Our Staff

Michele Ybarra MPH PhD, President and Research Director.
Dr. Ybarra is a recognized researcher in technology-related health issues for young people. She has published extensively in the areas of Internet harassment and other types of online victimization, health information seeking, and research methods as they relate to technology. She also has developed and tested multiple technology-based behavior change programs both domestically and internationally. Current projects include a national longitudinal survey of youth that aims to identify youth characteristics related to the emergence of sexual violence over time (R01 CE001543; R01 HD083072); the development and testing of a text messaging-based teen pregnancy prevention program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and other sexual minority teen women (TP2AH000035); and the development and testing of an HIV prevention program for young adults across Uganda (R34 MH109296).

Past projects include the development and testing of Guy2Guy, a text messaging-based HIV prevention program for gay, bisexual, and queer teen men in the United States (R01MH096660); CyberSenga, an Internet-based HIV prevention program for adolescents in Mbarara, Uganda (R01 MH080662); a national survey that endeavored to better understand the positive and negative experiences of LGBT and non-LGBT youth online via a national survey (R01HD057191); the development and testing of a text messaging-based smoking cessation program among young adults in the United States (R21CA135669) and adult smokers in Turkey (R01TW007918); as well as a longitudinal study to examine the associations between exposure to violent new media and seriously violent behavior (U49 CE000206).

Dr. Ybarra holds a doctorate in child mental health services research and evaluation from the department of mental health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She was a pre-doctoral fellow of the National Institutes of Mental Health and was a joint fellow of the American Schools of Public Health / Centers for Disease Control.

Joseph R. Schwab, CTO / Interactive Creative Director.
With ten years of professional experience in Interactive Design, Development and Advertising, Joseph Schwab has been at the forefront of online advertising and website development since the Internet gained prominence in the late 1990’s. Mr. Schwab has accumulated invaluable experience with world class brands like: Apple, MTV, Pepsi One, Sony Playstation, Nissan, Infiniti, Acura, Samsung, Olympus America, Experian, Kyocera, Namco, working with top advertising agencies including: TBWA/Chiat/Day, The Designory, Deutsch LA, Genex, Truth Agency and most recently heading Orange County based Interactive Design Firm, Open Interactive, Inc.

Trevor Slocum, Web Developer.
Trevor Slocum is a self-taught developer, with his roots in writing web applications and web-based games.  He has launched multiple open source projects: After successfully monetizing an idea of a web-based game at the age of 15, Trevor expanded his programming ventures to include the cloning of another popular web-based game, emulating a popular image board and sharing the code worldwide, contributing his own code to other open source projects, and writing a successful Android application.

Tonya Prescott BA, Study Manager.
Ms. Prescott, CiPHR’s Study Manager, is one of the few researchers with experience developing and executing online recruitment outreach efforts, particularly reaching “hard-to-reach” populations (e.g., LGBT populations; youth under the age of 18 years). Primarily using Facebook, she has been responsible for reaching, enrolling, and following people in several national mHealth randomized controlled trials (Guy2Guy, SMS USA). Ms. Prescott also has experience writing the control group content for adolescent-focused text messaging-based behavior change interventions (Guy2Guy, BullyDown).

Her past research experience includes providing various supports as a study coordinator on CyberSenga, an Internet-based HIV prevention program in Uganda, and as a research assistant helping with panel retention in the Growing up with Media study. Ms. Prescott also has served as a study interviewer on a longitudinal study based on a national sample of US law enforcement agencies which examined the number of arrests and characteristics of juvenile online victimization cases, including child pornography and child sexual exploitation; and a research assistant for a longitudinal study examining youth internet use and experiences, including unwanted sexual solicitations, online harassment, and exposure to pornography.  She also has relevant experience at a community mental health center, which serves a variety of populations, including children, adolescents, families, and those with severe and persistent mental illness.

Ms. Prescott graduated with high distinction from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice.

Emilie Chen BA, Project Coordinator.
Ms. Chen’s understanding of global wellness continues to evolve through her work as Project Coordinator on the development of a sexual health program for young adults in Uganda and of a multi-national survey of east African adults who identify as LGBT. Through the guidance of Dr. Ybarra and Ms. Prescott, Ms. Chen assists with participant recruitment through Facebook and collaborating with Internet Solutions for Kids, Uganda.

Her past experience as Special Projects Assistant at the Environment Institute of the University of California, Irvine involved promoting student programs to increase conversations about environmental challenges. She later jointly served as the Communications Coordinator for the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs and Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation, where she designed visual materials for the 11th Human Security Award, presented to humanitarian advocate Dr. James Orbinski. Ms. Chen furthers her wide-ranging interest in global health and the environment through her passion for wildlife photography and by volunteering on ecological projects, including a month spent in rural Costa Rica. Ms. Chen completed her B.A. in Environmental Science and minor in Global Sustainability at the University of California, Irvine.

