Social and Behavioral Sciences Instructors

Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration coordinator

Gaia L Zori

Gaia L Zori

Clinical Assistant Professor
Department: College of Public Health and Health Professions Dean's Office
Phone: (352) 294-5772

Gaia Zori, PhD, MPH, CHES® is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy and in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) concentration in the College of Public Health and Health Professions (PHHP) at the University of Florida (UF). She serves as Master of Public Health (MPH) concentration coordinator for the SBS (campus and online) and Public Health Practice (online) concentrations. Dr. Zori received her PhD in Public Health with a concentration in SBS from UF, her Master of Public Health (MPH) from the State University of New York at Albany with a dual concentration in Social, Behavioral and Community Health and Epidemiology, and her Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) from UF. Dr. Zori is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) with nearly 10 years of experience in public health and health education, and she has previously held a variety of professional roles in public health practice including as a CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellow in Maternal & Child Health and the Director of Education for Planned Parenthood of North Florida. Dr. Zori’s primary research interests center on understanding the structural factors contributing to disparate outcomes in sexual and reproductive health, as well as effective strategies for the promotion of health equity.

Faculty

Amy Blue

Amy Blue PhD

Associate Vice President; Clinical Professor
Department: Office of Interprofessional Education
Phone: (352) 273-8477

Amy Blue, PhD, is the associate vice president for interprofessional education in the UF Health Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs. She is also a clinical professor in the College of Public Health and Health Professions’ Department of Environmental and Global Health. Dr. Blue holds a doctorate in Medical Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University and completed a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Post-doctoral fellowship in Behavioral Science at the University of Kentucky. Following completion of her fellowship, she joined the University of Kentucky College of Medicine Dean’s Office and Department of Surgery as an assistant professor and medical educator. In 1998, Dr. Blue moved to the Medical University of South Carolina where she served as the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Evaluation in the MUSC College of Medicine, and advanced to Professor, Family Medicine. In 2007, Dr. Blue was promoted to Assistant Provost for Education at MUSC. In that role, she established and directed the university’s interprofessional education program, Creating Collaborative Care. Dr. Blue has co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications regarding medical and interprofessional education. Her educational research interests have included measures of professionalism in medical students, funded by the National Board of Medical Examiners, and assessment and evaluation practices, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She has served in national leadership roles, including chair of The Generalists in Medical Education, chair of the Southern Group on Educational Affairs of the Association of American Medical Colleges, and was a founding member of the American Interprofessional Health Collaborative. Dr. Blue has been elected as a faculty member to the medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha, holds honorary membership to the National Pharmacy Leadership Society, Phi Lambda Sigma, and membership to the public health honorary society, Delta Omega. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Interprofessional Care and the Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice. Dr. Blue served as a member of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel that wrote the Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Report in 2011. In 2013, she was elected Distinguished Scholar and Fellow in the National Academies of Practice, Dentistry Academy. In 2018, she was awarded the Association of American Medical Colleges Southern Group on Educational Affairs Career Educator award for sustained excellence in educational leadership and scholarship. Most recently, she was selected to be a public member of the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Shantrel S Canidate

Shantrel S Canidate PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor; EPI Associate Director For Outreach And Community Partnerships
Department: Department of Epidemiology
Phone: (352) 294-5962
Brittney Dixon

Brittney Dixon PhD, MPH, CPH, TTS

Director, Bachelor Of Public Health Program And Clinical Assistant Professor
Department: College of Public Health and Health Professions Dean's Office
Phone: (352) 273-6068

Brittney Dixon, PhD, MPH, CPH, TTS is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy and in the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration in the College of Public Health and Health Professions (PHHP) at the University of Florida (UF). Dr. Dixon received her MPH (Health Policy) from Florida State University in 2014 and her PhD in Public Health (Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration) from the University of Florida in 2020. Dr. Dixon is Certified in Public Health (CPH) and is a trained Tobacco Cessation Facilitator and Treatment Specialist. Dr. Dixon’s research interests center on underserved and historically marginalized populations, with particular emphasis on health disparities, the social determinants of health, health equity, and community-engaged research. She also focuses her research efforts on the built environment, gentrification, and chronic conditions and how these factors and conditions impact underserved and vulnerable populations. Dr. Dixon is also proficient in program development and evaluation.

