University of Florida

Faculty

Meredith S. Berry, Ph.D.

Meredith Berry

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1067
Email: mberry@ufl.edu

Meredith S. Berry joined the Department of Health Education and Behavior in 2018. As an experimental psychologist, she has several primary areas of research including: 1.) basic processes of operant reinforcement, learning, memory, and behavioral economics often in the context of drug misuse and other health-related behaviors, 2.) the evaluation of abuse liability and behavioral and cognitive effects of various drugs, 3.) the intersection of human and environmental health, benefits of nature exposure, and environmental conservation. Closely related to her work on the intersection of human and environmental health, she is exploring novel applications of the benefits of nature exposure to issues of drug misuse. Her current focus on clinical drug misuse research stems from a foundation of preclinical and clinical training in behavioral pharmacology, and basic and translational behavioral research in decision-making and behavioral economics.

Before joining the University of Florida, Dr. Berry completed her postdoctoral training in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of Montana, her M.S. in Experimental Psychology from Utah State University, and her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida.

Dr. Berry continually engages in professional service including the program chair for Division 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) of the American Psychological Association’s 2019 convention. She also serves on the Board of Editors or ad hoc reviewer for over 20 academic journals spanning preclinical and clinical research topics of behavior analysis, decision-making, behavioral economics, behavioral pharmacology, substance use and misuse, risky sexual behavior, conservation, and conservation psychology. Dr. Berry is the recipient of numerous early-career scholarship and fellowship awards including awards from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Science Foundation, and her research is frequently covered in popular press news outlets such as Scientific American, Pacific Standard Magazine, Fast Company Magazine, and The Huffington Post.


JeeWon Cheong, Ph.D.

JeeWon Cheong

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1811
Email: jwcheong@ufl.edu

JeeWon Cheong joined the Department of Health Education and Behavior in 2015. As a quantitative social psychologist, she has two lines of research: 1.) methodological research in mediation analysis and 2.) research in substance use and related risk behaviors among adolescents and adults. Mediation analysis is a family of statistical methods that assesses the effects of a mediator (a third variable intervening in the relation between the independent and the outcome variables) and investigates the causal mechanisms. As an expert on mediation analysis and longitudinal modeling, she has published multiple peer-reviewed journal articles and handbook chapters on methods for testing mediation, with a focus on longitudinal mediation, wherein changes in the mediator and the outcome are modeled based on repeated observations measured over time. Closely related to her work in mediation analysis, her substantive research focuses on risk and protective factors of substance use and related risk behaviors, as they can be targeted to modify in prevention/intervention settings and explain underlying mechanisms of how intervention/prevention programs work. For this line of research, she has worked with large-scale longitudinal prevention studies for children and adolescents and investigated the role of social environmental factors, particularly parents and peers, in shaping the developmental course of adolescent substance use.

Before joining the University of Florida, Dr. Cheong held academic positions at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), the University of Pittsburgh, and the State University of New York (SUNY) — Albany. Throughout her academic career, she has been actively involved in multiple NIH and CDC grants as a lead methodologist. With expertise in content areas of substance use, HIV-related risk behaviors, and community- and school-based intervention/prevention, she has led analysis teams and coordinated the collaborative work of multiple substantive researchers and biostatisticians/methodologists, as well as conducting her own research and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Her leadership role at previous institutions includes the primary methodologist for the Core Research Project of the CDC-funded Prevention Research Center and the UAB Center for the Study of Community Health, and the liaison between two research cores in the UAB Center for AIDS Research, the Behavioral and Community Science Core and the Biostatistics and Analysis Core.

Currently, Dr. Cheong is involved in several longitudinal studies funded by NIAAA, NIDA, and CDC, including investigation of mechanisms of natural recovery from problem drinking among community-dwelling adults, substance use among sexual minority youths, and HIV/AIDS risks among young adults in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods.


Amber Emanuel, Ph.D.

Amber Emanuel

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1824
Email: amberemanuel@ufl.edu

Dr. Amber Emanuel joined the HEB faculty as an instructional assistant professor in fall of 2016. She received her Ph.D. in 2013 from Kent State University in experimental psychology with an emphasis in social and health psychology and then completed a post-doctoral appointment with the University of Florida Southeast Center for Research to Reduce Health Disparities in Oral Health. She has taught undergraduate psychology courses, including quantitative methods and health psychology. Her research uses social psychological theories to formulate and study effective health messages for eliciting health behavior change.


Kristina Garcia-Guettler, Ph.D.

