Predoctoral Trainees

Annie Youngblood

Annie Youngblood, MPH

Annie is a PhD student in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota. Annie holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include the health impacts of housing policy, housing stability, and neighborhood effects.

Marlena Jacobsen

Marlena Jacobsen, MPH

Marlena is a PhD student in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from California State University, Northridge, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from California State University, Chico. Her research interests circle around social and environmental influences on family health (e.g., household food environments, dietary intake, media influence). Over a decade of work alongside families has driven her to identify and promote positive health strategies to increase family wellness.

Kaitlyn Adams

Kaitlyn Adams, MEd

Kaitlyn Adams is a PhD student in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. Kaitlyn holds a Master’s of Education in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests are physical activity and health promotion within a diverse population. She is especially interested in people who are pregnant, and the role physical activity can play in enhancing social support, mental health, and building a stronger community. She is hoping to expand her work by addressing the connection between physical activity and eating behaviors within a family system. When she is not working, she likes to read, spend time with her family, and run around the lakes in Minneapolis.

Postdoctoral Trainees

Kayla Johnson

Kayla Johnson, PhD, MS

Kayla received her MS and PhD in Health Psychology from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, with minors in Neuroscience and Cognition and Perception. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Concordia College. Her research utilizes ecological momentary assessment and physiological measures to study sleep, stress, and physical activity and create interventions for at-risk populations to reduce health disparities.

Mikayla Berry

Mikayla Barry, PhD, MPH

Mikayla received her PhD in Nutritional Sciences and Epidemiology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 2022. She also holds a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. She uses epidemiologic methods to better understand the role of nutrition in public health, especially among diverse and understudied populations. Her research focuses primarily on food insecurity and eating disorders prevention among young people, including the role of food insecurity in the development of disordered eating. In addition to her research work, she is in the process of becoming certified as a registered dietitian, so that she can directly serve and stay connected with individuals and communities affected by nutrition concerns.

Anna Hochgraf

Anna K. Hochgraf, PhD, MS

Anna received her PhD and MS in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University. Her research centers on the development of youth body image concerns and co-occurring psychological and behavioral health outcomes, with attention to the family and broader sociocultural contexts in which youth develop. The broader goal of her research is to advance strengths-based prevention efforts for body image concerns and co-occurring health problems, including among youth who have been historically underrepresented in the literature.

Eydie Kramer Kostecka

Eydie Kramer-Kostecka, PhD, MA

Eydie received her PhD in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota and her MA in Sport & Exercise Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her primary research interests include assessing outdoor and aquatic physical activity environments and developing community-centered physical activity programs for youth and families who experience health disparities (e.g., rural populations, communities of color).

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