Class Notes: Fall 2019

Larry Warner ’97, MPH ’13 Larry (above) is the Director of Grants and Strategic Initiatives at United Way of Rhode Island. In this role he leads a team of project managers who make and manage grants to nonprofits in Rhode Island addressing social determinants of health such as education, financial stability, food security, housing, and employment. Larry is also a 3rd year doctoral student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he is concentrating in Health Equity and Social Justice. At Johns Hopkins he serves as a Campus Liaison for the American Public Health Association.

Riko A. Boone, A.B. Community Health ’00 Cheriko (Riko) A. Boone (above), MSW, MPH, is now a Ph.D. Candidate at George Washington University in Applied Social Psychology. Riko had a poster presentation abstract accepted to the 2019 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, to be held in Philadelphia. His presentation, based on analyses of data from an NIH-funded R01 intervention study called “MEN Count” (R01MH096657-05; PI: Lisa Bowleg, MA, Ph.D.), is entitled “Being Black (Men) and Feeling Blue: An Examination of the Relationship between Everyday Discrimination, Socioeconomic Position, Depression, and Alcohol Use among an Urban Sample of Black Heterosexual Men.” Riko has also recently joined the Editorial Advisory Board of the new Springer journal, Annals of LGBTQ Public and Population Health, with a three-year term that began in August 2019.

Madeline Benz, Sc.M. Behavioral and Social Health Sciences ’15 Madeline (above) is currently in her 4th year of the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Clinically, she is assisting with substance use treatment at the Providence VA under the supervision of Jane Metrik, associate professor of behavioral and social sciences (research) at Brown University. Additionally, she is back working at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies on Dr. Elizabeth Aston’s research study examining the effects of marijuana use on behavior. In the research domain, Madeline has a paper coming out in Addictive Behaviors entitled, “Stigma and help-seeking: The interplay of substance use and gender and sexual minority identity.” Her most exciting update is that she married Brandon Vorrius (Brown University BS ’14, MS ’15). They met as undergraduates at Brown and held their wedding on the Benz family farm in New Jersey this past June.

Meg Gonsalves, Sc.M. Behavioral and Social Health Sciences ’18 Meg (above) is very excited to return to Brown University to start her Ph.D. in the Neuroscience department. She is rotating in Professor Tara White’s lab (where she also did her BSHS master’s thesis work) during her first semester, studying the relationship between glutamatergic compounds in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and emotion. Meg will be presenting her master’s thesis in October at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference.

Jose M. Parra, MPH ’18 Jose (above) is currently working as a Research Coordinator at the Carl J. Shapiro Institute for Education and Research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He enjoys working in an environment that fosters his love for medicine, education, and public health. Despite his job in Boston, Jose still lives in Providence and prefers living close to the vibrant culture and beautiful beaches in the Ocean State!