DrPH Student Profiles

Matthew Lee

Areas of interest: Health promotion • Implementation research • Dissemination science • Intervention design • Program evaluation • Structural interventions • Sustainability • Policy planning • Health care reform • Safety net programs • Collective agency • Political economies • Comparative effectiveness • Cost-effectiveness • Quality improvement

Education: MPH, Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University (2014)
BA, Anthropology, English Literature, Washington University in St. Louis (2012)

Matthew Lee’s undergraduate coursework at Washington University in St. Louis introduced him to questions about the social construction of health, healing, and illness. He built on this interest while completing his MPH at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with a certificate in Health Promotion Research and Practice. As an MPH student, Lee learned to apply his interests in the form of theory-driven intervention design and evaluation, with a special interest in structural interventions, as well as in dissemination and implementation research. Afterwards, he joined the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. There, he provided technical assistance to hospitals and CBOs throughout New York City to implement and deliver HRSA-funded Ryan White Part A programs through the lens of quality improvement to ensure high program fidelity and quality of care. As a doctoral student, Lee aims to bring together frameworks and methods used in health promotion and health policy research to better understand how public health theories, evidence, and programs intersect at the structural level with politics and the public sphere. He also seeks to answer questions about building sustainability into program and policy planning.

Cohort Year: 2016

Lauren Broussard  

Areas of interest: Sexual health • Reproductive justice • HIV/AIDS • Intersectionality •Race and health • Social determinants of health • Racism • Public health history • Public health policy • Harm reduction • Sex work

Education: MPH, Tulane University (2007)
MSW, Tulane University (2006)
BS, Psychology, James Madison University (2005)

Lauren Broussard is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences. She returned to school for doctorla-level training after gaining substantial professional experience in the federal government, with leadership positions addressing racial disparities in the domestic HIV epidemic, and she plans to continue this work during the doctoral program. Specifically, Broussard will focus use intersectional approaches to explore how sexual and reproductive health outcomes among women of color are shaped by structural forms of gender and race-based discrimination. She is interested in increasing utilization of quantitative research methods to explore these issues from a societal or population level perspective.

Cohort Year: 2015

Mobolaji Ibitoye

Areas of Interest: Sexual and reproductive health • HIV/AIDS • Social determinants of health • Implementation science • Health disparities • Translational research • Program evaluation

Education: MPH, Behavioral Science/Health Education and Epidemiology, Saint Louis University 
BA, Biology, University of Rochester

Ibitoye is interested in sexual and reproductive health, with a particular focus on HIV/AIDS. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, she worked at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, collaborating on several studies involving the use of various biomedical HIV prevention strategies, including rapid HIV self-tests and microbicides in at-risk populations. She was a member of the HIV Center’s New Media Core, facilitating the use of different new media technologies in various research studies at the center. Ibitoye also worked briefly with the Bureau of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Prior to that, she worked on various projects for a community-based maternal and child health program, coordinated and taught a sexual and reproductive health education program, and worked in the health care sector for several years. She is a recipient of the Initiative to Maximize Student Development institutional training grant.

Cohort Year: 2014

Tracy Pugh

Areas of Interest: Social determinants of health • Health and social policy • Social justice and inequalities  •  Structural racism  • Stigma  • Punishment  • Mass incarceration  • Drug policy  • Resilience  •  Vulnerable populations

Education: MHS, Health Policy, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
BA, Sociology, Cornell University

Broadly, Pugh is interested in understanding the intersections of policy, punishment, and stigma. Prior to Columbia, she worked to advance a public health approach to drug policy for New York at the Drug Policy Alliance and, before that, at the New York Academy of Medicine. She has extensive experience engaging in policy research and advocacy related to health disparities and social justice in partnership with nonprofits, government agencies, community stakeholders, advocates, and policy makers. She is a recipient of the Initiative to Maximize Diversity institutional training grant.

Cohort Year: 2014


Brennan Rhodes-Bratton 

Areas of interest: Epidemiological Sociology • Health Inequities • Racism and Health • Children’s Environmental Health • Social Determinants of Childhood Obesity • Nutrition • Gentrification • Built Environment • Health Promotion • Program Evaluation Community-Based Participatory Research • Mixed Methods

Education: MPH, Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University (2010)
BS, Psychology, University of Pittsburgh (2006)
Certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine

Brennan Rhodes-Bratton—a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award—will conduct dissertation research to identify and address the role that food practices and dispositions play in the risk of obesity among residents living in a neighborhood undergoing gentrification. During her traineeship in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity, she worked as a research assistant in the development of a conceptual framework for the emerging issue of energy insecurity and also led a community-based participatory research project unveiling the lived experience of New York City Housing Authority residents with a PhotoVoice project entitled “Going Beyond the Mold.” Her professional and educational career to-date comprises nearly a decade of experience in public health including research in environmental health, built-environment, nutrition and wellness education, community-based participatory research, health policy analysis, housing insecurity, extensive training in the application of social theory to public health problems, and applied experiences in PhotoVoice and intervention design, implementation, and evaluation. Rhodes-Bratton’s long-term career goal is to become a public health mixed methods researcher with expertise in theoretically-driven research and interventions, doing research grounded in sociological concepts and theories about the social and economic determinants of health and illness.

Cohort Year: 2012