Junior Scholars (2020-2021 Cohort)

Aimee Rovane (Psychology)
Aimee is a 4th year doctoral student in the School Psychology program. Her research focuses on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the family system, treatment adherence, parenting interventions, and engaging diverse families in ASD treatment. Aimee is especially interested in child and parent wellbeing outcomes as they relate to emotion socialization and transmission. She is currently recruiting participants for the Moments Matter project, which is an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study that is investigating family interactional patterns in families with children with ASD. At the CHQ, her mentors are Dr. Sayward Harrison and Dr. Xiaoming Li.

Amandeep Kaur (Biostatistics and Epidemiology)
Amandeep Kaur is currently a Ph.D. student at the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. She works under the supervision of Dr. Monique Brown, where she is contributing to Dr. Brown’s NIMH funded project focusing on the impact of childhood sexual trauma on the process of aging with HIV. Her research interests are mental health and childhood trauma of people living with HIV. Her current research project focuses on coping strategies and anti-retroviral therapy self-efficacy among people living with HIV in South Carolina.
She obtained her Master of Public Health from East Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in dental surgery from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, India.

Chengbo Zeng (Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior)
Chengbo Zeng is currently a PhD student at the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior. He will start his Junior Scholar Program under the supervision of Drs. Jiajia Zhang and Bankole Olatosi at the UofSC Big Data Health Science Center. His research interests are quantitative analytical methods and the health outcomes of people living with HIV (PLWH). Chengbo’s work have been published on renowned peer-reviewed journals, such as JMIR, JMIR mHealth and uHealth, BMC Public Health, and AIDS Care.

Mackenzie Hart (Psychology)
Mackenzie Hart is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, and serves in the University-wide Presidential Fellows program. As a member of the Youth Empowerment in Schools and Systems (YESS) Lab, her research interests center on multi-level prevention and intervention programs designed to bolster outcomes for at-risk adolescents. Specifically, she is interested in program accessibility and acceptability in marginalized environments, as well as the role of training community members in efficiently expanding the youth mental health workforce. At the CHQ, Mackenzie is mentored by Drs. Sayward Harrison and Monique Brown.

Nik Lampe (Sociology)
Nik Lampe is a Junior Scholar at the CHQ and a PhD student in Sociology at the University of South Carolina. Their research focuses on (1) sexual and gender minority (SGM) health and aging in relation to health care access, utilization, and delivery, (2) social causes of and responses to health inequalities, and (3) applied research opportunities with programs that promote health equity and patient-centered care. They have been published in The Journal of Pediatrics, Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, Gender & Society, The Qualitative Report, and Symbolic Interaction.

Sigfus Kristinsson (Communication Science and Disorders)
Sigfus Kristinsson is a doctoral student in Communication Sciences and Disorders Department. His doctoral study entails conducting research in the Aphasia Lab under the supervision of Dr. Julius Fridriksson. Sigfus earned his Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Iceland. His research focuses on identifying biographical, democratic, and neurobiological predictors of treatment response in aphasia – subserving the ultimate goal of improving clinical management in aphasia.

Tianchu Lyu (Health Services Policy and Management)
Tianchu Lyu is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Services Policy and Management. His research is centered in health informatics methods and health services research. He is particularly interested in leveraging informatics methods (e.g., advanced statistics, machine learning, knowledge discovery, and text mining.) to identify vulnerabilities and inequities during health services delivery through analyzing the Big-Health-Data that integrates health data from clinical care, social care, health administration, and health consumers. At the CHQ, his mentors are Dr. Bankole Olatosi and Dr. Chen Liang.

Tianyue Mi (Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior)
Tianyue Mi is currently a Ph.D. student at the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior. She is working under the supervision of Dr. Xiaoming Li, focusing on health behaviors and the mental health of people living with HIV. Tianyue earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in psychology from Peking University.

Valerie Yelverton (Health Services Policy and Management)
Valerie Yelverton is a PhD student in the Department of Health Services Policy and Management and a second year CHQ Junior Scholar. She holds a German physical therapy diploma and received her B.Sc. in Public Health and Administration as well as her M.Sc. in Health Sciences from University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg in Germany.
Valerie’s research interests include decision-relevant characteristics and decision-making processes related to multiple tiers of the HIV care continuum as well as vaccination-related decisions. She is particularly interested in shared decision-making and how to successfully involve patients in their medical decisions. For the CHQ Junior Scholar program, she participates in a study assessing HIV care interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in South Carolina.