CHANGE T32 Trainees

Predoctoral Trainees

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  • Naysha Shahid, MS


    Naysha Shahid is a graduate student in the Health Track of the Clinical Psychology program. She earned her B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Race and Ethnic Relations from Clark University in 2015. As an undergraduate student, she worked on research exploring cultural and contextual factors that influence the mental health and coping mechanisms of Black women.  

    After graduation, she served as a clinical research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital assisting with behavioral health interventions that address disparities in smoking cessation, diabetes, and cancer. Through her studies of racial/ethnic mental health disparities and experiences working with populations with chronic conditions, Naysha has developed an interest in cultural, psychosocial, and structural factors that impact health outcomes among historically marginalized communities. More specifically, she is interested in examining how emotion regulation influences health behaviors and mental health outcomes among Black women who have experienced trauma and stress related to discrimination, poverty, and violence. Ultimately, she would like to develop prevention and intervention strategies centered around the social determinants of health and culturally-responsive therapeutic and mindfulness-based practices. As a CHANGE Trainee, Naysha looks forward to working with HIV behavioral scientists committed to alleviating HIV disparities and prioritizing innovative HIV research focused on community engagement and social justice. 

    CHANGE Mentor: Dr. Sannisha Dale 

  • Jahn Jaramillo, MPH


    Jahn Jaramillo, MPH, is a Ph.D. student in the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health. He has over 10 years of public health experience in the areas of HIV prevention, infectious disease surveillance, and communications and has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Guatemala City and Atlanta, the World Health Organization in Thailand and the Philippines, RTI International in Seattle, and at an HIV/AIDS community-based organization in New York City. Jahn was also a Fulbright scholar in Thailand, where he taught English to Thai youth. His research interests include the health of sexual and gender minorities, the application of identity and cultural considerations to health promotion and HIV prevention strategies, and the development and testing of HIV interventions to deliver medically appropriate and culturally competent care to diverse populations. He is looking forward to obtaining new skills in study design, intervention development, and program evaluation to address persistent gaps in access to HIV-prevention services among Latinx sexual minority men, collaborating with esteemed HIV behavioral scientists, and cultivating community among the first CHANGE cohort.

    CHANGE Mentor: Dr. Audrey Harkness

  • Nequiel “Nikki” Reyes, MPH


    Nikki Reyes is a PhD candidate in the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health. She earned her Master's in Public Health from Boston University's School of Public Health. After graduating with her MPH, she served as a Biostatistician/Epidemiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Community Health improvement (MGH CCHI). In this role, she analyzed primary and secondary data for various community health needs assessments and assisted with the program evaluation of MGH CCHI's access to care (e.g., community health workers, medical interpreters, home visitors) programs.

    As a CHANGE pre-doctoral trainee, Nikki's research interests involve promoting equitable HIV and mental health outcomes among groups currently experiencing disparities through community-engaged research, implementation and dissemination research, and innovative quantitative and qualitative methods. She hopes to become an NIH funded researcher whose research goals are focused on: (1) understanding the role of intersecting systems of oppression on mental health outcomes among individuals who identify as both racial/ethnic and sexual/gender minorities, (2) investigating the impact of anti-LGBTQ+ policies on healthcare disparities and health education, and (3) using implementation and dissemination science to investigate and reduce the impact of structural racism on LGBTQ+ individuals who are minoritized based on their race/ethnicity.

    CHANGE Mentor: Dr. Audrey Harkness

  • Devina Dave, Ph.D., MSPH - Program Graduate


    Devina started her UM career as a Master of Science in Public Health and completed her PhD in the Prevention Science and Community Health Program. Her research interests include the application of the third wave of cognitive behavioral therapies (contemplative practices) to her work, emphasizing the reduction in judgement of thoughts, feelings, and experiences in an already often stigmatized populationunfolding opportunities to strengthen coping strategies and promote resilienceShe is also interested in the life course perspective and intergenerational links of HIV related stigma and trauma and the ways family and social relationships impact mental health outcomes, particularly for women and youth.  She is excited that the CHANGE program gives her this amazing opportunity for interdisciplinary training and skills necessary to eventually develop, implement and evaluate an intervention aimed to reduce disparities and promote health among at risk and HIV positive minorities through combined prevention and treatment modalitiesShe would like to continue to directly work with community stakeholders on sustainable projects that empower them towards better health outcomes. 

    CHANGE Mentors: Drs. Sannisha Dale and Guillermo "Willy" Prado

    Devina completed the CHANGE T32 Program in August 2023. She is now working as a Research Scientist at UM. 

Postdoctoral Trainees

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  • Felicia Casanova, PhD, MA

    Felicia Casanova, Ph.D., M.A., has completed her doctoral degree at the University of Miami, Department of Sociology, with expertise in community-based participatory methods (CBPR), immigrant health, and health disparities. Her overall research mission is to create equitable health care systems for historically marginalized groups in Miami. Felicia’s previous research specifically examines cancer screening and detection disparities among Latinx farmworker families using community health worker (CHW)-led interventions and CBPR. This mixed-methods research documents the intersecting experiences of the immigrant Latinx farmworker community in healthcare utilization, immigration policies in health system practices, and the role of the local CHWs. Her research has been published, presented at conferences, and funded by the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation and a CTSI Pilot Award. More recently, Felicia has worked on a CHARM-funded health syndemic pilot award.

    As a CHANGE post-doc trainee, Felicia plans to expand her expertise in medical sociology, social psychology, and CBPR into HIV-related psychosocial factors, bio-behavioral intervention models, and spatial mapping and analysis. She aims to conduct HIV research that addresses social and structural inequities for vulnerable, underserved immigrant, and sexual minority groups using culturally informed interventions, translational science, and health policy. Her long-term career goals are to become an independent researcher while applying social theory and novel research methods to study how residential displacement has impacted HIV care, community health systems, and mental health.

    CHANGE Mentors: Drs. Kathryn Nowotny and Zinzi Bailey

  • Derrick Forney, PhD, MPH - Program Graduate


    Derrick Forney, Ph.D., MPH, earned his doctoral degree in Public Health in the Department of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention at Florida International University's Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and a Master of Public Health degree from Michigan State University, where he conducted a practicum gathering information on water access points and its uses in rural Ghanaian mountains.  

    Derrick’s long-term research interests include the psychosocial effects of HIV-related stigma, anxiety, and depression and gaps in outcomes along the HIV care continuum among racial and ethnic minority adults living with HIV. As a post-doctoral scholar in the CHANGE T32 Training Program, Derrick is looking forward to developing relationships with community partners to better serve people living with HIV in Miami-Dade better and developing quantitative analysis skills such as structural equation modeling and multilevel modeling.   

    CHANGE Mentors: Drs. Sannisha Dale and Daniel Feaster

    Derrick completed the CHANGE T32 Program in February 2024, he is currently working as a Research Epidemiologist at National Minority Quality Forum's Center for Clinical and Social Research.