Kristina Garcia-Guettler

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1817
Email: t.garcia@ufl.edu

Kristina “Tina” Garcia-Guettler earned her B.S. and M.S. degrees in health education from the University of Florida and Florida State University, respectively. Shortly after receiving her M.S., Dr. Garcia served as the Coordinator of Community Health Programs at Gulfcoast North Area Health Education Center (GN-AHEC). As coordinator, she designed, implemented, and evaluated diverse health education and promotion programs and health fairs for schools, corporations/worksites, hospitals, community groups, service organizations, as well as underserved populations within the counties encompassed by GN-AHEC’s service area: Citrus, Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando, and Hillsborough.

Dr. Garcia-Guettler returned to school after time well spent with GN-AHEC and earned her Ph.D. in 2011 from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida in 2014, Dr. Garcia served as an Assistant Professor at SUNY — Buffalo State College in the Department of Health & Wellness.


Kim Holton, Ph.D.

Kim Holton

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-2896
Email: mkholton@ufl.edu

Dr. Kim Holton joined the Department of Health Education and Behavior as an instructional assistant professor in 2018. Dr. Holton received her Ph.D. in Health Education and Behavior from the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida in 2014. She also holds an M.S. in Zoology and B.S. in Ecology. She has many years of experience in health promotion practice, serving communities through her work with non-profits and employees through her work in higher education. Dr. Holton has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2002 and is a team member of the UF Mindfulness Program. She also serves on the UF & UF Health Shands Employee Wellness Committee and National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities Research and Evidence-Based Practices Committee.

Dr. Holton’s research and instructional areas of interest include worksite health promotion, stress management, mindfulness, and complementary and integrative medicine. In the classroom, she encourages self-awareness and authentic connection to create a safe and productive learning environment.


Danielle Jake-Schoffmann, Ph.D.

Danielle Jake-Schoffmann

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1816
Email: djakeschoffman@ufl.edu

Danielle Jake-Schoffman, Ph.D. joined the faculty of the Department of Health Education and Behavior as an assistant professor in August 2018. Dr. Jake-Schoffman is a behavioral scientist dedicated to developing and implementing evidence-based strategies for chronic disease prevention and treatment, specifically those that leverage connected technologies (e.g., wearable sensors, mobile apps, and online social networks). Her research centers on technology tools for the promotion of physical activity and healthy eating and prevention and treatment of obesity and cancer, and she has contributed to a variety of projects to develop and test interventions supported by physical activity devices, apps, and social media. She has a particular interest in innovative methods for trial delivery and evaluation, including remotely delivered trials that use technology tools to engage and retain participants. Dr. Jake-Schoffman also has expertise in implementation science methods, including work to integrate faith-based physical activity and healthy eating interventions into church settings in both rural and immigrant communities.

Prior to joining the faculty of the Department of Health Education and Behavior, Dr. Jake-Schoffman completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the PRACCTIS (Prevention and Control of Cancer Training in Implementation Science) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She received her Ph.D. in Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, B.A. in Human Biology, and Secondary B.A. in Anthropological Sciences from Stanford University.

Dr. Jake-Schoffman is active in the leadership of the health technology special interest groups of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and The Obesity Society (TOS). She has received numerous early career awards in recognition of her research from local and national organizations and has been selected for competitive national trainings focused on physical activity and public health, behavioral randomized clinical trials, optimization of behavioral and biobehavioral interventions, and innovative approaches to obesity prevention and treatment. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and is an ad hoc reviewer for 20 journals publishing research in behavioral medicine, health and digital health technologies, obesity prevention and treatment interventions, and public health approaches to health promotion.


Delores C.S. James, Ph.D., RDN, LDN, FAND, FASHA

Delores James

Associate Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1806
Email: djames@hhp.ufl.edu

Dr. Delores C.S. James is a tenured associate professor at the University of Florida (UF). She is an alumna of the College of Health and Human Performance (CHHP), having received both her master’s and doctoral degrees from the Department of Health Education and Behavior (HEB).

She is both a registered dietitian nutritionist and a health educator who has worked as a licensed professional in public health, hospitals, and private practice. She is a fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and was the first fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Weight Management Dietetics Practice Group. She is also licensed to practice in Florida. Dr. James is the past president of the Gainesville District Dietetic Association and a past research delegate to the House of Delegates for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She was the lead author of two position papers on promoting and supporting breastfeeding for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also a fellow of the American School Health Association.

