RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) | Groups



Keynote speaker: Kathleen Sienko, PhD

Kathleen Sienko is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering and the director of the Sienko Research Group. Her research focuses on the design, development, and evaluation of medical devices; design science; and engineering education. She has led efforts at the University of Michigan to incorporate the constraints of global health technologies within engineering design at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and has established field sites in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia at which numerous devices have been conceptualized and refined in collaboration with local stakeholders.


Timothy Dye, PhD

Timothy Dye PhD is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, and Public  Health Sciences at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He also serves as  Associate Chair for OBGYN Research and Director of the OBGYN Research Division. Professor Dye is a medical anthropologist and social epidemiologist who specializes in applied public health, particularly within marginalized, isolated, and global populations, and with a content focus on social and cultural determinants of health. Dr. Dye's research program focuses upon developing and understanding community-driven solutions to public health problems, and has included funded projects around such topics as micronutrition among women and children in Tibet (CDC), informatics and public health decision making in Costa Rica (NIH), and injury and culture in Antarctica (NSF). In recent years, Dr. Dye has led teams around the world, including Lebanon, Turkey, China, South Africa, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Nigeria, Tibet, India, Kashmir, Ladakh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Petite Martinique, Kenya, Antarctica, Northern Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Professor Dye's most recent work focuses upon the use and integration of biological and public health information systems to address the social and medical determinants of high-risk conditions of pregnancy and infancy.

Mary Golden

Mary Golden, RIT Assistant Professor and Interior Design Undergraduate Program Director, pursues research in public interest design and sustainable, interior architectural environments that serve all people through innovative material explorations and universal design strategies. Mary holds a master’s degree in architecture and is a certified interior designer with more than a dozen years of experience.  Her research includes public interest design initiatives through web based collaborative learning with global partners and creating sustainable, interior architectural environments that serve all people through innovative material explorations and universal design strategies. Mary is the Director for RIT Hope for Honduras, now a multidisciplinary international collaboration, with numerous design and technology projects underway aimed at reducing infant mortality and the challenges of caregiving for premature, critically ill newborns in Honduras.Mary contributed to the introduction for the book Ecokids: Raising Children Who Care for the Earth and her professional work is featured in the book Space Matters. Mary’s recent academic work was published in IDEC’s 2016 Innovation in Teaching and Learning Collection and 2016 Perspectives Video Shorts: Voices of Interior Design. She presented at the 2016 IDEC Regional-East Conference and the SUNYLA 2017 Mid-Winter Conference and the 2017 international conference, World Design Summit in Montreal. She is the recipient of RIT’s 2016 and 2018 RIT Provost Learning and Innovation Grants and the 2016 Elizabeth Brown Grant for Interior Design Programs. Mary was also awarded the 2017 Leibrock Universal Design Scholarship. In 2018 she presented at international conferences including the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, Manhattan New York and the Environmental Design Research Association conference, Oklahoma, IDEC East Regional Conference in Pittsburgh, PA; Autodesk University in Las Vegas, Nevada and Semana Tecnologica de Ingenieria 2018 in â€‹Tegucigalpa, HondurasMary has held memberships in Women in Global Health, Interior Design Educator’s Council, International Interior Design Association, The National Association of Professional Women and the United States Green Building Council.

Jean Christophe Rusatira, MD, MPH 

Trained as a medical doctor and public health professional, Jean Christophe’s work has been mainly in clinical practice, public health advocacy and research. He currently a program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He leads the demographic dividend work of the institute and co-chairs the international conference on family planning that happens every two years bringing together around 4000 professionals working in the domain of family planning and population health. In the past, he has worked as a clinician for three years at the University of Rwanda Teaching Hospitals before joining the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to pursue his Master of Public Health where he was awarded the Sommer Leadership Scholarship. He is one of the first 40 awardees of the 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders recognizing his public health practice work through the Healthy People Rwanda, a local non-profit that he founded, and the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning that he co-founded. His current work focuses on promoting evidence-based public health practice and youth leadership for family planning and reproductive health in the developing world, mainly sub-Saharan Africa particularly the integration of men in family planning, demographic dividend and effective family planning methods promotion in the Sub-Saharan Africa.


Anthony Vodacek, PhD

Anthony Vodacek received his B.S. (Chemistry) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his M.S. and Ph.D. (Environmental Engineering) from Cornell University. He is a professor of imaging science at RIT. His areas of research lie broadly in environmental remote sensing, with recent work focusing on the coupling of environmental imaging with environmental modeling of both terrestrial and aquatic systems. He currently is currently on the Fulbright Specialist roster and is Leader Faculty for  in the College of Science.