Myeshia Price-Feeney PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate.
Dr. Price-Feeney is a Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Postdoctoral Research Associate at CiPHR. She has been involved in adolescent public health research for the past ten years. Her previous research has examined the mechanisms that give rise to or predict specific developmental trends and experiences across the lifespan; specifically, she explored predictors of early sexual behavior: those that take place before age 16. She has multiple publications, including “When Two Isn’t Better Than One: Predictors of Early Sexual Activity in Adolescence Using a Cumulative Risk Model”, which received national recognition in USA Today. In each of her studies, she has used contemporary quantitative methodologies.

Before joining CiPHR, Dr. Price was a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury where she received an “Excellence of Service Award” and was honored as one of the “Fifty Most Influential Faculty, Staff, and Administrators” as part of the campus’ fifty-year celebration.

She has also had the distinct opportunity to complete the Community Leadership in Sexual Health Scholars’ Program at Center of Excellence for Sexual Health (CESH), part of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. This was an intensive training program during which she was prepared for sexual health community leadership through education and research with an overall goal of decreasing sexual health disparities. During her residency at CESH, she participated in practicum experiences with three different organizations: Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention; Fernbank Science Center; and Someone Cares Inc of Atlanta. She was also integral in the production of a White Paper addressing teen pregnancy prevention for the Dekalb Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Task Force.

Dr. Price-Feeney graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a doctorate degree in developmental psychology and she also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Hannah Madison BA, Project Coordinator.
Ms. Madison’s central interest in understanding people groups and their stories has inspired local and global pursuits. These include studying British Literature for a term at the University of Oxford, studying French language and culture as an Au Pair in Thoiry, France, and working in feature film production in Los Angeles, CA. This same interest led Ms. Madison to CiPHR. She is excited by the opportunity to join in CiPHR’s research, as it is in line with her own career mission: to continually examine the world and help find creative solutions to the problems society faces. Prior to joining the CiPHR team, Ms. Madison volunteered as a grant writer for the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) in Los Angeles. There, she crafted grant proposals seeking funding for CHRCL’s Casa Libre, a shelter for homeless inner-city youth and unaccompanied immigrant minors.

Her work at CiPHR includes coordinating the Growing up with Media study, a longitudinal survey study examining the emergence of various forms of violence in adolescence, and teaming with collaborators at the Johns Hopkins Community Psychiatry Program (JHCPP) to develop and test the efficacy of the Texting for Relapse Prevention (T4RP) program for individuals with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder (SAD).

Ms. Madison graduated Summa Cum Laude from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in English Literature.

John Beruldsen, Web Developer.
John Beruldsen is a self-taught web developer whose interest in computer programming did not begin until his first year in college with his introductory computer science class. He quickly developed an appreciation and fascination with technology and the internet. As he realized that technology was becoming more prominent and increasingly intricate, he yearned to contribute to its evolution. While he started off building small WordPress applications, his curiosity drove him to dive deeper into web development, study different programming languages/ open-source projects, and build custom, large-scale applications and software.

Katherina Nardo BA, Research Assistant.
Ms. Nardo is passionate about social justice and improving the lives of marginalized populations. Her time studying sociology in her undergraduate college career has given her an understanding of and appreciation for working with diverse and vulnerable populations. This knowledge equips her to fulfill her research assistant responsibilities at CiPHR, which are primarily to recruit and enroll study participants for a current randomized controlled trial aimed at promoting healthy sexual behavior (Girl2Girl).

While still in undergraduate school, Ms. Nardo worked as a Programs Capacity Intern for the non-profit food bank, Feeding San Diego, a local branch of the national Feeding America foundation. During her time with FSD, she acquired additional research skills, an increased familiarity of with working with data, and insight into working for non-profit organizations.

Raised by a father who holds a PhD in epidemiology, Ms. Nardo was exposed to the public health field at a young age. In addition to being frequently acquainted with the public health discipline while growing up, the synthesis of her enthusiasm for research and helping people have naturally led her to decide to pursue a Master of Public Health (MPH) in the near future. Her principal research interests include substance abuse and mental health. Ms. Nardo received her B.A. in sociology from the University of San Diego.

Ashley Olson BS, Research Assistant.
Ms. Olson recently graduated from Northern Arizona University with a B.S. in Public Health and a minor in Health and Wellness Coaching. She has a growing passion for women and children’s health, specifically sexual health. Her enthusiasm is apparent in her work as she assists primarily with the Girl2Girl project. Her leadership roles in past experiences have shaped her ability to thrive as a Research Assistant. Ms. Olson’s time at CiPHR has continued to invigorate her passion for public health and encourage her interest in learning how to plan and implement salient health programs.