Dr. James has expertise in program evaluation and qualitative and mixed methods research. She is also a trained focus group moderator. Dr. James has been recognized by her colleagues for her teaching and research. Dr. James is a past teacher of the year for CHHP, has received the HEB Faculty Research Award four times, and the HEB Faculty Leadership Award twice.

Dr. James is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Leader. This national leadership training program builds on her existing leadership skills to work with organizations, communities, health systems, and policymakers to build a culture of health in America. A significant part of her training focuses on:

  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Communication Strategies
  • Branding
  • Community Engagement and Development
  • Change Management
  • Working with Health Systems and Policy Makers
  • Working with Community Networks
  • Developing, Monitoring, and Evaluating Strategic Initiatives

Dr. James is the founder of the Electronic Community Health Advocacy Team (ECHAT), which is a research, advocacy, and education group. ECHAT develops and disseminates health education messages and programs using digital technologies to improve health outcomes, increase health equity, and create a culture of health in low-resource communities. ECHAT’s short health education videos have been screened at the Global Public Health Film Festival.

Dr. James is also the founder of the blog, Keep It Tight Sisters (KITS). KITS help women to love their bodies, foster a nourishing relationship with food, and achieve their health goals.

Dr. James is honored to be actively serving her community as the chair of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee for the City of Gainesville.


Robert Leeman, Ph.D.

Robert Leeman

Associate Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1808
Email: robert.leeman@ufl.edu

Robert Leeman, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida and adjunct assistant professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Clark University, followed by an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. After his Ph.D., Dr. Leeman spent a decade at Yale School of Medicine, first as a post-doctoral fellow, then as a faculty member. During his time at Yale, he also spent three years as a research scientist with the VA MIRECC in West Haven, CT before joining the faculty at UF.

His primary research interest is in relationships between various difficulties with self-control and addictive behaviors, particularly alcohol use, though he also has conducted research on opioid misuse, tobacco use, and gambling. He has particular interests in impaired control over alcohol use (i.e., difficulty adhering to limits on use), disinhibition/impulsivity, relationships between alcohol use and sexual health behaviors/HIV risk, and cognitive biases. Using human laboratory, survey, and randomized controlled trial methods, Dr. Leeman tests novel interventions and attempts to learn more about risk factors for substance misuse, particularly in adolescent and young adult populations. In his recent research, these novel interventions have been primarily technology-based including web-based interventions, devices, and smartphone applications.

Current grant-funded projects include a study to test a smartphone breathalyzer device and accompanying smartphone app as a moderate drinking tool in comparison with two other forms of technology. This study combines human laboratory alcohol self-administration with data collection in actual drinking situations. In another grant-funded study, Dr. Leeman’s group is conducting a web-based survey, followed by a series of focus groups and a small pilot study to lay the groundwork for a multi-component mobile intervention to reduce alcohol use, enhance sexual health behaviors, and increase uptake and adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis among young adult men who have sex with men. Dr. Leeman recently gave a talk about this research and relationships between HIV and alcohol use at medical grand rounds. A video recording of the talk can be found here: https://mediasite.video.ufl.edu/Mediasite/Play/a1a8d2e18c6d4e3a80d30c025b8f79361d. Recently, Dr. Leeman began collaborating with Dr. Yan Wang from the epidemiology department on a new study to test wrist-worn alcohol biosensors among HIV positive and negative individuals. This study will also combine human laboratory with “real world” data collection.

Dr. Leeman and two collaborators from other colleges at UF were recently awarded a five-year T32 institutional training grant on translational research in alcohol and HIV, which will provide training opportunities for pre- and postdoctoral trainees. One of Dr. Leeman’s roles is to coordinate a weekly didactic seminar for the trainees, which covers alcohol and HIV research along with professional development issues.

In addition to HEB, Dr. Leeman’s UF affiliations are with the Center for Addiction Research and Education (CARE), where he is research faculty and serves on the Executive Board and the Southern HIV and Alcohol Research Consortium (SHARC) where he is core faculty and a member of the Executive Board.


Mildred Maldonado-Molina, Ph.D.

Mildred Maldonado-Molina

Department Chair
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1821
Email: mmmm@ufl.edu

Dr. Maldonado-Molina’s research program centers around reducing health disparities in child and adolescent health, in alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences in particular, with a focus on vulnerable populations. Her work is characterized by the application of innovative statistical methods in prevention-oriented studies of youth and one of her areas of expertise is cultural processes associated with substance use in Latinx youth. Dr. Maldonado-Molina is a professor and chair at the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida (UF). She is a past director of the UF Family Data Center, as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Institute of Child Health Policy, the UF Anita Zucker Center for Early Childhood Studies, and The Methodology Center at Penn State.

