About me

Kristin Sznajder, PhD, MPH

Kristin completed her BS in Psychology at Penn State University, MPH in Global Health at Emory University, and PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Michigan. Her doctoral research examined the reproductive health of women working in China’s electronics factories and found associations between job strain and pelvic pain, urogenital infection, and poor mental health.

She completed her postdoctoral work with the United States Army Public Health Command leading outbreak investigations on suicide and sexual assault. She has led and collaborated on projects in Bangladesh, China, Georgia, Ghana, Peru, Senegal, Sudan, the United States, and Zambia. Her research has examined social, biomedical, and mental health outcomes and has informed wider clinical and public health initiatives.

Currently, Kristin is Assistant Professor and Associate Director of International Initiatives in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Penn State University College of Medicine.


Demonica L. Jones, MPH, MSW

DrPH Student

Demonica received her BS in Community Health and Spanish from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and her MPH and MSW from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Currently she is a research assistant at the Penn State College of Medicine in the Department of Public Health Sciences working with HIV, maternal and child health outcomes, and COVID-19 related research.

Her background includes clinical research, HIV and STI prevention and education, and working with vulnerable youth populations (i.e. LGTBQ, youth with special healthcare needs, homeless). Her professional interests include addressing the needs, advocating for the rights of, and empowering youth and young adults by supporting environments of autonomy, respect and understanding between professionals and the populations served.

Her research interest includes addressing social and structural determinants of health inequities among disadvantaged, vulnerable, and/or marginalized youth and young adults.

Uttara Seshu, MS

DrPH Student

Uttara is a Public Health Practitioner with a Bachelor’s in Economics and Mathematics from Delhi University, India as well a Masters in Sustainable Development Practice from The Energy Resource Institute (TERI), India. She is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at the Penn State College of Medicine in the Department of Public Health Sciences working with maternal and child health outcomes, sexual and reproductive health, and COVID-19 related research.

Uttara has worked in the field of women’s health issues and her research interests lie at the intersection of gender and health. She has been involved in operational research on maternal health, family planning as well as maternal mental health in remote areas of India. She has been is a menstrual equity advocate and has also been worked on cross-cutting themes related to menstrual health and hygiene in India, Nepal, and Ghana.


Tarek B. Eshak, DrPH, MPH, MD

Dissertation Title: Retention in care among people living with HIV: The syndemic effects of substance abuse, depression, and type 2 diabetes and the impact of the covid-19 pandemic.

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