Sarah Cook, Ph.D.

Project Co-Director

Dr. Cook earned her doctorate at the University of Virginia and is currently an assistant professor of Community Psychology at Georgia State University where she teaches courses on violence against women and the psychology of women. Her research interests include prevention and intervention efforts which address public health issues in the community, measurement and methodological challenges in violence research, community-level interventions for violence against women, consequences of indirect victimization, and the interface between psychological research and public policy. Before beginning her academic career, she was involved in community issues as an educator, advocate, and social worker. During graduate school, she served as an intern in the Public Policy Office and represented the American Psychological Association on the NOW LEDF National Task Force on the Violence Against Women Act. In addition to teaching and research, she consults with a number of local and state-wide organizations working to address several pressing community problems.

James Emshoff, Ph.D.

Project Co-Director

Dr. Emshoff has a Doctorate and Master of Science in Community Psychology from Michigan State University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Community Psychology Program at Georgia State University. He also founded and serves as Director of Research at EMSTAR Research, Inc., an evaluation and organizational services firm. He has directed five federally funded research projects. One of these grants was to develop, administer and evaluate a preventive intervention for children of alcoholics which was administered in middle schools and won the 1989 American Medical Association Substance Abuse Prevention Award. During a leave from his academic position, Dr. Emshoff worked at the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) where he concentrated on evaluation issues and the creation of CSAP's grant program for substance abusing pregnant and post partum women and their infants. Dr. Emshoff is presently evaluating two CSAP grantees as well as numerous other substance abuse, child abuse, violence, HIV/AIDS, and delinquency prevention programs at the local, state, and national levels and provides technical assistance in prevention and evaluation to many organizations. Approximately 150 of his publications and professional presentations focus on a variety of prevention and evaluation issues.

Chauncey Cherry, M.P.H.

Full-time Project Coordinator

Chauncey Cherry earned his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University while on active duty in the United States Air Force, and received his MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. In 1990, he began his work in the field of STD/HIV/AIDS as a Communicable Disease Investigator at Broward County Public Health Unit in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It was here that he became actively involved in research by coordinating a multi-site Partner Notification/Elicitation study. After moving to Atlanta in 1993, his involvement in HIV/AIDS research continued through his participation in a behavioral-risk reduction intervention at Emory University. Most recently he has worked as a project coordinator on Project Share at Georgia State University and has been involved in individual and community level intervention and prevention research.

Angela Banks, MPH

Project Coordinator / Part-time Project Coordinator

Angela Banks has a Bachelor of Science degree from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University School of Public Health. Her public health experience is in the areas of adolescent health, health education, clinical research and HIV. Her involvement in HIV/AIDS research was as a part-time Research Interviewer in a behavioral intervention project entitled "Keepin’ It Real" at Emory University School of Public Health. Most recently, she worked at Morehouse Medical Treatment Effectiveness Center where she was involved in health outcomes research projects for the poor, uninsured, and underinsured communities. Her accomplishments included developing a Manual of Operation for health care providers, implementation of an ATOD curriculum for high-risk youth, as well as coordination of several health fairs throughout various communities in metro Atlanta. She plans to continue her role by becoming actively involved in HIV/AIDS intervention and prevention programs.

Phyllis Holditch

Research Technician, Data Manager

Phyllis Holditch participated in a research project examining at-risk adolescents and their families and wrote an honors thesis on personal life factors associated with a woman’s involvement in an abusive relationship as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. Since earning her B.A. in psychology at Virginia, she has been working at Georgia State University as a research assistant on several projects, including the HIV/STD Systems Evaluation Project, the GSU Youth Tobacco Prevention Research Group, an article on the status of marital rape laws in the United States, and a coding system for a measure of adolescent social competency which can hopefully be used in many different prevention and intervention efforts which target adolescents. She will begin the doctoral program in community psychology at Georgia State in the fall. Her research interests include prevention, intervention and evaluation efforts on a range of community issues.

Rich Mudge

Research Technician

Rich Mudge earned his undergraduate degree in English and Spanish from the University of Pittsburgh. As an undergraduate, he worked as a research assistant at the Family Research Project at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic where he coded and analyzed dinnertime family interactions using the HISS-II coding system. After graduation, he worked for a number of corporations as a database manager. Before coming to Georgia State, Rich worked as a clinical data manager/analyst at the Biostatistical Center for the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, which does nationwide clinical trials that arefunded by the National Cancer Institute at the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh. There he was responsible for monitoring and analyzing data from large scale breast cancer treatment trials. This position piqued his interest in public health and the impact of community centered programs. This project will enable him to learn more about and to become more involved in community based programs. Rich plans to enter a graduate program in linguistics in the fall of 2000.

