Postdoctoral & Staff Alumni of the Communication, Culture, & Health Research Team
Maria de Trinidad Young, PhD, MPH
UC Merced Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-19
Dr. Young's program of research examines the impact of immigration policies on public health. Her studies have employed both quantitative and qualitative methods to understand how access to health care and health status are shaped by both federal policies, such as those that increase immigration enforcement, and state policies, such as those that restrict or expand rights and protections for noncitizens. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Public Health at UC Merced. As a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Merced, she directed a content analysis of news coverage of state and local policies that affect immigrants. Previously, she was project director of the Research on Immigrant Health and State Policy (RIGHTS) Study at the Center for Health Policy Research at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her PhD in Community Health Sciences at UCLA and holds a Master's in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from the University of California, Los Angeles and a BA in Spanish from Swarthmore College.
Steven Ramondt, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow in Information Seeking and Health (Collaboration with Buoy Health), 2018-19
Dr. Ramondt's program of research aims to use communication to improve health. His dissertation research characterized news coverage of air pollution and health and its effects on health beliefs including fatalism, protective health behaviors, and support for environmental issues. His published research has examined media exposure and fatalism and perspectives of environmental health risks. Steven has returned to his native country, The Netherlands, where he is currently in a research position at the national blood bank, Sanquin, and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) to enhance recruitment and retention of blood donors. Demographic changes, increased longevity, and decreasing donor numbers put the blood supply under pressure. His project aims to: 1) Map who communicates what, when, and how about blood donation on social media platforms; 2) link this behavior to actual donor behavior; 3) develop a strategy to influence donor behavior via social media. Steven earned a PhD in Health Psychology at UC Merced in 2018 and a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Amsterdam.
Katie Johnson, MPH
Communication Coordinator, 2015-17
Katie earned a Master's in Public Health at UC Berkeley with a concentration in Public Health Nutrition. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Wellesley College and is passionate about improving access to quality food for all, and ensuring that the people who produce our food are themselves able to lead healthy lives. Having spent most of her life in rural Northern California, she is particularly concerned with issues facing the many small agricultural towns in the Central Valley. As Communication Coordinator for the CDC-funded Partnerships to Improve Community Health project with the Merced County Department of Public Health, she worked to promote a culture of health in Merced County. She is currently a nutrition specialist with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. She also co-manages her family's small, sustainably-minded vegetable farm in the Sierra Foothills.
Paula Amezola, MPH
Communication Evaluation and Development Consultant, 2016-17
Paula holds a Bachelor of Science in Genetics from the UC Davis, and a Masters in Public Health (Epidemiology) from the UC Los Angeles. For the last 15 years, she has worked to reduce health disparities dealing with STDs, HIV, Obesity, and Cancer. As a Public Health professional, her primary interests are in community participatory research and building healthy communities. Mrs. Amezola has been committed to supporting systems that would bring equity to underserved communities. At the University of Southern California she worked with the Annenberg School of Communication and the Keck School of Medicine, where she engaged in community asset mapping, coalition building, health communication, health policy and research. As the Communication Evaluation and Development Consultant, she advised on health communication design and evaluation. She is currently the career counselor for public health students at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.