Lerner Center Administration

Shannon Monnat | Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion

Professor Shannon Monnat

Shannon Monnat is the Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion and Director of the Center for Policy Research. She is also a Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Policy, Place, and Population Health Lab at SU. Dr. Monnat is a rural sociologist, demographer, and population health scholar who conducts research on demographic and geographic trends and differences in health and mortality, with a specific interest in rural health and health disparities. Her most recent research has focused on drug use and overdose, particularly trying to understand the factors that explain demographic and geographic differences in use and overdose rates. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed academic journal articles, book chapters, research briefs, and reports, and has presented her research to numerous public, academic, and policy audiences, including the United Nations, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, the Aspen Institute, the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, and at Congressional briefings. Her research has been featured in several media outlets, including CNN, NPR, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic. Monnat teaches graduate courses in Demographic Processes and Health and Place and an undergraduate Introduction to Sociology course.

Email Shannon: smmonnat@syr.edu and see faculty page.

Alexandra Punch | Director

Lerner Center Associate Director Alexandra Punch

Alexandra Punch received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University in 2012; where she is now pursuing her professional doctorate in law and public policy. Prior to working at Syracuse University, Alexandra served as the Director of Drug User Health at ACR Health. There, she focused on innovative treatment practices and community collaborations for addressing opioid dependence using the Harm Reduction model of care.  Alexandra also worked at the Onondaga County Health Department as a Research Technician in the Bureau of Disease Control. She is the Chair of the Harm Reduction subcommittee for the Onondaga County Drug Task Force and a member of the Regional Advisory Committee for the State Opioid Response (SOR) Network.

Email Alexandra: aepunch@syr.edu 
Office phone number: 315-443-9343

Emily Graham | Assistant Director

Emily Graham received her B.S. in Public Health from Syracuse University in 2022; where she is now pursuing an MPH. Prior to working for Syracuse University, she served six years in the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman, stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Naval Medical Center San Diego. During her time in the Navy, she promoted health and wellness programs such as the Baby-Friendly Initiative and a Heart Healthy Cardiac Rehabilitation program. As the Unit Practice Council co-chair, she introduced new safety initiatives such as the “Good Catch Award”- an award recognizing nurses for catching medical errors before they occurred. During her time as an undergraduate at Syracuse University, Emily worked as a peer educator on campus, educating students on harm reduction strategies regarding substance use. She also interned with Barnes Center at The Arch Health Promotion, where she chaired the “Take Back the Night” planning committee and grew the University’s Orange Recovery Community, a program for students in recovery from substance use disorder.

Email Emily: ecaccavo@syr.edu
Office phone number: 315-443-4526