Stephanie Locicero

Stephanie Locicero is a fifth year student in the physician assistant program at Rochester Institute of Technology and is expected to graduate in May of 2019 with a BS/MS degree in Physician Assistant Studies. She is currently participating in a full year of clinical rotations in which she is gaining exposure to ten different specialties of medicine, including infectious disease. Stephanie has a strong interest in public health and infectious diseases, which inspired the topic of her master’s thesis.


Asma Alnemari

Asma Alnemari is a third year Ph.D. student in the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Her research, under the supervision of Prof. Rajendra Raj and Prof. Carol Romanowski, is centered around the cybersecurity and privacy applied to protect critical infrastructure sectors, specifically healthcare. Asma has published and presented her research at international conferences on healthcare and critical infrastructure protection.


Jeffrey Lodge, PhD

Jeffrey Lodge an Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Environmental Science in the Thomas Gosnell School of Life Sciences at RIT. His studies focus on the use of microalgae to treat contaminated water sources to generate irrigation and drinking water and the survival of foodborne pathogens in water, sediment, soil and food. He also studies antibiotic resistance levels in heterotrophic bacteria isolated from water and sediments in Western New York.


Gary Tebor, MD

Gary B. Tebor, M.D. is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon, fellowship trained in
pediatric orthopaedic reconstructive surgery. In private practice since 1981, his clinical practice includes all aspects of pediatric orthopaedics including the treatment of developmental and neuromuscular conditions, scoliosis and trauma. He has taken Adult and Pediatric Trauma Call at a Level 1 Trauma Center for 28 years. He has recently done work overseas in Jordan, Haiti, and El Salvador and has been a member of Doctors Without Borders since 2014.


Megan Hunt

Megan Hunt is a fifth year Physician Assistant Student at RIT. She is graduating May of 2019.


Sarah Brownell, MS

Sarah Brownell is a lecturer in Design, Development and Manufacturing and the Director of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).  She received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from RIT and a MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the UC Berkeley. Her interests include ecological sanitation, composting, improving subsistence agriculture, water disinfection, human centered design, and popular education.  At RIT, she works with many Multidisciplinary Senior Design student teams each year, developing and leading projects with social impact, design for global development, sustainability or student initiated components. She hopes to engage her students as global citizens who can offer their creativity, skills and training in partnership for the benefit of ecosystems and humanity, especially with those living on less than $2/day.  Before coming to RIT, she co-founded the non-profit organization Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) which introduced urine diversion composting toilets in Haitian slums and lived in Haiti for four years working with SOIL and other non-profit organizations.


Anna Capria

Anna Capria is a graduating 3rd-year Biomedical Sciences Student at RIT. This summer she worked with Dr. Bolaji Thomas on Malaria research within the College of Health Sciences and Technology with funding from the Honors Program. The samples they utilized were directly from Nigerian children. They looked at CD28 gene polymorphisms and their effect on parasitemia. This research has definitely inspired her to be more interested in global health and what impacts research in Rochester, NY can have on the rest of the world!


Jade Myers, MS

Jade has served as Lab Manager of the Access Technology Prototyping (ATP) Lab at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and as Research & Development Associate and Haiti Project Team Lead for LimbForge/VHP (a non-profit specializing in increasing access to prostheses for underserved communities throughout the world). She has instructed several courses including "3D-Technologies for Prosthetic Applications," an interdisciplinary, project-based class that leverages 3D-printing, scanning and CAD to engage students in facets of medical-grade prosthetic design.  She has collaborated on projects with Doctors Without Borders in Jordan and Haiti and is currently working to bring low-cost devices to clinics within the Dominican Republic and Peru. As a current PhD student in the field of Human-Computer Interaction within the Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences at RIT, she is integral to software development that will allow clinicians to benefit from 3D-technologies without the need to become experts in them, enabling them to increase access to low-cost and contextually-appropriate medical grade prosthetics and orthotics worldwide.


Emily Taegder-Vrooman

Emily Taegder-Vrooman is a 5th year student at Rochester Institute of Technology. She will graduate this May from the physician assistant program with a BS/MS and a minor in Spanish. She plans to start her career as a physician assistant in Rochester with a goal of eventually becoming involved in global health.


Nickesia Gordon, PhD 

Nickesia  S. Gordon, PhD is Associate Professor in School of Communication at RIT. Her research involves looking at the intersections among gender, mass media and popular culture. She also has an active research agenda that examines the role of social media in social change and health communication contexts. Dr. Gordon earned her doctoral degree in Communication and Culture from Howard University in 2007. She also holds a Masters degree in English Literature from Clark University, Massachusetts and an undergraduate Liberal Arts degree from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.