Lindsey M King

Lindsey M King PhD, MPH, CHES, CCRP, CTTS

Clinical Assistant Professor & Program Director
Department: College of Public Health and Health Professions Dean's Office
Phone: (352) 273-6064

Lindsey King, PhD, MPH, CHES®, CCRP, CTTS (she/her) is a clinical assistant professor of public health in the Department of Health Services Research, Management & Policy and the Dean’s Office at the University of Florida (UF) College of Public Health and Health Professions. She serves as program director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) program and program director of the PhD in public health (SBS concentration). She also serves as chair and program chair of the American Public Health Association Family Violence Prevention Caucus (APHA FVPC). She previously served as the Master of Public Health (MPH) concentration coordinator for the SBS (campus and online) and public health practice (online) concentrations. Dr. King received her PhD in public health (SBS) from UF, her MPH from the University of South Florida (USF), and her Bachelor of Arts from UF. Dr. King has also served as a tobacco cessation facilitator through the Northeast Florida Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and Gulfcoast North AHEC. Dr. King’s background includes research in behavioral oncology, clinical, epidemiology, and community-based participatory research (CBPR) to address disparities in maternal and child health (MCH), and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed public health community initiatives. Dr. King’s primary interests include community-engaged research to identify strengths of communities and eliminate health disparities in underserved populations including racial and ethnic minority populations and sexual and gender minority populations.

Michael D Moorhouse

Michael D Moorhouse PhD

Clinical Associate Professor
Department: College of Public Health and Health Professions Dean's Office
Phone: (352) 273-6564

Mike Moorhouse, PhD is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Moorhouse received his PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Florida in 2008 and his MHS in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2001. As the BHS program director from 2013 to 2023, he was directly responsible for the educational and advising needs of more than 400 pre-health junior and seniors, and is heavily involved student life as he is faculty advisor to four different student organizations. Dr. Moorhouse’s research interests include undergraduate pedagogy, hazardous substance use among young adults, and measurement theory.

Positionality Statement:

As a white, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied male, I recognize that my privilege insulates me from experiencing social and systemic discrimination, racism, oppression, rejection, or micro aggressions that many people have and continue to experience in their daily lives. This privilege is an inescapable part of my “identity” – something that has allowed me to never have to prove myself because of my sex, or be uneasy walking into a room where no one looks like me, or deny my authentic self for fear that family and friends will reject me. Moreover, my privilege has allowed me to navigate life largely unaffected by discriminatory practices, prejudicial policies, and implicit/explicit bias.

My lens, my values, my motivations have all been heavily influenced by my upbringing and my own lived experiences related to self-worth and inferiority. It is these experiences that drive me to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion inside and outside the classroom. I believe that we are all an intersection of vertical and horizontal identities that should be celebrated and affirmed, rather than hidden or oppressed. To that end, I strive to make safe and affirming spaces for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status; and hope to grow by becoming more educated and better understanding of the impact of social injustices.

Jamie L Pomeranz

Jamie L Pomeranz PhD, CRC, CLCP

Clinical Professor
Department: College of Public Health and Health Professions Dean's Office
Phone: (352) 294-8549

