Faculty and Staff
Dr. Frances Barg, Lab Co-Director
Frances K. Barg, PhD, MEd, is a medical anthropologist and an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, a senior fellow in the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences. She is a collaborator for mixed methods and qualitative research with interdisciplinary research teams across six schools at the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently the co-director for the Mixed Methods Research Lab in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and was the Director of the Qualitative Research Unit for the Advanced Center for Interventions and Services Research at Penn. In this role, she led a cadre of investigators who incorporated qualitative and mixed methods into their work on adherence to treatment and understanding patient treatment choices for anti-depressants vs. psychotherapy. She has used qualitative methods to identify patient perceptions about emergency contraception, ADHD treatment, Parkinson’s Disease and depression, weight gain among African-American women with breast cancer, the role of self-reliance for the management of depression among older African-American and white adults, and the relationship between loneliness and depression among older African-American and white adults. In 2004, Dr. Barg served as the co-director for an NCI sponsored workshop on mixed methods research in Denver, Colorado. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Mixed Methods Research and is a frequent reviewer for journals that publish qualitative health research. Dr. Barg teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in theory and methods in medical anthropology in the Department of Anthropology, the Health and Societies program and the Program in Public Health at the University of Pennsylvania and serves as the course director for a yearly Winter Institute on Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research at Penn.
Dr. Peter Cronholm, Lab Co-Director
Peter Cronholm, MD, MSCE is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He has completed a Faculty Development Fellowship and a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cronholm's time is divided between clinical, teaching, research and advocacy interests. Dr. Cronholm has expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies and study design. His research interests have focused on health services regarding: 1) the primary care management of intimate partner violence perpetration; 2) assessing psychosocial needs of families and patients with cancer; 3) screening for adolescent depression in the acute care setting; 4) pre-teen violence prevention initiatives; 5) assessing Philadelphia-area fathering providers’ practices regarding intimate partner violence; and 6) assessing the risk of neighborhood variables on firearm injury and health. Dr. Cronholm has a secondary appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and is an Affiliate Faculty member in the Graduate Program in Public Health Studies, a Senior Fellow in the Center for Public Health Initiatives, a Senior Scholar at the Leonard Davis Institute for Healthcare Economics, an Associate of the Firearm and Injury Center at Penn, an Associate of the Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Center, and an Affiliate of the Evelyn Jacobs Ortner-Unity Program in Family Violence at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice. Dr. Cronholm is actively involved in community programs addressing family violence, serving as a member of the Board of Directors, a Clinical Consultant, and former Director of the Men's Council on Family Violence for the Institute for Safe Families (ISF) in addition to being a member of ISF's Clinical Network on Family Violence. Dr. Cronholm also serves on the Board of Directors for Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) and the Men’s Resource Center (MRC). Dr. Cronholm also has served as a Clinical Consultant and member of the Policy Committee for the Women's Death Review team: A project of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, Women in Transition, and the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation.
Dr. Carolyn Cannuscio, Lab Faculty
Carolyn Cannuscio, ScD,is a social epidemiologist whose current work centers on the causes and consequences of health disparities. She is interested in the health toll of society's failure to meet universal human needs for adequate food, shelter, and health care as well as safety.
In her work as a teacher and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, Dr. Cannuscio has two main goals. One is to identify strategies for improving population health by employing novel and varied methods, beyond the traditional arsenal of quantitative methods employed by epidemiologists. The second is to build strength in the field of population health by engaging citizens, including students, in the research process. The Health of Philadelphia Photo-documentation Project accomplished both aims, by developing new insights regarding constraints on the health of urban residents, and by drawing from tremendous input and energy from collaborating students and community members. The project was conceived during Dr. Cannuscio's participation in the Santa Fe Science Writers Workshop and was initiated during her tenure as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar.
Dr. Cannuscio earned her undergraduate degree in an interdisciplinary Health and Society program at Brown University and her Master and Doctor of Science degrees at the Harvard School of Public Health. She has worked in a range of nonprofit and for-profit organizations, including an adolescent substance abuse prevention program (Human Understanding and Growth Seminars), a nationwide child and elder care improvement initiative (through WFD Consulting), and corporate epidemiological research (at Merck Research Laboratories). She is indebted to her mentors who have helped her develop as a scholar and teacher, including Ichiro Kawachi, Eric Rimm, Lisa Berkman, Sally Zierler, Ann Dill, David Lewis, Harry Guess, Maurice Hilleman, and Abby Shapiro.