Dr. Maldonado-Molina has an impressive publication record that includes over 78 peer-reviewed publications, with a focus on the application of innovative statistical techniques to study the effects of context and structural interventions on behavioral and mortality outcomes. A recent research project, awarded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, is entitled “Post Maria Puerto Rican Families Relocated to Florida: A Multisite Study of Alcohol Misuse and Mental Health Problems”. The objective of this project is two-fold: 1.) examine migration and cultural stressors, alcohol misuse, and mental health problems in Puerto Rican families who migrated after Hurricane Maria; and 2.) examine prospective relationships to test cultural stress theory across distinct resettlement contexts.


Megan McVay, Ph.D.

Megan McVay

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-7029
Email: megan.mcvay@ufl.edu

Megan McVay, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Education and Behavior. She completed her Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical and Biological areas) at Louisiana State University and completed her clinical internship and postdoctoral training at Duke University Medical Center and Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. McVay conducts research on behavioral aspects of weight management. Her current work is focused on initiation and engagement in evidence-based approaches to weight management among adults with obesity. This focus stems from recognizing that the majority of adults with obesity do not initiate evidence-based weight loss treatments. To address this, she is focused on 1.) developing and testing strategies that mobilize non-treatment seeking adults with obesity to enroll in empirically supported weight loss interventions and on 2.) identifying or developing weight loss interventions (including preventive interventions) that are more likely to be initiated and sustained by adults with obesity. This work includes a focus on using digital health tools to address these and other aspects of weight management. In 2015, Dr. McVay received a five-year career development grant from the National Institute of Heart, Lung, and Blood (NHLBI) to develop and pilot test a web-based intervention to increase initiation of weight loss treatments.

Dr. McVay is a member of several professional organizations including The Obesity Society (TOS) and Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), where she is a member of the Publication Council. She has received awards for research presentations from the Society of Behavior Medicine, The Obesity Society, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. She has published in leading journals, including American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine, Genetics in Medicine, and Translational Behavioral Medicine. She has also been selected for competitive, specialized NIH-funded training institutes in mhealth and behavioral randomized clinical trials.


Holly T. Moses, Ph.D., MCHES®

Holly T. Moses

Instructional Assistant Professor, Internship Coordinator
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1635
Email: hmoses@hhp.ufl.edu

Dr. Holly T. Moses received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the College of Education at the University of Florida in 2013. A Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®), Dr. Moses holds both a master’s degree in health science education, as well as a bachelor’s degree in health science education from the University of Florida. Dr. Moses is currently an instructional assistant professor in the Department of Health Education and Behavior (HEB), and serves as the internship coordinator for the HEB undergraduate degree program. Additionally, Dr. Moses is the coordinator for the HEB online M.S. degree program.

Dr. Moses is a member of several professional organizations including National Eta Sigma Gamma, the American School Health Association, and the Society for Public Health Educators. Dr. Moses is currently serving in the second year of a six-year term for National Eta Sigma Gamma Board of Directors — two years each as vice president, president, and past president. At the university level, Dr. Moses serves as faculty sponsor for the Alpha Lambda chapter of Eta Sigma Gamma (ESG), as well as the School Health Interdisciplinary Program (SHIP).

Dr. Moses’ primary research and instructional areas of interest include: professional preparation and career development for health education majors; health education advocacy; foundations of health education and health promotion; community health; school health; child/adolescent health issues; bullying and cyberbullying; hazing and victimization. The title of Dr. Moses’ dissertation: Relationship between the Processes of Moral Disengagement and Youth Perceptions of Cyberbullying Behaviors During Their Final Semester of High School.


Amy Mobley, Ph.D., R.D.

Amy Mobley

Graduate Coordinator, Associate Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1813
Email: amy.mobley@ufl.edu

Amy R. Mobley, Ph.D., R.D., joined the faculty in the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida in the fall of 2018. Dr. Mobley is a nutrition educator and registered dietitian with expertise in community nutrition research and outreach specifically related to nutrition education and obesity prevention. Her research goal is to better understand the multiple influences on dietary behavior and to develop corresponding interventions to improve health, especially in underserved populations. She aims to integrate research, teaching, and outreach to improve nutrition related programs and policies. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, she has conducted research to evaluate web-based nutrition education, dietary guidance, and feeding messages for low-income adults and families with young children and strategies for childhood obesity prevention particularly targeted to parents, with a special emphasis on fathers of preschool age children.

