MEET THE WHIT RESEARCH GROUP
Welcome to the website of the Women's Health Interventions and Transitions (WHIT) Research Group. We are based at the Brown University School of Public Health in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
PhD Candidate (4th Year)
My research focuses on global women's health, gender dynamics and health, and women’s empowerment. I am interested in how women's empowerment- individual, relational, and environmental- affects a range of health outcomes, including reproductive and mental health. I employ mixed methods in the majority of my research and am passionate about community-based participatory research and systems thinking. My dissertation is titled "Understanding African Refugee Women’s Mental Health: A Community-based System Dynamics Approach." This work focuses on defining the complex system surrounding African refugee women's mental health throughout the resettlement period. At Brown, I work as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate and Master’s-level public health courses. In addition to teaching and conducting my dissertation research, I spent much of my time volunteering with my community partner organization, Women’s Refugee Care and collaborating with my WHIT partners on various exciting research projects.
I joined Brown University as a doctoral student in Behavioral and Social Sciences in 2017. I received my Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from Yale School of Public Health, where I studied social determinants of health. My Master’s thesis examined the effects of food insecurity on fertility aspirations of women living in Tanzania. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 where I studied the Philosophy and Science of Seeing. I love living in Providence and taking advantage of the proximity to the beaches and all of the delicious seafood. I love to cook, watch the Red Sox, and make more arts and crafts projects than I have room for in my house!
ALISON Z. WEBER
PhD Student (2nd Year)
My research focuses on improving maternal health, with a particular focus on the postpartum period. My work so far has focused on the health of women living with HIV in global south contexts, particularly in South Africa. I aim focus my future research on maternal health disparities in the United States. Black women are at much higher risk of adverse maternal health outcomes than other racial groups, and we have to act to ensure equitable opportunity for health and well-being for all mothers in the US.
I joined Brown University as an MPH student in 2017, and subsequently enrolled as a PhD student in the Behavioral and Social Health Sciences program in 2019. I received my undergraduate degrees in Biology and Spanish from Mount Holyoke College in 2011. Before returning for my graduate studies, I supervised a microbiology testing laboratory that worked with biotechnology clients across the United States. I also worked with Biomass Controls, an engineering startup, where I leveraged innovative sanitation technologies to improve global health and gender equity. These experiences showed me the value of foregrounding social determinants and the need for policy-orientation. I carry these experiences with me and they guide my research focus. When not at work, I spend time with my husband and 2-year-old daughter. We love walking and hiking, drinking coffee, making cookies, spending lots of time outside, and reading silly toddler stories.