Past Trainees

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

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Leigh Rauk, PhD

Past Postdoctoral Research Fellow

As a Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) and an Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention Postdoctoral Fellow in 2021-22, Dr. Rauk studied firearm outcomes among youth in school settings, with a particular focus on preventative school safety policies. She is a Community Psychologist with a background in participatory action research methodologies. She earned her Ph.D. in Community Psychology from the University of Miami. She is passionate about using research to inform our understanding of the intersection of schooling and firearm safety. As a community psychologist and community-engaged scholar, she has experience building collaborative relationships with community members and stakeholders, specifically young people who are deeply impacted by the issue, to inform and generate actionable research. She is now an Evaluation Associate with Collaborators Consulting Group.

Seewald, Laura

Laura Seewald, MD

Past Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Seewald is an adult emergency medicine physician at the University of Michigan and  completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in June 2023 with the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) Consortium and the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. The focus of her postdoctoral research and education was in the field of firearm injury prevention, with a specific interest in interventions for high-risk youth populations. Her current work aims to examine parental attitudes towards healthcare provider firearm safety counseling. She is now an tenure-track faculty position in Emergency Medicine and Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention at the University of Michigan.

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Karissa Pelletier, PhD, MS

Past Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Karissa R. Pelletier was a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) Consortium and the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention from 2021-23. She is currently a fellow at Temple University in the Public Policy Lab working on firearm violence prevention and general violence reduction in Philadelphia. She earned her Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice in 2021. She holds additional degrees in Sociology, Psychology, and Philosophy. Her past research has focused on weapon choice, firearm homicide, and the covariates of firearm homicides among children and teens. She has been published in the following journals: Homicide Studies, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, The Journal of Primary Prevention, and Journal of Family Violence. Her research interests include violence, homicide, intimate partner violence and homicide, the prevention of firearm homicide among children and teens, and firearm laws. She has served as a project manager on two separate projects: the Preventing and Assessing IPH (Intimate Partner Homicide) Risk (PAIR) Studies, which aims to update IPH risk assessments, and the Monumentum Project, which aims to draw attention to the problem of firearm violence among children and teens through the use of Augmented Reality (AR) technology.

Past Interns & Research Assistants

Mohamad Alhacham


Mr. Alhacham is a first generation Arab-American who is looking to build a legacy that will inspire people to challenge the systems that have negatively impacted society. Currently, he is pursuing an MPH at UM – Ann Arbor and expects to graduate in 2024. Following graduation, he wants to work with underserved and underrepresented populations to address social disparities that disproportionately affect these marginalized communities. As an intern, he assisted with project management and research on the Institute’s grant-funded projects.

Samantha Aprill


Ms. Aprill was a summer intern at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. Samantha is a rising second-year Master’s student at the School of Public Health in the General Epidemiology program. She recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in neuroscience. Her interests are focused on mental health and firearm violence disparities. She hopes to use this experience to gain insight on a career in research and to apply her knowledge and competencies learned at the School of Public Health.

Prudny Bonnaire-Fils

Past Intern

Mr. Bonnaire-Fils is an undergraduate student studying Public Health with a minor in Medical Geography at the University of Florida. He is interned with the Institute through the Future Public Health Leaders Program at the UM School of Public Health. He is interested in entering the fields of social epidemiology and environmental health, and hopes to investigate the impact of firearm-related policy and community-based interventions across geographic areas.

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Skyla Chitwood

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Skyla Chitwood recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Foreign Service at Saint Louis University. She was a research intern with the Future Public Health Leadership program at the University of Michigan and continued as a Research Assistant with the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, assisting with the Missouri Foundation for Health projects. She is interested in gun violence prevention, legislation regarding firearm laws, and youth gang-related intervention programs.


Lisa Dai

Past Research Assistant

Lisa Dai was s a research assistant at the U-M NEA Research Lab focusing on the relationship between public art and youth firearm injury prevention. They are a rising junior intending to dual degree in Computer Science and Art and Design. She is passionate about how art and technology can create real life change: whether through activism, forging community, widening perspectives, or simply improving wellbeing. At the University of Michigan, they are a graphic artist for Michigan in Color, Vice President of Warp, a creative organization centering queer People of Color, and an illustrator for arts, ink., a blog under Arts at Michigan. As a research assistant at the Institute, they worked on the U-M NEA Research Lab focused on the intersection of firearm violence and public art.

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Alyssa Donovan

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Donovan was an undergraduate student in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan when she conducted policy research on the influence of politics and legislation on U.S. gun violence and in comparison to other nations. Ms. Donovan worked on Turn up the Turnout, advised by Edie Goldenberg, and gave Dinners for Democracy to help inform students on the importance of voting in relation to firearm injury prevention.

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Avery Moje

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Moje was a graduate student in the Masters of Public Health Behavior and Health Education program at the University of Michigan when she worked as a Research Assistant with the Family Safety Net Project, which seeks to increase the safety of youth in Northwest Alaska by providing information and resources to support families in storing firearms safely. She assisted the Family Safety Net team in cleaning and analyzing survey data, writing reports and publications for the project’s stakeholders, and developing various materials for Family Safety Net’s community partners.

Katherine Romero-Trejo

Past Intern

Ms. Romero-Trejo is a recent graduate from East Carolina University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health and a minor in Nutrition. She interned with the Institute through Michigan Future Public Health Leaders Program (FPHLP) at the UM School of Public Health. She worked on the SafERteens program, which is aimed at reducing and preventing youth violence. Her interests include research on the prevention of firearm violence, environmental health, and learning more about firearm laws and policies. 

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Hannah Schneider

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Schneider is a graduate from the Masters of Public Health Behavior and Health Education Program at the University of Michigan, with a certificate in Injury Science. She recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with degrees in Psychology and Urban and Community Studies, where she focused on under-resourced youth and their communities. She supported three studies aiming to reduce firearm violence among youth in urban settings as a Research Assistant. She is especially interested in youth violence prevention and interned with the Injury Prevention Center.

Jaymie Tibbits


Ms. Tibbits is currently pursuing a dual Master of Social Work and Master of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Prior to her graduate studies, she supported various organizations that serve children in the child welfare system, survivors of domestic violence, and families experiencing homelessness. During her previous work, she observed the disproportionate impact gun violence devastatingly has on communities of color and low income families. Ms. Tibbits is passionate about policy solutions centered on equity and social justice. She worked alongside Dr. Ewell Foster and her team, assisting with projects such as Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) and research surrounding best practices for safe storage and firearm safety, specific to children in foster care.

Claire Liu

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Liu was a Research Assistant and summer intern with the Injury Prevention Center at the University of Michigan working on several youth violence prevention studies. She graduated with dual master’s in Physiology and Health Behavior Health Education. She was involved in multiple research projects investigating the efficacy of emergency room interventions aimed at reducing youth firearm violence through motivational interviewing and other behavioral interventions in urban centers throughout Michigan.

Mackenzie Furnari

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Furnari is graduated with her Masters of Public Health in the Epidemiology program at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She worked closely with Dr. Hsing-Fang Hsieh’s on a research project aiming to explore mental distress and firearm outcomes among Asian Americans relating to racism/discrimination. The objective of the study is to investigate multi-level risks and protective factors of firearm injury risks, identify correlates of neighborhood-level structural racism and discrimination, and understand the mechanisms between these factors and firearm outcomes. Ms. Furnari is now a Research Area Specialist with the Institute.