Prior to joining UF, Dr. Mobley was an associate professor in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut (2011-2018) and a clinical assistant professor in Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University (2006-2011). She also worked as a research scientist contractor for the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (2002-2006) and as a nutrition communication and public relations manager for the American Dairy Association MidEast (1998-2002) prior to earning her Ph.D. Dr. Mobley received her Ph.D. in Nutrition from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in Human Nutrition from The Ohio State University, and a B.S. in Applied Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Mobley has received grant funding as both PI and Co-I from the National Institutes of Health and United States Department of Agriculture. She has successfully advised several doctoral, master’s, and undergraduate honors students in research and has received departmental, college, and university-level teaching awards and grants from both UConn and Purdue. Further, she was the recipient of the Nutrition Education for the Public Award for Excellence from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and selected for the highly competitive Dannon Institute Early Career Leadership Institute. Dr. Mobley has served in several leadership capacities including the chair of the Nutrition Education and Behavioral Sciences Research Interest Section of the American Society for Nutrition and currently as a director at large for the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. She also serves on three editorial boards including the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, and the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Ashlee Ossiboff, Ph.D., M.A., M.S., CHES®

Ashlee Ossiboff

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1023
Email: ahoffmanossiboff@ufl.edu

Ashlee Ossiboff earned her Ph.D. in Health Education, with a cognate in Multicultural Issues in Health, as well as a M.S. in Health Promotion and Education from the University of Cincinnati. She also holds a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University and a B.A. in Psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Before going into health education, Dr. Ossiboff worked as a substance abuse counselor and specialized in assessment. She also has experience working in community health programs and initiatives, as well as university wellness. Prior to joining the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida in 2019, Dr. Ossiboff worked as the assistant director of fitness and wellness at Northwestern University.


Joy L. Rodgers, Ph.D., MCHES®

Joy L. Rodgers

Instructional Associate Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1807
Email: rodgersj@ufl.edu

Dr. Rodgers received her Ph.D. in Health Communication from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. A Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®), Dr. Rodgers holds two master’s degrees in business management and health education and behavior from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Rodgers’ research is interdisciplinary, cutting across several areas of communication to include social marketing and health. She is especially interested in how health organizations can promote an atmosphere of trust — both online and offline — that will lead to positive, healthy behavior change among audiences. Specifically, Dr. Rodgers’ research focuses on how individuals process health messages and how message characteristics influence individuals’ decisions to adopt certain behaviors. Her dissertation — a qualitative health communication study — unites these areas by analyzing how women with fibromyalgia conceptualize media and medical messages about their experiences and primary health concerns.

Dr. Rodgers’ teaching areas are varied, reflecting both her professional background as a former newspaper reporter and editor and public relations practitioner, and her academic experiences in business, health education, and mass communication.


Julio D. Rodriguez, Ed.D., M.S., CHES®

Julio Rodriguez

Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1807
Email: rodgersj@ufl.edu

Julio D. Rodriguez received his Ed.D. from Teachers College, Columbia University’s Department of Health and Behavior Studies. A Certified Health Education Specialist, Dr. Rodriguez also holds an M.S. in Community Health Education with a specialization in Health Promotion and Worksite Wellness from the University of West Florida.

Prior to joining the Department, Dr. Rodriguez served as adjunct faculty in William Paterson University, Monmouth University, and Middlesex County College. Dr. Rodriguez has taught courses titled Stress Management, Strategies for Healthy Living, and Contemporary Health Issues. Additionally, Dr. Rodriguez served as an academic advising center coordinator at Middlesex County College.

Dr. Rodriguez’ primary research areas of interest include: stress management within the college student population, substance use and abuse among the college student population, school health, community health, foundations of health education and promotion. The title of Dr. Rodriguez’ dissertation: An Online Investigation of Diverse College Students’ Experiences of Stress: Predictors of High Levels of Past Month Perceived Stress.


Sadie Sanders, Ph.D., CHES®

Sadie Sanders

Associate Chair, Instructional Associate Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1810
Email: ssanders@hhp.ufl.edu

Sadie Sanders, Ph.D., CHES®, is an instructional associate professor and undergraduate coordinator in the Department of Health Education and Behavior. A graduate of CHHP, Sanders received her doctorate degree in health behavior with a minor in medical sociology. At this time, Sanders was named Graduate Student of the Year from the Department of Health Education and Behavior.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Sanders provides her expertise in the health research area as a focus group moderator and report writer. She has also served as an addictions therapist and substance abuse specialist, as well as an HIV/AIDS awareness and education trainer for Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. She is also the past secretary for the state of Florida’s Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparity Advisory Committee, appointed by the Florida Secretary of Health.


