People

Christina A. Roberto, Ph.D.

Christina A. Roberto, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a psychologist and epidemiologist whose research aims to identify and understand factors that promote unhealthy eating behaviors and design interventions to improve eating habits. Christina is Director of the Psychology of Eating And Consumer Health lab, or PEACH lab. In her work, she draws upon the fields of psychology, behavioral economics, epidemiology, and public health to answer research questions that can provide policymakers and institutions with science-based guidance.

Curriculum vitae (PDF)

Lab Manager

Sophia Hua, M.P.H.

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Sophia received her B.S. in psychology from Yale University and completed her M.P.H. at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research interests lie in obesity prevention via environmental and behavioral changes. She has previously conducted research related to healthier vending machines, food marketing to children, and positive weight deviants. When not working, she enjoys baking, reading, taking long walks, and eating ice cream.

Project Manager

Ana Peterhans, M.P.H.

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Ana received her B.S. in Public Health from Tulane University and completed her MPH at the University of Pennsylvania. Her public health interests include food access, food policy, and how eating behavior is shaped by environmental factors. In her free time, she enjoys taking long walks, reading, doing yoga, and staring longingly at strangers’ dogs.

Makenzie Wood, M.S.Ed.

Makenzie received her B.A. in Cognitive Neuroscience from George Washington University and her M.S.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the impact of access to nutritional education on health behaviors, public health policy, and the connection between mental health and nutritional health. In her spare time Makenzie enjoys practicing yoga, experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes, and reading travel blogs.

Biostatistician

Michael T. LeVasseur, Ph.D., M.P.H.

mike1Michael received his BA from Sarah Lawrence College where he had concentrations in Molecular Biology and Medical Anthropology, his MPH from CUNY Hunter College in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics track, and his PhD in Epidemiology from the Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health. His research interests include sexual health, HIV infection, health disparities, and big data. His methodological interests include latent class analysis, data linkage, and missing data issues.

Research Assistants

Selena Caruso

Selena graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016, where she received her B.A. in Communication and a minor in Consumer Psychology.  After graduating she served a fellowship year with 12 Plus, an education nonprofit that provides college-access advising to high schools in Philadelphia.  In her free time, Selena enjoys ballroom dancing, traveling, and exploring Philly with her friends.

Amanda Geiser

Amanda is a junior at Penn studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Psychology. She is most interested in behavioral economics, and has lived in Philadelphia her whole life, so she is excited about researching the Philly beverage tax. Outside the PEACH Lab, She is a copy editor for Penn’s student newspaper and a research assistant at the Positive Psychology Center. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, watching documentaries, and eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

Mary Gorski

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Mary is a PhD student in Health Policy at Harvard University, where she is an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality trainee. Mary holds a Master of Science degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health, and she is interested in food politics and policies in the United States. She is currently working on a project evaluating the impact of a statewide school nutrition law, and she is also conducting research on recent public health policies that shape healthy eating habits.

Moriah Hall

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Moriah, MPH, currently works at the University of Pennsylvania as the Associate Director of the MPH Program. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Moriah works with students and faculty at the University of Pennsylvania on various research projects. Her public health interests include healthy food access, food policy, and reproductive health. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania, Moriah worked as the Master of Public Health Coordinator for the Department of Public Health at Temple University, and was previously a Project Manager for the Philadelphia-based nonprofit organization, The Food Trust. Beyond her professional work, Moriah loves to cook and run or bike around Philadelphia.

Alyssa Moran

Alyssa is a doctoral student in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her research focuses on the food environment, nutrition policy, and obesity prevention, with a particular interest in the use of public-private partnerships to improve the healthfulness of packaged and restaurant foods. Before coming to HSPH, Alyssa worked on policies and programs to improve the food environment in government agencies, hospitals, and worksites within the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention and Tobacco Control. Alyssa loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, running, yoga, and modern dance.

Aviva Musicus

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Aviva is a doctoral student in Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is interested in research that focuses on evaluating proposed policies to combat obesity and diabetes, including food marketing and labeling. She previously worked at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, advocating for policies to curb consumption of sugary drinks, reduce sodium in the food supply, eliminate trans fats, and strengthen agricultural biotechnology regulations. In her free time, Aviva enjoys backpacking, carving fruit sculptures, and playing with other people’s puppies.

Maiki Paul

Maiki is currently pursuing a Master in Public Health at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on population health policy and management. She also works in Consulting at The Food Trust, a nonprofit based in Philadelphia, which seeks to improve local food systems and increase food access for all. In this capacity, she provides and coordinates projects around strategic planning, program implementation, program evaluation to public and private organizations. She is grateful to have served a diverse range of communities from indigenous pueblo tribes in New Mexico to rural populations in Kansas among others and continues to work towards advancing the health of vulnerable communities everywhere. Maiki received her Bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

Chris Rjepaj

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Chris is a pre-health post baccalaureate student at the University of Pennsylvania. He attained his BA in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and have since generated research for several abstracts, poster presentations, and publications in the field of Urology, most recently exploring the health concerns linking kidney cancer with metabolic syndrome. He is a strong believer in healthy eating and cooking balanced and sustainably sourced meals; he uses my social media platforms to showcase several gourmet style dishes over the course of the month. He is currently serving as a Signal Officer in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and enjoys hiking, fishing, camping, and painting during his free time.

Annaka Scheeres

Annaka is a Research & Evaluation Associate for Get Healthy Philly (the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Division of Chronic Disease Prevention). She conducts statistical and geospatial analysis for a variety of public health projects and initiatives within the division, including the Community Health Assessment, Philly Powered, and Philadelphia’s vital statistics. She received a B.A. in Environmental Studies (Geography concentration) and a B.S. in Biology from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. Her research interests include epidemiology, health data accessibility, and community-based mapping. In her free time, Annaka enjoys backpacking, gardening, playing piano, and drinking coffee.

Kimberly Sterner-Stein, MSW

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Kimberly is currently a student in the Penn MPH program. She is particularly interested in food policy and research aimed at improving consumer health and school food environments. She is currently involved in the menu labeling project with the PEACH Lab. Kimberly’s professional background includes 23 years in medical social work at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her personal interests include being outdoors, taking road trips and visiting the national parks with her husband and two children, and interior design.

Marsha Trego

I am a current MPH student at Arcadia University, and prior to that I received my B.S. in food science with a minor in nutrition from Penn State. My areas of interest include the social and cultural factors that impact diet and health and international health. In my free time, I enjoy baking, learning new languages, and running (slowly).

Kayla Vaughan

Kayla received her B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing BSN/MSN degrees at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing to become a pediatric acute care nurse practitioner. She is interested in how health policies can shape health behaviors and outcomes, especially in pediatric populations. She hopes to use her clinical experience to contribute to public health policies surrounding the food environment and reducing obesity. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading the New Yorker, biking, and yoga. 

Julia Weatherly

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Julia is a current MPH student at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Her public health interests include food policy, urban planning, sustainable agriculture, and the impact of stakeholder engagement in successful government programs. Julia previously worked for KPMG’s Federal Healthcare Advisory group in Washington D.C. where she worked on federal engagements with clients including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to KPMG, Julia was a research assistant for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Section on Growth and Obesity. Julia graduated from Amherst College with a double major in Psychology and Anthropology.

 

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