TOPOWA Team Members
Dr. Kevin Gittner
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Gittner has extensive training and experience in statistics and research methods. He also has a broad background in survey methodology, latent variable analysis, biostatistics, mixed methods and evaluation research. Throughout his training and early scholarship, he has collaborated across various fields in public health and education including mental health, orthopedic outcomes, dietary habits, veteran studies, law enforcement, special education, and cardiovascular disease modeling. Dr. Gittner’s passion for survey methods and experience with program evaluation will assist the TOPOWA study in translating data into practical meaning.
Dr. Monica Swahn
Principal Investigator (Dean and Professor) Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, Kennesaw State University
This project builds on Dr. Swahn's 10 years of research as a psychiatric epidemiologist in Uganda in collaboration with Makerere University and the Uganda Youth Development Link.
Dr. Eddy Walakira
Associate Professor, Department Chair, Social Work and Social Administration, Makerere University
Dr. Walakira has extensive experience working with vulnerable and marginalized populations. He will contribute his expertise and contextualize findings from the qualitative data collection and prospective cohort studies.
Executive Director, Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL)
The TOPOWA project will leverage the extensive infrastructure sustained by UYDEL. They provide vocational training, psychosocial services to vulnerable youth throughout Kampala. UYDEL is the implementing partner for all study components and will conduct the intervention and data collection.
Doctoral Student, School of Data Science and Analytics, College of Computing and Software Engineering, Kennesaw State University
Kate holds Bachelor's degrees in Sociology & Anthropology and a Master's degree in statistics. She is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Data Science and Analytics at KSU. Kate's research experience includes cluster analysis, psychometric methods, geospatial analysis, and suicidology.
Dr. Ebony Glover
Associate Professor, Neuroscience, Radow College of Social and Human Sciences, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Glover has extensive expertise in assessing the biological and environmental factors associated with fear and anxiety to understand mental health disparities. She will contribute to the laboratory assessments.
Dr. Cathy Abbo
Psychiatrist and Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, Makerere University
Dr. Abbo will contribute her expertise in psychiatry and also regarding sleep concerns. She will guide the selection and implementation of the study measures and assessments of the wearable sensors and analyses of sleep patterns.
Dr. Matt Lyons
Assistant Professor of Integrated Health Sciences, Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Matt Lyons is an implementation scientist whose work engages communities to address the social determinants and biological mediators of health, with particular focus on the relationships between poverty, discrimination, and health outcomes among vulnerable populations. He employs community-based participatory and mixed-methods research designs, and his methodological toolset includes longitudinal data analysis, multilevel modeling, social and geospatial epidemiology, survey design, structured interviewing, focus groups, and ethnography.
Dr. Jane Palmier
Project Director and Research Scholar, Wellstar College of Health and Human Services, Kennesaw State University
Dr. Palmier, an epidemiologist and lawyer by training, will use her many years of global work to coordinate all components of the TOPOWA study project and day-to-day operations in the U.S. and Uganda.
Dr. Rachel Culbreth
Assistant Professor, Respiratory Therapy, Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions, Georgia State University
Dr. Culbreth is both an epidemiologist and respiratory/sleep therapist and will provide analytic support to the cohort study with special emphasis on the sleep data collected in the cohort study.