Suzanne Sneed-Murphy, Ph.D.

Suzanne Sneed-Murphy

Undergraduate Coordinator, Instructional Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1607
Email: murphysm@hhp.ufl.edu

Suzanne Sneed-Murphy is currently the director of assessment for the College of Health and Human Performance. She is a member of a team responsible for providing college-wide leadership for all areas related to academic and student affairs including, but not limited to, curriculum, student outcomes assessment, data gathering, analysis and management, and report writing. Sneed-Murphy is also an instructional assistant professor lecturer for the Department of Health Education and Behavior. She received her master’s degree in health education and behavior in 2007 and her doctoral degree in health and human performance in 2011. Both degrees were completed in the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida.


Jalie A. Tucker, Ph.D.

Jalie A. Tucker

Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1812
Email: jaliet@ufl.edu

Jalie A. Tucker, a clinical psychologist with public health experience, joined the Department of Health Education and Behavior in 2014 as professor and chair. She also serves as director of the Center for Behavioral Economic Health Research at UF. She previously held academic positions at four Carnegie-designated research universities, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham (2000-2014), Auburn University (1989-1999), Wayne State University (1986-1989), and the University of Florida (1980-1986).

Dr. Tucker has 30 years of extramurally funded research guided by behavioral economics on substance misuse and related risk behaviors, including HIV/AIDS, using community-dwelling and treatment populations. Funding sources have included awards from NIAAA, NIDA, CDC, and SAMSHA/CSAT. Recent projects are aimed at informing risk reduction and prevention strategies with problem drinkers attempting natural recovery, rural substance users living with HIV/AIDS, and disadvantaged emerging adults. She has contributed to three books and over 100 journal articles and book chapters and was named the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Researcher in the UAB School of Public Health. She has served as assistant/associate editor or editorial board member for numerous scientific journals and is a fellow of six American Psychological Association (APA) Divisions (General Psychology [1], Clinical Psychology [12], Behavior Analysis [25], Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse [28], Health Psychology [38], and Addiction Psychology [50]), and is a fellow of the American Psychological Society.

Dr. Tucker’s extensive service leadership includes chairing both the APA Board of Scientific Affairs and the Board of Professional Affairs; serving as the first elected president of the Division on Addiction Psychology (50); and four terms as Division 50 representative to the APA Council of Representatives. She received three awards for distinguished service to Division 50, including the Division Medal of Honor for exceptional and sustained service to Division 50 — Addictions, 1993-2012, and the 2015 award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Clinical Psychology from Division 12 (Society of Clinical Psychology).


Ali M. Yurasek, Ph.D.

Ali Yurasek

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Education and Behavior

Phone: (352) 294-1814
Email: a.yurasek@ufl.edu

Ali M. Yurasek, Ph.D. joined the faculty in the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida in 2016. She has expertise in conducting and evaluating brief motivational interventions (BMIs) for marijuana and alcohol use among at-risk populations. Her primary research interests include using behavioral economic theory to identify risk factors for substance misuse and poor response to treatment, as well as examining marijuana use amid the changing legal climate. Additionally, she is interested in working with substance using juvenile offenders and court-involved youth and using behavioral economic theory to adapt BMIs for at-risk youth and their families.

Prior to the University of Florida, Dr. Yurasek was at Brown University where she completed her clinical psychology internship and then continued on at Brown University as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. Dr. Yurasek received her B.A./M.A. in General Psychology at Marietta College in 2007/2008, then completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Memphis in 2014.

Current grant-funded projects include a 1) K23 Training Award (NIDA) to adapt a behavioral economic intervention for truant youth who use marijuana and 2) an Early Career Psychologist Research Award (APA Division 50) that will use a mixed-methods approach to assess behavioral economic variables in truant youth and guide treatment development for this population. She was also the recipient of a clinical research loan repayment award from NIDA from 2016-2018 and a research foundation grant from 3rd Millennium Classrooms in 2012.

Recently, she was awarded an SEC Faculty Travel Award (2018-2019) to collaborate with colleagues at the University of Missouri and was the 2019 recipient of the Research Excellence Award for the Department of Health Education and Behavior.


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