Kendra Robinson

Research Technician

Kendra Robinson earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder upon completing a hydrology-based curriculum in the Environmental Science field. Her career training includes laboratory research in Psychology at the Institute of Behavioral Genetics, centered on the correlation between genes and the aging process. Her desire to gain more knowledge about public health, education, and advocacy programs and their commitment to promoting healthy communities prompted an interest in this project. She has also participated in many voluntary efforts for youth such as tutoring, training, and organizing programs and activities. She hopes to pursue graduate education in the near future.

Alexa Adamo

Graduate Research Assistant

Alexa Adamo is completing her Master’s in Women’s Studies at Georgia State University. After graduating with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Women’s Studies at Georgia State University in 1995, she accepted a research position with Project Prevent at Emory University, Department of Pediatrics at Grady Memorial Hospital. Project Prevent works with high-risk population of pregnant, substance abusing women and their children. As the project’s internal researcher, Alexa managed data collection with a staff of social workers and addiction counselors, monitored and analyzed data on women’s psychosocial histories, substance abuse, histories of violence, sexual behavior, etc. In 1997, she began graduate school, where she has been involved in many research projects on issues of violence, schools and gender. As the 1998-1999 recipient of the Ethel Woodruff Draper Research Fellowship in the Development of Young Women, she is presently conducting research for her master’s thesis on educational equity and middle school reform. Alexa will begin the doctoral program in community psychology in Fall 2000.

Girlyn Arganza

Graduate Research Assistant

Girlyn Arganza is a doctoral student in Community Psychology at Georgia State University. As an undergraduate at the University of Virginia, she worked on a research project examining at-risk adolescents and their families. Upon graduation, she accepted a research position with the Medical College of Virginia, Department of Psychiatry. Her work primarily focused on ecobehavioral factors influencing the efficacy of psychostimulants on children with ADHD. In her first year at Georgia State, she was the data manager on a home-based nursing education intervention for African-American children with asthma and their families. The program is currently running and examines the utility and feasibility of home visiting asthma education for needy but hard to access families. Her research interests include prevention efforts and the interface between health education and community psychology. She is also interested in the effects of cross cultural factors on children and their families.

Melanie Bliss

Graduate Research Assistant

Melanie Bliss is a clinical doctoral student with a focus on community psychology at Georgia State University. After graduating from Berry College in Rome, GA, with a B.A. in psychology, she worked at the CDC as a behavioral scientist in the Division of STD Prevention in the Behavioral Interventions and Research Branch. While at CDC, she participated in many research projects, including a study on partner notification practices and an intervention for inner city women to decrease risky sexual behavior. She also participated in compiling a special issue of a journal focusing on technology in public health departments. Her interests include evaluation and prevention of several different community problems and the study of sexual victimization of women and children.

Violaine Chalvin, MA

Graduate Research Assistant

Violaine received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from U-Mass Boston. Upon graduation, she returned to her native country of France where she began her career in community psychology at CRIPS (Centre Regional d’Intervention et de Prevention du SIDA) and the Pasteur Institute. It was there that she began here role in HIV/AIDS prevention. Through her employer, Violaine became actively involved in a prevention project targeted toward high school students in Paris and its suburbs. In 1991, she also worked for several months with the French organization "Doctors of the World" in Iquitos (Peru) during the cholera epidemic. After her return to the US, Violaine enrolled in the Community Psychology Program at Georgia State University. Her research interest focused on the problem of occupational burnout among health care providers in AIDS care. She is interested in trying to understand the favoring factors that lead to burnout in this area of health care try to consider new ways of preventing this type of occupational stress.

Arlene Edwards

Graduate Research Assistant

Arlene Edwards is a fourth-year doctoral student in community psychology at Georgia State University, and has an M.A. in counseling from Clark Atlanta University. As a student at Georgia State she conducted, designed and implemented a training evaluation for DHR designed to target parole officers and substance abuse counselors and to increase inter-agency communication and collaboration. She also conducted research with Black women where she examined their historical and contemporary roles in the Black community. Her areas of interest include qualitative research methodologies, Black community mothering, and the investigation of the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Black community.

Cindy Elrod

Graduate Research Assistant

Cindy Elrod is an alumni of Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude with research and advanced honors. She is currently enrolled as a student in the Community Psychology doctoral program at Georgia State University. Cindy comes to the academic environment after 22+ years in corporate management where she specialized in team building, personnel-work environment evaluation, design and implementation of departmental reorganization efforts, group training and facilitation, and systems analysis. Cindy has authored and implemented training in several areas including conflict negotiation, airline emergency preparedness and response, and frontline leadership basics. Her previous academic research has centered on human response to transitions, psychological contracts, and organizational character.