Dr. Rosemary Frasso, Lab Faculty
Rosemary Frasso ("Rosie"), PhD, CPH is a lecturer in the Schools of Nursing and Social Policy and Practice (SP2) and is a Senior Fellow at Penn's Center for Public Health Initiatives. Additionally, she. serves as the Director of Education for the MPH Program.
Public Health is a second career for Dr. Frasso. She worked for many years as an X-ray and Ultrasound Technologist and managed a large outpatient Radiology Service for Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. She earned her PhD at SP2 in 2011. Prior to coming to Penn, Dr. Frasso earned two Masters Degrees at the Harvard School of Public Health and worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on projects related to improving access to mammography for women with disabilities. She teaches a Qualitative Methods course, teaches and coordinates the MPH Capstone course, and has co-taught a course on Health Behavior and Theory. For the past two years she has turned her Qualitative Methods class into a research team; the students choose a topic, design a study, obtain IRB approval, and produce an exhibit. Recently, with collaborators Shimrit Keddem, Dr. Carolyn Cannuscio, and Dr. Fran Barg, Dr. Frasso designed an assignment that allowed her students to employ photo-elicitation and free listing to explore the meaning of safety on and around the Penn campus. The online exhibit of this work can be found at www.sp2.upenn.edu/programs/msw/safety/index.html. Much of Dr. Frasso’s research employs qualitative methods to explore the challenges faced by marginalized groups navigating the healthcare system.
Aderinola Adejare, Research Coordinator
Aderinola Adejare ("Derin") is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab. In her role, she organizes and participates in data collection, coding, and analysis. She received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in Sociology – Health and Medicine and African Studies. Several of Ms. Adejare interests include health disparities, challenges to health care access, and global health issues.
Aneeza Agha, Senior Research Coordinator
Aneeza Agha, MA, is a Senior Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab. Ms. Agha received her BA in Social Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University. Her concentration was in Women’s Studies and Race and Ethnic Relations. Ms. Agha has more than a decade of public health planning experience, specifically in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and care services. She has worked with consumers, providers, and health departments in the Philadelphia metropolitan area assessing community needs through both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Ms. Agha also conducts federal grant reviews for HRSA and SAMHSA. Her ongoing interests comprise of assessing the social, economic, and health disparities of numerous populations including the South Asian community.
Emily Black, Research Coordinator
Emily Black is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab. She recieved a BA in Biology and the Science in Society Program from Wesleyan University. Before coming to the lab, she worked on projects related to oncology at a healthcare focused strategic marketing and consulting firm. She has also participated in conducting research on the history of the NIH Clinical Center, and has a special interest in strategies to scale-up innovative care delivery models to improve health outcomes and access to care.
Trocon Davis, Research Coordinator
Trocon Davis is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab. In this role, he organizes and participates in data collection, coding, and analysis. He received a B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University in 2014, where he was an undergraduate research assistant in the Intelligent Performance & Adaptation lab. Some of his interests include sports medicine & orthopedics as well as improving healthcare in developing countries.
Ebony Easley, Research Coordinator
Ebony Easley is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab. She organizes and participates in data collection, coding, and analysis. Ebony is currently finishing her BA at the University of Pennsylvania in Medical Anthropology and Global Health, with a minor in Hispanic Studies. She is also enrolled in Penn’s Master of Public Health Program. Ebony has worked extensively with Penn’s public health and family medicine related efforts throughout Guatemala. She is interested in exploring access to healthcare services, epidemiology, and global health.
Shabnam Elahi, Research Coordinator
Shabnam Elahi is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab. She recently received her BA in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout her undergraduate years, Ms. Elahi has been involved in community health issues through research as well as service in local community health clinics, and healthcare nonprofits. She is particularly interested in how social, and physical environments influence population health outcomes and perceptions.
