Mariah Brennan | Lerner Graduate Fellow

Lerner Fellow Mariah Brennan

Mariah received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Anthropology at the University of Connecticut in 2016. While studying political science, Mariah interned for Congresswoman DeLauro in Washington DC. As an intern, she focused on health and military policies. Following her internship, Mariah pursued her Master’s in Public Administration while maintaining a research fellowship with the Connecticut Democrats. Her experience in local and national politics combined with her background in policy research has inspired her to more closely examine veteran policies through a public health lens. After completing her coursework, Mariah spent her summer working at RAND as a Summer Associate. She is passionate about using research to promote public health and inform policy.

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Austin McNeill Brown | Graduate Research Assistant

Lerner Graduate Research Affiliate Austin McNeil Brown

Austin is the former Associate Director of Research at the Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery at Kennesaw State University. His work has spanned the breadth of recovery science, from theories of addiction recovery, recovery support systems, and collegiate recovery programs. Mr. Brown holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Texas Tech University, and Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Vermont.  Austin has worked as both a clinician and a researcher since 2016.

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Kent Jason Cheng | Graduate Research Affiliate

Lerner Graduate Research Assistant Kent Jason Cheng

Kent is currently a PhD Social Science student and a holder of a Master of Arts in Economics degree from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is interested in population health, health and aging, and intergenerational relations. Prior to enrolling in Syracuse, Kent worked as a health policy researcher at the premier health sciences center in the Philippines, the University of the Philippines Manila. Some of his notable involvements in Philippine health research include the cost-effectiveness of dengue vaccination, cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination, modeling of flu mortality, drug procurement policy, and smoking behavior. His recent works appear in peer-reviewed journals like PLOS One, Preventive Medicine, and World Medical and Health Policy and he also contributes to the Lerner Center Population Health Research Brief Series.

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Lindsay Kernen | Undergraduate Research Assistant

Undergraduate Research Assistant Lindsay Kernen

Lindsay is a junior at SU studying Citizenship & Civic Engagement and Psychology. Her research interests include food insecurity, childhood obesity, and mental health specifically in low-income communities. Lindsay has worked as an Intern at the East Side Institute where she learned about social therapeutics and performance activism. She is very passionate about how food and nutrition shape health disparities in different communities. 

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Sarah Gribble | Graduate Research Assistant

Sarah is a Master of Public Administration Graduate Candidate at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Before enrolling at Syracuse, she spent the past seven years working in Washington, DC, implementing nationwide public health programs at state and local levels to meet community needs across the country. Her interests include strategic communication planning, community outreach and engagement, public and private partnerships, and technical assistance and training. Ms. Gribble holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Public Relations from Weber State University (Ogden, Utah).

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Claire Pendergrast | Lerner Graduate Fellow

Graduate Research Affiliate Claire Pendergrast

Claire Pendergrast is a Sociology PhD student interested in aging, social policy, and health disparities. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of Washington in 2019, where her research focused on public health policy, healthy aging, and community resilience to disasters. Claire has worked at the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services, where she focused on environmental health communications and community engagement, and as the Research Translation assistant for the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program, where she supported science policy and risk communication programming and research. Claire is passionate about working in partnership with communities and policy stakeholders to support evidence-based public health.

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Yue Sun | Lerner Graduate Fellow

Yue Sun is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology. She holds a Master of Sociology from Zhejiang University and a Bachelor of Public Administration from East China University of Science and Technology. Her research interests include health disparities, environmental justice, demography, political economy, and spatial modeling. Specifically, Yue is interested in how natural, social, and policy environments interact, and how this interaction shapes health disparities.

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Josh Grove | Lerner Research Affiliate

Joshua Grove is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology program. He holds master’s degrees in both sociology and religion. He is interested in social inequities related to public health and policy. Specifically, Joshua is studying the intersection of addiction and religion/spirituality, especially within the LGBTQ+ Community. In addition, Joshua is examining how family dynamics, gender, sexuality, and religion contribute to addiction, including recovery/relapse prevention. Prior to coming to Syracuse University, Joshua worked as a pastor and spiritual director for clients in recovery from addiction to heroin and/or fentanyl.

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Xiaoyan (Amanda) Zhang | Lerner Graduate Fellow

Lerner Fellow Xiaoyan (Amanda) Zhang

Xiaoyan (Amanda) Zhang is a doctoral student in the department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS) at Syracuse University. She received her Master’s Degree in HDFS at SU in 2018.  Her broad research interests are on the impacts of social determinants on health disparities. She is particularly interested in how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) impact health and well-being. She aims to conduct research and evaluation that can be translated into programs or treatments to help children and their families promote their health. Her most recent research examines the effects of economic hardship and children’s adjustment using the Family Stress Model. She expanded the model by incorporating the role of neighborhood interpersonal trust.

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See our Lerner Fellow Alumni and Research Affiliates.