of primary data collection experiences since. I am passionate about survey methods and bringing rigor to the collection of data. I enjoy working on a variety of topics but am particularly passionate about reproductive health.
What are the policies or areas of policies to which your work is relevant?
As a demographer, I create estimates that governments use to plan policies and programs. So whether I am creating estimates of modern contraceptive use or HIV incidence and prevalence, the work I contribute to is often presented first to Ministries of Health before going to peer-reviewed journals.
Main collaborators at Columbia? Elsewhere?
My colleagues at ICAP in the New York office as well as in Haiti and Lesotho have taught me about survey implementation in a variety of settings.
Don't be shy; what accomplishment are you most proud of and why?
In collaboration with Mary Beth Terry and Samantha Garbers at the school of public health, I built a course called “Data Science and Health Equity in New York City” for Columbia’s undergraduate students. The goal of the course is to prepare the next generation of researchers to critically assess equity when working with big data. It is exciting to work with young people who have a vision for a more just future.
If people want to learn more about your research, where should they start?