Lisa Jacobs, Manager
Lisa Jacobs, MSW, is a Manager for the Mixed Methods Research Lab. In her role, Ms. Jacobs manages the daily operations of the Lab. Prior to joining the MMRL, Ms. Jacobs worked in public health policy and practice in Washington, DC and Philadelphia. Ms. Jacobs received her BA from Scripps College of the Claremont Colleges Consortium and her Master's of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Several of Ms. Jacobs’ primary areas of interest include structural interventions for HIV prevention and management, environmental public health, and community-based participatory research methods.
Samuel Katz, Resesarch Coordinator
Samuel Katz is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab, where he participates in data collection, coding, and analysis. Mr. Katz received a BA in Philosophy from Wesleyan University in 2012, and, before coming to the Lab, worked for a disability advocacy group. He has also worked as an Emergency Medical Technician and an Assistant to a gourmet chef. Mr. Katz is interested in the changing landscape of health care in America, methods and programs dedicated to expanding access to health care, and the ethical and legal issues surrounding new policies and technologies.
Briana Lott, Research Coordinator
Briana Lott, MPH, is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab, where she contributes to data collection, coding and analysis. Ms. Lott received a BA in Biology from Pepperdine University and her Masters of Public Health from Drexel University. Prior to coming to MMRL, Briana researched and evaluated environmental health hazards and their impact on the well-being of population health. She has also contributed to federal evaluations of federally-funded programs aimed at enhancing the primary care workforce and analyzed their potential impact on minority populations. She is particularly interested in the challenges to high-quality and accessible healthcare service, the barriers to improving the health status of underserved populations, and the environment’s impact on community health.
Rachel Russell, Research Coordinator
Rachel Russell is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Methods Research Lab, where she participates in data collection, coding, and analysis. Ms. Russell received a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and during her undergraduate years, she contributed to research on the effects of mindfulness meditation and yoga practice on college students’ stress levels. She is interested in doing clinical therapy and work related to fighting systems of inequality.
Sandeep Shah, Research Coordinator
Sandeep Shah is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Method Research Lab. He received his Master’s in Social Work from University of Pennsylvania and his BA in Social Welfare from University of California, Berkeley. Currently he is pursuing Master’s of Public Health at University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the MMRL, Mr. Shah assisted in a pilot program providing technical assistance to local street vendors in Philadelphia area. He also worked at a community foundation assisting on grantmaking, at a nonprofit doing case management and outreach to refugee immigrant families primarily from South East Asia and at a bank offering financial literacy services to low income individuals/families. He has also created a cultural competency guide website on Bhutanese refugees which is used as a reference by various social service agencies and medical practitioners in Philadelphia area. Mr. Shah is interested in improving healthcare access, socioeconomic development and Philanthropy.
Beth Stelson, Senior Research Coordinator
Beth Stelson, MSW, MPH is a Senior Research Coordinator with the Mixed Methods Research Lab where she manages data collection and analysis for a variety of research initiatives. Ms. Stelson received her Master’s in Social Work and Master’s in Public Health from the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in history from Brown University. Ms. Stelson’s primary research and practice interests include primary care, behavioral health, and incarceration. Ms. Stelson has experience in substance use treatment, communications, and program design. Prior to joining the MMRL team, Ms. Stelson designed an aftercare program for homeless families and a community counseling program in Philadelphia as well as founded an organization to increase the economic and environmental stability of several New Orleans neighborhoods.
Karen Vaccaro, Research Coordinator
Karen Vaccaro is a Research Coordinator for the Mixed Method Research Lab. In addition she helps with the administration responsibilities of the MMRL. Ms. Vaccaro received her Master’s in Education from Marywood University and her BFA from Alfred University with a minor in Art Education. Ms. Vaccaro sits on the board of BuildaBridge which is a non-profit that facilitates trauma healing through art-making with vulnerable populations of children and families in the Philadelphia area and around the world. Ms. Vaccaro has also been involved in a Quaker Peace Teams project in Uganda helping to build and fund a school for HIV/AIDS orphans. She is interested in issues of equality, literacy, sustainability, the environment and access for all to healthy, affordable foods. Ms. Vaccaro co-authored a paper being presented at the American Public Health Association’s APHA 2014 conference entitled Defining Healthy Food: Consumer Perspectives.