Tobacco ScholarsStudents who are selected into the Tobacco Scholars program receive advanced opportunities for education and training in tobacco prevention, research, treatment and policy.
More information about the Tobacco Scholars Program, including application and program requirements, can be found here.
2012-13 ScholarsLibby Brockman is a Seattle native who completed her undergraduate education at Brandeis University in Boston, MA. She studied neuroscience, biology and psychology before beginning her MPH at the UW in the Department of Health Services, in the Maternal & Child Health track. Libby's thesis topic is related to research she did at Seattle Children's Hospital regarding alcohol and substance use among adolescents and young adults. Her current work examines the rising popularity of alternative forms of tobacco use, specifically hookah smoking, among college students. Outside of school Libby volunteers at a free clinic for homeless youth on Capital Hill and is a camp director for children with special needs during the summer months. A true product of the Northwest, she likes to hike and camp, is planning to learn how to ski this winter, and loves to travel.
Joseph Cerimele is a physician at UWMC and is also enrolled in the UW School of Public Health MPH program in the Department of Health Services. He completed psychiatry residency training in 2012 at Mount Sinai School of Medicine where he served as chief resident. Joe is currently enrolled in a T-32 funded NRSA fellowship in primary care psychiatry and health services research. His main interests are in improving the psychiatric and general health care delivered to patients with psychiatric disorders seen in primary care settings. He is also interested in improving the general health of patients with severe and persistent psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia through the treatment of health risk behaviors such as smoking. He has published a systematic review on the use of varenicline in patients with schizophrenia.
Jessa Kerston is a second year UW MSW student and Chemical Dependency Professional studying mental health social work (expected graduation, June 2013). Jessa graduated from the UW with BA degrees in Biochemistry and Sociology and minors in Chemistry, Applied Mathematics, and Diversity. She has previously worked as a chemical dependency counselor serving severely mentally ill and homeless adults. As a counselor, Jessa facilitated smoking cessation support groups and provided one-on-one chemical dependency counseling. Jessa currently interns at the Veterans Health Administration in inpatient psychiatry. She is interested in expanding chemical dependency treatment and smoking cessation within healthcare fields, especially expanding access to vulnerable populations.
Colin Maloney is a first year student in the UW School of Public Health's Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) Program. Colin graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Community Health Education and a minor in Political Science. Prior to coming to UW, Colin worked as a tobacco cessation counselor in Seattle and with homeless youth in Portland, Oregon. Colin is currently working for UW's Student Health Center, Hall Health, developing a tobacco cessation program for students, staff, and faculty and is doing an internship with Public Health - Seattle & King County's Tobacco Prevention Program investigating tobacco-free housing policies. Colin is interested in how the social determinants of health and inequality impact tobacco use and health outcomes as well as looking into how public policy efforts can be strengthened to further reduce rates of tobacco use.
James Rae is a first year doctoral student in Psychology studying quantitative methods. James graduated with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Psychology from Central Washington University in the spring of 2012. His experience in research has included topics such as public opinion and voting behavior, while most recently he completed a study investigating whether college students' type of Facebook use predicted health promoting and health compromising behaviors. He is interested in both tobacco related health disparities and identifying subgroups of tobacco users.
Former ScholarsSince its inception, the UW TSP has awarded a total of $93,600 in 22 fellowships and 22 career development stipends to 34 student scholars.
Graduates of the program continue to work as researchers, service providers and program administrators at various state agencies, non-profit organizations and health facilities across the US. Tobacco Studies Program alumnae are currently employed at places such as:
- American Legacy Foundation
- Association of Schools of Public Health
- Free & Clear, inc.
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
- Tobacco Control Legal Consortium
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- King County Metro
- UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
- UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI)
- UW Social Development Research Group (SDRG)
- various state departments of health, including CA, TX and WA
In their own words, here's what former scholars say about the UW Tobacco Studies Program and their fellowship work:
"TSP changed the way I view the influence of tobacco on people, communities, and populations. Being a scholar helped me continue to develop skills as a critical thinker, inquisitive reviewer of scientific information, and compassionate researcher that remains with me in my professional and personal pursuits."
"I gained a broad knowledge on the subject of smoking cessation from different aspects presented by speakers in the program. This knowledge helped me become a better care provider."
"I would like to pursue a career in tobacco control because of all that I was exposed to in the program - from journal clubs to talks, to coursework and the mentors I was connected with given the program's resources and networking. I had a general interest in smoking cessation prior to coming to UW to pursue an MPH degree, but the TSP program turned that interest into a passion. The numerous activities exposed me to the issues in tobacco control and made me want to tackle tobacco-related health disparities (especially among low SES populations, where we need to focus our future efforts)."
"My experience in the Tobacco Studies Program gave me a first-look into the field of behavioral risk factors and health outcomes. My current work in chronic disease prevention and outcomes assessment began with principles I learned in the program."
"While the Program did not change my goals - to work within a key program of a health department - it helped me move rapidly towards them. At this point, I would find it hard to not work in tobacco since I am so familiar with the impact it has and am very excited about the strategies to minimize that impact."
"Before the Tobacco Studies Program, my area of professional interest was related to alcohol abuse. The program was a 'wake up call' for the importance of tobacco use as a determinant of health and made me shift my area of interest."
"While I was interested in tobacco issues before the program, the class, journal club meetings and research project opened my eyes to the range of issues regarding tobacco. The program sparked my interest in young adult and international issues, both of which I had not thought of before. It also made me realize that while some programs appear to be utilizing 'best practices' that we always need to be aware of industry motives with regard to tobacco control."