Past Trainees

Past Postdoctoral Fellows

leigh rauk headshot

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.

Karissa Pelletier headshot

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

Past Intern

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

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Aprill was a research assistant at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention. Samantha graduated with a master’s of Public Health in General Epidemiology at the School of Public Health. Prior to, she graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in neuroscience. Therefore, her interests are focused on mental health and firearm violence disparities.

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.

 
Joseph Brown 400x500

Joseph Brown

Past Research Assistant

Joseph Brown was a research assistant at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention​He completed his undergraduate studies at Hope College and earned his Master of Science from the University of Michigan Rackham School of Graduate Studies. He worked with assault injured adolescents in Detroit and as he applied to medical school hopes to take his knowledge of community violence into his future practice. 

Headshot image of Skyla Chitwood

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.

 

Alyssa Donovan headshot image

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.

Mackenzie Furnari

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Furnari 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.

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.

Moje headshot

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.

Abigail Peacock

Past Research Assistant 

Ms. Peacock recently graduated from the University of Michigan, majoring in Philosophy with minors in Political Science and Italian. She is passionate about the roles of public policy and mental health interventions in preventing gun violence. As a research assistant at the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, she worked under Policy, Implementation, and Evaluation Project Manager Michael Holtz on his project building Extreme Risk Protection Order implementation resources for the State of Michigan.

 

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.

 

Shreya Sampath

Research Assistant

Ms. Sampath is a rising junior at U-M studying Architecture, with intended minors in UX design and music. As a design student, she is passionate about creating unique, innovative, and inclusive projects that sparks conversation. At U-M, she is a part of the professional architecture fraternity Alpha Rho Chi and is publicity manager of Maize Mirchi A Cappella. She also worked as a design lead at optiMize, and she hopes to continue pursuing her professional interests in architecture and design development and research. As a research assistant at the Institute, she worked on the U-M NEA Research Lab focused on the intersection of firearm violence and public art.

 
Headshot image of Hannah Schneider

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.

Elizabeth Stout

Past Research Assistant

Ms. Stout was a summer intern with the Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention at the University of Michigan working on multiple projects. She graduated with a Masters of Public Health Health Behavior and Health Education Program from the University of Michigan and received undergraduate degrees in biology and music from Albion College. She is interested in youth health promotion and support, including through violence prevention, and participates in programs with Michigan Children’s Special Health Care Services, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other organizations.

Headshot image of Hannah Schneider

Michael Strauss

Past Research Assistant

Mr. Strauss is a rising senior at the University of Michigan majoring in Business Administration with the intention of pursuing a career in clinical medicine. He is driven to help address systematic healthcare inefficiencies, specifically those within emergency medical care. As a research assistant at the Institute, he worked on Dr. Patrick Carter’s Project IntERact and Project SynERgy clinical trials.

Jaymie Tibbits

Past Intern

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.

Mildred Wallace

Past Intern

Ms. Wallace is a graduate of the School of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology at the University of Michigan. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in Medical Laboratory Science, and uses her medical and healthcare knowledge to launch her into the field of public health. Her research experience includes taking on the role of a research assistant with the Epidemiology Department, working alongside colleagues regarding the IVY Surveillance of Respiratory Viruses and Vaccine Effectiveness. She worked with Dr. Rebeccah Sokol on studies involving firearm violence and climate.