Jamie L. Pomeranz, Ph.D., CRC, CLCP is a Clinical Professor within the Department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Pomeranz has obtained three degrees from the University of Florida which include: Masters of Exercise and Sports Science, Masters of Health Science in Rehabilitation Counseling and Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Science. He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Life Care Planner and has worked with people with disabilities in multiple capacities for over 20 years. His clinical background includes working with individuals with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and intellectual disabilities. Dr. Pomeranz has been on faculty at the University of Florida since 2004 and his topics of research include: health promotion for people with disabilities and life care planning and modern measurement theory. Since receiving his Ph.D. in 2005, Dr. Pomeranz developed 30 peer reviewed publications and two book chapters. Dr. Pomeranz currently serves on the PHHP Blended Learning Taskforce and is a past member of the collaboration task force and committee for promoting collaboration between public health and health professions. He has and continues to mentor multiple Ph.D and MPH graduate students from the public health program. He currently teaches within the Bachelors of Health Science undergraduate program and serves as the Advisor for the Pre-Public Health Concentration and the Honor’s Program Director within the Bachelors of Health Science Program. His courses include: Critical Issues in Public Health, Ethical and Legal Issues in Public Health and Health Professions, and Research Methods. Dr. Pomeranz has received funding from the Area Health Education Centers the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Veteran’s Health Administration. His NIH project involves developing one of the first empirically-based tobacco cessation programs for people with disabilities. Finally, Dr. Pomeranz has received numerous awards including: Excellence in Research, Outstanding Young Alumni Award, and the Public Health Award for Faculty Excellence.

Kathryn M Ross

Kathryn M Ross Ph.D., M.P.H.

Associate Professor & Associate Chair For Research
Department: Department of Clinical and Health Psychology
Phone: (352) 294-8433

Dr. Kathryn Ross is an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology and in the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. Dr. Ross currently teaches within the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration in the MPH and PhD in Public Health programs, and advises masters and doctoral students both in the Department of Clinical Psychology and in Public Health.

Nichole E Stetten

Nichole E Stetten PhD, MPH, CPH

Research Assistant Professor
Department: HP-OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
Phone: (352) 273-9789

Dr. Nichole Stetten is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Public Health and Health Professions. She received a B.A (Psychology) from Berea College, MPH, and PhD (Social and Behavioral Science Public Health) from the University of Florida. Dr. Stetten completed a NIAAA T32 Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Epidemiology. Her research aims to reduce substance use among individuals living with a disability. Her current research focuses on how medical marijuana use affects functioning, activities, participation, and overall quality of life.

Julia R Varnes

Julia R Varnes

MPH Program Director, Clinical Associate Professor
Department: College of Public Health and Health Professions Dean's Office
Phone: (352) 294-5382

Julia R. Varnes, PhD, MPH, MCHES is the director of the Master of Public Health Program for the College of Public Health and Health Professions, and a Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Health Services Research, Management, and Policy as well as faculty within the Social and Behavioral Sciences concentration. She is also an affiliate professor with the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research. Dr. Varnes received her PhD in health behavior, with a minor in research and evaluation methodology, from the University of Florida. Dr. Varnes holds two masters degrees, one in health education (UF), and one in public health (University of Maryland, College Park).

Dr. Varnes has worked in college health at UF for over 15 years, first as a public health practitioner with UF’s Area Health Education Program (AHEC) and later with GatorWell Health Promotion Services. She joined UF as faculty in 2014, and joined the College of PHHP in 2021. Dr. Varnes is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), and also a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).

Focusing on psychosocial health, Dr. Varnes’s research and academic interests are specific to interpersonal violence, objectification, and gender role expectations; inclusivity and accessibility for persons with disabilities; and professional preparation. In her teaching, advising, and mentoring, she aims to instill concepts of empowerment, compassion, acceptance, and cultural competency/humility in future professionals.

Ashby F Walker

Ashby F Walker Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department: HP-HEALTH SERVICES ADMIN
Phone: (352) 273-8278

Dr. Ashby Walker received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Emory University and serves as the Director for Health Equity Initiatives at the University of Florida Diabetes Institute. Dr. Walker is the elected Chair of the American Diabetes Association National Health Disparities Committee and a member of the the Chronic Diseases & Conditions Priority Area Workgroup (PAW) of the Florida State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). Dr Walker has also served on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s scientific review committee. Dr. Walker’s research as a medical sociologist focuses on reducing health disparities in diabetes with a particular focus on communities receiving care at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). Dr. Walker is the recipient of seven teaching, mentoring, and curriculum development awards and received the Diversity Champion award from the UF Graduate School in 2021 and was featured as “People to Know” by Diabetes Forecast Magazine in 2019.