Monica Barbosu, MD, PhD, MsBA

Monica Barbosu, MD, PhD, MsBA is a physician specialized in applied global public health, particularly in the HIV/AIDS and STIs area. She is a research assistant professor in the Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) Department, University of Rochester and presently serves as the Director of Resource Center of Excellence, Clinical Education Initiative (CEI), a NYSDoH AIDS Institute supported project. Dr. Barbosu received her MD and PhD from University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Iuliu Hatieganu” Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and her Master of Business Administration, specialization in Medical Management from Simon School of Business, University of Rochester. Dr. Barbosu specializes in the development and implementation of novel Information and Communication Technologies in the field of medical education and in developing new and innovative ways to assist medical providers in their medical decision and therefore improving patient care.


Ghana Research Group:

1) Olivia Garror

Olivia Garror is a third-year biomedical sciences student at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is pursuing my education in preparation for medical school in which she plans to study to be a pediatric hospitalist. She has a profound interest in global health and awareness, as well as the promotion of nutrition and exercise in medicine. These interests lead to her participation in a study abroad research trip to Ghana regarding nutritional anemia in children.


2) Nicole Buttner

Nicole Buttner is a fourth year dietetics and nutrition major at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her next step after graduating is to complete her dietetic internship and become a registered dietitian. She participated in the Ghana research trip because of her interest in nutrition and how it influences those in other countries.


3) Rachel Stefanic

Rachel Stefanic is a fourth year Dietetics and Nutrition major in the College of Health Sciences and Technology. She had never done research before, and she loved my previous study abroad experience in Croatia, so she jumped on the opportunity to study global health in Ghana.


4) Brenda Ariba Zarhari Abu, PhD

Dr. Abu is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition at RIT. She was formerly a Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Nutritional Sciences Department at Texas Tech University. Dr. Abu received her PhD in Nutrition from the University of the Free Sate (South Africa), a Masters in Nutrition from the University of Ghana and a Bachelor of Science Degree (Honors) in Community Nutrition from the University for Development Studies (Ghana). Dr. Abu has experience as a clinical dietician, lecturer and nutrition consultant. Her research interests include micronutrient deficiencies, food security, maternal and child nutrition, program/project design and impact assessment, and stakeholder engagement. She works with others using a multi-disciplinary approach, to addressing food and nutrition security among college students and senior citizens (USA). She is also involved with addressing anemia in low income communities using sustainable food-based approaches while facilitating stakeholder engagement (Ghana).

M. Ann Howard, JD

M. Ann Howard is an RIT Professor of Science, Technology, and Society/Public Policy. She is also the Director of University/Community Partnerships. Her research interests broadly focus on social determinants of health and community engagement. A current research emphasis is on the contributions of community gardening to resident health and well being. She utilizes participatory action research methodologies to engage community partners on issues they have identified as relevant to their efforts to transform urban neighborhoods.


Jallah M. Kennedy, PhD

Jallah M. Kennedy is an epidemiologist and Public Health Consultant/Scientist. He is also the Executive Director of Roads to Health and has a focus on vulnerable population health.


Rachel E. McGinnis, PhD

Rachel E. McGinnis is an interdisciplinary scholar focusing on the fields of conflict science, sexual violence, and mass atrocities. Her research focal point is sexual violence during conflict concentrating specifically on male victimization. She holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University (NSU), a Masters and a Bachelors of Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She currently teaches at the RIT in Sociology/Anthropology. In addition, over the last few years, she has spent time volunteering in Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Greece, France, the Turk-Syrian border and this summer in Afghanistan. She works with PTSD and sexual violence survivors, as well as, works to bring awareness to local NGO’s, medical personnel, and government officials working with male refugees in the region. Her research article can be viewed here: Sexual Victimization of Male Refugees and Migrants: Camps, Homelessness, and Survival Sex. Rachel is currently in her second term as Vice-Executive Secretary (2015-2019) for the International Network of Genocide Scholars.


Shazia Siddiqi, MD, MPH

Shazia Siddiqi, MD, MPH, is a postdoctoral fellow under the co-mentorship of Dr. Eva Pressman, MD, and Dr. Tim Dye, PhD, and in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. Siddiqi earned Bachelor’s in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley, Master’s in Public Health from Dartmouth College, and Doctor of Medicine degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine. She has done research in breast cancer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, worked as community health educator/outreach specialist in Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program at Greater Los Angeles Agency of Deafness, and taught Medical Terminology at Gallaudet University. Dr. Siddiqi was the Executive Director of DAWN (formerly known as Deaf Abused Women's Network) which provided advocacy services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking in the greater metropolitan area of Washington, DC for a few years before coming to Rochester. Her professional interests include global Deaf health, health disparities, preventive medicine, gender-based violence, trauma-informed care, and maternal and child health. Her current research is focused on conducting community-based participatory research strategies with Deaf populations worldwide, analyzing relationships between trauma and health outcomes in Deaf community, and exploring barriers in Deaf people’s access to health care, especially in the field of maternal and child health.